On Monday, October 16, 2023, members of the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons (NYSSPS) gathered for the annual meeting and dinner at the Tribeca Wolfgang’s Steakhouse in New York City. The members, honored guests, sponsors and exhibitors filled the room to capacity – a sign of the success of the evening.
The evening commenced with a cocktail hour providing an opportunity for members to see old colleagues, network and meet representatives from our generous sponsors including Sientra, Organogenesis, Apyx/Renuvian, Allergan, and Irrimax/Irrisept. This first hour of the program was headlined by the presentation of the NYSSPS’ Legislative of the Year Awards to two distinguished leadership in the New York State Legislature: Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens), Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Westchester), Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. NYSSPS selected Sen. Stavisky to be honored for her strong track record supporting physicians, patients and for her sponsorship of a law in 2022 requiring insurers and health plans to include coverage of chest wall reconstruction surgery in addition to breast reconstruction surgery. Asm. Paulin was honored for her longstanding efforts to expand access to care for women’s health, reducing healthcare disparities, and supporting those who are providing high quality care. In 2023, the assemblymember sponsored priority legislation for the NYSSPS requiring insurers to provide coverage for tattooing of the nipple-areolar complex pursuant to or as part of breast reconstruction surgery and legislation to authorize physicians to collectively negotiate.
Following the presentation of the Legislator of the Year Awards, the dinner was brought out and the annual meeting commenced with welcoming remarks from Executive Director, Lisa Alteri, the outgoing NYSSPS President S. Daniel Huang, MD and incoming President Haritha Veeramachaneni, MD. A very special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Paul Weiss, MD in recognition of his years of service and commitment to advancing the profession of plastic surgery, advocacy and support of patients. This was followed by the transition of power as the new officers of NYSSPS and the NYSSP PAC were also recognized as follows:
President - Haritha Veeramachaneni, MD
President-Elect - Diana Yoon-Schwartz, MD
Vice President - Samara Churgin, MD
Secretery - Mahira Tanovic, MD
Treasurer - Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Member at Large - Keith Blechman, MD
Past President - S. Daniel Huang, MD
Executive Director – Lisa Alteri
NYSSPS PAC Officers
Chair - Diana Yoon-Schwartz, MD
Vice Chair - Samara Churgin, MD
Treasuerer - Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Member at Large - Thomas Sterry, MD
NYSSPS’ goals for the coming year were presented to the members as the dinner service began, including maintaining a strong focus on legislative issues including out-of-network, prior authorization, truth in advertising, membership recruitment and retention, and replenishing the PAC as we head into 2024 – an important election year. NYSSPS has a robust agenda for each priority item and looks forward to engaging the broader membership in these efforts.
The four platinum sponsors supporting tonight’s event Sientra, Organogenesis, Apyx/Renuvian, and Allergan then got the opportunity to introduce themselves and highlight their work and ways they work with plastic surgeons and patients. We thank our generous sponsors and look forward to continuing to work them with them.
A lively conversation regarding the federal No Surprises Act and out-of-network care was had during dinner, led by Leslie Howard, Managing Partner and Amy Wilkins, COO of Cohen Howard. This important discussion will continue amidst regulatory developments the federal level and intersection with the New York State law and discussions with policymakers. The meeting closed with appointments, donations, and dessert. The Society appointed Ritchie Reich, MD to the Nomination committee, and Nilay Shah, MD and Ryan Neinstein, MD to the By-laws Committee.
The evening also featured a raffle prize drawing for those who renewed their membership dues and/or contributed to the PAC. This resulted in strong support with 11 renewing their membership and 17 contributing to the PAC. A sugary dessert and coffee sent members home happy and looking forward to next year already!
Whether you measure success by the number of attendees, number of sponsors, revenue generated for society or the PAC, the night was a tremendous success. We thank all those who assisted. To help keep the momentum going, we urge you to help recruit a non-member to join! 2024 will be a pivotal year for NYSSPS. Edward Everett Hale, a famous author, historian, and minister once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”