A Consistent Influence

For more than 100 years, the LACMA has been a
constant voice for the local medical community

African American Physicians Advisory Committee

On May 29th , over 75 African American physicians convened to confront the issues facing their patient communities in light of the changes forthcoming from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

It was determined that AA physicians need better access to information concerning rapidly occurring changes in the health care landscape, as well as to strategies associated with successfully providing superior care to their patients. The participants expressed a desire for a better means of –

  • coordinating activities and participation in ACA initiatives
  • organizing around successful strategies to address state and federal initiatives such as the passive enrollment of duals eligible into managed care, the implementation of ACOs, health benefits exchanges, reductions in scope of practice and MICRA
  • disseminating information regarding programs of interest across AA medical societies
  • developing networks between individual AA physicians and AA physician groups

Participants that evening also expressed a concern about “narrowing networks” and about being “left out”, the need for a bigger voice to influence elected officials and decision-makers, more information on what resources are available to physicians to strengthen their practices, and a need for more robust support for existing AA medical societies’ efforts to increase the representation, preservation and contributions of their members in medicine.

Dr. Richard Baker and Dr. Toni Chavis-Greene presented the collective concerns to the Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA). In response, LACMA formed the African American Physician Advisory Committee (AAPAC)—a permanent committee formed for two reasons:

1) to leverage the resources of LACMA and the California Medical Association (CMA) and work collectively with the African American medical societies to address the problems identified by committee members, and

2) professionally develop the cadre of LA County physicians to more effectively advocate for policies that improve the quality and availability of health care in underserved communities.

It is the strong belief of the AAPAC that “as goes the State of California, so goes the nation.” And because LACMA and CMA shape the State’s health legislative and policy agenda through continued involvement in a variety of critical policy matters and in state and local elections, the AAPAC helps determine medical policy for the country and plays an influential role in broadening a physician’s ability to advocate of behalf of their patients and communities. Furthermore, LACMA has committed to the AAPAC the infrastructure necessary for committee members to mentor, network, advocate and recruit a more diverse membership.