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President's Perspective: Call for Volunteers

August 5, 2022 04:55 PM
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Dear Colleagues,
It is hard to believe that we are already into August when it feels like the AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting was just a couple of weeks ago. I am grateful to all our in-person and virtual attendees for making the 2022 joint meeting a success. As a reminder, you can view annual meeting content on the virtual platform until December 31, 2022. I have personally enjoyed the ability to access the meeting content using the virtual meeting app on my phone to revisit presentations. 
At the June Board meeting, the AUGS Board of Directors approved volunteer term date changes. Rather than transitioning in the fall, at the end of the annual meeting, volunteer positions will now conclude December 31 and new positions will begin January 1. We are hopeful that this decision will create a smoother transition for our volunteers that is uninterrupted by the winter holidays. I am grateful to our current volunteers and Board who have agreed to extend their commitment by 2.5 months. As a result, elections are being held later this year with a planned vote scheduled for September 6.
During my recent Presidential Address I shared one of the Board’s strategic initiatives, stemming from the DEI climate survey, which was the need to ensure that the AUGS Board is representative of its membership. During an internal assessment, it was identified that the Board is missing key representation from private practice members. To prevent this from happening again, for this year’s nomination cycle, the Board approved designating one director-at-large board position for a physician with private practice expertise for this year’s board nomination cycle. The nomination cycle is currently open, please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for the Board by the August 12 deadline.
In addition to Board nominations, this is also the time of year when we issue a call for committee volunteers. AUGS has over 250 volunteers who commit their time and talent to our organization through their service on the Board, committees, writing groups, and the Urogynecology journal. For the last three years all volunteers were placed in one of their top three choices. My experiences as chair of the membership and the annual meeting program committees introduced me to colleagues across the country, enhanced my leadership skills, expanded my understanding of our organization, and brought deep personal satisfaction. Our organization needs you. The deadline for the call for volunteers is August 12. If you are interested in joining an AUGS committee, please take a moment to complete the short application of interest.
I am ending this message with a serious matter. On Thursday, July 7, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Proposed CY 2023 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The proposal results in a conversion factor change that would result in a 4.5% reduction in reimbursement. On July 27, AUGS along with over 100 other medical organizations sent a letter to Congress about the need for action on Medicare Fee Schedule cuts. Internally, AUGS has been working to meet the September 7 deadline for comments. However, we also want input and comments from the membership. Next week, the Coding and Reimbursement Committee will send a Coding Alert email with more information and a call to action. It is important that we have a solid response from the membership; please prioritize this email when it arrives. 
I am writing this the night before I get in the car with the family for a 10-day road trip. I hope that all of you have or will soon enjoy some relaxing time away from work with friends and family before we head into the autumn school and work routines.
Elizabeth R. Mueller, MD
AUGS President


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