Hi! My name is Erin Lassey, I’m the Business Manager at Holton Direct Care in Holton, KS. I also happen to be the wife of the current DPCA President, Vance Lassey. As I was watching Vance go through his manic daily routine the other day at our clinic, I remarked that I wondered if the DPC community knew what all went on behind the scenes for him, Tiffany Leonard, and the other members of the board of the DPCA. He said “I don’t know...” while making the “thinking emoji face,” and next thing I knew I was being asked to write a blog post! (Maybe I should keep my big mouth shut!)
As most of you are aware, all of the DPCA board members are busy with their own thriving DPC practices. Squeezed between patient encounters, projects and meetings for the Alliance and DPC movement in-general are taking place every day. I think it’s amazing how DPC is flexible enough to allow them to serve their fellow doctors and the DPC movement while continuing to take excellent care of their patients - not to mention “doing life”. I’m humbled by how selfless DPC docs are, the risks you take, and the Thank you all for doing all you do to serve your patients!
Over the last couple years I’ve seen the long hours and thankless work of the planning committee for the DPC Summit. This year Jeff Davenport is leading the team and is on track to build a more successful event than ever. Jeff’s committee (which consists of numerous volunteers and board members) will have put in an hour to an hour and a half every week for 6 months plus additional work outside the meetings to plan out the event. (Easily over 300 physician hours volunteered–bill that out at locums rates and you’ve got well over $60K donated just to the DPC Summit!)
Giving interviews, writing editorials, speaking at conferences, residencies, and med schools and other means of reaching out to groups around the country (and even other countries!) to spread awareness and understanding about DPC is constant. Not even 20 minutes ago, Vance and Tiffany got off a Zoom call with 5 people representing 4 different organizations who all have a common interest of getting DPC education into medical school curricula, in front of med student interest groups, and into residency programs.
Important for the future of the movement, the DPCA has positioned itself as a DPC authority. The result is that the Alliance’s leadership has become a sought after listening ear for the vetting/testing of ideas. DPC-adjacent entrepreneurs reach out all the time with a myriad of requests. I like to call these the “big idea people.” (Vance calls most of them “middlemen,” which he says is “a longer-than-average-4-letter-word.”) You rebel physicians have built a fantastic idealism-powered locomotive. I would expect no end to the companies and startups who want to latch on to it for a free ride. It’s difficult to estimate the time Vance spends on this kind of communication each week, but it’s enough to be a part-time job, mostly spent urging such entities to keep DPC authentic. There are many flavors to the “big ideas,” but most often their plans devolve into a desire to use employer groups to massively scale up DPC (overnight) using an independent-practice nurse practitioner and PA workforce. DPC doesn’t work when a non-physician workforce practices narrow-spectrum care that fails to reduce referrals and eliminate claims.
Vance puts in SO many hours representing authentic DPC and keeping patients first. He listens to these parties day in and day out, open-mindedly considering what’s good and what’s bad for the movement. I agree that losing sight of foundational ideals and forcing non-organic growth could be detrimental to DPC’s good reputation–one that you’ve all worked so hard to build.
And when his term expires in December, I want him back. ;-)