2021-2022 SAEM BYLAWS COMMITTEE CANDIDATE STATEMENTS

Candidate statements are listed in alphabetical order.

Kevin Kotkowski, MD, MBA
University of Massachusetts Medical School  

K Kotkowski

I obtained my medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Following residency, I completed an administration and leadership fellowship at the University of Massachusetts while also obtaining a master’s degree in business administration. I am currently a faculty member and director of clinical operations at the University of Massachusetts. 

I have been an active member of SAEM for many years, participating in multiple committees including currently serving as chair of the SAEM Finance Committee. Chairing the SAEM Finance Committee has allowed me to see the breadth and depth of the amazing work of our organization and its members. The importance of this work and SAEM’s mission has never been greater. As my term as SAEM Finance Committee chair ends, I hope to remain actively engaged in the leadership of SAEM through representation on the SAEM Bylaws Committee.

Bylaws serve a critical function for SAEM, setting the structure in which the organization operates. Carefully constructed bylaws can be an effective tool to guide the governance and operations of the organization. If elected to the SAEM Bylaws Committee I will work to ensure our bylaws enable SAEM to achieve our strategic priorities and advance our organization and specialty as a whole. 

James H. Paxton, MD
Detroit Medical Center (Detroit Receiving Hospital/Sinai-Grace Hospital)
Wayne State University, School of Medicine

J Paxton

I am a medical graduate of the University of Cincinnati and completed my emergency medicine (EM) residency at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, in 2011. Currently, I am director of clinical research at Detroit Receiving Hospital (DRH) and was previously director of resident research at Sinai-Grace Hospital (SGH). I recently completed a five-year term as chair of the MP2 Institutional Review Board at Wayne State University (WSU), and have been active in SAEM since 2008. I am an active member of the SAEM Research Committee, SAEM Program Committee, and recently completed my fifth year as a member of the SAEM Grants Committee.

I am an active clinical researcher and have served as primary investigator for dozens of clinical trials at WSU. My current research focuses on interventions for sickle cell disease, cardiac arrest, emergent vascular access, and infectious disease. I am proud to practice emergency medicine in an underserved community and enjoy preparing EM residents for a career in providing care for a wide range of patients, including underrepresented minorities. I believe that Detroit is a microcosm for many of the positive changes we are seeing in this country, including increased attention to the plight of those who have been neglected by traditional medicine. However, the COVID pandemic has exposed many inadequacies in the health care system that we, as emergency physicians, have been aware of for some time. We must leverage this increased attention to the challenges of providing care to resource-poor communities in our mission to achieve real and lasting improvement in the quality of life for our patients. As community members, emergency physicians cannot afford to disregard the experiences of our neighbors. We must help our society to put aside the differences of gender, race, and sexual orientation. We must seek common ground and lead by example.

I approach the position of SAEM Bylaws Committee member as one who respects the past achievements of our profession but understands the need to critically reevaluate our current position to inform future direction. I believe that the experiences of our LGBTQ colleagues, and other minority members, should be respected and reflected in the bylaws of our organization. We cannot be governed by past decisions or afford to ignore the needs of our constituency. As a member of the SAEM Bylaws Committee, I would seek to find a balance between respecting our traditions and representing the needs of minority SAEM members who feel underrepresented or neglected by existing policies. We must be sensitive to the needs of our members, and the bylaws should reflect the needs of all members, not just those in the majority.

The SAEM Bylaws are the rules by which our organization operates. I have no doubt in the wisdom of our predecessors in establishing these regulations. But even the best policies require periodic review and revision. I believe that now is the time to reassess these regulations to ensure that we are hearing the voices that must be heard. If elected to the SAEM Bylaws Committee, I will work to balance consistency and change to ensure that SAEM is continuously advancing in its mission to advance academic emergency medicine.