Few in number, mighty in influence

November 16, 2020

Few in number, mighty in influence

In recent years, the American Medical Association has been an important ally of the ACAAI on several important initiatives including the College’s development of the Advanced Payment Model for Asthma, USP 797, and recent COVID-19 challenges.  The AMA, like the ACAAI, met virtually this past weekend. Stephen A Imbeau, MD, FACAAI, Immediate Past Chair of the Advocacy Council, gives us a look at current and former allergy leaders within the AMA.

Allergy is the smallest of the main-line specialties in the American family of organized medicine; yet at the American Medical Association (AMA), allergists have very significant influence.

three silhouettes of people with hands raised up on top of mountain

Susan Bailey, MD, FACAAI (Texas) is the current well-spoken, powerful president of the AMA.  Linda Ford, MD, FACAAI (Nebraska) is the former chair of the Nebraska delegation at the AMA; she sits on the American Medical Association’s Political Action Committee (AMPAC) Board and the AMA Council on Legislation. She is a significant financial contributor to the American national political scene.  Kira Geraci-Ciardullo, MD, FACAAI (New York) is the chair of the prestigious AMA Council on Science and Public Health.

I am  a past chair of the South Carolina delegation at the AMA, and with Dr. Ford, sit on the AMPAC Board as Secretary, campaigning for Chair, and also work with the important Southeastern Delegation to the AMA (SED).  Behind the scenes with SED’s 18 states and territories, I serve as its Elections Committee co-chair.

In AMA’s House of Delegates, allergy is represented by the College’s Alnoor Malick, MD, FACAAI (Texas) and alternate-delegate John Seyerle, MD, FACAAI (Ohio) and the Academy’s Steven Tolber, MD, FACAAI (New Mexico) and Lynda G. Kabbash, MD (Massachusetts). The College increased AMA membership enough to add a second delegate and alternate delegate to AMA’s House of Delegates: Melinda Rathkopf, MD, FACAAI (Alaska) and Purvi Parikh, MD, FACAAI (New York) respectively.

Dr. Bailey has enjoyed a career steeped in medical politics.  Over the years, she has worked with the College,  (from the time she was a fellow-in-training) and the State of Texas Medical Association, mentored by Bobby Lanier, MD, FACAAI (Texas), Faser Triplett, MD, FACAAI (Mississippi), Merle Delmer, MD (Texas) and William Gamel, MD (Texas). She has served in the AMA House with Allergy, then moved over to Texas as its state president and chair of the AMA Delegation. Her next step took her to become chair of the important AMA Council of Medical Education and on to become Speaker of the AMA House of Delegates. She was only the second female Speaker and probably the most important and powerful Speaker in the modern era.  Now, we are all privileged to have her serve as president of the AMA.  Dr. Bailey has been generous with her time, presenting at our annual allergy meetings and providing reasonable and invaluable advice.

We’re proud that other allergists are on their way in the AMA…may the allergy influence continue in American medicine.

Stephen Imbeau, MD, FACCAI