Dermatology World October 2011 : Page-42

accolades Dermatologist oversees Walter Reed closure s the final 18 patients were transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Aug. 27, dermatologist and U.S. Army colonel Norvell Coots, M.D., could finally be congratulated on a job well done. Since taking command of the hospital in 2008, Dr. Coots worked with an eye to the future, helping to construct and execute the plans for closing the massive century-old hospital. “I would say it’s the most monumental thing that’s happened in the history of the military health system, and possibly in U.S. medicine. In reality, we didn’t do anything that anyone else hasn’t done before — the difference is we did it all at the same time and con-tinued to fight a war,” Dr. Coots said. “Up until about a month before closure, we were the primary receiving hospital for complex casualties coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. We would still get three flights of patients in a week, some of the most critical casualties, with limb loss and head trauma.” In addition to the predictable logistical issues that came up during the move, Dr. Coots and his team also had to contend with an earthquake and a hurricane. Patients were moved a day earlier than planned to better avoid Hurricane Irene, he said. “In the midst of the hurricane, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we had a special retreat cer-emony where we said some speeches and brought the flags down,” he said. “Our surgeon general even commented that with the winds and the rain it was almost as if the heavens couldn’t decide how they felt about the closure of an iconic hospital like Walter Reed.” With the closure of Walter Reed, the facility will be consolidated with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., which will be renamed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. Coots has been Senate-confirmed to the rank of brigadier general effective in May 2012. He currently serves at the Pentagon as the special assistant to the Army Surgeon Gen-eral, and will deploy to Afghanistan in the spring as the senior American medical advisor. He said that the closure of Walter Reed marks a new beginning for military medicine. “With the closure comes the move to the future. Consolidating casualty care in one loca-tion is the best for the patients, their families, and the American military.” -JohN cArruThers celebrating members Members Making A Difference: bruce Deitchman, M.D. DeRMATOlOgIST SeRveS SpeCIAlTy ON RUC iN The efforT To DisTribuTe liMiTeD heAlTh cAre fuNDs , there is arguably no A committee more important than the AMA’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC). Dermatologist Bruce Deitchman, M.D., served on the committee as a member or alternate member for seven years. “If doctors are not involved in determining their own destinies, their destinies will be determined by people who do not know medicine.” • He first became involved with the RUC in 2000 when he was appointed to the Acad-emy’s Health Care Finance Committee. His curiosity about the process quickly grew, and he was soon promoted to attend RUC meet-ings by committee heads Brett Coldiron, M.D., and Daniel Siegel, M.D., M.S. • In addition to his practice and teaching at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Deitch-man volunteered more than 15 hours a week toward securing fair valuation for his colleagues. His efforts helped defend the continued advancement of academic medicine, a position he was convinced to adopt by Dr. Michael Bigby, who he called an indispensable part of the RUC effort on behalf of dermatology. • “Most importantly, it was a privilege to be able to have a voice in ensuring a fairer distribution of the limited resources that are available for medical care,” he said. “Even though I was a dermatologist, once you are at the RUC you wear your RUC hat, which means that despite your specialty, it is your commitment to ensure fairness for all specialties. That’s why younger physi-cians must get involved in the process. If they don’t, they’ll find that the trend toward having non-doctors make decisions for all doctors will only accelerate.” –JohN cArruThers Media highlight From January through July 2011, more than 1.3 billion print and broadcast impressions were generated as the Academy’s members continue to share their valuable expertise with the media, and their audiences, to educate the public. In Redbook’s article (circ. 2,226,536), “Keep the people you love safe in the sun,” dermatologists Mona gohara, M.D. , and Melissa piliang, M.D. , advised readers how to protect their loved ones from the dangers of the sun. Supplementing the article is the personal story of Red-book ’s health director‘s husband and how she found her husband’s melanoma and saved his life. To read this article and other dermatology stories in the news, visit the Acad-emy’s Media Relations Toolkit at www.aad.org/member-tools-and-benefits/media-relations-toolkit. -rose pAsowicz 42 Dermatology WorlD // October 2011 www.aad.org

Dermatologist oversees Walter Reed closure

BY JOHN CARRUTHERS

<br /> As the final 18 patients were transferred from Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Aug. 27, dermatologist and U.S. Army colonel Norvell Coots, M.D., could finally be congratulated on a job well done. Since taking command of the hospital in 2008, Dr. Coots worked with an eye to the future, helping to construct and execute the plans for closing the massive century-old hospital.<br /> <br /> “I would say it’s the most monumental thing that’s happened in the history of the military health system, and possibly in U.S. medicine. In reality, we didn’t do anything that anyone else hasn’t done before — the difference is we did it all at the same time and continued to fight a war,” Dr. Coots said. “Up until about a month before closure, we were the primary receiving hospital for complex casualties coming from Iraq and Afghanistan. We would still get three flights of patients in a week, some of the most critical casualties, with limb loss and head trauma.”<br /> <br /> In addition to the predictable logistical issues that came up during the move, Dr. Coots and his team also had to contend with an earthquake and a hurricane. Patients were moved a day earlier than planned to better avoid Hurricane Irene, he said.<br /> <br /> “In the midst of the hurricane, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, we had a special retreat ceremony where we said some speeches and brought the flags down,” he said. “Our surgeon general even commented that with the winds and the rain it was almost as if the heavens couldn’t decide how they felt about the closure of an iconic hospital like Walter Reed.”<br /> <br /> With the closure of Walter Reed, the facility will be consolidated with the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., which will be renamed Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.<br /> <br /> Dr. Coots has been Senate-confirmed to the rank of brigadier general effective in May 2012. He currently serves at the Pentagon as the special assistant to the Army Surgeon General, and will deploy to Afghanistan in the spring as the senior American medical advisor. He said that the closure of Walter Reed marks a new beginning for military medicine.<br /> <br /> “With the closure comes the move to the future. Consolidating casualty care in one location is the best for the patients, their families, and the American military.”<br />

celebrating members

BY JOHN CARRUTHERS

<br /> In the effort to distribute limited health care funds, there is arguably no committee more important than the AMA’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC). Dermatologist Bruce Deitchman, M.D., served on the committee as a member or alternate member for seven years.<br /> <br /> • He first became involved with the RUC in 2000 when he was appointed to the Academy’s Health Care Finance Committee. His curiosity about the process quickly grew, and he was soon promoted to attend RUC meetings by committee heads Brett Coldiron, M.D., and Daniel Siegel, M.D., M.S.<br /> <br /> • In addition to his practice and teaching at the NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Deitchman volunteered more than 15 hours a week toward securing fair valuation for his colleagues. His efforts helped defend the continued advancement of academic medicine, a position he was convinced to adopt by Dr. Michael Bigby, who he called an indispensable part of the RUC effort on behalf of dermatology.<br /> <br /> • “Most importantly, it was a privilege to be able to have a voice in ensuring a fairer distribution of the limited resources that are available for medical care,” he said. “Even though I was a dermatologist, once you are at the RUC you wear your RUC hat, which means that despite your specialty, it is your commitment to ensure fairness for all specialties. That’s why younger physicians must get involved in the process. If they don’t, they’ll find that the trend toward having non-doctors make decisions for all doctors will only accelerate.”<br />

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