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  • Newly Elected AMSA National Leaders

    Britani Kessler, fourth year medical student at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, will begin serving her term as AMSA National President on May 1, 2014. Kessler will work full-time at AMSA’s national office, Sterling, Virginia, where she will chair the Board of Trustees, represent almost 40,000 physicians-in-training, maintain alliances with other organizations and visit AMSA chapters across the country. 

    “AMSA is an exceptional organization that inspires a community of future physicians through education and advocacy,” says Kessler. “I’m honored and excited to serve as national president and plan on focusing on medical student debt and AMSA's Just Medicine campaign. I look forward to working with AMSA members across the country and helping them to realize their power as members of the medical community. The face of medicine is ever-changing and our members need to stay informed and active. As the future of medicine, we know that changes must be made and I believe our exceptional programming and wonderful leaders will accomplish so much over the coming year."

    At the recent AMSA Annual Convention, Deborah Vozzella Hall, third year medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, was elected President-Elect. She will serve for one year before becoming National President on May 1, 2015. Hall is currently AMSA’s Vice President for Internal Affairs and has previously served as National Secretary and co-director for AMSA’s Health Care for All Campaign.

    Newly elected members of the 2014-2015 AMSA Board of Trustees:

    President: Britani Kessler, Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
    President-Elect: Deborah Vozzella Hall, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
    Vice President for Internal Affairs: Kelly Thibert, Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine
    Vice President for Membership: Tripp Hines, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
    Vice President of Program Development: Perry Tsai, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Vice President of Leadership Development: Sahar Barfchin, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
    Secretary: Joshua Weinstock, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
    Graduate Trustee: Vacant
    International Trustee: Janell Johnson, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara
    Premedical Trustee: Isaiah Cochran, Waynesburg University
    Immediate Past President: Nida Degesys, MD
    The New Physician Student Editor: Luke Messac, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
    Ex-officio member: Joshua Caulfield, IOM, AMSA Executive Director

    2014-2015 AMSA Fellowship Position:

    Education & Research Fellow: Rachel Glassford, graduate student at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

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  • Preserving Funding to Medicaid and Medicare

    By Colin McCluney
    AMSA Education & Advocacy Fellow

    Last week, I had the pleasure of representing AMSA, along with other national leaders, at meetings at the White House and the Capitol to emphasize the importance of preserving funding to Medicaid and Medicare. While key entitlement programs are on the chopping block, we want the voice of physicians-in-training to be heard. AMSA joined with 14 other physician organizations in signing a coalition letter to oppose cuts to Medicaid and Medicare; this letter was hand-delivered to leadership from both parties in the House and the Senate. In addition to expressing our opposition to any reduction in benefits or coverage from Medicaid and Medicare, we emphasized our support for innovation in health care administration to reduce costs.

    Medicare has long been one of the most popular governmental programs, covering over 45,000,000 individuals, and has thus been largely protected from significant cuts. Medicaid, on the other hand, is less well-regarded and is frequently targeted as an opportunity for cuts. Why is this? Perhaps it’s due in part to the unglamorous perception that Medicaid is for poor people, a segment of the population that is hard to mobilize politically, frequently forgotten about and easy to demonize (think about the notion of lazy welfare cheats for example). On top of that, some groups and individuals have claimed that people are better off being uninsured than having Medicaid. Take all these things together and you can see how easy it could be to cut elements of the program. As you might have intuited though, these assertions aren’t true. While Medicaid does cover eligible individuals at certain poverty thresholds, it is worth noting that Medicaid covers some 30,000,000 children nationwide and provides payment for about a third of all births. Most exciting, though, are the recent findings to come out of a randomized controlled trial of Medicaid in Oregon. The origins and methodology have been extensively reviewed elsewhere but the key results were that individuals with Medicaid received more preventive care (for example, mammograms), had fewer financial problems (for example, borrowing money to pay debt or having bills end up in collections), reported having a regular doctor, and were much more likely to rate their own health as “excellent” or “good” (rather than “fair” or “poor”). While objective data on quantitative health outcomes won’t be available for another year or more, it is clear that Medicaid has already had a substantial positive impact on those individuals lucky enough to have been enrolled. This study – the first on the effects of health insurance since the landmark Rand study – shows clearly the value of Medicaid in improving the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable Americans.

    The budget negotiations will rumble on and Medicaid & Medicare will continue to be targets for cuts. Even after this round of discussions is finished, it is clear that there will be more battles to come. We see, however, that these programs are essential and effective in helping provide access to necessary medical care for a significant portion of the population, and we will continue to fight to support Medicare and Medicaid, to oppose cuts, to ensure & expand coverage, and to reduce waste.

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  • AMSA Welcomes 2011-2012 Leadership

    Danielle Salovich, M.D., recent graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has been elected to serve as the national president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA). She will chair the Board of Trustees, maintain alliances with other organizations and visit AMSA chapters across the country.

    “AMSA is an exceptional organization that inspires a community of future physicians through education and advocacy,” says Salovich. “I am honored to lead an organization composed of members truly dedicated to improving our nation's healthcare system. It is the passion of our visionary members that gives AMSA such a powerful voice.”

    AMSA 2011-2012 Board of Trustees

    Newly elected members of the 2011-2012 AMSA Board of Trustees:

    • Vice President for Internal Affairs: Elizabeth Wiley, JD, MPH, George Washington University School of Medicine
    • Vice President for Membership: David Marcovitz, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    • Vice President of Program Development: Katherine Ellington, St. George’s University
    • Vice President of Leadership Development: Shazia Mehmood, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    • Vice President for Finances: Lorraine Toner, St. George’s University
    • Secretary: Nida Degesys, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
    • Graduate Trustee: Matthew Stull, MD
    • International Trustee: Elizabeth Morgan, Medical School for International Health at Ben Gurion University
    • Premedical Trustee: Kimberly Fe’Lix Kimes, recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    • Immediate Past President: John Brockman, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
    • The New Physician Student Editor: Jack DePaolo, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

    2011-2012 AMSA Fellowship Positions:

    • AMSA/CIR Health Justice Fellow: Sonia Lazreg, Mount Sinai School of Medicine 
    • Education & Advocacy Fellow: Colin McCluney, University of Washington School of Medicine

    Welcome to all new national leaders! For a complete list, click here.

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