The AMA Interim meeting this year was a special one for LMSA, as we formed new partnerships and called out to our traditional allies to advocate for our Latino community by supporting resolutions that align with our commitment and mission to serve our patients. My long-term strategy to consolidate our coalition within the progressive side of the AMA is simple: wear different hats within local, regional and national leadership positions within the AMA Medical Student Section in efforts of consolidating our presence and voice. This included being part of the Region 2 Resolution Committee 2015, being the UIC Rockford Illinois State Medical Society Alternate Delegate 2015, holding positions in the AMA Minority Affairs Section and AMA Region 2 Board in 2014. Also our relationship with AMA-Minority Affairs Section has grown stronger because the presence of LMSA is felt as we agree on strategies to challenge the status quo of conservative medicine.
Additionally this year was particularly special because it marked my 4th AMA meeting as an LMSA National representative. I believe our voice and work has been noticed. Supporting and passing resolution 9, which asks limiting the sale of sugary sweetened beverages in hospitals was introduced by our AMA allies in California. This was particularly exciting for us, as we have adopted a resolution at the LMSA Policy Summit 2015 that condemns sugary beverage advertising to the Latino youth. Resolution 16 that call for support to technologies that can rescue patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that is growing exponentially in the Latino community was passed with amendments after testimony at the Virtual Reference Committee. A coalition between AMA MSS Region 2, the Illinois State Medical Society, LMSA and the Health Information Technology Task Force of the AMA, among other allies was instrumental for passing this resolution before it even got to the Congress of Delegates.
Perhaps, the most special resolution passed was resolution 27, Youth Health Pipeline Programs Initiatives. The reason I say this was the most special one relates to the precedent and implications behind this policy within the AMA-MSS. It is one of the strongest stances that advocates for minorities students in the history of the delegation. It is a resolution that is actionable, strong, non-watered down and directly implicates a coalition between LMSA, SNMA and other medical student organizations in participating in a nation wide grassroot movement to diversify medicine. Even more surprising, was the full support it received from both conservative and progressive sections within the MSS. With much persuasion and passion, the authors and appropriate stakeholders were able to convince the delegation that this should be a high priority for the AMA MSS.
Meanwhile, in the AMA Physician House of delegates, resolution 905 Evaluation of Green Space Initiatives passed without amendments, a rarity in the house. The resolution asks the organization to study green space iniatives that can be implemented in minority communities with the help of allied organizations. This resolution was authored by members of last year’s LMSA National Policy Committee and after a full year of work, it finally made it to the AMA Policy books. Another important resolution that will be discussed during AMA Annual 2016 will be related to studying the effects of police brutality in the health of minority communities, another potential groundbreaking policy within a traditionally conservative house of delegates.
Finally, LMSA has gained an ally within the Board of Trustees of the AMA, Mr. Omar Maniya and MD MBA student from Georgetown University School of Medicine. He has shown support for increasing representation of LMSA within the AMA Physician House of Delegates, a goal that will be achieved gradually as our voice and work expands within the next 2 years.
I have high goals for the future of LMSA as a powerhouse of advocacy. This is why it is important that we continue the training and development of the next generation of Latino advocates that can represent LMSA’s voice in our allied organizations. The development of the LMSA Policy Summit and Policy Institute is one of the key tools to motivate LMSA members to participate in the creation of new policies that will impact Latino patient health and medical education. Please join us in George Washington University October 21 to October 23 2016 and become part of history as we develop the next generation of leaders.
Franklyn Rocha Cabrero
Vice President and Chair of the LMSA National Policy Committee | 2015-2016