AMA Alliance Health Promotion Awards
Kent County Medical Society Alliance was awarded the AMA Alliance Health Awareness Promotion Fundraising County Award – First place for their “Children’s Charity Ball”. KMSA president Karen Begrow accepted the prestigious award at the 2015 AMA Alliance Annual Meeting in Chicago.
Tri-County Medical Society Alliance was awarded the AMA Alliance Health Awareness Promotion New Projects Award – Honorable mention for their “Deciphering Fact & Myths About Childhood Immunization booklet”. MSMSA Past President Lynn Moon accepted the award at the 2015 AMA Alliance Annual Meeting in Chicago.
AMA Alliance Legislative Education & Awareness Promotion Award
Kent County Medical Society Alliance was awarded the AMA Alliance Legislative Education & Awareness Promotion Award – First place for their “Immunization Conference”. KMSA President Elect Elizabeth Junewick accepted the prestigious award at the 2015 AMA Alliance Annual Meeting in Chicago.
AMA Alliance Health Promotion Award
Genesee County Medical Society Alliance was awarded the AMA Alliance Health Awareness Promotion (HAP) Award – Honorable Mention for their program to bring awareness to human trafficking in Michigan. The HAP Awards recognize excellence in the health promotion programs and projects. GCMSA President Vibha Kaushal accepted the prestigious award at the 2014 AMA Alliance Annual Meeting in Chicago.
AMA Alliance Grassroots Honor Fund
MSMSA is very proud to be recognized as a Grassroots Honor Fund Charter Member. MSMSA, the AMA Alliance and the AMA Foundation have worked for more than 60 years to make medical students’ lives a little easier through tuition assistance scholarships. On average, medical students in the United States graduate with an overwhelming debt load of $155,000 or more.
In the past, the AMAF Scholars Fund has provided more than $60 million to support aspiring physicians. The Scholars Fund program is being replaced by the Alliance Grassroots Honor Fund as the sole source of AMA Alliance medical scholarships. In 2014, the Honor Fund’s $250,000 endowment level was surpassed. It will begin granting $10,000 scholarships to students committed to serving the needs of women and children. Michigan State Medical Society Alliance members have contributed generously to the Honor Fund since its inception by our very own, Jean Howard.
Patients First Tort Reform Package
In July, MSMSA members stood in support of MSMS at the Senate Hearing in Lansing. The room was packed with attorneys and others opposing this package of tort reform bills. Ultimately, the Senate passed SB 1115 & 1118, bringing Michigan’s tort climate back to what the legislature intended in 1993.
Michigan’s Anti-Bullying Legislation
For decades MSMSA has fought against bullying in Michigan. One of our target projects involved distributing “Hands are Not for Hitting” and “You Don’t Have to be Bullied” activity books to elementary schools. In 2007, Matt’s Safe School Bill was originated. It was named for Matt Epling, a 14 year-old East Lansing boy who suffered a severe episode of bullying and then committed suicide in 2002. MSMSA joined Matt’s father, Kevin in advocating for anti-bullying legislation for Michigan. The bill, which simply required school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies, was referred to the Education Committee in 2009 and remained there until December 7, 2011 when Governor Rick Snyder signed it into law. “We won one for the kids of Michigan, but it took us a very long time,” Epling said. “We didn’t know it would take six years, but we stuck with it”. Michigan was the 48th state to enact anti-bullying legislation. Despite this “win”, MSMSA will continue to fight bullying until every Michigan child feels safe.
Michigan’s Workplace Smoking Ban
Michigan workplaces became smoke-free on May 1, 2010 when the ban was passed by both the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Jennifer Granholm. The ban applies to all Michigan bars, restaurants and workplaces with the exception of cigar bars and three Detroit area casinos. Michigan was the 38th state in the union to adopt smoke-free legislation. MSMS President Richard Smith, MD said, “This is one of the most important and significant public health bills that the Michigan Legislature has ever passed. It simply makes Michigan a healthier place to live, work and raise a family, and it will help reduce the cost of health care and improve the health of employees.”
The grassroots effort put forth by Michigan citizens, including physicians and Alliance members, helped to pass HB 4377. The bill is named after the late Ronald M. Davis, MD, in statute. Doctor Davis was the AMA Past President from Michigan and a longtime advocate for smoke-free air.
MSMSA receives the Legislative Education Awareness Promotion (LEAP) Award
This prestigious AMA Alliance award was presented to MSMSA for our efforts to defeat the Physician Tax Bill.
MSMSA helped MSMS defeat the physician tax bill with the White Coat Rally.
In October, the Michigan House of Representatives voted for a 3% tax on the gross receipts of physicians. The bill, officially known as the “Quality Assurance Assessment Program” (QAAP), then fell into the hands of Michigan Senators. The Alliance called and emailed the Senators. We motivated our spouses and friends to do the same. We took time away from our jobs, families and responsibilities. We traveled hours in some cases to be involved in the Rally…most without our spouses.
The White Coat Rally was organized by MSMS to educate lawmakers and provide a “powerful visual statement” that physicians are united in their stand on behalf of Michigan doctors and patients. Over 1000 physicians, staff and Alliance members from all over the state donned white coats and gathered in Lansing to rally on the steps of the Capital. In addition, white coats packed the Senate Appropriations
Community Health Subcommittee meeting. It was standing room only for the powerful testimony given by MSMS President Richard Smith and MSMS Immediate Past-President Mike Sandler. The result: On October 28th, the Senate voted to reject the proposed tax on physicians 4-32! Here’s what Alliance members said about the Rally:
“I enjoyed being at the white coat rally supporting physicians and making sure that someone heard how I felt – passionate about the tax on behalf of my husband and son – a future physician. Many physicians could not attend and I felt good about being there on their behalf helping fight for fair treatment.”
— Elizabeth Jordan, President Genesee County Medical Society Alliance
“I was encouraged to see all the support that the spouses of Wayne County physicians gave to this effort. It made me feel that giving up a vacation day to fight for justice was worthwhile. “
–Clara Sumeghy, President Wayne County Medical Society
“I attended the rally with four physicians from Kent County which included my husband. We had several KCMSA members on our bus as well. Several other members of the Alliance as well as many Kent County physicians traveled on their own. It was extremely well organized. We were all lucky enough to have access to the subcommittee hearing. It was fascinating. I was very impressed with Drs. Smith and Sandler’s testimony. They summarized quite eloquently and forcefully on the behalf of the physicians. The power of numbers for the rally, emails and phone calls to legislators was effective!”
— Deb Droste, Co-Legislation Chair Kent County Medical Society
“My husband and I rode the bus to Lansing. I was impressed with how well organized it was. I thought the president and past president of MSMS presented the case of the MDs very well. I was glad I heard their testimonies. Their strong performance gave me hope after listening to the previous witnesses who gave only pro bureaucracy testimony.”
–Barb Sink, Co-Legislation Chair Kent County Medical Society
“I was proud to be a part of this event. MSMS did an excellent job organizing and orchestrating this “rally”. We looked like we meant business and the legislators were very impressed. One Dr. said to me that “organizing Drs. is like herding cats….they all have their own ideas.” On this day, however, we shared one idea and made it become an important action for the profession.”
–Lisa Hildorf, President Ingham County Medical Society Alliance
“Think your voice doesn’t matter? Think again. It was a fantastic day in Lansing to show the democracy of this great country!”
— Val Doane, Co-President Jackson County Medical Society
“The defeat of the Physicians Tax shows what members of the MSMS and the MSMSA can achieve collectively. By forming a formidable team to contact lawmakers and attend the White Coat Rally, we have proved that there is always strength in numbers and “United We Stand.”
— Lakshmi Tummala, MSMSA Immediate Past-President
“Legislative advocacy is one of the most important things that we can do to help our physician spouses and their practices. As we can see from the vote that took place, the legislature does listen. We need to remain active and vigilant on issues relating to health care and our physician spouses. ”
— Carol Horowitz, President, MSMSA
2009 Michigan County Alliances WIN prestigious AMA Alliance Awards
Genesee County won the MDA Award (Membership Development Promotion) Midland County won the HAP Award (Health Awareness Promotion)
Screen Out! The Smoke Free Movies Movement
Experts estimated that movies with tobacco imagery influence half of all new teen smokers to start smoking. This means that Hollywood recruits approximately 390,000 new youth smokers each year, nearly enough to replace all of the smokers the tobacco industry kills on a yearly basis. Movies are used to both promote tobacco brands and to “advertise” the acceptability of the act of smoking.
In October 2006, the American Legacy Foundation awarded the American Medical Association Alliance a $500,000 grant to mobilize grassroots groups and individuals to increase public awareness and campaign the Motion Picture Association of America for solutions.
The Michigan State Medical Society Alliance was extremely active in the Screen Out! grassroots campaign. We acquired hundreds of petition signatures, wrote Letters to Editors and garnered letters of endorsement from parent, political, health, and school based organizations.