Massachusetts Medical Society: New events at the 2018 Interim Meeting

New events at the 2018 Interim Meeting


Renew your membership

MMS Membership: Get in early

Thank you to all our members who have renewed for 2019. Be an early bird this year and renew your membership with MMS today. Click the button below — it’s fast and easy — or go to


News and announcements

New events at the 2018 Interim Meeting (Nov 30, Dec 1)

IM17_women2(1).jpeg 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.   

The meeting includes several  special events, including  Gentle Movement Yoga Class, an opportunity to book a private  one-on-one conference with a PIAM insurance professional, the  Thirteenth Annual Research Poster Symposium, and the Minority Affairs Section reception to honor Dr. John Van Surly DeGrasse. Please note: some special events require separate pre-registration.  

The Annual Oration and the  Ethics Forum offer two back-to-back learning opportunities.   

If you need a hotel room, please contact Laura Bombrun to be added to the wait list at or  781-434-7007. Full meeting details and registration are online.

Photo: MMS members at the 2017 Interim Meeting 

Symposium for neonatal and perinatal providers (Nov 16)

Join your colleagues for lectures and workshops at the 19th Braden E. Griffin, MD, Memorial Symposium, a one-day event for neonatal and perinatal providers. The John Figgis Jewett, MD, Lectureship, sponsored by the MMS Committee on Maternal and Perinatal Welfare, will cover “A second life: microbe–human interactions beginning in infancy.” The event is provided by UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center. Click the button for more information.


Improve children's oral health: Get started with Fluoride Varnish in your clinic

More than 1000 primary care physicians have been trained in Massachusetts to offer children the fluoride varnish application in the family medicine and pediatric setting. Varnish application has a proven reduction in caries of 30-60 percent. The US Preventive Services Task Force gives fluoride varnish a level B recommendation (one of only three level A and B recommendations for 1- to 5-year-olds). In Massachusetts, medical assistants and nurses can apply the fluoride just before giving vaccines or at the start of the clinical visit. Please consider offering this evidence-based, recommended, reimbursable service. Contact the outreach coordinator/MassHealth Dental Program for DentaQuest at or (617) 886-1797.

What’s up in advocacy and policy

Federal proposal threatens immigrants’ access to care

capitolhill_pic.jpg MMS President Dr. Alain A. Chaoui, who immigrated legally to the US with his family, shared his concerns this week about a federal proposal that could deter legal immigrant individuals and families from seeking medical care. The "public charge" proposal could have a devastating effect on those who legally seek help from safety net programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, and housing assistance. Fear of having their path to citizenship blocked could lead immigrant patients to defer medically necessary care, putting lives at risk. The MMS will submit comments to the Administration detailing these concerns. Click below to learn more or submit your own comments.


Federal opioid bill signed into law
President Trump this week signed into law a bill designed to fight the opioid crisis on multiple fronts. The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was a bipartisan effort and includes provisions supported by the MMS, AMA, and other health care organizations. The law includes limited funding for improving access to addiction treatment, intercepting fentanyl at US borders, and more. It includes provisions introduced by the MA Congressional delegation and supported by the MMS, such as expanding access to medication treatment, loan repayment for substance use professionals’ education, and improved implementation of the partial fill law. In 2017, 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, according to the CDC.  

District president outlines opposition to ballot Question 1


No evidence supports claims that mandating nurse staffing ratios could improve patient outcomes or reduce health-care costs, the president of the Middlesex District wrote in a letter to the editor of the Lowell Sun this week. “Question 1 assumes that critical — often life-and-death — staffing and resource deployment decisions will no longer be made by physicians and nurses working in a team-based environment — a dangerous practice that will harm patients,” wrote Lee S. Perrin, MD.


Get involved 2019 MMS Annual Award season

Awards_logo_small.jpg Help the Society recognize you and your colleagues for outstanding work or service to the community. Click the button below for information. Award nominations and entries due in the next three weeks include :


Reminders: Stuff you should click on

North Shore casual networking event (Nov 1)
Pittsfield_Networking.jpg Please join your colleagues and friends for an evening of informal networking. The hors d’oeuvres and drinks are on us. The event is an opportunity to connect across disciplines and practices and to meet MMS leadership.

Gather on Thursday, November 1, 2018, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Stonewood Tavern, 139 Lynnfield Street, Peabody. Your guests are welcome. Please reply to Questions? Call (800) 944 5562. 

Photo: Physicians, guests, and MMS president Alain Chaoui at the Pittsfield event this week


Med-tech opportunities: combination products and devices for seniors (Oct 30, Dec 3)

Two upcoming forums explore med-tech opportunities and approaches relating to medical and public health challenges, including the opioid crisis. These events are provided by MDG (Medical Development Group) Boston; the MMS is a premium sponsor.

New Advances in Combination Products: Addressing the Unmet Need to Develop Drug Delivery Innovation Strategies in Preclinical Drug Discovery & Development explores combination products — e.g., prefilled drug delivery systems and medicated devices. This session will be held on October 30, 5:30–8:30 p.m., in Weston; information and registration

Technologies and Approaches for Monitoring and Improving Health and Aging in Place explores the growing marketplace for medical devices supporting seniors' at-home care. This session will be held on December 3, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., in Weston;  information and registration.


LGBTQ fall mixer draws record crowds 

More than 70 physicians, medical students, and guests gathered this week for the LGBTQ fall mixer in Boston.  Yvonne Gomez-Carrion, MD (center in photo), received the MMS 2018 LGBTQ Health Award. The event was sponsored by the MMS Committee on LGBTQ Matters. Nominations for the 2019 LGBTQ Health Award are due November 16 (see 2019 MMS Annual Award season, above).

Educational programs and events

Live events        

Managing Workplace Conflict: Improving Leadership and Personal Effectiveness
Thursday & Friday, November 1-2

More live CME

Featured online CME: End-of-Life Care

End-of-Life Series (3 modules) 
End-of-Life Care and Non-Disclosure: Case Study    
Starting the Conversation about End-of-Life Care with Patients
Legal Advisor: Who has Rights in an End-of-Life Care Situation?

More online CME

Quote of the week

“The overdose problem is not just due to a bad batch of street drugs. We’re going to have people sick with opioid use disorder for years and years, and we need to prepare to be able to take care of them.”

—  Dr. Michael F. Bierer, president of the Massachusetts Society of Addiction Medicine, on a BMC study suggesting 4.6 percent of Massachusetts residents aged 11+ may be experiencing opioid addiction (Boston Globe)

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.

Healey: Trump memo shows importance of upholding MA transgender law (MassLive)

If President Donald Trump changes the definition of gender to effectively exclude transgender people, Attorney General Maura Healey said state law will govern protections in Massachusetts. The New York Times reported that in an internal memo, Trump administration officials floated the idea of updating the federal definition of gender to define it as a biological, immutable condition defined by genitalia at birth. This could eliminate rights for transgender people in areas like federal anti-discrimination laws. 

Study suggests opioid addiction in Mass. is much worse than thought (Globe)

The crisis of opioid addiction in Massachusetts, long known to be severe, may be even worse than thought — as much as four times worse, according to new research. A study from Boston Medical Center published Thursday estimates that 275,000 Massachusetts residents, or 4.6 percent of people older than age 11, suffered from opioid use disorder in 2015. Previous estimates based on national surveys pegged the number at just over 1 percent. More than half the people with opioid addiction haven't been counted before because they have not obtained health care services related to opioid misuse, the researchers said. 

Massachusetts Medical Society opposes 'public charge' proposal (MassLive)

Dr. Alain A. Chaoui, Massachusetts Medical Society president, said that he is "fearful" for patients as MMS president as well as a family physician, and "gravely concerned as "a person who legally immigrated to this great nation with my family." "The proposed changes in rules related to families and individuals deemed a ' public charge' could have disastrous consequences for the health and well-being of those who will be affected." 

Anti-Question 1 group ramps up spending in final weeks (WBJ)

In just a two-week span ending Oct. 15, the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety — which has been funded almost entirely by a Massachusetts hospital consortium — raised $5.7 million, according to the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, which keeps political spending records. The coalition spent nearly as much during that time: about $5.4 million, including more than $3.5 million paid to the Washington advertising and political consulting firm GMMB. Another roughly $845,000 was spent on television advertising on network TV stations in the Boston and Springfield media markets.

What to know about the 2018-2019 flu season in Massachusetts (

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a  statement that the agency, which is involved in developing the flu vaccine, learned from last year’s issue with the vaccine. “We have some confidence, based on the pattern of influenza circulating now in the Southern hemisphere, that the flu strains chosen for this year’s U.S. seasonal flu vaccine should offer Americans good protection,” he said.   

For many, a struggle to find affordable mental health care (Globe)

Massachusetts has more mental health care providers per capita than any other state, more psychiatrists than anywhere but Washington, DC, more child psychiatrists than all but DC and Rhode Island. Yet poor and middle-class patients describe an often-frustrating and painful struggle to find a provider who will see them, at a price they can afford. They sometimes suffer longer than necessary, or settle for care by an inexperienced or less-credentialed practitioner.  

In Mass., federal opioid funds target those recovering from addiction (WBUR)

Unlike other states, Massachusetts used the lion's share of its initial emergency funding to support those recovering from addiction rather than those needing treatment, an Associated Press analysis of federal spending data found. The state designated almost 75 percent of nearly $12 million it received last year on recovery support services — the most of any state. Other states generally allocated less than 10 percent of their funding to such efforts. The AP analysis of the $1 billion in State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants, as the federal program is known, focused on spending data from May 1, 2017 through April 30.

Share on Facebook

Copyright © 2019. Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham Woods Corporate Center, Waltham, MA 02451-1411

(781) 893-4610 | (781) 893-3800 | Member Information Hotline: (800) 322-2303 x7311