Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 09/09/2019 (Plain Text Version)
In this issue:
MMA Holds Successful Annual Session in Bar Harbor
The Maine Medical Association held a successful Annual Session, its 166th, in Bar Harbor this past weekend. The session featured a panel of Mills administration officials on state government's approach to health and health care and a panel of physicians, including a medical student and a resident, with an interactive discussion of all aspects of physician advocacy, including that on behalf of patients, the profession, and public health. Click through for additional information and detail.
The Maine Medical Association's members met in Bar Harbor last weekend for their 166th Annual Session. In addition to the annual meeting of the Association, the Session featured a variety of CME presentations, specialty society meetings, and ample time to socialize, dine…and even run! Amy Madden, MD assumed the reins of the presidency for the coming year, and Jeff Barkin, MD became the new chair of the MMA Board of Directors.
The session began with a reception Friday evening at the Bar Harbor Club, where all the weekend’s events were based. Physicians from around the state had an opportunity to gather and see people they hadn’t seen since last year’s event. Just before the reception, the MMA Board of Directors held its September meeting, at which Jeff Barkin, MD was elected Chair of the Board.
Saturday morning began with the Association’s annual meeting. As reported elsewhere in this issue, the membership approved two resolutions, one about addressing the problem of plastic waste and the other a two-part vaccine resolution directing that the membership be educated about the CDC’s medical contraindications to vaccination and decrying the current effort among vaccine skeptics to overturn the recently passed elimination of non-medical exemptions to school and healthcare employment vaccine requirements. You can read more in the separate article in this Weekly Update. A major feature of this year’s meeting was the presentation of remarks by the MMA’s new Chief Executive Officer, Andrew MacLean, Esq. Mr. MacLean spoke of his wish to have the voices of MMA members be heard clearly and to promote greater engagement and policy determination by the members.
The meeting was followed by a panel discussion among the current Maine Government leaders on the issue of healthcare. Present and speaking were Governor Janet Mills, JD; DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew, Ph.D., Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah, MD, JD; Senior Advisor for Delivery System Change Lisa Letourneau, MD; State Chief Pediatrician Amy Belisle, MD; and Director of Opioid Response Gordon Smith, Esq. In a detailed and in-depth session, the group discussed healthcare progress in Maine in recent months, new initiatives the administration is undertaking in the areas of prevention, recovery, telehealth, children’s behavioral health, Medicaid expansion, immunizations, and other public health initiatives. Governor Mills asserted that we will have no victory in the fight against opioid use disorder until the number of deaths from drug overdoses is zero. She also said, “Healthcare coverage…is a human right.”
Saturday afternoon gave attendees a chance to sample all that Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island, including Acadia National Park, have to offer. For those who decided to remain, there were meetings of various specialty societies, a presentation by Dr. Mark Publicker on the medical treatment of alcohol dependence, and a 3-hour CME presentation on opioid prescribing by the MMA’s MICIS program.
The banquet on Saturday evening saw the presentation of recognition pins to member physicians who graduated from medical school in 1969, fifty years ago. Dr. Michael Curci, MD, a pediatric surgeon, was presented with the Mary Floyd Cushman, MD Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Service. Dr. Curci, since his retirement from Maine Medical Center, has traveled to Haiti and several countries in East Africa, providing patient care and helping to train pediatric surgeons in places where they are badly needed. The MMA President’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Association was presented to MMA General Counsel Peter Michaud, JD, RN for his work on behalf of Maine physicians and public health, particularly his efforts in collaboration with pediatricians and families in support of LD 798, the new law that eliminates non-medical exemptions to immunization requirements for school attendance and healthcare employment. The evening culminated with the passage of the leadership torch from Dr. Robert Schlager, the longest serving president in MMA history, to Dr. Amy Madden, who will lead the MMA during the coming year.
As has been customary in recent years, Sunday began with the 39th Annual Edmund Hardy Road Race, a 5K run/walk that began at the boat launch in downtown Bar Harbor and proceeded along the ocean’s edge before curving back through Bar Harbor neighborhoods and returning to the site of the meeting. This year’s first place finisher was Garreth Debiegun, MD, who won despite taking a slight detour due to a sign which had been blown down by the remnants of Hurricane Dorian. The next Weekly Update will have more information about the various age group leaders, along with photos of the successful finishers.
The entire Annual Session gave members an opportunity to earn up to 9 AMA PRA Category 1 CME credits, in addition to learning about the activities of the Association, participating in significant MMA policy making decisions, and sharing thoughts (and meals) with fellow members. The MMA staff invites members to express your opinions about the location of next year’s and future MMA Annual Sessions by calling the MMA headquarters or sending Email to email@example.com .
More Annual Session photos will follow in next week's Weekly Update.