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Dear SEMPA Members,
What an incredible honor it is to have the opportunity to address the membership as we mark the 30thanniversary of SEMPA. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the growth, maturation, sophistication and professionalism this organization has attained. Kudos to the leadership and staff for what they have achieved for the Society.
As I compose this letter, we are at war. You are on the front lines along with physicians, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, custodians and all the supporting members of the medical team battling a global pandemic. COVID-19 confronts you with challenges unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The great attribute of those who choose to practice emergency medicine has always been the adaptability and willingness to rise to the occasion. And, I would like to think that the support and training SEMPA has provided you with its educational conferences, courses, workshops and virtual CME, along with all the tools and resources the organization provides on a daily basis, has helped arm you to meet the unique challenges you’re facing today.
As I look to the future, I cannot help but think about what lies ahead for SEMPA. I believe, that as it has been in the past, volunteerism is vital to the future of the organization. The perfect example is the Board of Directors. SEMPA is only as good as the individuals on the Board who represent the membership . The members of the Board are not anointed to serve; they are not any more special than any one of you. They just simply stepped up to the plate.
I can assure you that 30 years ago I was no more qualified to be the founding president than any one of SEMPA’s members today. So, the next Board election, consider running for office so you can be a part of making a difference for your profession and specialty. If serving on the Board is not something you want to do, consider serving on a committee or a special task force, become a mentor in the SEMPA Mentoring program or volunteer in other ways.
And speaking of volunteers, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to recognize all founding members of SEMPA. Thank you for your vision, dedication and service to emergency medicine and to our proud profession as PAs. I’d like to also take a moment to give special recognition to Steve Ireland, PA-C, who was my partner in crime during the formation of the organization. No one worked harder than Steve in getting SEMPA up and running, setting it on the path that has led us to the organization it is today. Thank you, Steve. It was an honor to work side-by-side with you.
Bless all of you for practicing in the most demanding and stressful, yet unbelievably gratifying, specialty. Thank you for allowing me to express myself at this key milestone in SEMPA’s history. Thank you for being on the front lines at this unprecedented time in health care. And, thank you for being a SEMPA member.
Arnold Zigman, PA-C