Massachusetts Medical Society: 17th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum

17th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum

Stigma and Illness

October 29, 2020
1:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Live Webinar

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

Program Description:

The bias and discrimination that accompany certain illness can prevent individuals from seeking care, engender fear, and cause prejudice against entire groups or communities. The response to outbreaks, infectious disease, and stereotyped health conditions requires protecting health whilst mitigating the stigma that can further exacerbate social and health disparities. The 17th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum will convene leaders in public health, medicine, policy, government, and the community to examine ways to destigmatize disease and put forth interventions that reinforce prevention and the provision of safe, equitable, and quality health care.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe how social stigma of disease undermines early detection, treatment, and successful health outcomes
  • Examine how stigmatizing disease exacerbates social and health disparities
  • Develop appropriate skills to evaluate epidemiological data without engendering fear of certain populations including ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic groups
  • Assess the role of physicians as leaders in reducing disease and illness related discrimination


1:00 p.m.
Opening Remarks

David Rosman, MD, MBA
President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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

Moderator’s Overview

Harold Cox, MSSW
Associate Professor, Community Health Sciences 
Boston University School of Public Health

1:15 p.m.

History and Impact of Health-Related Stigma and Discrimination
Anne Stangl, PhD
President, Hera Solutions, LLC
Associate Faculty, Social and Behavioral Interventions
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Infectious Disease and Stigma - HIV/COVID
Cassandra Pierre, MD, MPH
Medical Director, Center for Infectious Diseases
Boston Medical Center

Impact of Stigmatized Illness on Communities of Color
Michael Curry, Esq.
Deputy CEO & General Counsel
Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

Panel Discussion with Q & A

3:15 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 2.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

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