MSMA 2019-2020 President:
James A. DiRenna, DO, FAAFP, Kansas City, Missouri
James A. DiRenna, DO, FAAFP, Diplomat of the American Board of Ambulatory Medicine, from Kansas City, Missouri, will serve as President of the Missouri State Medical Association in 2019-2020. He will be formally installed tonight in Kansas City, Missouri, April 6, 2019, during MSMA’s 161st Annual Convention.
Dr. DiRenna was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from Wentworth Military Academy in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, serving as the Brigade Commander and a Distinguished Military Graduate. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science at Missouri Valley College. He took his commission from the U.S. Army serving as a Second Lieutenant and attended Armor School in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
After returning from Vietnam, Jim DiRenna attended Park College and Northeast Missouri State to acquire the necessary courses to become a candidate for medical school. He attended his Allopathic and Osteopathic medical programs at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and North Texas State University. He then traveled to the University of New Jersey for his post graduate studies, becoming Board Certified in Family Medicine in 1991.
Returning to Kansas City, Dr. DiRenna joined his father James A. DiRenna, Sr., DO, (General Surgeon), at the DiRenna Clinic, Inc. This clinic from 1954 to 1985 was a modified Health Maintenance Organization for the three Brotherhood of Teamsters local unions in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Dr. DiRenna, Sr. moved on to administration at Park Lane Medical Center, while Dr. DiRenna, Jr. and the clinic remained in Raytown as a family practice clinic with the addition of multi-specialties. In the 1990s Dr. DiRenna, Jr. expanded to two clinics with one in the northland and one in Raytown. With the support of the Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades and Operating Engineers Local 101, Innovative Health Services (IPA) was established, involving 200 physicians and six hospitals.
Under managed care growth, it became clear there was a need for involvement in both political and medical community affairs. In 1993, Dr. DiRenna sought representation for Osteopathic physicians with the Kansas City Metropolitan Medical Society (KCMMS). Conversations with Larry Rues, MD, from Baptist Medical Center and members of the KCMMS Board were welcoming, and a board seat for Dr. DiRenna was added. He realized that managed care was an issue competing in the world of medical economics at the local, state, and national levels. Advocacy for medical awareness and honoring the role of the physician–patient relationship became his focus.
The inability of controlling tort reform and impending insurance crisis in Missouri led Dr. DiRenna as an individual physician to seek collaboration in joining a group of family practitioners in St. Joseph, Missouri. In 2004, in a cooperative effort, he became an employed physician with Comprehensive Family Care–Heartland Health, later to become Mosaic Healthcare. With his interest and fellowship in urgent care medicine, he helped develop the first urgent care center for Heartland Health in St. Joseph.
A long-time supporter of organized medicine, Dr. DiRenna currently serves on six medical association boards and committees for state and national medical organizations. His awards and affiliations include Physician Emeritus and Life Member of the Missouri Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, receiving their Family Physician of the Year award in 2013. In 2011–2012, he was President of the Missouri State Board of Registration of Healing Arts. He served as Chief of Staff of Park Lane Medical Center from 1994–1999, and was on their Board of Directors from 1998–2001. Norman Vinn, DO, President of the American Osteopathic Association, recognized Dr. DiRenna as “a Guardian of the Osteopathic Profession.”
He is a long-time avid supporter of the Royals, Chiefs, as well as Golden Gloves boxing. He also serves as the Curator for the DiRenna Award, given to the top male and female high school basketball players in the metropolitan area.
As a retired Army Colonel, Dr. DiRenna proudly served as a Combat Officer in the Vietnam War and a Medical Officer of the 325th General Hospital and 139th Medical Group where he was Chief of Professional Affairs and Liaison to the Fifth Army. He received the Combat Infantry Badge, Air Medal, Purple Heart, and two Bronze Stars for his service. His last duty was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Under his tenure as Missouri State Medical Association President, Dr. DiRenna will focus on collegiality, collaboration, and communication among Missouri physicians and medical students. He will promote his belief that medicine is a profession – not just a job.