Volume IX, Number 1

The Louisiana Campaign Newsletter

January 1999

A special message from
the Pelican State.....

    Welcome to another edition of The
, the campaign newsletter of
the Louisiana State Medical Society.
Initiated in 1987, it has been used in
numerous campaigns to inform
AMA delegates and alternates about
LSMS candidates running for AMA
office. This year's focus will once
again be on Dr. Donald Palmisano,
in his bid for re-election to our AMA
Board of Trustees. We hope you
will find it informative, as well as
enjoyable, with a number of favorite
features returning...just as we urge
you to return Dr. Palmisano to the
Board where he has served you so
well since his election in June 1996!


Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD
 Trustee `99

A Strong Voice.
A Proven Choice

   Dr. Palmisano welcomes your
comments and suggestions, and he
looks forward to talking with you
about issues regarding our AMA
and the Federation.
   Keep this handy cut-out for your
use throughout the coming year.

Office: 504-455-5895
FAX: 504.455.9392
E-mail: or
Web Page:


 (225) 763-8500   (800) 375-9508   FAX: (225) 763-6122


January 11, 1999

TO: AMA Delegates and Alternate Delegates
       Presidents and Chief Executives of
            State Medical Associations
       Presidents and Chief Executives of
            National Medical Specialty Societies

Dear Colleague:

The Louisiana State Medical Society, the Orleans Parish Medical Society, and the Louisiana Delegation to our American Medical Association are pleased to   announce their endorsement and support for the candidacy of our own Donald J. Palmisano, M.D., J.D., for re-election to our AMA Board of Trustees at the 1999 Annual Meeting.

Donald brings to this election an outstanding record of service and experience at all levels of organized medicine. As a past president of the Louisiana State Medical Society and a private practicing physician, he is keenly aware of the concerns that face our colleagues daily. He is an attorney with special expertise in risk management and claims negotiation, and has channeled his education and experience to assist his fellow physicians and healthcare organizations in dealing with professional liability and other healthcare issues. Anactivist concerned about the environment in which we practice, he demonstrated his political abilities by helping to enact legislation that has calmed the professional liability climate in Louisiana.

Serving as your representative on our AMA Board of Trustees, he has been a strong voice for organized medicine on the national level. Donald has testified on Capitol Hill on numerous occasions about patient privacy and confidentiality of medical records, antitrust relief, and the Y2K concerns of physicians and patients. This activity has been augmented with frequent media interviews on behalf of our AMA.

 Wisdom and experience, coupled with dedication, integrity, courage and commitment, are all qualities Donald has brought to the Board. Join us, along with  the American College of Surgeons and the American Gastroenterological Association, in supporting Donald J. Palmisano for re-election in June.

A Strong Voice for Medicine. A Proven Choice for Trustee.



Leo L. Lowentritt, Jr. M.D.


W. Juan Watkins, M.D.
Chair, AMA Delegation

The Pelican Brief - The candidate's position on the issues
      External forces threaten ethical science-based Medicine, necessitating true leadership for Medicine. As you cast your vote in June for Trustee, you need to look behind the smiles and periodic requests for support and evaluate whether the candidate can be an effective leader for our AMA. A critical criterion for a Trustee is leadership - not only ability, but proven performance. True leadership is essential in times of crisis.
      But what is leadership? Words mean something and it is important to define leadership so that there is no confusion. That famous producer of quotes, Anonymous, said: There are three types of leaders: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened!
      I believe that only the first example is true leadership. The book, Authentic Leadership - Courage in Action, by Robert W. Terry, is a good starting point to reflect on leadership. Terry concludes that leadership is authentic action. Authentic means to discern, seek, and embrace truth; not to engage in spin control or plausible deniability.
      Courage is the fuel that propels authentic action. It moves us beyond our comfort zones. Leadership embodies ethics, vision, and power. Leadership achieves a shared vision. It is not "Brownian" motion and rhetoric; it is accomplishing the goal! A leader earns respect and trust. A leader has credibility. If you don't trust your leaders, replace them! A leader must be decisive. A leader must have the courage to make tough decisions and to stand alone if necessary to advance the Mission.
      Leadership embodies communication . Failure to communicate what you are planning to do and what you have done is one of the greatest hurdles to successful leadership. Keep members informed and obtain feedback. A leader is a good listener. George Washington called it "traveling with the troops." I call it "walking the halls." Washington found his men shooting at each other during the French and Indian War. He stepped between them as they fired. They then turned their anger on the real enemy. We can learn a lot from George Washington, one of American's greatest leaders. Also, let us apply the lessons from our recent extensive self-examination and focus now on the barbarians who would destroy ethical science-based Medicine.
      Finally, leadership is humility - a realization that no one has the monopoly on knowledge, innovation, and good ideas. Some say envy and jealousy are present in all organizations, large or small. The true leader rises above this and disregards self-serving acts and attempts at control. The true leader will pursue the goals of those who elected her or him. Lasting change and great accomplishments that endure for the ages come when generosity of spirit and sharing of success overcome those who seek self-aggrandizement.
      This is my aspirational ideal for leadership. It embodies the two promises I made to you in 1996 and kept: 1) to carry out what my Dad taught me as a kid, "Do your homework, have courage, and don't give up!", and 2) not to go along to get along.       Thanks for your support in 1996. Respectfully, I ask for it again. 

From the Pelican Recipe files:

NPSF (No Problem, Sure Fine) Chicken Soup
(This "lite" recipe will be great for starting that New Year diet!)

Although we traditionally feature New Orleans & Louisiana specialities in this feature, Dr. Palmisano wanted to share this special contribution from Doni Haas, Risk Manager of Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Florida. A story from Doni's hospital contributed to the launching of the NPSF (National Patient Safety Foundation at the AMA), an independent, nonprofit research and educational organization, dedicated to the measurable improvement of patient safety in the delivery of healthcare. Dr. Palmisano is a member of the Board of Directors of the NPSF and serves as Chair of the Foundation's Development Committee in charge of fundraising.

Place in a stockpot:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts   Herbs: 1 teaspoon marjoram, 6 oregano leaves,
1 large onion, bite size pieces              1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary,
10 Cups of cold water                          1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

 You may even want to add a little Tabasco Sauce for some Louisiana flavor!

* Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hour, remove chicken and add: 3 cut up large tomatoes or 1 (14oz) can of tomato pieces, 1package of frozen or fresh cut up spinach, and your favorite fresh or frozen vegetables, cut into bite size pieces (asparagus, corn, carrots, green and yellow peppers and yellow squash all work well). For more chicken taste, you may want to add fat free chicken broth.
 * Simmer 1 hour, and during last 30 minutes add 1/4pound broken angel hair pasta or your favorite pasta.
* Add chicken, broken into bite size pieces. Salt to taste.
* Heat through and serve with a sprinkling of your favorite cheese and croutons.


Looking fit, Tabasco is ready to serve as the official 1999 campaign mascot, as she did during the 1996 campaign. For those of you unfamiliar with Tabasco, she was rescued by Dr. Palmisano and his wife, Robin, from the highway after sustaining severe injuries from a hit and run accident. After intensive ehabilitation, she joins her adopted sisters, achshunds Chloe and Sasha, in playful antics. Read the full story on Tabasco and find more pictures of her, along with Chloe  and Sasha at

The Pelican
The campaign newsletter of the
Louisiana State Medical Society

 W. Juan Watkins, M.D.
Jay Shames, M.D.
Contributing Editor

6767 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

AMA Meetings & Conferences

                                                                                           1999 Leadership Conference
  March 21-23, 1999
Hyatt Regency, Phoenix

 1999 Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 1999
Hilton Hotel & Towers, Chicago

1999 Interim Meeting
December 5-8, 1999
Marriott, San Diego

2000 Annual Meeting
June 11-15, 2000
Hilton Hotel & Towers, Chicago

2000 Interim Meeting
December 3-6, 2000
Marriott World Center, Orlando