One very enjoyable aspect of my job is outreach to other sectors of the health care “ecosystem” that have an impact on anesthesiology. These include other medical specialties, payers, health systems, industry and patients. In my last column, I wrote about the insurance industry. In this column, I will write about patient organizations and the opportunities for our specialty.

Over the last half dozen years, I have become very engaged in the National Health Council (NHC), serving on the board as its treasurer. The NHC is an umbrella organization representing voluntary health agencies (VHAs), charitable entities organized with the mission to combat a particular disease, disability or to protect the health of a particular population from chronic disease. Examples include organizations representing major conditions, such as the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, and rare diseases, such as...

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