In an effort to expand its focus, the American College of Physician Executives has added two new ex-officio members to its board of directors: one to represent the interests of residents and the other to spearhead innovation.
The board selected Veronica Sikka, MD, PhD, MHA, MPH, a chief resident at Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, as the resident ex-officio board member. Howard Haft, MD, MMM, FACPE, was selected to represent innovation on the board.
Each ex-officio member will serve a one-year term. Sikka and Haft began their terms at the ACPE 2011 Fall Institute.
The impetus for creating the new positions grew from reports presented by the 2010 Task Forces on innovation and medical education.
“We expect these new ex-officio board members to provide valuable insight and perspective,” said Clair Callan, MD, MBA, CPE, FACPE, president of ACPE and chair of the board of directors. “It’s another important step forward in ACPE’s mission to provide first-rate products and services to all physician leaders.”
Haft, an ACPE member since 1995, served as the co-chair of the Innovation Task Force. He has a long and interesting career in innovation leadership in the fields of health care business and delivery. Among his accomplishments:
- Developing telemedicine programs, including a company that provided medical advice to ships at sea.
- Establishing a national correctional medicine company and turning the company to publicly owned status.
- Sponsoring successful state legislative bills to control health care costs in Maryland.
- Serving as adjunct professor at the Georgetown McDonough School of Business.
“If ACPE can be recognized as the place where physician leaders will want to go to be innovative and entrepreneurial in the reformed health care world, I think that would be wonderful,” Haft said.
Sikka, 30, has built an impressive list of credentials at a young age. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University at age 19 on a program that guaranteed her admission to medical school. While waiting to be admitted, she earned two master’s degrees: one in public health and another in health administration. Sikka also earned her PhD in health services organization and research.
Sikka currently works in emergency medicine but she hopes to one day serve in an administrative role in addition to her clinical duties. She calls ACPE “the best-kept secret in health care” and says she views educating other residents about the benefits of ACPE membership as part of her role as a board member.
“I’m so thankful for this position,” Sikka said. “I think ACPE is a wonderful organization and it has so much to offer.”