I am honored to serve as the incoming OGS president. I follow in the footsteps of many great leaders who helped to grow this society over the past 12 years. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to extend heartfelt thanks to Dr. Sapna Thomas for her dedicated service as president of OGS over the past 2 years. She was unwavering in her steadfast leadership in navigating OGS through an unprecedented global pandemic. She has left OGS on solid footing as we continue to move our OGS mission statement forward.
OGS is on solid financial footing. We have approved our FY 2022 budget and we have adequate reserves available to help with future OGS outreach initiatives, and to assist with any lobbying efforts needed to protect the interests of our OGS members. Our OGS membership remains strong, but we hope for continued growth of our membership in 2022 and beyond. I ask all of our current OGS members to renew your membership, to spread the good word on OGS, and to encourage your partners and other GI associates in your practice who are not currently members to join our society. Our online enrollment is straightforward and easy to navigate. We are happy to enroll new members individually or we can enroll all providers in a practice with a single charge to the practice. $100 is a very reasonable membership cost which not only gains our members free access to our annual meeting and CME event, but it also provides members access to state level advocacy with goal of enriching the practice of gastroenterology in the state, and combatting any threats to practicing gastroenterologists in Ohio.
While our national GI societies look to protect the interests of gastroenterologists at the federal level, it is critical to recognize that health policy developed at the state level is equally important and impactful to our daily practices. States are free to legislate and regulate federal laws to their liking, and in some cases to be more or less restrictively than the federal laws. In many instances, the state legislation will trump the federal laws. OGS was founded in part to have a “seat at the table” and a means for us to continually monitor and engage in state health policy issues that affect our members and their respective practices and patients.
We hope to reconvene our state legislative day in Columbus in the Spring of 2022 (either virtually or in person), after a 2-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a wonderful opportunity for OGS members to convene and meet with state representatives and senators, advocating on pertinent GI topics or legislation. This is a great way for our legislators to get real world input from providers on how these bills can/will affect their constituents in a positive or negative way. We will share the date of our legislative day with our members. Members are encouraged to join us.
I would like to thank all those who attended our 2021 Annual meeting. It was another successful meeting with very pertinent topics and excellent speakers. I would like to thank to Dr. Shaffer Mok for his efforts over the past two years in chairing our education committee, and in executing our annual CME event. I am also excited to welcome Dr. Dany Raad as our new education chair. I have no doubt that our 2022 meeting will be equally as good. Our 2022 annual meeting will be held on Saturday, September 17, 2022 in Columbus at the Renaissance Columbus Westerville Hotel. We are excited to host you all at this centrally located venue. More information will follow in the coming months.
Finally, I want all OGS members to know that we are here to serve the interests of our members. We want to hear from you. We also always welcome participation of our members on several of our OGS subcommittees. Please visit ohiogisociety.org/contact to get in touch. If there are any GI specific outreach projects that you feel should be considered at the state level, let us know. If there are any regulatory or legislative issues that are adversely affecting or threatening your patients’ access to care or your ability to practice, please bring these to our attention. If there are regional or state related insurance issues that are affecting your ability to provide quality care, please let us know. We want to hear from you with these or any issues in your practice that can be addressed by OGS at the state level. We are here to advocate on behalf of our members. I wish all of our members health and happiness in the coming months and year ahead.
Terry O’Toole, D.O