The President's Message
Inaugural Address - April 20, 2013
Bret S. Langerman, DO, 2013 - 2014 OOA President
"Thank you and welcome. We have the IJ Ganem Band in the house tonight for our entertainment. I somehow feel that we would all rather listen to the band than me so I am going to keep my remarks brief.
As you can see, we have tried to do some things a little bit different at convention this year. I was allowed to wear jeans to the formal banquet. Im not sure that this has ever been done before and I am certainly not expecting to get away with it again. I rode in on horseback. Now having several horses myself, you would think this isn’t a big deal. The problem is, over the last few years it seems as though I have only had time to feed and clean up after them and not actually ride them. You have a tendency to get out of shape for that and I have some real concerns about my ability to walk tomorrow.
In all seriousness, we have changed the program this year offering several specialty tracks where you can obtain hours that will apply to your specialty certifications. I would like to give a special thank you to Dr. Michael Cooper for his hard work in putting this program together. This was quite a task and has worked out well. We have also embarked on a technology whirlwind trying to offer a more interactive electronic experience. I hope you had a chance to try out the new convention module that is available on line. I would like to thank Rachael Prince for her hard work on this endeavor. As an association, we continue to strive to advance our technology to keep up with these changing times. None of this would be possible without the hard work of the OOA staff. My heartfelt thanks go out to Lynette McClain, Lany Milner, and Allison Rathgeber. They work tirelessly on our behalf on a daily basis.
Nineteen years ago and some 235 miles up the turnpike in a place called Shangrila my late father Richard Langerman stood on a stage much like this to accept his nomination to the presidency of this great association. There is no doubt in my mind that it was my exposure to the OOA through his tenure that I started down my path to serve. Now, I stand before you very humbled and appreciative for the opportunity to carry on in the great traditions of the leaders before me.
I took a few minutes to look back at his inaugural speech and he spoke of Osteopathic unity. It’s interesting to me how his theme is still important to our profession today. Medicine is rapidly changing and I’m not convinced that it’s for the better. It is only through our unity as an Osteopathic profession that we can steer medicine down the path that is right not only for our patients but for us as physicians. I urge you to get involved in the OOA by serving on bureaus and perhaps even this board. It is only with your help that we can stay strong and influential on your behalf.
Speaking of advocacy, the OOA Board and Bureau on Legislation have continued to be a force to reckon with at the state capital. We started out this legislative session tracking over 300 bills which affect what we do as physicians. Some of the legislation this session includes the nurse anesthetists who once again want to advance their scope of practice to work without the supervision of physicians. Physical therapists want the ability to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients without an order from a physician. Last year we assisted with and were successful with legislative efforts to secure funding for the OSU Center for Health Sciences to start primary care residencies in rural areas. This year, we continue to work diligently with the medical school to lobby and secure funding to save OSU Medical Center which is on the brink of closure. Workers compensation reform continues to be contentious and we continue to work to protect the interests of our patients and our physicians in that regard. We have also seen a big push legislatively to enact statutes to curb prescription drug abuse and diversion. The problem is, currently this legislation puts the onus on the physician to police the system. We will continue to work with the legislature to enact meaningful legislation in this area that does not place the burden on us as physicians. These are just a few of the larger issues that we have been dealing with during this legislative session. I would like to recognize and thank Dr. LeRoy Young for his leadership with the legislative bureau. I would also like to recognize and show our appreciation to our lobbyists Gary Bastin and Mark Snyder who work tirelessly on our behalves. We will continue to make it a priority to protect our practice rights and be a presence at the capital.
Briefly on the national scene, the American Osteopathic Association has announced that they are currently involved in negotiations that would place all post graduate residency training programs under ACGME control. As you can imagine, this is a very controversial move and we will continue to follow this. If you have not yet been advised by your specialty board about Osteopathic Continuous Certification, please take the time to research this for yourselves as the requirements do vary from board to board. Whether or not we like or agree with this, OCC is upon us and will affect your ability to maintain your specialty certification. Stay informed and do not let this sneak up on you.
I would like to close by thanking our national leadership, AOA President Elect Dr. Vinn for being here this evening. Thank you to Dr. Subera for his leadership over the last year and to this board for their hard work. I would like to welcome our newest board members Dr. Melissa Gastorf and Dr.Tim Moser. I look forward to working with you in the years to come. I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Young for agreeing to emcee the banquet tonight. He has been an asset to this association and my mentor and friend for the last 10 years. I certainly will miss his presence. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize and thank Dr. Terry Nickels for his advice and mentorship over the years. He continues to work very hard and is making great strides in his recovery.
I would like to recognize my brother Dr. RJ Langerman, his wife Melissa and kids Ryan and Rylee. Ryan, I thank you for delivering the invocation this evening. Your kind and caring heart touches my soul. You make me very proud to be your uncle.
Also here tonight are my brother and sister in law Dr. Kyle Hrdlicka and Charlotte, with their kids Nicholas, Paige and Brooke.
I have some other special guests this evening who have been a support to my family over the years. Please welcome Rick and Carol Blaske, Cary and Karen Barger, and Joe and Christy Windle.
You know, when you make a commitment to serve on this board it’s a 10 plus year process and it’s not something that you can do alone. It takes a lot of family support and understanding. To my girls Callie and Kynlie, you were born during my tenure on this board and have not known a time when the OOA was not part of our lives. Thinking back, I can recall maybe two vacations that we took as a family that were not related to OOA business or CME. I thank you for your patience and your willingness to share me with the OOA and this profession. Your daddy loves you.
And of course, I saved the best for last. To my beautiful wife and soul mate DeLaine. You have been putting up with me, this profession and this association for over 15 years now. All three of those things can be a challenge though I would like to think that I’m the lesser in that group. I thank you and love you for your continued support, friendship and love. You are going to make one great first lady, or since this is a country evening, one great first cowgirl.
Again, thank you for your trust and this honor to serve. Please stay and enjoy IJ and the band. And as those before me have said, “Lets pray for a quiet year!”