From the President – February 2020

Tatsuya Norii, MD, FACEP

Novel coronavirus has been spreading around the world and influenza has been killing people at a terrifying speed. NM is facing its worst flu season in 10 years. NM DOH recently reported that there were 90 influenza-related deaths including two children this winter in NM[1]. Most, if not all, of the members of NM ACEP have been fighting on the frontline in their respective EDs and I really appreciate all the work you do.

There is always hope. NM ACEP is growing. We had our best-attended quarterly meeting last month, with members in attendance from Santa Fe and Clayton, to name a few. NM ACEP membership exceeded 230 this year. This is more than a 15% increase from last year. This means we will be able to send three councilors from our chapter to the national meeting and have more voices from NM at the table. This is important. It is not uncommon that large chapters and small chapters (like ours) have very different opinions on how things should go and our voice should be heard. We now have more colleagues fighting for our community.

Speaking of the national ACEP, Dr. Gillian Schmitz, Vice President of ACEP, will be our special guest at the annual conference on May 2nd. Dr. Schmitz is a practicing emergency physician and Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She has been heavily involved in medical education and has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards from her residents and students. She is also a board liaison for the ACEP Section on Freestanding Emergency Centers and I am hoping that she will provide updates on multiple topics being discussed at the national level. The information regarding the conference will be available at our website soon.

Drs. Eric Ketcham (Presbyterian Healthcare Services) and Brandon Warrick (University of New Mexico) taught the x-waiver course at the university on January 29th. As a result, most of the EM faculty and senior residents at the university will soon receive the waiver to prescribe buprenorphine. Dr. Ketcham has been teaching this course nationally and locally, including free x-waiver courses at Presbyterian. A study conducted in Colorado showed that APPs could take a significant role on ED buprenorphine induction , so please encourage APPs in your departments to take the course, too. You can check available courses at Providers Clinical Support System website.

I look forward to meeting you all at our next annual conference on May 2nd.



[1] Kaucher KA, Caruso EH, Sungar G, et al. Evaluation of an emergency department buprenorphine induction and medication-assisted treatment referral program [published online ahead of print, 2019 Jul 30]. Am J Emerg Med. 2019;S0735-6757(19)30503-0. doi:10.1016/j.ajem.2019.158373