On Saturday, March 18, Sylvia Virbulis, DPM, of North Carolina, was installed as APMA president by Carroll D. Kratzer, DPM. Dr. Virbulis began her speech with an appreciation of the community in podiatric medicine. “As an only child of immigrant parents with no relatives in this country, I consider each of you a part of my family in your own unique way, and I am grateful to all of you,” she said. "It's in this same sense of family and its collective members working together for common goals, that I approach this coming year."
Dr. Virbulis noted that each member of a family is key to supporting shared goals. “Please be a mentor,” she implored. "Open your experience to our hopefuls and encourage them—you are the best ambassadors—you are the key to this success. I will welcome continued communication with the colleges and deans and encourage their fraternal communication."
APMA's updated strategic plan, Dr. Virbulis told delegates, cross-cuts all aspects of APMA's work. The plan has four main pillars that serve as a foundation for the many tasks and goals APMA has set. "APMA will be the leading advocate, offer preeminent education, drive innovative research, and create an empowered community for our profession. These are broad and sweeping endeavors, but I would like to offer just a few highlights within them.”
Summarizing the agenda for her presidency, Dr. Virbulis said, "Our charge includes the very important work of integrating our new Strategic Plan." She reminded the house that APMA membership is the single best source of professional representation and advocacy in podiatric medicine, encouraging delegates to be proactive in their legislative advocacy by reaching out to lawmakers, scheduling meet and greets, and whatever it takes to support the profession's growth.
In closing, Dr. Virbulis said, “We are all charged to APMA—‘Advocate for Podiatric Medicine Always.’ We are the key! And, together, we have the keys to our future!”