Massachusetts Medical Society: Boston Square Dedicated to Pioneering Physician and MMS Member

Boston Square Dedicated to Pioneering Physician and MMS Member



Public square dedicated to a pioneering physician and MMS member

A public square outside Boston Medical Center was dedicated this week to Dr. Kenneth C. Edelin, a physician described by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America as “one of the heroes of the reproductive rights movement.” Dr. Edelin was the first African-American to be appointed chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center). He went on to chair the obstetrics and gynecology department at the BU School of Medicine, where he also served as dean for student and minority affairs, and directed obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital. In the MMS, Dr. Edelin was active on the Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards, and the Committee on Diversity in Medicine. He died in 2013.
In 1973, Dr. Edelin was convicted of manslaughter for performing a lawful abortion, a trial that drew national media attention. Speaking to the Globe later, he described Boston’s religious and racial climate of the early ’70s: “It was the right place and the right time for those who wanted to make a statement. It was the wrong place and the wrong time for me.” Dr. Edelin was exonerated in 1976. In 2007, he published his memoir “Broken Justice: A True Story of Race, Sex and Revenge in a Boston Courtroom.” Read more about the dedication of the square (Boston Globe) and Dr. Edelin’s trial (Washington Post).

NEJM impact factor sets a new record

The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) scores were announced this week, and the score for the New England Journal of Medicine rose 21 percent, from 59.558 to 72.4. This is still the highest among general medical journals. The JIF measures how often, on average, articles published in the Journal in 2014 or 2015 were cited in 2016. MMS is proud of this accomplishment, and appreciate that it could not have been done without the staff that strives for perfection, the researchers who choose to submit their work to NEJM, and the clinical trial participants who have put themselves at risk.

New study highlights risks of unproven "chronic Lyme disease" treatments

Unproven treatments for “chronic Lyme Disease” come with serious health risks, including death, according to a study reported in MMWR. The study outlined the cases of five patients treated with long courses of antibiotics or immunoglobulins and the subsequent health complications, which included a fatality.

Updated AHA guidelines on dietary fats published

The American Heart Association has updated its guidance on replacing dietary saturated fats with unsaturated fats, based on a review of recent studies. “Taking into consideration the totality of the scientific evidence, satisfying rigorous criteria for causality, we conclude strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, will lower the incidence of CVD;” read the full advisory at Circulation.

The MMS mourns a former executive vice president

Dr. William M. McDermott Jr., a former executive vice president of the Medical Society and a retired rear admiral in the US Naval Medical Command, died in Falmouth on June 6, aged 87. Dr. McDermott was EVP at the MMS from 1985 to 1994. After retiring, he took a leading role in founding the Falmouth Free Clinic, now part of the Cape Cod Community Health Care Network, a commitment that was recognized with the Massachusetts Medical Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Before joining the MMS, Dr. McDermott had a distinguished and decorated career in the navy. Dr. McDermott graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine; his residency was at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. He is survived by his wife, four children, and extended family. Read his obituary at The Enterprise.

Testimony Updates

Eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities in Mass.

The MMS provided testimony to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing in strong support of bills that would establish an Office of Health Equity in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to coordinate state efforts aimed at eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities. This legislation would also incorporate the Health Disparities Council as an on-going advisory body to the Office of Health Equity and would mandate a number of important initiatives that would help the Office to achieve its goal.  The Society’s House of Delegates has a long-standing policy supporting the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health care as a matter of high priority.

Testimony supporting additional bills

  • The MMS provided testimony in support of a bill that would ensure medical necessity in mental health care is determined by physicians in consultation with patients.
  • The MMS provided testimony in support of bills designed to limit excess lighting produced by state-funded outdoor lighting, potentially reducing night-time glare that blinds and distracts drivers.

Reminders! Stuff You Should Click On

Free personalized assistance for practice MACRA/MIPS strategies

Join us for FREE personalized assistance in developing your strategy for MACRA MIPS implementation in your practice. The program includes Mapping out MIPS: Keys to Success in 2017, which outlines reporting requirements. It is designed for providers who are MIPS eligible and required to report for 2017 (check MIPS reporting requirements). Space is limited. The session will be led by Yael Miller, MBA, Director of Practice Solutions & Medical Economics at MMS, and Leila Volinsky, MHA, MSN, RN, Program Administrator at Healthcentric Advisors. Healthcentric Advisors is a CMS contracted organization and supports practices of all sizes in preparing for MIPS implementation. They have been helping hundreds of clinicians prepare for MACRA, and want to help you.

Two sessions will be held—July 11 or July 27, 2017, 5:30-8:00 p.m.—at MMS Headquarters, Waltham (participants need attend only one session); register here. Your registration should include at least one clinician and one colleague/team member responsible for reporting. Questions? Please email Justin Sacramone at or Yael Miller at

Find out how to address your patients’ social needs—and help Health Leads help you do it better

This upcoming event combines a workshop and a focus group. Do you worry about the social factors affecting your patients' health? Do you or your staff feel overwhelmed with patient concerns related to food insecurity, transportation, housing, and prescription assistance? Providers know that much of health is driven by life outside medical care. We also know that unmet social needs contribute to high health care costs and high utilization rates. At this Physician Practices Workshop and Focus Group, experts from Health Leads, a nonprofit organization developing interventions that link patients to community-based resources, will cover how to screen patients for social needs, integrate those needs into your existing clinical workflow, enable practice staff to provide resource support, and create an inventory of resources. They will ask for your input on relevant content and tools. The event will be held at 6:00-8:00 p.m., June 28, 2017, at the MMS headquarters in Waltham. All participants will receive dinner and a $100 gift card, as well as resources including a social needs screening toolkit. Please contact Rich Porcelli at for more information and to secure your spot.

MMS Membership Benefits

Graduating medical students: Continue your free MMS membership

  • If you are staying in Massachusetts, talk with your residents-fellows residency program director about free MMS membership. Alternatively, ask your program coordinator to submit a 2017 program roster to activate the MMS benefits for you and your colleagues.

  • Beginning your training out of state? Maintain your membership through December 2018 at no cost. Watch your email inbox for more information.

  • Questions? Email or call (800) 322-2303, ext.7748.

Residents & fellows completing training in June 2017: Access your free MMS membership

  • The MMS offers free membership for your first year in practice. Maintain benefits like your New England Journal of Medicine subscription whether or not you’re staying in MA. For more information, contact or 800-322-2303 ext. 7495.
  • Supplementing training with a fellowship? Your new program coordinator can submit a 2017–18 roster to provide membership for you and your program colleagues. Watch your email inbox for details.
  • For more information, contact or 800-322-2303 ext. 7748.

Educational Programs and Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at the MMS Headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA. View our full calendar of upcoming live CME activities. 

Norfolk County Safe Prescribing and Dispensing Conferences
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The Lantana, Randolph, MA

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ 

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit 

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

See our full listing of risk management online CME activities.

This Week in Health Care

Sign up for daily roundups of health news affecting Massachusetts.

Mass. AG joins sweeping investigation of opioid makers
Healey and a group of state attorneys general from across the country announced that they are participating in the investigation, which aims to determine whether drug companies have contributed to the nationwide opioid abuse crisis.

Boston square dedicated to pioneering African-American doctor
Friends, family, and colleagues of Dr. Kenneth C. Edelin assembled on the lawn outside Boston Medical Center Thursday afternoon to dedicate a public square in his memory.

State approves plan for UMass Medical to reduce psych beds
Hospital officials want to convert 13 psychiatric beds into space for medical and surgical patients, arguing that they are facing greater demand from those patients than from people with severe mental illness.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock names Mass. hospital executive its new CEO
Dr. Joanne Mather Conroy will replace outgoing CEO James Weinstein as the head of New Hampshire's largest private employer and sole academic medical center, following a unanimous board vote. The 61-year-old Conroy has served as CEO of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass., since 2014.

Hospital stabbing highlights perils for personnel
A dwindling sense of workplace safety, especially for emergency room nurses, has been an issue that seems to worsen as the drug epidemic spreads and treatment for mental illness becomes more difficult to get, said former Brigham and Women's ER nurse Karen Daley. 

House leaders pull controversial pot bill
Speaker Robert A. DeLeo cited "procedural issues" and "certain things we have to clear up." Legislators proposed higher tax and sweeping changes to the pot law passed by voters in November.

Greater New Bedford Health Center names new CEO
It took a little over a year, but the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center has found its new CEO: former Alosa Health CEO Cheryl Bartlett.

Hospital "cuddlers" volunteer to hold babies born exposed to opioids
All infants benefit from cuddling, but for babies born with opioids in their system, cuddling provides critical care.

State works with insurers ahead of possible federal changes
The Division of Insurance and the Massachusetts Health Connector have for several weeks been working with insurance carriers to provide guidance in connection with the possible loss of "cost-sharing reductions" that would affect federal subsidies for plans offered through the Connector.

Dana-Farber to open a fifth site, in Chestnut Hill
Developers expect to open the space at 300 Boylston Street to Dana-Farber patients in 2019, offering a slate of cancer services including clinical trials, exams, infusions, supportive services to newly diagnosed patients and survivorship care.

Concord doctor honored for fight against "unspoken inequality" in cancer care
Cancer patients with severe mental illness face many obstacles to receiving quality medical care, said Dr. Kelly Irwin. These include cognitive challenges, which can result in a patient not fully understanding the seriousness of their cancer. Lack of understanding can lead to behaviors obstructing treatment. 

Mass. Eye & Ear and Partners join forces
Under the deal, Mass. Eye and Ear would remain a separate hospital with its own leadership team, but Partners will become the sole corporate member of the hospital.

MGH study shows vaccine could permanently reverse diabetes type 1
Two years after beginning a groundbreaking phase II clinical trial in reversing type 1 diabetes, researchers from MGH have discovered that a vaccine could permanently reverse the disease.

5-year-old bitten by black widow spider is recovering
Dr. William Durbin, the pediatric infectious diseases specialist treating the child, believes the spider was outside, and while black widows are somewhat rare in Massachusetts, "they are around."

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