ASPS’s State Partnership Program Supports Plastic Surgery Societies Throughout the Country
Launched in 2016, the ASPS State Partnership Program was created with the belief that ASPS can best support its members by providing greater assistance to local, state and regional plastic surgery societies. Leadership and staff from 47 plastic surgery societies nationwide were invited to join ASPS on a call in early January to discuss the administrative and advocacy services that ASPS can offer to support these societies and their members' needs. Administrative services were offered to these organizations for the first time, including access to the ASPS member directory and potential opportunities to have ASPS's subsidiary, Plastic Surgery Practice Solutions, exhibit at their educational meetings. ASPS also highlighted the new advocacy services that are available to local, state and regional plastic surgery partners, including the new State Advocacy Grant and increased state legislative tracking and grassroots activities.
ASPS also began hosting quarterly calls for society staff, during which each society's executive director, lobbyist and other support staff are able to exchange ideas on how to manage their respective legislative agendas. During the March staff call, 17 staff-level participants from 11 plastic surgery organizations met to discuss nationally trending legislation that would allow optometrists to perform surgery in the ocular region and would allow Advanced Practice Nurses to practice independently. Staff from the various societies provided their counterparts with recommendations on how to approach these issues in the state legislatures, ways to defeat these egregious scope expansions, and ways to create an offensive attack against these mid-level providers who continuously engage in scope wars.
A biannual conference call for society physician leadership will also allow for similar sharing and learning opportunities. Each year, the same nationally trending issues pop up across a variety of state legislatures, including scope of practice expansions, defining surgery, facility requirements and the use of board certification in advertisements. As different local, state and regional plastic surgery societies face these issues, there is opportunity to collectively brainstorm best practices and strategies for furthering patient safety and practice standards. Through this continued communication, ASPS and plastic surgery society staff and physician leadership can strategically prepare to support the agenda agendas of our members.