Massachusetts Medical Society: Annual Oration: Groundbreaking research on BCG vaccine and Type 1 diabetes

Annual Oration: Groundbreaking research on BCG vaccine and Type 1 diabetes


News and announcements

2018 Interim Meeting: two weeks away (Nov 30, Dec 1)
Join us for the  2018 Interim Meeting of the House of Delegates on Friday, November 30, at MMS Headquarters, and Saturday, December 1, at the Westin Hotel, Waltham.

Pre-register for all Interim Meeting events you plan to attend. Pre-registration closes on Monday, November 26, at noon.

  • Add your voice to the policymaking process. The Delegates’ Handbook is now available and online testimony is open;
  • Several new special events are planned for the Interim Meeting, including a Gentle Movement Yoga class, private one-on-one conferences with a PIAM insurance professional, the 13th Annual Research Poster Symposium, and the Minority Affairs Section reception to honor Dr. John Van Surly DeGrasse, the first black doctor to join a US medical society (the MMS in 1854). Some special events require separate pre-registration;
  • The Annual Oration and the Ethics Forum offer two back-to-back learning opportunities, including the opportunity to hear Denise Faustman, MD, PhD, director of the Immunobiology Laboratory at MGH, describing groundbreaking research on the uses of the BCG vaccine for treating Type 1 diabetes.


Penile transplant surgeons and patient receive MMS Men’s Health Award

Two surgeons who performed the nation’s first penile transplant, and the patient who received it, were this week honored with the 2018 MMS Men’s Health Award. Curtis L. Cetrulo, MD, of MGH, and Dicken S. C. Ko, MD, of Tufts School of Medicine and Steward St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (previously at MGH), performed the transplant. Thomas Manning, their patient from Halifax, MA, has given media interviews about his experience. The procedure represented the culmination of more than three years of research and collaboration across multiple departments and divisions within MGH and with New England Donor Services.


Creating Hope: What Can We Do to Abolish Nuclear Weapons? (Nov 18, free)

Nuke_flyer.png Join your colleagues for an afternoon of dialogue and brainstorming about the threat of nuclear war. Physicians for Social Responsibility, winner of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a creative and engaging agenda.  

RSVP to (helpful but not mandatory). Everyone is welcome — no prior experience necessary. The event will be held in Boston. Click the button for more information.


State seeking physicians for disability review panels

The Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) oversees the disability retirement process of public sector employees who have been injured on the job or are too ill to work. The PERAC consults with the MMS and the Commissioner of Public Health in developing a pool of physicians to serve on regional medical panels to review the incapacities of members seeking disability retirement. Each panel consist of three physicians with relevant medical expertise; the work is compensated. For more information, click the button below, or contact Kate Hogan, (617) 666 4446 x 949 or, or Jane Carritte, (617) 666 4446 x 953 or


Renew your membership In the spirit of thanks to renewing members

A special thanks to all our members who have renewed for 2019. At a time of rapid change in health care, you are helping promote sound and sustainable medical care and public health in the Commonwealth. Avoid the holiday madness by renewing your membership with MMS today. (It takes just 4 minutes.) Go to


Get noticed Announce your career news in Vital Signs

VS_OctNov18(1).png Have you recently changed jobs, received an award, been appointed to a board or committee, been featured in the media? Help us spread the word among your professional community. To have your news included in Vital Signs Member News and Notes (in print and online), email  

Click the button to see current listings in the Oct/Nov issue, which explores the re-emergence of physician community in its various forms.


Reminders: Stuff you should click on

Give a colleague the gift of an award nomination


This holiday season, help the MMS honor outstanding physicians. The following MMS award nominations are due today:

The deadline for nominations for two major awards is December 3:

  • Grant V. Rodkey, MD Award for Outstanding Contributions to Medical Education
  • Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health


Educational programs and events


Live events

Annual Oration: Beneficial Effects of the 100-year-old BCG Vaccine in Type 1 Diabetes
Friday, November 30, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. 

Ethics Forum: Health Care as a Basic Human Right
Friday, November 30, 2018, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

More live CME

Featured online CME

Is There a Doctor on Board? Medical Emergencies on Commercial Flights
Medical Mistakes: Learning to Steer Clear of the Common Ones
Electronic Health Records – Understanding the Payment Landscape – Module 1

Reading Financial Forums

More online CME

Quote of the week

“And if we are biased, the bias is toward counseling our patients to reduce their risk of firearm injury and toward evidence-based solutions to the public health crisis that firearm injury has become.”

--  Dr. Christine Laine, editor in chief of Annals of Internal Medicine, refuting the NRA's assertion that physicians should "stay in their lane." (New York Times)      

Tweet of the week

What’s new in health care

Check out the most clicked-on stories from this week's MMS Media Watch. Sign up for daily Massachusetts media roundups by email. Some publications are fully accessible only to their subscribers.

Hey, NRA: I treat gunshot victims. Advocating about firearms is 'my lane' (STAT)

I would consult the NRA: After I'd pulled off my bloodied gown and gloves and wiped the sweat from my face and the tears from my eyes, you and I would stand at the opening of the trauma bay and look at the floor around us. Littered with blood and tubes and our failed attempt at bringing this young man back to life, we would — and should — force ourselves to never forget what we saw in front of us. Something we both know has been seen countless times before and what, unfortunately, will be seen countless times again.

Man whose wife died after collapse at hospital gets apology (AP)

Patrick Wardell, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, told Peter DeMarco during a two-hour meeting at the headquarters of The Boston Globe on Tuesday that he was "very sorry" for what happened. "I can understand the horrible pain that this has inflicted upon you," Wardell said. DeMarco, a journalist, met with several hospital officials, including Chief Medical Officer Dr. Assaad Sayah, of Somerville Hospital. "It's hard to continue saying we failed, but we did fail," Sayah said at the meeting. DeMarco's heart-wrenching first-person account of the death of his wife, Laura Levis, appeared in The Boston Globe magazine.

Safety grades for 54 Massachusetts hospitals (MassLive)

Regarded as one of the top hospital safety measures in the country, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a bi-annual report, dives into hospitals and patient safety. It's an endeavor to provide people with enough information to make an informed decision on what hospital to choose. Leapfrog says "approximately 440,000" deaths happen annually from hospital injuries and that people run a 1-in-25 chance of getting a new infection from a hospital stay. The grades are based on 28 factors, including responsiveness of staff, doctor procedures and outcome measures.  Massachusetts hospitals, in general, score well, but there are a handful of locations that scored below an "A" or a "B."

Partners HealthCare hits pause on talks with Harvard Pilgrim (WBUR)

Merger talks between Partners HealthCare, the state's largest hospital network, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the state's second-largest health insurer, are on hold. Sources say Partners has told Harvard Pilgrim it needs to focus on internal matters for the time being. Sources say two sets of expansion plans created tension within Partners' leadership. One is south, into Rhode Island. Partners is still pursuing acquisition of Care New England, but a proposed partnership with Lifespan is off.   

UMass Med. professors illustrate immigrant journeys (Worcester Business Journal)

Castiel was one of more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children brought to the U.S. in what as known as Operation Peter Pan, an effort to spare children from the fledgling reign of Fidel Castro, who came to power a year before Castiel left. "I was too young to know how it really affected me until I got older," said Castiel, who is now the commissioner of health and human services for Worcester and an associate professor of medicine at UMass Medical School.   

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