|Dr. Maurice Oakley|
Oakley will focus on "breaking down barriers to good health and active involvement from physicians in doing so," with an emphasis on the opioid issues plaguing the state, says the news release.
“There are so many barriers within our medical system to people receiving good care that actually addresses the most important issues impacting Kentuckians,” Oakley said in the release. “Smoking is one such issue, and we addressed it in part through passage of legislation in 2017 that makes smoking cessation products and services more available. We need to take the same principles of breaking down barriers to smoking cessation and apply them to the opioid problem.”
Oakley was sworn in Aug. 26 at the organization's annual meeting, which was designed around Dr. Oakley's areas of focus, including a two-day meeting that educated physicians about the opioid epidemic and for the first time, participants were given time to give direct feedback to policymakers who were in attendance, and make suggestions about possible KMA actions around the opioid issue.
During his inaugural speech, Oakley also addressed barriers to care, including minimizing the administrative tasks required by physicians that "have little or nothing to do with improving care.
"That has to change. Administrative tasks should be meaningful to making the patient healthier rather than simply documenting some mandated action," he said.
Oakley is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and has practiced in Ashland since 1978. He has been an active member of the KMA, having held several leadership positions. He is the first KMA president from Ashland in 47 years and will hold this position for one year.