Welcome to the new Doctors Council website! In recent months, you may have noticed a fresh look and feel to our communications. We’re now taking that ongoing transformation online. Our new site has many new features, including up-to-date stories on what our members are doing in the places we practice and in the communities where we live!
Below is an interview with Doctors Council President, Frank Proscia, M.D., and 1st Vice President / Executive Director, Matthews Hurley, M.D. on some of the exciting changes happening this year.
DC: You both were recently elected earlier this year. What are some of your priorities for Doctors Council in 2014?
FP: We’ve had an ongoing dialogue with members, going back to before we were even elected about how to best build an organization that adds real value to doctors’ practices and enhances their careers, and we’re very excited because right now in New York for example–everyone is new: the mayor, the president of the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC). At the same time, lots of changes are happening with the ongoing federal health care reform. We want to empower doctors, along with our patients, in the decision-making processes that impact care.
MH: For me, I think growing our organization will be a major opportunity. I’d like to change the way clinicians think about advocacy in their day-to-day lives. Doctors advocate on behalf of their patients everyday, but I think it’s an essential part of Doctors Council, for us as doctors, to advocate on behalf of our patients on larger level issues that affect not only how we care for our patients, but also the communities that we and our patients are a part of.
DC: Recently, Doctors Council materials have sported a distinctly new look. Is that a response to the ongoing conversation members have been having internally?
FP: Certainly, as the new leaders of the union we have been listening to our members, and this has shaped our collective goals. Our communications are becoming more dynamic, responsive, more flexible. We are trying to capture the interest of members and potential members alike. We want members to know that getting involved with Doctors Council can be exciting. We’re building up our multimedia capacity through Facebook, Twitter, electronic surveys, texting, e-newsletters, etc. We’re taking things to a new level.
MH: As I see it, the new look helps show our members that we’re not an old-school union that’s just about collective bargaining, grievances, etc. We’re a full society that relates to the doctors’ needs on a number of fronts, and to the patients we serve.
DC: The phrase “A United Voice for Doctors, Our Patients, & the Communities We Serve” has been appearing on some of the new communications. Tell us a little bit more about that.
MH: We’ve tried to assess what best conveys the values and mission of our organization, and we think that tagline encapsulates what we’re about. Our patients are members of the communities. We as frontline doctors live in the same communities. Who better to advocate for patients than doctors ourselves, out there trying to protect services and improve health care? Health care is becoming more difficult to navigate. Concerns about its continued affordability and accessibility are mounting. Doctors need a united voice for ourselves and for our patients, and Doctors Council is that voice.
DC: What are some of the features of the new website, and in general, some of the new communications you hope to implement?
FP: If you recall our old website, the new one is much more user-friendly, easier to navigate, and aesthetically appealing. In terms of content, the new website is a much better platform to show the range of work that we get involved in. Our members can learn what their colleagues are doing, and we hope that they find it informative and come back to it often because they want to find out what’s going on.
MH: All too often we’ve noticed that unions’ websites are a one-way conversation of the union talking to members; our hope is that the website becomes a place where we can hear from our members and our members can talk to each other about issues that matter to them.
DC: Besides logging in and following the new website regularly, what are some ways interested doctors can get involved with Doctors Council?
MH: Get involved in our patient advocacy committee. Attend an issue-based hearing and provide testimony at city council or your state legislature. Help us work with elected leaders to ensure greater transparency. Do things such as liking us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. That way we can be in touch with you on issues that may be important to you. In the future we will have newsletters you can subscribe to. Get texts from us. This is just the beginning.
FP: Get in touch with us! We’d love to hear your ideas on everything from improved communications to improving where we work.