It was an honor to kick off our annual conference Preventive Medicine 2023 (#PM2023 for those of you following on social media), gathering approximately 500 preventive medicine professionals from around the country and globe. This year’s conference, themed Optimizing Prevention, Social Determinants and Science to Maximize Health for All, addresses critical issues facing healthcare today with an incredible schedule of educational sessions led by leaders across the field.
The conference began with a warm welcome to New Orleans, and a reminder of the importance of public health in the city and the rich history and diversity of its residents, from U.S. Congressman Troy Carter and Dr. Joseph Kanter, the Louisiana State Health Officer. Representative Carter and Dr. Kanter each highlighted the cultural and structural barriers to good health that preventive medicine physicians strive to remove and celebrated the many accomplishments the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans have made in recent years toward improving health and wellbeing for all.
Our ACPM President, Dr. Tonette Krousel-Wood shared reflections of her past two years as President and the many accomplishments she has seen to amplify the purpose, presence and focus on the pipeline of the profession as well as the advancements in science and evidence-based research. She also honored the two inaugural recipients of the Board of Regent’s Award for Scientific Excellence, Dr. Matthew Allison, MD, MPH and Dr. Timothy Holtz, MD, MPH.
In addition to providing highlights of the many accomplishments we have achieved in our grant portfolio, our advocacy efforts, our member engagement and specifically our various sessions with residents, I had the honor of launching our new campaign — This Is Preventive Medicine — and the toolkit of resources to support preventive medicine physicians as they amplify the need for more training support, greater understanding and awareness of the specialty and an appreciation for the essential skills and training they receive in population health and systems approaches to care that truly transform healthcare delivery and ensure optimal health for all. The highlight video received a standing ovation and cheers from the audience as they felt heard, listened to and truly appreciated having a new resource to share with their colleagues and various audiences, including their families.
The highlight of the opening session was hearing from our KBS lecturer and ACPM luminary Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Distinguished Professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health and for 16 years as Public Health Director and Health Officer for Los Angeles County. In this capacity, he was responsible for the county’s public health response to numerous infectious disease threats. He served as a founding member of the U.S. Clinical Preventive Services Task Force and, for 17 years, as Chair of the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services. He chaired the Advisory Committee for the U.S. Healthy People 2020 objectives and is currently Co-Chair for the Healthy People 2030 objectives. He was appointed by President Barak Obama to the National Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Fielding's leadership in health promotion and disease prevention as well as his insights and expertise continue to inspire those who are passionate about prevention. During the lecture, he articulated the important role of preventive medicine physicians in reducing morbidity and mortality through research, public policy, clinical care, population health initiatives and public health strategies. He encouraged the College to continue to advance evidence-based science and to be the truth tellers of the best evidence to dispel the misinformation and disinformation rampant in our society.
Attendees left the opening session for an evening of networking, celebrating and enjoying the company of one another overlooking the beautiful scenes of the French Quarter and the Mississippi river, sharing the tasty delights of the New Orleans cuisine. It was a pleasure to engage residents in a speed networking session with other preventive medicine leaders and luminaries and to feel the energy in the room as people made new connections. It is truly a treat to be together in person and to learn from one another as we continue to advance the important and essential mission of the College and the specialty of preventive medicine.
We hope the annual conference inspires members to take a seat at the table in the most important discussion in healthcare, communicate their role as a preventive medicine physician and engage in key dialogues that will drive positive change for all communities across the nation and around the globe.
To learn more visit ACPM online, here, and follow the conversation on social media using #PM2023.