Massachusetts Medical Society: Prioritizing and Preserving Psychological Health – the 2022 MMS Annual Education Program

Prioritizing and Preserving Psychological Health – the 2022 MMS Annual Education Program

Prioritizing and Preserving Psychological Health the 2022 MMS Annual Education Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated emotional stress, exacerbated mental health challenges, and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and behavioral health disorders. A December 2021 report from Kaiser Family Foundation found that over 30 percent of adults in the United States report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder, up from 11 percent of adults prior to the pandemic. Moreover, 20 percent of school-aged children have experienced worsened mental or emotional health since the pandemic began. A recent informal survey of Massachusetts Medical Society district members revealed that over 85 percent of physicians believe the pandemic has impacted their own psychological well-being. Survey results also indicated physicians have seen an impact on the psychological well-being of various patient populations throughout the pandemic. Despite the evidence that the demand for mental and behavioral health services is stronger than ever, the shortage of mental health professionals, high cost, and inequitable access to services lead to individuals not receiving the care, services, or support they need.

This year’s 2022 program, recorded on May 20, 2022, utilized expert faculty and a panel discussion to examine practical and policy strategies needed to identify and mitigate psychological distress among our patients and our provider staff, improve availability and equitable access to mental and behavioral health services, and instill a culture in health care that prioritizes psychological well-being for all.

M Bharel

Monica Bharel, MD, MPH 
As Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Dr. Monica Bharel served as the Commonwealth’s chief physician from 2015-2021. She helped lead the state’s aggressive response to the opioid crisis and is dedicated to reducing health disparities and developing data-driven, evidence-based solutions for keeping people healthy. Most recently, Dr. Bharel led the Massachusetts public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Commissioner, Dr. Bharel oversaw a public health workforce of nearly 3000 and an expansive department addressing issues, from environmental health to injury prevention to infectious diseases. Under her leadership, Massachusetts ranked nationally as among the healthiest states in the nation.

Dr. Bharel is a board-certified internist who has practiced general internal medicine for more than 20 years, including at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Medical Center, neighborhood health centers, the Veterans Administration and nonprofit organizations. She has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, Boston University Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, and has been recognized for her dedication to underserved and vulnerable populations. Prior to becoming Commissioner, she was Chief Medical Officer of Boston Health Care for the Homeless.

She holds a Master of Public Health degree through the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy. She holds a medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital/Boston Medical Center.

Senator Cyr

Senator Julian Cyr
Julian Cyr (pronouns he/him/his) serves in the Massachusetts Senate representing Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. First elected to the State Senate on November 8, 2016, Senator Cyr is now serving in his third term and is among the youngest senators in the 40-member body. He is the Senate Assistant Majority Whip; Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery; Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights, and Inclusion; Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs; and serves on committees with oversight of health care policy, public health, telecommunications and energy, COVID-19 emergency management, and redistricting.

Senator Cyr has experience in public policy, health advocacy, organizing, and social justice. Prior to his election, he served as director of policy and regulatory affairs for environmental health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Previously, under Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, he worked closely with members of the Legislature as deputy director for government affairs at the Department of Public Health. From 2011-2017, he also served on the Massachusetts Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (LGBTQ) Youth, including a highly productive tenure as chair in 2013 and 2014.

Elsie Taveras

Elsie M. Taveras, MD, MPH
Elsie Taveras is the inaugural Chief Community Health Equity Officer at Mass General Brigham and Executive Director of the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital. She leads system-wide strategies to improve health equity and the health of the communities served by Mass General Brigham. She is a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Conrad Taff Professor of Pediatrics in the Field of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Taveras is a leading expert in community health equity, childhood obesity, maternal-child health, and health disparities. Her research and community health leadership have influenced the development of national programs to improve health outcomes and eliminate inequities for socially at-risk populations. She is a recipient of the Public Health Leadership in Medicine Award from the Massachusetts Association of Public Health for her work improving health and health care in community-based settings.

Dr. Taveras received her Bachelor of Science and medical degrees from New York University and completed her internship, residency, and chief residency at the Boston Combined Residency Program in Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital and holds an MPH from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Vicker DiGravio

Vicker V. DiGravio, III, MPA
Vicker DiGravio is President of Riverside Community Care where he is responsible for strategic direction, organizational planning in response to funding opportunities and community needs, and advising on service delivery and overall strategy, mission, and marketing. Well-versed in the behavioral health marketplace and legislative affairs, Mr. DiGravio served for 12 years as President and CEO of the Association for Behavioral Healthcare of Massachusetts. Immediately prior to joining Riverside, he served as Vice President for Strategy at eHana, a health information technology company. Earlier Mr. DiGravio served as Chief of Staff to Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.

Michelle Durham

Michelle P. Durham, MD, MPH, FAPA, DFAACAP
Michelle Durham is the Vice Chair of Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)/Boston Medical Center (BMC). She is a board certified physician specializing in pediatric and adult psychiatry with additional board certification in addiction medicine. Dr. Durham practices clinically at BMC and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at BUSM. Her public health and clinical roles have always been in marginalized communities. She is dedicated to health equity and advocacy for equitable mental health treatment globally and locally. Her research focuses on workforce development that reflects groups historically excluded from medicine, training and education for both the pediatric workforce and mental health professionals. She is the Director of Clinical Training for the BMC Transforming and Expanding Access to Mental Health in Urban Pediatrics (TEAM UP) grant funded initiative to bring mental health care into the pediatric primary care setting in federally qualified community health centers. Through the TEAM UP initiative she developed an e-course for the pediatric care team to build foundational skills in working with children and adolescents with behavioral health concerns. She is the Principal Investigator for three federally funded grants: HRSA Maternal and Child Health Collaborative Office Rounds, HRSA Achieving Culturally Competent and Equitable Substance use Services (ACCESS) Training Program and SAMHSA STAR (Services for Trauma and Resources) for families.

Dr. Durham received her medical degree from Louisiana State University in New Orleans, completed her residency training at BMC and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. She received her Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the Emory Rollins School of Public Health. She is involved at the state and national level in the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Intended Audience
This activity is designed for Physicians, other health professionals, and stakeholders interested in better addressing mental health and behavioral wellness Health 

Course Objectives

  • Give examples of the compounding mental health stressors faced by different demographic populations during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Create a culture in medicine that seeks to reduce the stigmatization of psychological vulnerability.
  • Apply strategies to break down the systemic policy, organizational, and sociocultural barriers that prevent patients from accessing and receiving equitable care for mental and behavioral health challenges.

Course Fees
Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Physician Member: $80.00
MMS Resident/Student Member: Free
Non-Member Physician: $180.00
Non-Members Resident/Student: $40.00
Allied Health Professional/Other: $64.00

Format & Estimated Time to Complete
Video, 2 hours  

Accreditation and Credit Information
Accreditation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA)
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 2.00 Category 1 credit for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Exam/Assessment: A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Activity Term
Original Release Date: June 1, 2022
Review Date (s): N/A
Termination Date: June 1, 2025

System Requirements

Windows 10
Mac OSX 10.6 higher

Most modern browsers including:
IE 11+
Firefox 18.0+
Chrome latest version
Safari 12+

iOS devices beginning with OS version 10 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices)

Facebook logoLinkedInYouTube logoInstagram

Copyright © 2024. Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham Woods Corporate Center, Waltham, MA 02451-1411

(781) 893-4610 | General Support: (617) 841-2925 or