Rupin Thakkar, MD, FAAP
As our leadership terms begin July 1, every summer I am sad to see treasured colleagues rotate off our board while simultaneously feeling excitement as we welcome new board members. With our decision this year to expand the number of board positions, I am happy to only have to bid farewell to one trustee while welcoming four more.
Matt Thompson will be greatly missed in our board meetings. As a partner in a small practice, medical director of an early intervention program, and father of six, Matt brought great insight and unique perspectives to our discussions. Matt also took his role of representing and reaching out to Spokane-area pediatricians seriously. During his term, we have seen an increase in membership and member engagement from Spokane. Our listening session in Spokane last year was our best-attended session since we began listening sessions three years ago, and we impressively had eight Spokane providers join us at our most recent Advocacy Day in Olympia. Beyond his thoughtful and passionate presence in our board meetings, we will also miss the entertainment Matt provided to at our board retreat each year under his alter ego, “DJ Tapioca.”
As Matt rotates off the board, Stacy Tarango, a Spokane emergency medicine pediatrician, and Eric Leung, a neonatologist practicing in Spokane, will be joining the board. Also joining our board will be Kathleen Kieran, a pediatric urologist practicing in the Tri-Cities and Betsy Browder, a primary care pediatrician practicing in Issaquah. After a brief vacancy in the position, we will also have a new hospital representative from Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, pediatric cardiologist Matthew Studer. Each of these individuals brings unique strengths to the WCAAP leadership. Their diverse practice types, specialties, and geographic regions will promote our future success at WCAAP.