Little Rock Pediatrician Chad Rodgers, MD, FAAP, has been named president of the Arkansas Medical Society (AMS) effective May 1, 2020, and will lead the physician advocacy group the remainder of 2020 through 2021. Dr. Rodgers has been in private practice pediatrician for 19 years at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care. He has been active in organized medicine for over two decades dedicating time to the Arkansas Medical Society, the Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the National AAP. He spends much of his time in child advocacy as well as patient health literacy, preventive health, and Trauma Informed Care.
When determining his agenda for the upcoming year, Dr. Rodgers initially wanted to focus on self-care for physicians, as he is personally and professionally passionate about the topic. “However, since COVID-19, I have seen nothing but health care professionals putting the care of their patients above themselves. It’s just in our DNA,” he said. While the pandemic may shift his focus some, his job as AMS president will be the same whatever the agenda may be. “Our goals as a Society are a moving target – one that we must keep chasing even as it changes daily. I see my job as president not to represent my agenda, but the agenda of the Society and the issues of today and tomorrow,” he said.
Other newly-elected leaders include President-Elect Danny Wilkerson, MD (Little Rock); District Trustees Garry Stewart, MD (Conway); Mark Ramiro, MD (White Hall); Mark Wren, MD (Texarkana); Jennifer Doyle, MD (Little Rock); Amanda Novack, MD (Little Rock); Joshua Hagood, Student Trustee (UAMS – Little Rock).
These physicians will work to continue the medical society’s mission of improving Arkansas health care through legislation, education, and the day-to-day support of patients and medical practices. Significant legislative advances for Arkansas patients and physicians supported by AMS in the past also include: establishing a statewide trauma system, passage of the Clean Indoor Air Act, funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs, funding cancer research, providing vision screening in schools, and protecting an Arkansan’s right to choose their physician through “Any Willing Provider” legislation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arkansas Medical Society has been instrumental in securing and distributing PPE to medical clinics across the state, as well as working with insurance carriers on telemedicine payment issues and advocating for physician liability protections during the emergency.