Newswise — A longtime champion of his scientific field has been recognized for his efforts.
Benjamin S. Warfel, MD, was recently bestowed the 2019 American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Advocacy Award. This award recognizes Dr. Warfel’s extraordinary contributions to increase public awareness and advocacy to government entities or insurance companies regarding the role of electrodiagnostic medicine in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders.
Dr. Warfel has been a supporter and active member of AANEM since 1999 – over the last two decades, he has acted as Pennsylvania State Liaison since the inception of the AANEM State Liaison Committee, and has represented AANEM at every “Hill Day” since they began, in which members go to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress and make them aware of needs in the fields of neuromuscular and electrodiagnostic medicine. The AANEM is the premier nonprofit membership association dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, education, and technology in the fields of neuromuscular (NM), musculoskeletal (MSK), and electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine.
Dr. Warfel says the need of organizations like AANEM working to advocate on behalf of NM and EDX medicine has never been more critical.
“AANEM’s cause is more essential than ever as large corporations continue to be given leeway regarding patient quality,” Dr. Warfel said of his advocacy work. “These corporations have been given the legal power to create captive patient populations, and to define to those patients what ‘quality’ is, rather than a national body of peer-reviewed experts like AANEM, which is not biased by profit maximization.”
Dr. Warfel’s interest in advocacy began when he witnessed what he described as “substandard care by inadequately trained providers, affecting outcomes.”
“Substandard care is very obvious to trained experts. However, the abstract technical nature of our testing makes it difficult for patients, and even referring doctors, to understand the unreliable and potentially misleading nature of substandard testing,” he said. “Thus, it became a public health issue. Large special interest groups and corporate lobbyists will drown out the voice of specialists in the field if we are not persistent. I encourage any specialist who is interested to get involved!”
Dr. Warfel has persistently advocated for preserving access to high quality EDX studies to numerous members of Congress, and actively works with local and regional insurers for adequate resource allocation to maintain access to these studies. In addition to his post in Pennsylvania, Dr. Warfel has chaired the State Liaison Committee for several years now, and continues to serve on the Professional Practice Committee of the AANEM.
Dr. Warfel earned his MD from Penn State University College of Medicine in 1989 after his undergraduate years at Bucknell University. He completed a 1-year internship at Presbyterian/University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia, then became a resident in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the New York Hospital/Cornell University Medical Center, where he was elected Chief Resident in 1992. He then began work as Medical Director at the Lancaster Work Rehabilitation Center and as a physiatrist at the Lancaster Orthopedic Group from 1993-97, then from 1998-2000 at the St. Joseph Rehabilitation Center. He has also worked as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Cornell University Medical College in New York since 1993 and is a partner in the Electrodiagnostic Medicine Group in Lancaster, PA.
To learn more about AANEM and its Achievement Award winners, visit www.aanem.org.
About American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM)
Based in Rochester, Minnesota, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) is the premier nonprofit membership association dedicated to the advancement of neuromuscular (NM), musculoskeletal and electrodiagnostic (EDX) medicine. The organization and its members work to improve the quality of patient care and advance the science of NM diseases and EDX medicine by serving physicians and allied health professionals who care for those with muscle and nerve disorders.