Dr. Donn Chatham: 2008 – 2009

MedPro, Veterans, Debate

Many conversations and meetings with the Medical Protective Company (MedPro), assisted by Steve Duffy and Tom Rhodes, led to “facial plastic surgery” recognized as a unique specialty. MedPro created rates different from both ENT and plastic surgery; and, AAFPRS members were offered special medical liability rates and recognition. Donn R. Chatham, MD, also launched the FACES OF HONOR program, offering pro bono reconstructive treatment to veterans in need. This was facilitated by Rich Holt, MD, whose reputation in the military gained an audience to the chief of Veteran Affairs in Washington. Later, General David Petraeus sent the Academy a letter of commendation. The FACES OF HONOR efforts demonstrate the Academy’s ongoing commitment to those who may benefit from facial plastic surgeons’ skills and compassion; almost 200 members have volunteered.

Building on previous good relations between the AAFPRS and ASAPS leaders, Chatham and others were invited to participate in the ASAPS annual leadership conference in California. This further led to ongoing joint efforts to improve evidence-based medicine by both of the organizations. With the introduction of legislation on the Affordable Health Care Act in the summer of 2009, the Academy was one of the very first organizations to oppose it. Chatham initiated strong position statements and editorials, which placed the Academy in the forefront of the political debate. This demonstrated that even a small organization could have a significant voice in national health care matters.

Note: Summary taken from Academy printed material