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Pandya Leaves Lasting Impression as Outgoing President

      ORLANDO, FL — Outgoing AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine President Naushira Pandya, MD, CMD, gave her final presentation in that role at the Society’s annual conference on Friday, March 18, during the General Session.
      She spoke about the Society’s mission, values, and vision for post-acute and long-term care, the community, and stakeholders. “We’re dedicated to quality, collaborative team-based care, individualized goal-directed care, [and to act as] advocates in all venues, and we are committed to being a credible information resource,” she said.
      Dr. Pandya thanked the Society’s committee members, committee chairs, and past presidents for their dedication. “We owe them a debt of gratitude,” she told the audience. She acknowledged chapter presidents and noted some states have coalesced into stronger chapters. “They offer clinical training and regulatory support, and we wouldn’t be able to reach the practitioners we reach without their support,” she said.
      She then thanked her family, and gave a farewell to her mother, who passed away in May 2015 after “a life well-lived.”
      Dr. Pandya enjoyed a warm reception from the audience, and joked about the personal and physical toll her tenure as the Society’s president took on her, including “some hair loss, acid reflux, and a slightly abnormal EKG,” she said. “I speak like I’m on a conference call, I’m restless and fitful, and my email crashes frequently.”

      A Year of Accomplishments

      Last year was a landmark year, she said, citing sustainable growth rate repeal, Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) implementation, and the revamped physician fee schedule. “We spent an extensive amount of time with Society leaders to comment on the nursing home rules of participation, and we will see the final rule coming. I think that was the most important letter we’ve ever written,” she said. “A lot of my time has been participating in the discussion in comment letters to [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services]. It’s important to make our voice heard before regulations hit us.”
      Dr. Pandya said she was proud of the work of the clinical practice committee, citing the committee’s efforts to revise the COPD clinical practice guidelines; to finalize quality prescribing guidelines on opioid analgesics, diabetic agents, and anticoagulants; and to implement the young adult training grant, which she said is “doing extremely well and becoming national known.”
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      Naushira Pandya, MD, CMD, told the audience at Friday’s General session if every AMDA member referred one new person, membership would grow by 25%.
      photo by Craig Huey Photography
      Dr. Pandya lauded the Choosing Wisely Champions program, a national initiative launched in March to help recognize clinicians who are leading efforts to reduce overuse and waste in medicine and those dedicated to providing appropriate care. “We’re inviting members who have translated some aspect of the Choosing Wisely campaign recommendations that have shown effectiveness and are willing to disseminate this program.” (Find out more at www.choosingwisely.org/in-action/choosing-wisely-champions/.)
      The Society has grown in the assisted living and the non-institutional arenas, Dr. Pandya said, and participated in two summits with stakeholders, practitioners, and industry as recently as November 2015. The key focus areas are staffing, training, and competencies of staff, the kind of medical care oversight required, and recommendations for onsite care. These groups have pinpointed three measurement metrics in these arenas, Dr. Pandya said: falls and injuries, readmissions, and off-label use of antipsychotics. “The plan is to publish a position statement, to be ahead of the curve before we are regulated.”

      Road to the White House

      Dr. Pandya represented the Society at the White House at the first White House Forum on Aging in Tampa, FL. “I attended a Rose Garden reception on behalf of [the Society]. My mother first asked me what I wore, and she asked me how long my speech was. I had to tell her, ‘actually, the president gave a speech’ ” she joked.
      She came to the end of what she described as a “wonderful year” by noting her participation on an expert panel at the White House Forum on antibiotic stewardship. She also was invited to attend the final closure of the White House Conference on Aging.
      Dr. Pandya closed by encouraging her colleagues to refer others to the organization.
      “We cannot be a voice in the wilderness; we have to collaborate with other organizations with some of the same interests,” she said. “We really need your help. If each and every one of you referred one person it would increase our membership by 25%. Think of the impact that would have.”
      Carey Cowles is the managing editor of Caring for the Ages.