Candidate Profile: Michelle M. Freshwater, MD, FOMA, ABOM

Michelle Freshwater

Michelle M. Freshwater, MD, FOMA, ABOM
Incumbent Trustee
Running for: Trustee (MD/DO seat)
Nomination by committee

Dr. Freshwater provided the following information on her application for the Trustee position (MD/DO seat). Click on the gray boxes below to expand and view her responses. Click here to view the election campaign rules. Click here to view the conflict of interest policy and disclosure rules.

  • OMA Committee Involvement
    • CME Overview Committee, Board Liaison, 2 years
    • Membership Committee, Board Liaison, 1 year
    • Advocacy Committee, Member, 2 year
  • Involvement in Other Professional Societies or Associations
    • American Medical Association, Member 
    • OMA Star Representative, State Rep. 
  • Other Professional Activities
    • Owner/physician, Idaho Weight Loss, Aug 2018-Present
    • Physician, Idaho Weight Loss, July 2005-Aug 2018
    • Speaking engagement, AAPC local chapter, May 2019
  • What do you envision as the top 3 goals or objectives that are most important for OMA in the next 5 years and why?
    1. My most immediate goal for OMA is establishing stable executive leadership. Our other goals will be met by having leaders who can develop and implement the board's strategic vision for the OMA.
    2. Maintaining our position as leaders in educating practitioners and continuing practice improvements for Obesity Medicine Specialists. The rapid growth of our field in the last few years, including the record number of providers becoming board certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine, demonstrates the ongoing need for continuing education and recruitment of Obesity Medicine providers. Many current board projects are aimed at this goal.
    3. Continuing to expand membership in the OMA. Growth of membership among providers, both physician and NP/PA, is moving well and that trend needs to remain a priority. This goal is dependent on continuing to provide excellent education and resources for providers of all levels of experience.
  • How do you think your talents and skills could be utilized in attaining OMA’s goals and objectives?

    As an experienced practitioner in Obesity Medicine, I can be a representative for my patients' needs in the organization. We should be keeping quality patient care at the forefront of any and all decision-making in achieving the OMA's goals. We should also be continuing to develop useful tools for practitioners, something the OMA has excelled at over the past few years with the creation and continual improvement of the Obesity Algorithm. I would like to see that kind of growth and development continued with input from both experienced and new practitioners in the field. I have the advantage of longstanding patient contact, but also many years left in practice to help lead the organization in growth areas.

  • List 3 reasons why you wish to serve on the Board of Trustees and explain why they will be an asset to the OMA.
    1. I wish to serve on the Board of Trustees as a continuation of my commitment to the growth of our field. While I am proud of the work we have accomplished in my first 2 years on the board, it has been challenging and unusual given the circumstances. I look forward to continuing to serve in what I anticipate to be a more "normal", although changed, world.
    2. I want to continue to meet the challenges facing our organization and help to find practical solutions. I am excellent at negotiating without compromising my principles.
    3. I would like to see a diversity of practice types represented on the Board. As a small, independent practice, I will represent the needs of practitioners who do not have the support of a large academic center or corporate health system.
  • In what ways do you think OMA could improve and why?

    OMA needs to continue to follow the excellent improvements that have occurred over the past few years. We need to persist with the diversity of speakers at conferences and other educational opportunities so that members get a variety of perspectives and tools to use in practice. We also need to continue to expand offerings outside of conferences to accommodate busy practitioners who are unable to commit to the time and cost required for travel. We need to keep practitioners from a variety of practice settings in leadership positions so that the diversity of membership is represented. And transparency and communication from the organization, which has improved recently, needs to remain a top priority. Building on our already excellent OMA staff with stable executive leadership will be the path to continuing this trend.

  • Disclosures

    Disclosure of Actual or Potential Conflicts of Interest occurring within 1 year of the date of this form and within the foreseeable future:

    • None

    Disclosure of ANY interests that could possibly result in a Conflict of Interest in the future with OMA, such as an ownership interest in any business, stock/bond holdings, a grant, an employment relationship, or consultative or advisory arrangement, etc.:

    • None

    Disclosure of involvement / relationships with other similar or competitive associations / societies which represent interests of obesity medicine clinicians (please specify your level of involvement, i.e. board member, committee leader, committee member, general member, etc.):

    • None