After 25 formative years at the organization’s helm, Florida Medical Association CEO Tim Stapleton steps down Friday.
Stapleton’s years have spanned six Governors, nine U.S. Senators, 12 Senate Presidents and 14 House Speakers.
In his resignation letter, he called it an honor and a privilege to work for physicians.
“I have enjoyed serving as CEO under an outstanding group of FMA presidents, learning something from every one of them,” Stapleton said. “I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds for both me personally and the FMA as it continues to excel at the mission of ‘Helping Physicians Practice Medicine.'”
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed special attention on the medical field, which already plays an outsized role in public life. The pandemic has also been a time for personal reflection.
“Like many people, living through a global pandemic over the past 20 months has caused me to take a step back and evaluate my personal and professional future,” Stapleton said. “My tenure and 24/7 commitment to the organization has been purely out of loyalty to a group of physician leaders who have shared a vision for what the FMA should be and were willing to actively engage in the political process.”
FMA was created in 1874 to lobby on behalf of doctors in the Sunshine State. The association has been a major donor and political force.
FMA and Dr. Douglas Murphy, the organization’s president, will begin a search to fill the position.
“On behalf of our executive board and our more than 25,000 members, I want to personally thank Tim Stapleton for his many years of service to the FMA and his tireless efforts in making it one of the most respected and admired organizations in our state and our nation,” Murphy said in a statement. “We wish him Godspeed in his journey.”
In 2020, the association unveiled a sweeping list of endorsements across both parties with a list of 20 Senate candidates and nearly 100 House candidates.
Stapleton also has been a public critic at times. In 2020, he butted heads with former House Speaker José Oliva the evening before House and Senate votes on a measure that expanded the ability of pharmacists to test and treat people with flu symptoms.
FMA also waded into the presidential election when it condemned former President Donald Trump for saying doctors were intentionally inflating COVID-19 deaths to make more money.
The organization said Stapleton would be embarking on new challenges and professional opportunities.
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