Massachusetts Medical Society: 16th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum

16th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum

Maximizing the Political Determinants of Health
October 24, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

For more information please email the MMS Department of Health Policy and Public Health at

Program Description:

Policy leaders and the medical community now widely acknowledge that the physical, economic, environmental, and social conditions in which people live have a significant impact on health outcomes. Yet, comprehensive initiatives to abate the health effects and disparities caused by social determinants have been slow-moving. Despite awareness of inequities, physicians need to better understand how to address not only the impact that political decision-making and policies have on patients and medical practice, but their role in supporting evidence-based policies based on efforts to improve health outcomes.

This half-day CME program will address political decision-making - the actions, and policies that determine how money, power and resources are allocated on national and local levels – how it shapes the social, economic, and environmental conditions that, in turn, affects the health of individuals and marginalized populations.  Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Dr. Monica Bharel will deliver the keynote speech on Effectuating Evidence-Based Policies that Address Unmet and Emerging Health Needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the interconnection between the political determinants of health and the social determinants of health
  • Examine how social, religious, and economic interests impacts health and health disparities
  • Develop appropriate skills to evaluate the effect of political choices on the health of individuals and vulnerable populations
  • Assess how political decision-making shapes health policy, research, and population health
  • Define the role of physicians as advocates in addressing health inequities
  • Learn and apply advocacy and communication skills to address care issues for patients' health and population health


1:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks
Maryanne C. Bombaugh, MD, MSc, MBA, FACOG
President, Massachusetts Medical Society

James B.  Broadhurst, MD, MHA
Chair, Committee on Public Health
Massachusetts Medical Society

1:20 p.m.

Moderator’s Overview
Harold Cox 
Associate Dean for Public Health Practice
Boston University School of Public Health

1:25 p.m.

Keynote Presentation
Effectuating Evidence-Based Policies that Address Unmet and Emerging Health Needs

Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH 
Massachusetts Department of Public Health

2:10 p.m. 

Networking Break

2:30 p.m.  

Preserving Health Access and Equity
Jessie Rossman, Esq.
Staff Attorney, ACLU Massachusetts

3:15 p.m. 

Working with the Legislature and Stakeholders to Overcome Barriers
Jon Santiago, MD
State Representative - 9th Suffolk

4:00 p.m.

Interactive Advocacy Panel
Thea James, MD 
Vice President of Mission and Associate Chief Medical Officer
Boston Medical Center

Alex Calcagno 
Director, Advocacy, Government, and Community Relations
Massachusetts Medical Society

Brendan Abel, Esq. 
Director of State Government/Legislative Counsel
Massachusetts Medical Society

4:45 p.m.

Concluding remarks/Wrap-up

5:00 p.m.


Accreditation Statement:
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement:
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

3 credits meet the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

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