Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society adopts policies, installs new leadership

Massachusetts Medical Society adopts policies, installs new leadership

WALTHAM – The Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide professional association of physicians and medical students with more than 25,000 members, has adopted several new policies aimed at improving health care delivery and public health in the state. The new policies address police brutality, housing insecurity and clinical trial participation among members of underrepresented communities.

The society’s House of Delegates, comprised of physicians and medical students, attended virtually the organization's Annual Meeting May 8 and deliberated on resolutions/reports for action proposed by members of the organization. Resolutions accepted by the House of Delegates became organizational policy.

Some of the newly adopted policies include:

End police brutality and reinvest in public health

The MMS will develop policy and/or advocate for programs and legislation consistent with MMS tenets that support realigning police budgets with money to fund social service programs and re-investing directly in community resources. The MMS will advocate for alternative emergency responder models that use crisis workers with mental health and substance use training to respond to emergency calls.

In addition, the MMS will advocate at the state level for limitation on the qualified immunity doctrine to promote accountability in law enforcement. The MMS acknowledges the public health implications of mass incarceration and supports efforts to meaningfully improve public health through decarceration and alternative interventions.

The MMS will develop policy and/or advocate for legislation, rules, or regulations that support investment in research evaluating the public health effects of police violence on individuals and on communities of color.

Improving clinical trial participation among minority communities in Massachusetts

The MMS, as a result of acknowledging a history of abuse and racist clinical trials and research that may have caused more distrust among vulnerable populations, will identify and partner with key leaders and stakeholders in underrepresented racial/ethnic communities to improve representation/encourage participation in clinical trials.

Promoting affordable and equitable housing in Massachusetts

The MMS will advocate for increased public and private funding and legislation providing for equitable, accessible, affordable, safe, and stable housing, and work with community stakeholders to advocate for increased public and private funding for affordable housing units and creating transparent, equitable pathways for those seeking stable housing.

The MMS will work with community organizations to advocate for policies and legislation around multimodal comprehensive approaches to vulnerable populations seeking housing by increasing supportive services, including but not limited to case management, health care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, legal services, supportive services for families (e.g., educational, case management, legal services), and employment services.

New presidential officers elected

The organization also installed new physician-leaders, who will begin a one-year term in their respective roles. Dr. Carole E. Allen, a retired pediatrician from Arlington, succeeds Dr. David A. Rosman as president; Dr. Theodore Calianos, a Mashpee-based plastic surgeon is president-elect and Dr. Barbara S. Spivak, an internist and president and chairperson of Mount Auburn Cambridge Independent Practice Association, is vice president.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members. We are dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally. A leadership voice in health care, the MMS contributes physician and patient perspectives to influence health-related legislation at the state and federal levels, works in support of public health, provides expert advice on physician practice management, and addresses issues of physician well-being. Under the auspices of the NEJM Group, the MMS extends our mission globally by advancing medical knowledge from research to patient care through the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Catalyst, and the NEJM Journal Watch family of specialty publications, and through our education products for health care professionals: NEJM Knowledge+, NEJM Resident 360, and our accredited and comprehensive continuing medical education programs.

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