LACMA Welcomes Dr. Vito Imbasciani as New President
Dr. Vito Imbasciani was sworn in as the 145th President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association on June 23rd. LACMA CEO, Gustavo Friederichsen kicked off the evening program by welcoming everyone and introducing the keynote speaker for the LACMA Presidential Installation, John Perez, former Speaker of the California State Assembly. Perez said that the evening was a time to reflect and to “take stock of progress we’ve made and progress yet to come.”
Perez named Dr. Imbasciani as a passionate advocate committed to service and an inspiration to physicians and soldiers. In addressing LACMA members, Perez also talked about historical moments when things changed and cited advances in medicine such as the discovery of pencillin, DNA and Dr. Virginia Apgar’s contribution to OB-Gyn practice. “Medical advancement happens,” he said and named LACMA as a community of healers and innovators.
Outgoing president, Dr. Peter Richman, summed up events and accomplishments from the past year. He included the successful search for a CEO, moving offices twice, surviving an IRS audit and Disaster Preparedness initiatives among the many moments that occurred during his tenure. He also pointed to the strength of LACMA’s relationships with LA Public Health and CMA and expressed his pleasure at working with so many talented physicians.
In the spirit of progress made and still yet to come, LACMA made two awards. Dr. Nhat Tran recognized Tran Do and Jonathan Tsang, both students at UCLA, as winners of the Childhood Obesity Challenge. Do and Tsang took the stage and shared their proposal entitled, “Standing Desks: An Intervention to Reduce Childhood Obesity.”
Dr. Pedram Salimpour then introduced Dr. Marvin Kaplan, the winner of the Lifetime Service Award, calling him a “professional hero.” In accepting his award, Dr. Kaplan said, “We all have our individual activities, but our loyalty should be to all physicians.” He also encouraged LACMA members to reach out and help the younger generation of physicians. Dr. Salimpour also thanked Dr. Richman for his service to LACMA and “for all the chances you took for all of us.”
Past president, Dr. Ralph DiLibero conducted Dr. Imbasciani’s swearing in. Dr. Richman and Dr. Imbasciani received a standing ovation as they stood together at the podium. Dr. Edward Ellison of SCPMG and State Senator Ben Allen both praised Dr. Imbasciani’s commitment to public service, bridge building and level of engagement with colleagues and patients.
The evening ended on a high note with Dr. Imbasciani’s speech. He expressed his feeling of honor at being chosen President of LACMA. He said, “I am blessed to be among so many people who have chosen a life of healing.” He spoke about how his early experiences had proven formative. His experience as an Army doctor in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 was hugely influential, shaping his involvement in public service.
In talking about his work as a doctor at Southern California Permanente Medical Group, his experiences at LACMA and with CMA, Dr. Imbasciani shared a secret. He said, “One of my most treasured accomplishments each year was to bring together at the CMA House of Delegates, the leaders of the small and solo group practice forum and the very large group practice forum to discuss our respective legislative and efficacy priorities. Yes, we had our differences, but we also discovered that we had much more in common. The personal relationships born in those meetings allowed us to help each other where we could, to maximize the good and minimize the pain.”
He said that “every physician needs a voice” and talked about doctors coming together and the challenge to engage the physicians who aren’t currently part of LACMA. Membership and advocacy are areas he’ll be targeting during his presidency and he discussed reaching out to the ethnic medical societies in Los Angeles.
Friederichsen closed out the evening program congratulating Dr. Imbasciani on his office and reinforced one of the themes all the speakers seemed to touch on – that LACMA will go forward as a group.