Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS, AG Healey Provide Resources for Providers to Discuss Gun Safety with Patients

MMS, AG Healey Provide Resources for Providers to Discuss Gun Safety with Patients



President James S. Gessner, M.D., addresses the February 13th Gun Safety press conference

MMS President James S. Gessner, M.D., addresses the February 13th Gun Safety press conference at Boston Medical Center. Standing behind him are Attorney General Maura Healey and Speaker of the Massachusetts House Robert A. DeLeo. (Photo by Paul Bologna).

MMS, AG Healey Provide Resources for Providers to Discuss Gun Safety with Patients

MMS has partnered with Attorney General Maura Healey to distribute informative brochures and a voluntary online training program to support providers in their efforts to prevent gun-related accidents, self-harm, and violence.  

MMS President James S. Gessner, M.D., speaking at a press conference at Boston Medical Center on February 13, said: “We are honored to work with the Attorney General and law enforcement officials in efforts to make gun ownership safer and reduce deaths and injuries attributable to guns.” Read Dr. Gessner’s latest President’s Podium for more of his remarks. 

Materials for patients and physicians have been developed by MMS, the Office of Attorney General and Boston Medical Center and have been endorsed by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs of Police. The new materials are available free via download from a dedicated MMS website on firearm safety.

In a related story, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta earlier this week struck down a Florida law that barred physicians from asking patients about gun ownership, ruling that the law violated doctors' right to free speech.

A Reminder to Renew for 2017
Renew your MMS membership for 2017 before March 15 and make sure you continue to receive valuable benefits, like your subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine, and up to 50 percent off CME, including the Women’s Health Forum on April 21, 2017. Click here to renew online today or call 800-322-2303, ext. 7495 with questions.

MMS Committee Application Deadline is March 3
If you would like to become more involved in the MMS, consider participating on a committee or the Member Interest Network Executive Council. Committee appointments are for specific terms, usually three-year renewable commitments. We have put in place resources for distance participation including conference calls and online meetings.  Click here for details and application forms.

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop Planned
A Mindful Practice in Medicine workshop is planned for March 18 and 19 at MMS Headquarters, followed by four consecutive Wednesday webinars. The workshop focuses on developing a capacity for self-awareness in stressful and demanding situations and building resilience in community. Click here for information; click here to register.

Benefit Buzz: Special Member Discount and Webcasts for PQRS Reporting
The deadline for submitting your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) measures to CMS is February 28, 2017. MMS has arranged for a 33 percent discount using PQRSwizard to rapidly collect, validate, report, and submit data on the quality of care to Medicare with 99.5 percent success rate and avoid payment adjustments. Register for the live webcast by PQRSwizard on Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET.   Click here for more information.
Register for the live webcast by PQRSwizard on Feb 24 at 12:30 p.m. ET: Submitting your PQRSwizard Report: A review of the most frequently asked questions of 2016.    

Benefit Buzz: Legal Advice with Board of Registration in Medicine Issue

Your medical license is one of your most valuable assets and the Legal Advisory Plan is designed to help safeguard your license in the event of a Board of Registration (BRM) investigation. The LAP, a member only, lost-cost legal service, is designed to provide expert advice from the plan's attorneys to effectively respond to BRM issues. Enrollment for 2017-2018 plan year is available. Click here to learn more. Questions? Email, or call (781) 434-7311.

Women's Health Forum to Present Awards April 21
At the Women’s Health Forum on April 21, Robert H. Young, M.D., will be presented with the 2016 Women’s Health Research Award; Barbara L. Smith, M.D., will receive the 2016 Women’s Health Award; Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., will receive the 2017 Women’s Health Award, and JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., will receive the 2017 Women’s Health Research Award.
JoAnn Manson, M.D. will deliver the morning keynote address. Dr. Manson is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. Barbara L. Smith, M.D. will deliver the afternoon keynote speech. Dr. Smith is director of the breast program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
The Women’s Health Forum, provided by the Massachusetts Medical Society and its Committee on Women in Medicine in collaboration with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, features a lecture and panel on transgender health, a session on the effect of hormones on metabolism and weight regulation, and a discussion on the evolution of breast surgery by faculty from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
For registration, visit , or contact Erin Tally at

Educational Programs and Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are held at MMS headquarters, 860 Winter St., Waltham, MA. Visit to view our full calendar of upcoming live CME activities.
Norfolk District Attorney’s Office – Safe Prescribing & Dispensing Conference
Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Randolph, MA
Open to subscribers of controlled substances who practice in Norfolk County.
Women’s Health Forum – Hormones: Do They Define Us?
MMS Headquarters, Waltham Conference Center
Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

Save the Date
Annual Education Program – The Winding Road of Addiction: Hope on the Horizon, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA
Friday, April 28, 2017, 8:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

MMS Annual Meeting, Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center, Boston, MA
Shattuck Lecture and Luncheon – Personalized Medicine or Precision Medicine
Friday, April 28, 2017, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Directors of Medical Education Conference – Advancing Collaboration and Compliance
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit
Talking to Patients About Gun Safety - NEW
The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
For additional risk management online CME activities, visit

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit 

The above activities have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
For additional risk management online CME activities, visit

This Week in Health Care

Mass. Car Crash Deaths on the Rise
An estimated 399 people statewide were killed in vehicle crashes in 2016, according to the report, which was released Wednesday by the National Safety Council.
State Marijuana Panel Explores Options to New Law
State Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen, a supporter of marijuana legalization, and Rep.  Mark J. Cusack, who did not take a public position on the measure, said they are open to changing the tax rate on pot and a host of other steps.
Steward Makes Out-of-State Acquisition
Steward Health Care System, the state's largest for-profit hospital operator, is taking its first step to expand nationally with a deal that will double its size. The company said Thursday that it agreed to acquire eight hospitals in three states from Community Health Systems Inc., a large national hospital chain.
Boston Considers Mental Health Professionals to Assist 911 Responders 
Boston city officials are looking to put more mental health professionals on alert to assist police and emergency responders on calls for emotionally disturbed people after a mentally ill man was shot to death in a confrontation with police last year. 

Boston Children’s Hospital Voices Concern over Unpaid Bills 
Boston Children’s Hospital has voiced concern about unpaid bills from patients whose high deductible health plans mean they are on the hook for more of their hospital costs. The pediatric institution reported $65.2 million in unpaid collectibles in fiscal 2016, which ended in September.

Many Bay State Residents Struggle with Health Care Access 
More than one-third of Massachusetts adults (34.5 percent) who had insurance who reported that they were in good health also said they went without needed care in 2015, according to the report, produced by the Massachusetts Health Council and the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Center for Health Law and Economics.

Hyannis Needle Exchange Case Bound for SJC 
The AIDS Support Group can continue providing clean needles to addicts in Hyannis, but they fear a ruling from the Supreme Judicial Court could have broader implications for others seeking to make needles and syringes easily available to prevent the spread of infectious disease.

Home Health Advocates Fear State Medicaid Cuts
Home health advocates fear the proposed 25 percent rate cut by the Baker administration would make it unaffordable for them to continue sending nurses to the homes of people with complex, chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and schizophrenia.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Restricts Visitors Due to Flu 
Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northhampton has put in place restrictions barring visitors under 14 from entering the hospital due to a significant outbreak of flu.  

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