Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2020 - 26

A Salute to Dr. Michael Baxter on His Retirement

continued from page 25

One of the best decisions I have made was to accept an invitation
to serve on the Executive Council of the BCMS. In the roughly
25 years since, I have reaped many rewards from getting to
know and work with fellow physicians giving of their time
and expertise to make our community a better place for both
doctors and patients. I admire and respect all of my Society
colleagues, but none more so than Mike Baxter. As President
he led by example and as Chair of the Executive Council he
kept our meetings on track and on schedule (no small feat!) and
could always get us back on track when distractions threatened
to obscure our ultimate goals. But I most admire Mike for his
unflagging focus on breaking down barriers to health care for
the less fortunate in our community. As Chair of our Patient
Advocacy committee, he used every tool at his disposal to
make it possible for more people to live healthy and productive
lives. And his efforts have borne fruit, most notably through
his contributions to the collaborative effort that brought a
Federally Qualified Health Center to Berks County. The Berks
Community Health Center serves all who walk through its
doors. I think the best description of Mike's contributions to the
BCMS is that he has been our heart.
Lucy J. Cairns, MD
BCMS President, 2015

Everything I needed to know I learned as a freshman medical
student. While this is a pun on the now famous work entitled
"Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten", for me
it is true. Dr. Baxter was my professor when I was a freshman
medical student at Temple. I remember him clearly, as we
would call him Opie. Dr. Baxter preached of the Bio-PsychoSocial model of disease. Basically, teaching us that the social
determinants of health are the most important indicator of
patient wellness.
In the fee-for-service world of the 1980's, that message fell on
deaf ears. We all wanted to see sick people, and to make them
better. We also considered making a comfortable living by doing
it. Fast forward to 2020, where our focus is maintaining the
wellness of our population and payors are paying us to do so. My
Temple Med classmates wouldn't have believed it. Now I realize
what I didn't then: Dr. Baxter is timeless and was ahead of his
time. God Bless Opie.
Charles F. Barbera, MD, MBA, FACEP
BCMS President, 2005

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Winter 2020

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