Massachusetts Medical Society: MMS Interim Meeting: Dr. Gessner Delivers President’s Report; Dr. Virginia T. Latham Receives Presidential Citation

MMS Interim Meeting: Dr. Gessner Delivers President’s Report; Dr. Virginia T. Latham Receives Presidential Citation


MMS News and Announcements

MMS Interim Meeting: President James S. Gessner, M.D. Delivers President’s Report to HOD

In his report to the MMS House of Delegates, President James S. Gessner, M.D., described the role that advocacy plays empowering the physician workforce to deliver crucial healthcare services. Citing examples in areas such the opioid epidemic, recreational marijuana , and payment reform, Dr. Gessner said: “Advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients is what creates the real value of our membership in organized medicine, and I believe advocacy is becoming an even more critical function, as our health care system continues to undergo rapid and major changes, as new challenges in public health arise, and - most important - as our physician workforce is required to do more and more.”

MMS Interim Meeting: Dr. Virginia T. Latham Awarded Presidential Citation

In presenting a Presidential Citation to Virginia T. Latham, M.D., MMS President James S. Gessner, M.D., noted Dr. Latham’s “career in medicine as exemplary of the highest traditions, ideals, and aspirations of the Massachusetts Medical Society.” Dr. Latham is a MMS past president and physician whose contributions to the medical field span three decades. The Presidential Citation is a rare honor, and Dr. Latham is only the second such citation awarded by MMS. She is a past president of the MMS, serving in that role from 2000-2001.

MMS Provides Testimony on Mass HIway & EHR Mandate Regulations

Health information technology regulations proposed by the state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services were commented on by MMS this week. The regulations, which establish an “opt-out” consent process for patients to authorize dissemination of their information over the Mass HIway and detail the upcoming mandate for providers to have interoperable EHRs, are expected to be finalized in early 2017. MMS testified and submitted written comment in support of the Mass HIway regulations, provided comment on the EHR mandate, commended the administration for taking a phased-in, stratified approach, and presented suggestions for improvements. Click here for the text of the submitted comments.

December Physician Focus: 'Superbugs'

Watch the December edition of Physician Focus as guest Alfred DeMaria, Jr., M.D., medical director and state epidemiologist, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, discusses “superbugs” with host Bruce Karlin, M.D. Learn how “superbugs” originate, what public health officials are doing to fight the spread of these infectious bugs, and how patients can protect themselves.

MMS Awards - Nominations Due December 12

Do you know that MMS recognizes its members by presenting numerous awards annually? Do you have a colleague who deserves to be nominated for their outstanding work or service to the community? Do you know a medical student or resident who is worthy of recognition due to cutting edge innovation? Click here for information.

NEJM SPRINT Launches Data Analysis Challenge

The Challenge Round of the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge, hosted by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), opened on December 1, 2016 and closes on February 14. Applicants are challenged to use the SPRINT dataset to inform new findings. The top three entrants are eligible to present their results at the Aligning Incentives for Sharing Clinical Trial Data summit on April 3–4, 2017, in Boston. Click here to vote for the best entries.

Unicare Pays for Primary Care Visits, Intervention Services

UNICARE pays PCPs for primary care visits submitted with behavioral health diagnoses; it now also covers screening and intervention services for substance use, alcohol use, and tobacco cessation. These services are being emphasized as important components of routine management of primary care patients. Click here for more information.

Senior Volunteer Physician of the Year Nomination Deadline Extended

The last chance to nominate a MMS member age 60 or older who deserves to be recognized for volunteer efforts, particularly to direct patient care in Massachusetts, is Monday, December 5. Click here for nomination form.

Mindful Practice in Medicine Workshop Planned

A Mindful Practice in Medicine workshop is planned for March 18 and 19 at MMS Headquarters, followed by 4 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.

Education Programs & 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.

Running on Empty? Physicians' Path to Enjoying Life and Medicine More
Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - LIVE WEBINAR

Featured Online CME Activities – Risk Management Credit

End-of-Life Care

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

State Website Updates Opioid Crisis

State health officials have launched “Chapter 55 Report” that provides information gleaned from public and private databases about how the opioid epidemic is affecting Massachusetts.

Nursing Homes Ordered to Stock Narcan

Massachusetts regulators are ordering nursing homes to stock overdose-reversing drug naloxone and to make ensure staff members are trained to care for residents battling addictions.

Minuteman Health Doubles Membership

Minuteman Health doubled its membership this year and may inch toward being in the black for the first time after reporting a $735,375 operating loss, a drastic improvement from the $13.1 million loss the insurer reported during the same period last year.

HealthAlliance, Clinton Hospital Await Merger Approval

HealthAlliance Hospitals and Clinton Hospital await approval on merger plans from Department of Public Health after being rebuffed by Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, which said it conducted a preliminary review and decided not to proceed.

Marijuana Advocates Descry Lawmakers' Proposed Changes

Advocates for marijuana legalization criticized the Massachusetts legislature for delaying the opening of retail marijuana shops and slowing other aspects of the marijuana ballot measure.

Gov. Baker Convenes Digital Healthcare Council

Gov. Charlie Baker convened more than 30 local health care leaders in his new Digital Healthcare Council.

Sen. Warren Attacks Republicans over Med Research Bill

Sen. Elizabeth Warren attacked congressional Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over a medical research bill, urging fellow Democrats to oppose a measure she decried as "corrupt, and it is very, very dangerous."

Feds Fault Hospitals for Failing to Report Injuries, Deaths

Three large Massachusetts hospitals -- Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s, and UMass Memorial -- along with a dozen more nationwide, have been cited by federal regulators for failing to properly report patient deaths and injuries that may have been caused by medical devices.

MetroWest Report: Heroin, Mental Health Top Priorities

MetroWest Community Health Assessment, a comprehensive report on health trends, identified heroin abuse and mental health issues as top health priorities in the region.

Children’s Hospital Expansion Proceeds Despite Protest

A Suffolk Superior Court judge denied a request for an emergency injunction to stop Boston Children's Hospital from demolishing Prouty Garden to make way for a new clinical care building while proponents of saving the Prouty pledged to continue their lawsuit.

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