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Whaley, Greenberg to Receive Service Award

The OHFAMA Service Award will be presented to Marc Greenberg, DPM, and Kelly Whaley, DPM, May 16 at the 108th Annual Ohio Foot & Ankle Scientific Seminar.

The Service Award is given to deserving recipients who have demonstrated commitment to fulfilling the mission of OHFAMA through dedicated leadership and volunteerism at the Academy and state level.

OHFAMA Executive Director Mike Mathy sat down with Dr. Whaley and Dr. Greenberg to get their reaction to earning the Service Award.

Dr. Whaley

What was your reaction when you learned you’re receiving the OHFAMA Service Award?

I’m humbled and grateful. It is hard to believe how fast 25 years of practice flies by. Winning the Service Award puts a smile on my face. The last several years of volunteering with my academy and OHFAMA feels so easy and natural, especially as a private, solo practitioner. If you're not involved with your professional association, it's easy to get lost in the intricacies of running a practice and it's nice to have my colleagues to bounce ideas, share complicated cases, and compare practice stories. Special thanks to Joy Rowland, DPM, who nominated me. I appreciate your confidence in my leadership! 

What are the benefits of volunteering to serve the association?

I thoroughly enjoyed my years of service as a Northeast Academy officer. Not only did I expand my practice knowledge, but I also made some lifelong friends. It’s been great getting to know my colleagues at meetings and on Academy-supported seminar trips. The same holds true in my later years, as I served at the state level and have colleagues in every corner of the state I call a friend.

The OHFAMA Board of Trustees and staff is a fantastic group of individuals who respect and value our profession and each other, which, in turn, keeps our meetings productive and efficient.

Who inspired or encouraged you to get involved in the Northeast Academy and OHFAMA? 

My true friend, Mark Gould, DPM, has always cheered me on in my professional and personal life. I learned early on that membership has its advantages and it's easier to call on your professional friends when you have them on speed dial. As a side note, it is a true honor to receive the service award next to one of my favorites, Marc Greenberg, DPM.

Dr. Greenberg

What does receiving the Service Award mean to you?

I am honored. I thought of those who had been given the Service Award before me and the thought of being in their company is very much an honor.

For me, earning this award is a validation from my peers that all my work for this profession at the local, state, and national levels is worthy of recognition. It’s a tremendous acknowledgement of the work that I have done and encouragement for me to continue to work on projects for the profession, our Association, and members and the public.

Looking back, what are some of your favorite memories of your service to the association?

There are many times with so many good memories and I’m not sure there’s any that are way above and beyond as favorites.  I will say that each time I have had the opportunity to step up in higher leadership, such as the OHFAMA President in 2013 and as the Chair of the Ohio Delegation to the APMA House of Delegates these last three years, it has been more special as I embrace and cherish those leadership roles.

Also, each time I have taken on a larger task that affected the future of our governance it has meant a little more. The biggest example was when I was Chair of the OHFAMA HOD Assessment Committee (OHAC) and our research led to the recommendation of the transition from the OHFAMA HOD to the Annual Business Meeting model. As the Chair of the Bylaws Committee, I was one of the members who worked on those changes, and others, that we still have in place today. Research that has affected change in Association management, function, purpose have been rewarding to watch unfold.

Who inspired or encouraged you to get involved in the Midwest Academy and OHFAMA?

At the Midwest Academy, it was John Stevenson who got me involved initially. Funny story made short, he saw my potential to contribute, and I later found out I was elected to the position of Vice President when I got the minutes of the meeting in the mail. 

Why should members get involved with their Academy and OHFAMA?

There are so many reasons on so many levels.  We are a small profession, so only by sticking together can we accomplish goals like protecting our scope of practice, addressing our parity issues, educating the public about who we are and what we do, having effective student recruitment campaigns, and raising money in our PAC to support state legislators who support our profession. 

There are educational benefits at the Academy and state levels with quality CME programs that are free or with significant member discounts. Academy and OHFAMA meetings are great places for members, particularly young members, to make meaningful connections with other members and gather valuable practice management pearls to assist with practice development and sometimes discover job opportunities. 

The Academy level is usually where we are searching for new leadership for the Academy and state levels. All those things and more for the price of 97% tax deductible dues makes it well worth membership. I think my involvement has been highly instrumental for my career development as well. I’ve been very active in leadership and participation in meetings at the Academy and OHFAMA levels, as well as seminars for both, that have helped develop me into a more confident, informed person and advocate for the profession. I have benefitted from events outside of the podiatry bubble due to my status and knowledge gained from my past experiences with OHFAMA.

On top of all of that, there is a social component to it all, with camaraderie at meetings, seminars, Board meetings, and other volunteer opportunities. The best way to survive in today’s medical practice climate is to stick together and stay involved. I would advise anyone who wants to know more or get involved to reach out and talk to somebody like me who is currently involved at the next level so they can learn how their Academy and OHFAMA can help them, or how they can help their Academy and OHFAMA.

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