Volume IX, Number 2

The Louisiana Campaign Newsletter

March 1999

Has Become A Trusted, Valued Resource For Physicians Through AMA
Palmisano Is A Proven Voice For Medicine

Since his election to the American Medical Association's Board of Trustees in 1996, Donald J. Palmisano, M.D., J.D. has become a much sought-after and well respected source of knowledge on a myriad of topics affecting physicians and organized medicine. From risk management issues, to antitrust concerns, to the world of ever-changing computer technology and the Year 2000 (Y2K) woes, Dr. Palmisano has shared his expertise in lectures to medical students, during presentations to fellow physicians, before Congressional committees, and in all realms of national and local media.

This appearance on Good Morning America was just one of many interviews Dr. Palmisano took part in to discuss the use of a unique patient identifier.

Dr. Palmisano first became active in organized medicine in the early 1970s when he was a key advocate for passage of the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act. Successfully enacted into law in 1975, the measure placed a $500,000 total cap on damages for medical malpractice. That action put Louisiana in the forefront of tort reform nationwide.President of the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) during 1984-85, Dr. Palmisano has continued to work for fellow physicians on local, state and national levels. He had served as a delegate to the LSMS House of Delegates since

1974, and as an AMA delegate for nearly 10 years before his election to the AMA Board in 1996.

In addition, Dr. Palmisano was a moving force in the formation of the Louisiana Medical Mutual Insurance Co. (LAMMICO), a physician-owned liability insurance company developed by the LSMS during a time many national companies were refusing to write professional liability insurance in the state. Utilizing his legal training to assist in helping physicians, he became a founding member of the LAMMICO Board and served as the company's vice president of claims.

"Don's energy and enthusiasm are matched only by his intellect and interest in issues important to today's physician," says LSMS AMA delegation chair, W. Juan Watkins, M.D. "His tireless work on behalf of his profession and peers truly is to be commended. I'm not sure many realize how much work goes into being a good trustee - I feel sure our AMA realizes what a valuable resource they have in a trustee such as Don Palmisano."

As point person for AMA's protection of patient privacy and medical record confidentiality, Dr. Palmisano has testified before congressional committees on these issues, and he was featured in over

Dr. Palmisano testifies before the Senate Committee on Labor & Human Resources to express AMA concern on patient privacy and medical record confidentiality.

30 interviews during a 48-hour period this past summer, espousing the AMA's policy for the potential for unique patient identifiers to breach confidentiality. Shortly after that media blitz, Vice-President Al Gore announced that our government would put on hold the use of such measures.

Computer technology has long intrigued Dr. Palmisano. He was instrumental in the development of the LSMS web site, and he even designed the web page for his risk-management business. With his knowledge and interest in the subject, it was only natural that the AMA tap him as spokesman on Year 2000 concerns facing physicians and their offices.

Students bring questions to Dr. Palmisano following his lecture on the Integration of Information Systems in Medicine during this year's AMA-MSS Section 6 Conference, at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

Proven Voice for Medicine
Continued from previous page
He has made numerous presentations on the issue and has testified twice before Congress on Y2K, before the House Ways and Means Oversight Committee and the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem.

Dr. Palmisano presents a copy of the AMA's new solutions book on Y2K to Nancy Ann Min DeParle, administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration.

Patient safety issues are also dear to Dr. Palmisano, and he has taken a lead role in the National Patient Safety Foundation at the AMA. The Foundation is an independent, non-profit research and educational organization, dedicated to the measurable improvement of patient safety in the delivery of healthcare. As a member of the NPSF Board of Directors and Chair of their Development Committee, he is a leader in the quest for innovative research and for a culture of candor and sharing of information affecting patient safety, rather than of blame.
Testifying before Congress, speaking to colleagues, lecturing to medical students, or being interviewed by the media, Dr. Palmisano has a proven track record in working for our AMA.

Dr. Palmisano welcomes your comments and suggestions. Please call him at 504-455-5895 or e-mail him at djp@intrepidresources.com or at Donald_Palmisano@ama-assn.org. Copies of the Pelican can be viewed at http://www.intrepidresources.com/html/peli can_newsletters.html.

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

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The Pelican Brief - The candidate's position on the issues

Communication and AMA Membership

Communication of valued performance invites membership. Alerting others of impending danger is the summons for help. It is imperative to communicate our view of the crisis before us, what we have done, and what we plan to do. We can recruit almost any physician if we devote the time Just explain what we have done to help physicians and patients and why we need help for the critical battles ahead. No, it is not easy to find the time to do this. But few things of value are easy. Challenge non-members to join and get involved. Our web site and forums enhance communications. Exciting communications are in our AMA's future.

In 1996, I did a communication experiment. I sent a personal letter to many non-members in Louisiana, and, as a result of that mailing, 35 joined our AMA. In 1997, using a different letter, 85 joined. Currently I await the results of my new letter explaining that barbarians are crossing the borders of Medicine, threatening the ethical science-based practice of Medicine, and AMA is Medicine's warrior. I said that surely those who sit in the doctor lounges lamenting their fate could at least help feed the warriors trying to protect them and their patients. The maintenance cost is $1.15 per day, less than a good cup of New Orleans coffee. Antitrust relief, patient privacy and confidentiality of medical records, and Patients' Bill of Rights are all just a few of the critical issues that will be addressed in this Congress. We need the help of all physicians. If anyone doesn't like what we are doing, enter the arena and change the policy using reason, logic and persuasion.

Remember, leadership is authentic action that attains the goal. We can do it. We will win if we do our homework, have courage and don't give up. If anyone tells you otherwise, don't follow her or him into battle. You want a warrior who leads with confidence, focuses on the mission, and gets results. If you need further inspiration and do not read French, get the Brian Hooker translation (no other translation is a close second) of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac. Like Cyrano, let us wear our adornments on our souls. Have the courage to be steadfast to our core principles. Be not perfumed popinjays who are social metaphysicians and whose only concept of self-worth is what others say. Let us not grovel or pay homage to those who seek to destroy us. Communicate this with confidence! Success is our destiny!

From the Pelican Recipe files:

Papa G's Crawfish Fettuccine

While New Orleans is known world-wide for its wonderful food and award-winning restaurants, locals claim some of the best culinary treasures can be found right in their own small neighborhoods . Here is a recipe from one of Dr. Palmisano's favorite sandwich shops, Papa G's, located just a block from his Metairie office.

2 medium onions, chopped                  1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 green onions, chopped                      2 pounds of crawfish tails
1 bell pepper, chopped                         1/2 can jalapeno relish
2 stalks of celery, chopped                  1/2 pound of Velvetta cheese
1 1/2 stick of margarine                         1 cup of half and half
2 or 3 tablespoons of flour                  1 pound of fettuccine

Saute vegetables in margarine until clear. Add flour, parsley, and crawfish tails, and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add relish, cheese and half and half. Cook fettuccine until tender, drain and add to sauce, stirring thoroughly. Put in casserole dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Enjoy!
(Notes: shrimp can be substituted for crawfish tails; Mexican Velvetta can be used as a substitute for jalapeno relish.)

Intrepid Resources
5000 West Esplanade Ave. #432
Metairie, LA. 70006
504.455.5895 Phone
info@intrepidresources.com  www.intrepidresources.com