APMA News - May/June 2020 - 36

APMAPAC Update

APMAPAC Champion: Derek Dalling
The APMAPAC Board is honored to present Derek Dalling,
executive director of the Michigan Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA) and the American Association of Podiatric Practice Management, as a 2020 APMAPAC Champion. Dalling
earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and served as a legislative assistant in the Michigan
House of Representatives. In 1998, he joined the firm that is
now KDA (Kindsvatter Dalling and Associates). Dalling serves
as president and CEO of this firm that specializes in association management, government relations, and strategic initiatives, and provides those services to MPMA.
APMAPAC selected Dalling for this recognition based on
his leadership in legislative advocacy and significant contribution history. He has lobbied in Washington, DC, for many
years to educate members of Congress about the importance
of podiatric physicians and the Helping Ensure Life- and
Limb-Saving Access to Podiatric Physicians Act.
The APMAPAC board spoke with Dalling about a recent
legislative success in Michigan related to scope of practice
and to obtain his insights about an ongoing challenge facing
podiatric physicians.
APMAPAC: When did you connect with podiatry?
Dalling: Our firm first became acquainted with the profession in January 2007 when we were hired to provide association management services for MPMA. At that time, I served as
deputy executive director. Upon being hired by MPMA, our
senior staff immediately began contributing to and advocating for the APMAPAC. We lead by example.
Podiatry has been very good to me and our firm. We must
keep podiatry strong and give back to the profession. For the
non-contributors, I hope the donations [my staff and I have
made] move them to contribute, too. After all, if staff members can contribute, podiatrists can and should be contributing. And if podiatry has been good to me, my firm, my employees, and my family, then I know it's been good to
non-contributing podiatrists, their practices, and their families, too.
APMAPAC: What methods have you found successful in enhancing legislative awareness and encouraging podiatric physicians to donate to support advocacy?
Dalling: Our goal is to put DPMs in a position to succeed
at all levels. Many folks might say a crisis or outright fear are
the best ways to get podiatrists engaged legislatively or [to
get] them to donate to a PAC. Those strategies can and do
work; however, I prefer to identify the best leaders within
an association to be the direct connections and inspire
[their] colleagues to make PAC donations and devote time
to [advocacy]. In my experience, the best way for podiatrists
to engage is [to] follow, support, and help fellow podia36 APMA News May/June 2020

trists. Pleas for engagement from our MPMA leadership are
far more successful than a plea from staff. In addition, we
bring local, state, and national legislators to our annual conference and let the membership hear them reinforce this
philosophy. You either participate or get left behind. All
members must support legislative and political advocacy. As
the late legendary podiatric leader Dr. Irvin O. Kanat said,
'Leaders lead.'
Giving to the PAC is an investment. It is something that
should be planned and budgeted every year. It is also something that pays dividends every year. And whether you like
politics or hate politics, the fact of the matter is that government impacts every podiatrist and every practice in the country. The only way to minimize the detriment that government
has on you and your practice is to make sure podiatry has a
healthy APMAPAC on its side.
APMAPAC: Tell us about the recent legislative success in
Michigan.
Dalling: Recently the MPMA was successful in clarifying
scope of practice, which was last updated in the late 1970s,
through legislative action that went through the entire process. This landmark legislation alone is an example of why
legislative and political advocacy are so important to all podiatrists in every state. It is what we as an association do for
our membership and why all DPMs need to be members.
This [legislation] could not have been accomplished without the vital assistance of APMA, giving us a financial grant
and assisting us [with] specific language. This scope bill was
able to bridge the gap of what we do here in Michigan to
cover [podiatric physicians'] current education, training,
and experience so that our three-year-residency-trained
young physicians can continue to do what they were trained
to do.
APMAPAC: What challenges does podiatry face on the
horizon?
Dalling: Even before the current pandemic, I believed
helping podiatrists maintain and run successful practices is a
huge challenge. The science of medicine is vital, but so is
making sure our physicians can operate successful businesses
that provide the health care [needed] in our communities. We
need to help our most experienced podiatrists successfully
sell practices. We need to help those in practice run successful businesses while balancing the challenges of today's
health-care environment. We need to inspire our young physicians to enter practices and teach them the tools to run
those practices as successful [health-care businesses]. Today's
pandemic only reinforces this need, as so many practices are
tested and stretched to the limits under emergency-only
treatment conditions. n



APMA News - May/June 2020

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