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Tech expert Stack chosen as next AMA president-elect

Talk about continuity of care. Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, the outgoing president of the American Medical Association, is from Lexington, Ky. The incoming president, Dr. Robert Wah, is a health information technology expert. In 2015, the AMA's president will be Dr. Steven Stack, a health information technology expert practicing in Lexington, Ky.

Stack, an emergency medicine physician and an Ohio native, was selected as president-elect of the American Medical Association by voice vote “acclamation” at the June 7 opening session of the annual AMA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago.

Stack, 42, was running unopposed and will take over as the 170th AMA president at the 2015 annual meeting. The president-elect for the next few days is Wah, the chief medical officer for the Computer Sciences Corp. Wah will be inaugurated as president Tuesday evening.

Stack served as chairman of the AMA Health IT Advisory Group from 2007 to 2013, and has spoken out on issues such as removing barriers to electronic prescribing and the use of “cloning," or copying and pasting documentation into electronic health records.

Stack was joined on stage by his 9-year-old daughter, Audrey, and he noted that she was only 1 when he was first elected to the AMA board. “She has supported me through all this stuff,” he said.

Three other board candidates were unopposed and elected via voice acclimation: incumbent Speaker of the House of Delegates, Dr. Andrew Gurman, an orthopedic hand surgeon from Altoona, Pa.; incumbent Vice Speaker Dr. Susan Bailey, an allergist from Fort Worth, Texas; and Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, an anesthesiologist practicing and teaching in Nashville and Boston, who was chosen as the AMA board's “young physician trustee.”

There are eight candidates, including three incumbents, running for five open seats on the AMA Board of Trustees. The election for those positions and other openings on AMA councils will be Tuesday morning.

In other election-related news, it was noted that former AMA trustee Dr. Monica Wehby is the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Oregon. She beat four other candidates and finished with 50.3% of the primary vote last month. A pediatric neurosurgeon, Wehby promised to work toward repealing Obamacare and is facing one-term Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley in November.

Former AMA President Dr. Peter Carmel, a neurosurgeon from Newark, N.J., announced that there was a fundraiser being held for Wehby after the day's proceedings concluded.

“Come early, bring your checkbooks,” Carmel said.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks

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