12th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum: Speaker Bios

Firearm Violence: Policy, Prevention & Public Health

April 5, 2016

Dr. Dennis DimitriDennis Dimitri, MD

President, Massachusetts Medical Society 
Dr. Dimitri is a Clinical Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine & Community Health at UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Medical School.  He has been a member of the Society’s governing body, its House of Delegates, since 1989, and a member of a number of committees with emphasis on issues of advocacy, legislation and regulation, and physician workforce.

In his role at UMass, Dr. Dimitri has oversight responsibility for all clinical services delivered in the Department of Family Medicine while still maintaining his own clinical practice of family medicine. 

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a Past President of the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Dimitri attended Clark University and received his M.D. at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.  He completed his residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.


Steven Ringer, MD, PhDSteven Ringer, MD, PhD 

Chair, Committee on Public Health, Massachusetts Medical Society
Dr. Ringer is the former Chief of the Division of Newborn Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After a long career in Massachusetts, he is transitioning to Chief of the Division of Neonatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH.  His public health interests have focused internationally in several developing countries, and locally in a long record of working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in a number of areas related to perinatal health.

Dr. Ringer attended Brandeis University. He received his medical degree and PhD from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and his fellowship in neonatal perinatal medicine at the Joint Program of Neonatology of Harvard Medical School.


Harold CoxHarold Cox, Moderator

Harold Cox is Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health.  He is a member of the Massachusetts Public Health Council, Boston Public Health Commission, and chair of the statewide Regionalization Working Committee that is exploring methods to improve public health service delivery in Massachusetts. At Boston University, Cox manages the newly-formed Activist Lab, which seeks to engage the school in real work public health.  Trained as a social worker, he has extensive practice experience with mental retardation, HIV/AIDS and governmental public health.


Georges Benjamin, MDGeorges Benjamin, MD

Dr. Benjamin is the executive director of the American Public Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. Previously he served as secretary of health for the state of Maryland. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a Master of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He holds honorary fellowships in two distinguished British public health societies:  the Royal Society of Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health. Dr. Benjamin also serves on the boards of Research!America, the University of Maryland Medical System and the Reagan-Udall Foundation. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 


Maura HealeyAttorney General Maura Healey 

Maura Healey was sworn in as Attorney General in January 2015.  Since taking office, Healey has tackled issues touching the lives of residents across Massachusetts including the heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic, escalating health care costs, worker’s rights and student loan costs. She has focused on strengthening consumer protections and on improving our criminal justice system. 

As a civil rights attorney, Healey is committed to ensuring that all residents are treated fairly. As former head of the office’s Civil Rights Division, Healey was the architect of the state’s successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and argued the case in federal court. As Attorney General, she has advocated for marriage equality and in support of bills to fight discrimination against transgender people. Prior to her election, Healey helped lead the Attorney General’s Office as head of the Civil Rights Division and as Chief of the Public Protection and Business & Labor Bureaus.  She is a former Special Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, where she tried drug, assault, domestic violence and motor vehicle cases.


David HemenwayDavid Hemenway, PhD

Dr. Hemenway is an economist and professor at Harvard School of Public Health and a former James Marsh Visiting Professor at the University of Vermont.  He is Director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, former director of the Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center and former President of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research.  He received the Excellence in Science award from the American Public Health Association and fellowships from the Pew, Soros and Robert Wood Johnson foundations.  In 2012 he was recognized by the CDC as one of the twenty “most influential injury and violence professionals over the past 20 years.” In 2013 he received a Commissioner’s Commendation from the Boston Police Commissioner for exemplary services to the people of Boston.  Dr. Hemenway has written over 190 journal articles and five books including While We Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention (U California Press 2009).  Dr. Hemenway has received ten Harvard teaching awards.  


Stephen Teret, JD, MPHStephen Teret, JD, MPH

Stephen Teret is Professor of Health Policy and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public’s Health.  He also holds joint faculty appointments in Pediatrics and in Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  Professor Teret worked as a poverty lawyer and a trial lawyer in New York.  His work includes research, teaching and public service in the areas of preparedness, injury prevention, vaccine policy, tobacco policy, food policy, and, generally, public health law. Professor Teret's work has primarily focused on the understanding and prevention of violence, with an emphasis on gun policy, a problem which he has worked on for more than three decades.

Professor Teret has served as a consultant to the President of the United States, the Attorney General, the United States Congress, federal agencies, state legislatures and health departments and  is the recipient of distinguished career awards from the American Public Health Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.


David RosmarinDavid Rosmarin, MD

Dr. Rosmarin heads the Forensic Service at McLean Hospital, which focuses on risk management with emphasis on risk assessment for violence and suicide. He also performs varied special assessments in medico-legal matters. Dr. Rosmarin has evaluated over 150 murderers and has consulted to the US government intelligence community for a decade. He consults widely to industry, municipalities, and licensing boards on risk assessment, fitness for duty, ADA matters, and difficult employees.

Dr. Rosmarin is a distinguished life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and received the Red Apple Award from the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, where he chairs the Committee on Peer Review. He has lectured nationally on topics such as legal insanity, capital punishment, psychiatric ethics, suicide assessment, workplace violence, and assessment of emotional damages.


Reverend Jeffrey BrownReverend Jeffrey Brown

Rev. Brown is a nationally recognized leader and expert in gang, youth and urban violence reduction and coalition building.  He is the founder of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace), a new national organization organized to assist cities build better partnerships between community, government and law enforcement agencies to reduce gang violence. He is also one of the co-founders of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group that was an integral part of the “Boston Miracle”, a process where the city experienced a 79% decline in violent crime in the 90s, and spawned countless urban collaborative efforts in subsequent years that followed the Boston Ceasefire model.  Rev. Brown consults to municipalities and police departments on issues around youth violence and community mobilization, and provides expertise to Fortune 25 corporations and the World Bank for the past 14 years on Collaborative Leadership and Managing Change.  

He pastored the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA for 22 years. His current project is to generate a national conversation on the importance of faith and community institutions in public safety prescriptions.  


Chana Sacks, MDChana Sacks, MD 

Dr. Sacks is a Chief Resident in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  She completed her residency training in Internal Medicine in 2014, and then joined the New England Journal of Medicine as an Editorial Fellow before returning to MGH for her Chief Residency.  She is a graduate of Georgetown University and received her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine.  

On December 14, 2012, Dr. Sacks was a resident working in the Intensive Care Unit when her 7 year-old-cousin Daniel was killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Since then, she has made injury prevention a focus of her career, working to incorporate epidemiology and research on firearm violence into trainee education. 


Robert Sege, MD, PhDRobert Sege, MD, PhD 

Dr. Sege is a pediatrician, a professor of pediatrics at Boston University, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. He led the development of the Connected Kids: Safe, Strong, Secure program for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He is a former member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury Violence and Poison Prevention and is the author of the November 2012 AAP policy statement "Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population." 

Dr. Sege recently joined Health Resources in Action as Vice President and Director of its Medical Foundation, the organization's medical research philanthropic division.


Mariel Goetz, Esq.Mariel Goetz, Esq. 

Mariel Goetz is a senior associate in the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP.  Her law practice encompasses all types of civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels, including complex business litigation, constitutional law matters, intellectual property disputes, and antitrust and unfair competition cases. Recognized by Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” among Washington, D.C. lawyers in 2014 and 2015, Ms. Goetz has represented clients in federal and state courts, arbitration tribunals, and administrative proceedings. She also has experience arguing in federal appeals court. 

Ms. Goetz has an active and varied pro bono practice, representing clients in matters ranging from criminal appeals to First Amendment challenges.  In Wollschlaeger v. Farmer, she is part of the Ropes & Gray team representing three national three national medical organizations and six physicians in their First Amendment challenge to a Florida law that prevents doctors from speaking freely with patients about gun safety.  Plaintiffs won in district court and are currently challenging an adverse ruling in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Share on Facebook

Health Risks of Recreational Marijuana

RR 2 Health RisksEmerging clinical evidence and reports of public health impacts from other states.

Learn more »

Resources on Recreational Marijuana

RR 3 ResourcesDownloadable resources for physicians and patients and links to reports and organizations with education and information about recreational marijuana.

Learn more »

Find a Physician  

Three DoctorsSearch for Massachusetts Medical Society physicians by specialty or locality.

Find a Physician »

Physician Focus

Physician FocusWatch videos from the monthly MMS TV program that covers a wide variety of health care topics.

Read More »

FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube

Copyright © 2017. 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