CDS Connections - April 2021

We're continuing with our series of innovative and interactive "CDS Connections" sessions this month with a dynamic topic that already has a great impact on you as a physician, not to mention your ability to practice and the care your patients receive.  Our panel of experts are ready to bring you up to speed on advocacy in healthcare without making it your full-time job!   

Regan Thomas, MD, is President of the Illinois State Medical Society. He is board-certified in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery and currently practices at Northwestern Medicine, Chicago as a professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from University of Missouri-School of Medicine.  Dr. Regan is the past president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), past president of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS), and past president of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). He also served as the president of the Chicago Laryngological & Otological Society (CL&O). He presently serves as the AAFPRS representative to the American Medical Association (AMA).  Dr. Thomas has published five textbooks on facial plastic surgery, along with more than 200 textbook chapters and scientific studies.

Lisa Albany, JD is Director of State Policy, American Academy of Dermatology Association in Washington, DC. In this role, she develops and directs a comprehensive program for addressing state legislative and regulatory activities affecting dermatology nationwide. Working with state and national medical specialties, the American Medical Association, state medical societies, and patient interest groups, Ms. Albany has spent nearly two decades building successful coalitions to improve patient safety.  Prior to her employment with the dermatologists, Ms. Albany was employed by the American Society of Anesthesiologists for ten years where she served as Manager of State Legislative and Regulatory Issues.  Ms. Albany earned her Juris Doctor from Widener University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware.

Richard Paul is the Executive Director of the Chicago Dermatological Society.  As president of his association management firm, he also serves in this same capacity for the Illinois Dermatological Society, the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons. the Chicago Ophthalmological Society, the Chicago Rheumatism Society, the Chicago Laryngological & Otological Society, the Kansas Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons, the American Eye Study Club and the American Association of Certified Orthoptists.  Mr. Paul has long experience in the political and governmental affairs fields.  He is the former press secretary for U.S. Senator Birch Bayh and also for Ann Richards when she ran for and was elected State Treasurer of Texas.  He also was press secretary on a US Senate campaign in Texas with campaign manager James Carville.  Before moving back to the Chicago area, this Illinois native was Director of State Affairs for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Manager of Investor and Public Relations for Tracor, Inc., and he was the Marketing Manager for the Austin, Texas, based Capitol Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Mr. Paul served on the Hawthorn District 73 school board in Vernon Hills for six years, four of which as president.  He attended the University of Southern California and The George Washington University.

Joerg Albrecht, MD heads up the Division of Dermatology at Stroger Hospital of Cook County and is an attending dermatologist there.  He is board-certified in Dermatology, Internal Medicine, and Clinical Pharmacology.  He received his medical education at Technical University of Rhineland and Westfalen (RWTH), Aachen, Germany; and the University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, RSA.  Dr. Albrecht completed residency training in dermatology and internal medicine at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL; Internship in Internal Medicine, Lankenau Hospital, Wynnewood, PA; Clinical Pharmacology Residency, Henrich Heine University, Dusseldorf, Germany.  His research interests include clinical trials, methodology of case reports and case series, and drug safety.  Dr. Albrecht currently serves on the governing board of the Chicago Dermatological Society and has been the membership committee chair for a number of years.  He is designated as the next president-elect of the Society.

 Aaron Hersh is a healthcare executive with over 16 years of experience in the growth and leadership of healthcare services, mostly in the dermatology space. His focus has been on developing products and services to help drive communication and coordination between healthcare providers to improve care while successfully managing the business aspects of medicine. He has helped develop integrations as well as launched new services to leverage the collective strengths of multiple organizations and teams to drive positive outcomes. Aaron enjoys analyzing existing operations and implementing business practices with innovative technology to drive better care coordination among all stakeholders. He is passionate about using technology to extend care to more patients while ensuring physicians have the tools and resources to successfully provide care. Aaron believes in serving both patients and providers to achieve a balance of doing good and doing well.   Aaron most recently partnered with MetaOptima to lead their U.S. operations and grow their digital health platform, DermEngine, to leverage their award-winning AI and workflows to support and expand care in dermatology.

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