South Florida Hospital News
Sunday July 5, 2020

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August 2019 - Volume 16 - Issue 2


New DCMA President Outlines Goals – Quality is Front and Center

The newly installed president of Dade County Medical Association (DCMA), Antonio Mesa, D.O., is the first Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to hold the position. He envisions strengthening affiliations with national medical societies from Latin America and the Caribbean in the United States. Working together with organizations such as the Dominican Health Care Association of Florida, the Nicaraguan American Medical Association, and the Haitian American Medical Association helps each organization provide its members with improved benefits and allows cooperation to achieve long-standing goals to improve both access and quality of care for their patients.

A Floridian since the age of four, Dr. Mesa followed the footsteps of many family members and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in addition to being a licensed physician. His work in forensic engineering spiked an interest in biomedical engineering, which eventually led to a decision to pursue a career in medicine at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
He outlined three specific goals for his DCMA 2019 term which dovetail with his quest for quality standards that positively impact patient care and value … understandable quality criteria; enhanced educational opportunities for clinicians; and adapting the DCMA communications publication into a medical journal.
 “Too often quality measures are tainted by the economic considerations of special interests. Financial influences on quality issues do not benefit either physicians or patients. As a profession we need to carefully consider what is of truly of value to our patients rather than the interests of some nebulous concept like ‘the healthcare system.’ We must always be an advocate for our patients as individual human beings,” Dr. Mesa explained.
This advocacy includes involvement in social issues such as the Healthy City Initiative, which is an effort to enhance public transportation within Miami’s health corridors to assist community residents to remain healthy by making it easier to get to their physicians and medical treatments. It also means serving on local boards and task forces to help create solutions for substance abuse, lending expertise to projects such as STEM outreach for high school students, behavioral health education for law enforcement and stress management for our members, according to Mesa.
On legislative concerns, he describes the physician’s role as translating health needs for state and local officials to create manageable solutions which target the real need.
“As clinicians on the front line, we can identify social issues that hinder health care access. We can provide knowledgeable direction and support community or legislative resolve to improve the health and welfare of our diverse communities, whether that addresses multi-lingual or bi-cultural care, transportation, behavioral health or housing issues,” he said.
The DCMA also aims to provide enhanced CME opportunities for doctors to expand their knowledge and skills and to stay abreast of current medical technique and philosophies of care. In keeping with that goal, Dr. Mesa hopes to transform Miami Medicine into a Medline searchable scientific journal. Medical professionals practice an art and a science and have a need to access and share scholarly publications of their research.
Furthermore, Dr. Mesa prescribes creating a deeper awareness of the high level of quality care in South Florida. “South Florida is a microcosm of the world. We have multi-generational cultural issues and language barriers yet, right here in this community, we have some of the best physicians in the United States who can provide world-class care for all of these patients. These are internationally recognized physicians who practice medicine at the highest level available anywhere and in every medical specialty and subspecialty,” he said. “No one should lack access to care as a result of their unfamiliarity with the expertise in their own back yard.”
Dr. Mesa is a recognized neurologist who subspecializes in interventional pain management. He earned dual board certifications and was the first neurologist in Florida to complete the interventional pain management fellowship in anesthesiology. He is a prominent member of First Choice Neurology (FCN), the largest adult and pediatric neurology practice in the country.
With more than 41 facilities in six Florida counties, FCN has more than 80 adult and pediatric neurologists and 120 affiliated clinical experts at 35 major hospitals treating the full range of neurological diseases and disorders across the state. FCN has the full range of neurological subspecialists and provides the highest quality care that serves as a model for the national neurology specialty societies.
“Too often physicians are generically catalogued by insurance companies. We all know not every engineer, lawyer, accountant, auto mechanic, or chef is the same. Why let an insurance company determine which specialist are equivalent? Physicians need to determine when, how, and which specialist can best treat their patients. That is a quality indicator that requires a professional clinical definition -- not in esoteric or economic terms-- but in a way that is meaningful to a laymen’s understanding of the best plan of care,” Dr. Mesa emphasized.
The DCMA is the organization of physicians who advocate for patients and for the quality and sustainability of the practice of medicine. DCMA strives to support members in their practices promoting ethical, educational and clinical standards to enhance the integrity of the patient/doctor relationship.

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