Parag Mehta, MD Elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Parag Mehta, MD Elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Parag Mehta, MDWestbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Internist Parag Mehta, MD was elected Assistant Treasurer of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Tarrytown on April 13, 2019.  Dr. Mehta is the Senior Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Chief Medical Information Officer at New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (NYPBMH). In addition, he is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College at Cornell University.

Dr. Mehta has been involved with the implementation of EHR at NYPBMH for the last 15 years and has helped the institution to reach HIMSS Level 7. In this role, he brings IT and clinicians together to improve the user’s experience based on the user’s input.

A graduate of NHL Medical College in Ahmedabad, India, Dr. Mehta completed his residency in OB/GYN at NHL Medical College and his residency in Internal Medicine at NYPBMH in Brooklyn, New York. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care and Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He has taken courses in Health Information Technology from Cornell University and Artificial Intelligence from MIT Sloan School of Management.

An active member of organized medicine, Dr. Mehta is the Governor for the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians (NYACP) for Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. In addition to MSSNY and NYACP, he is a member of AMA, Kings County Medical Society, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and Indian Medical Association.  In 2011, NYACP awarded him its highest honor, the Laureate Award, in recognition of his extraordinary contributions in the areas of governance, quality, public policy and education. As a Physician Wellbeing Champion, he promotes wellness and engages discussion through grand rounds.

Dr. Mehta’s many contributions to MSSNY include service as Commissioner of the Membership Division, Chair of the Future Task Force for Infrastructure/Organization, Chair of the International Medical Graduate Committee, and Young Physician Councilor. He presently serves as Councilor for Kings and Richmond County and as a New York Alternate Delegate to the American Medical Association.

Dr. Mehta lives in Manhasset Hills with his wife, Isha Mehta, MD, who is Chief of Gynecology at Elmhurst Hospital and is a founder of “A Stitch in Time,” an organization that treats gynecological conditions at no cost to women around the world. They have two daughters, Ruju, an environmental engineer, and Setu, a pre-med student at Harvard College.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Maria A. Basile, MD Elected Vice Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Maria A. Basile, MD Elected Vice Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Maria A. BasileWestbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Maria A. Basile, MD was elected Vice Speaker at MSSNY’s 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown on April 13, 2019.  Dr. Basile is Assistant Vice President, Medical Affairs at Mather Hospital – Northwell Health, where her responsibilities include professional credentialing, physician engagement, medical staff quality improvement, and leadership development.

Prior to assuming this role in Hospital Administration, Dr. Basile was a Colorectal Surgeon in private practice. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, and is Board Certified in Health Care Quality Assurance, with specialty certification as a Physician Advisor. Dr. Basile has spoken nationally on the topics of physician engagement, medical humanities, physician wellness and resilience, medical ethics, and practice transformation.

A cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, Dr. Basile earned her Medical Degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed a General Surgery residency at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Philadelphia and a Colon and Rectal Surgery residency at St Vincent’s Medical Center in Erie, PA.  She is a graduate of the United Hospital Fund/Greater NY Hospital Association’s Clinical Quality Fellowship Program, and received a Master’s in Business Administration from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY.

Dr. Basile is on the Core Faculty at Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine’s Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics, where she teaches medical school and graduate-level courses in Literature and Medicine.  A physician-poet, she is author of Minimally Invasive: poems from a life in surgery.  Her poems and articles have been published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Touch: the Journal of Healing, and The Pharos.

An active member of MSSNY, Dr. Basile currently serves as Suffolk County Councilor and as the Commissioner of Communications. Through her leadership efforts at the local and statewide levels, she has been appointed Vice Chair of the MSSNY Committee on Physician Wellness and Resilience, Co-chair of the MSSNY Committee on Women, and a Vice Chair of the MSSNY Committee on Quality. She is a Past President of the Suffolk County Medical Society.

Dr. Basile lives in East Setauket, NY, with her two college-aged children, George and Christina, and two puppies, Parker and Miles.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Bonnie Litvack, MD Elected President-Elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Bonnie Litvack, MD Elected President-Elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Bonnie Litvack, MD Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Radiologist Bonnie Litvack, MD was elected President-Elect of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Tarrytown on April 13, 2019.  Dr. Litvack is Director of Women’s Imaging at Northern Westchester Hospital, which is part of Northwell Health.

A cum laude graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Litvack earned her medical degree at Albany Medical Center. She completed both her Internal Medicine internship and her diagnostic radiology residency at Stony Brook University and a magnetic resonance imaging/body imaging fellowship at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.  Dr. Litvack is certified in diagnostic radiology by the American Board of Radiology.

Under Dr. Litvack’s leadership, the Women’s Imaging Center at Northern Westchester Hospital has been acclaimed as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. During her career, Dr. Litvack has received numerous awards and honors.

An active member of organized medicine, Dr. Litvack has served as MSSNY’s Vice President, Assistant Secretary, Assistant Commissioner of Public Health, Commissioner of Membership and  MSSNY’s Ninth District Councilor.  She has also served as president of the Westchester County Medical Society, the Westchester Academy of Medicine,  the New York State Radiological Society and as MSSNY’s Ninth District President. She is a delegate from New York to the American Medical Association and a councilor to the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Litvack lives in Chappaqua with her husband, Craig Penn, and daughters Sydney, Haley and Carly.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Dr. Sana Bloch Elected Assistant Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York


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MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Dr. Sana Bloch Elected Assistant Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Dr. Sana BlochWestbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Dr. Sana Bloch was elected Assistant Secretary at MSSNY’s 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown on April 13, 2019. Dr. Bloch currently serves as Director of Neurology at Medalliance Medical Health Service in the Bronx.

A board-certified neurologist, Dr. Bloch has more than 40 years of experience specializing in the medical diagnosis and treatment of head and spine dysfunction and a full range of neurological conditions such as headaches, seizures, neuropathy, brain tumors, strokes and dementia.

He uses advanced balance testing and balance therapy to aid fall prevention; and VNG to analyze eye movements and brain waves to test for various forms of vestibular disorders.

A graduate of Yeshiva University, Dr. Bloch received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital and his residency in Neurology at Albert Einstein. He was Chief of Neurology for 20 years at the former Westchester Square Hospital.

Dr. Bloch holds an academic appointment at Albert Einstein College of Medicine as assistant clinical professor of neurology emeritus and is a member of the Montefiore Medical Council. He was a member of Governor Pataki’s Commission on Strokes.

An active member of MSSNY since 1980, Dr. Bloch has served on many committees, including the House Committee on Bylaws, the Long Range Planning Committee, and the Task Force on Residency Shortages. He is a former president of The Bronx County Medical Society.

Dr. Bloch has been married to his wife, Rhonda, for 45 years. He has 4 children and 15 grandchildren. During his spare time, Dr. Bloch enjoys gardening. He was recently granted an exclusive privilege to view ancient sacred Hebrew Scriptures in the Vatican Library.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP, Elected Vice President of the Medical Society of the State of New York


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP, Elected Vice President of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Joseph R. Sellers Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Joseph R. Sellers, MD, FAAP, FACP, was elected Vice President at MSSNY’s 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown, New York on April 13, 2019. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Sellers serves as Eastern Region Medical Director for the Bassett Healthcare network.

Originally from Buffalo, Dr. Sellers earned his BA degree from the University of Rochester and his MD degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine.  He completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Program at the Albany Medical Center.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians.

An attending physician in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown, NY and the Cobleskill Regional Hospital, Dr. Sellers is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he has served as a primary care clerkship preceptor for over twenty years.

Dr. Sellers has served medical missions in Haiti and Kenya and is a volunteer physician with the Boy Scouts of America. He will provide medical care this summer at the 2019 World Scouting Jamboree.  Dr. Sellers has been a trustee of the Cobleskill Regional Hospital for the past 19 years and served for 21 years on the Schoharie County Board of Health.

An active member of organized medicine since 1990, Dr. Sellers previously served MSSNY as Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and as Secretary. He served as MSSNY’s Third District Councilor from 2004-2010, and Third District President from 1998-2004.  Additionally, he served as Chair of MSSNY’s Political Action Committee from 2010 to 2019.  He was president of the Schoharie County Medical Society from 1990-1994.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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William Latreille, MD Elected Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

William Latreille, MD Elected Speaker of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

William Latreille MSSNY Speaker of the HouseWestbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Internist William Latreille, MD, was elected as Speaker at MSSNY’s 213th annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Tarrytown, New York on April 13, 2019.  He will continue in his role as medical director of outpatient medical practices at the University of Vermont Health Network, Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, New York. He will also continue his internal medicine practice in Malone and at the Indian Health Center in Hogansburg, New York.

A graduate of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, Dr. Latreille earned his medical degree at SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He received his first and second years of Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Missouri Medical Center in Columbia, Missouri and finished his residency training at the Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Clinic in Syre, Pennsylvania.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Latreille is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a specialist in adult and adolescent medicine.  He has been designated as a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform flight physical examinations and issue aviation medical certificates for class 1, 2 and 3 pilots.

Dr. Latreille served as 4th District Councilor for eight years and 4th District President for four years. He created, and continues to chair,  the Lake Placid Retreat—now in its 20th year—that is held each January for MSSNY districts 3 and 4. He was appointed to the MSSNY Board of Trustees in 2012 and served as Board Chairman for 2015-16.

In addition to his activities at MSSNY, Dr. Latreille is a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) and a member of the NY Delegation to the AMA. He is also a member and past president of the Franklin County Medical Society. 

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Frank Dowling, MD Re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Frank Dowling, MD Re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Frank Dowling MSSNY Sect.Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Frank Dowling, MD was re-elected Secretary of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown, NY on April 13, 2019.

A graduate of Harvard College, Dr. Dowling received both his medical degree and his residency training from SUNY at Stony Brook School of Medicine.  Since 2004, he has served as Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Prior to that appointment, he was Clinical Assistant Professor from 1993-2004.

Board certified in both Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Dowling has an outpatient private practice in Garden City and Islandia that focuses on treating victims of trauma and disaster, emergency responders and healthcare professionals and their families. He also treats patients with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Dowling serves as Medical Advisor to the Police Organization Providing Peer Assistance (POPPA), an independent, confidential, non-departmental voluntary assistance program for the NYPD.

An active member of MSSNY, Dr. Dowling has served as Commissioner for Science and Public Health, co-chair of the Addiction and Psychiatric Medicine Committee, chair of the Task Force on Alcohol and Health and vice chair of the Committee on Bioterror and Emergency Preparedness. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Committee and as faculty for the Veteran’s Mental Health Training Initiative, a collaborative effort by MSSNY, NYSPA and NASW-NY to train NY practitioners to assist warriors and veterans with post-traumatic stress and TBI.  

When the ISTOP law was under consideration in Albany, Dr. Dowling—working with MSSNY staff—was instrumental in helping a MSSNY led coalition obtain the right for a designee to assist a physician with mandated PMP lookups.  He currently serves on the AMA’s Opioid Task Force and on MSSNY’s Task Force on Physician Stress and Burnout. He previously worked with the MSSNY/OASAS Planning Committee that developed a 3 hour CME program on pain management and opioid abuse, which is available free to MSSNY members to meet the New York State mandated CME requirement.

As a member of the New York Delegation to the American Medical Association (AMA), Dr. Dowling has collaborated with others to update AMA policies in several public health areas, including psychiatric and substance use disorders, access to care issues, LGBTQ health issues and healthcare disparities.

Dr. Dowling received the American Psychiatric Association’s Bruno Limo Award in 2003 for “outstanding contributions to the care and understanding of victims of disaster” for his work with emergency services personnel after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. In addition, Dr. Dowling received a Long Island Healthcare Heroes Award from Long Island Business News for his work in support of veterans and others with chronic psychiatric illnesses. In 2015, he was awarded MSSNY’s Charles D. Sherman Award for his support of medical students.  He is co-author of Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment, a text book intended to prepare psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to respond to disasters and mass casualty events.

Dr. Dowling lives in Oakdale, NY with his wife Theresa, sons Frank, Sean and Finn and daughter, Casey.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Arthur C. Fougner, MD Elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

Arthur C. Fougner, MD Elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York

MSSNY is the State’s Primary Professional Organization for Physicians

Author Fougner MSSNY Presiident

Westbury, NY—April 15, 2019— Arthur C. Fougner, MD, was elected President of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) at its 213th annual House of Delegates meeting in Tarrytown, NY on April 13, 2019.  Board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Fougner is Chief of Gynecologic Ultrasound at Northwell Health.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Fougner earned his MD degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral training in OB-GYN at St. Clare’s Hospital, NYU Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital and Booth Memorial Medical Center.

An attending OB-GYN at North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and Forest Hills Hospital, Dr. Fougner is an assistant professor of OB-GYN at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and formerly an assistant clinical professor at SUNY Stony Brook and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Fougner is a member of the International Society for Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology and of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Active in organized medicine since 1979, Dr. Fougner will serve as a New York Delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) from January 2019-December 2020. He previously served as MSSNY’s President-Elect, Vice President and Assistant Secretary. Additionally, he was MSSNY’s Commissioner of Communications from 2012-2013, Assistant Commissioner of Public Health from 2009-2010 and Commissioner of Governmental Affairs from 2010-2012. He serves as a trustee for the Medical Society of the County of Queens.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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MSSNY Calls Passage of Bill Raising Legal Age to Purchase Smoking, Vaping Products to 21 a Significant Victory for Public Health


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY CALLS PASSAGE OF BILL RAISING LEGAL AGE TO PURCHASE SMOKING, VAPING PRODUCTS TO 21 A SIGNIFICANT VICTORY FOR PUBLIC HEALTH

Statement attributable to:
Thomas Madejski, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“We know that data suggest the earlier a child is when he/she smokes the more severe the addiction is likely to be and 90% of all smokers begin before age 20.  Each day, 6,000 children under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette.  Children most often try their first cigarette with a friend or peer who already smokes.  A NY Department of Health survey has also found that e-cigarette use by high school students nearly doubled in the last two years, and a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s report shows the number of high school students using e-cigarettes soared 900 percent between 2011 and 2015, becoming the most commonly used form of nicotine among youths.

This major public health victory will help prevent a generation of New Yorkers from becoming addicted to smoking by delaying children and young adult’s access to tobacco products. We will reduce the likelihood they ever start smoking and therefore create a healthier state.  Today, we thank the Assembly and the Senate for their action and we are confident that Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign this measure into law.

We are also grateful for the actions that the Governor and Legislature took in the context of the budget by requiring any vapor products retailor to be registered with the state tax commissioner and to show proof of the certificate.  The budget also imposed a 20% tax on vapor products—taxes have been one of the most effective interventions in reducing smoking and will clearly have the same impact on our youth when it comes to vaping”.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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Take Recreational Marijuana Use Out of the Budget


MSSNY Seal
MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
www.mssny.org
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

 

For Immediate Release

MSSNY: Take Recreational Marijuana Use Out of the Budget

March 28, 2019, Westbury, NY—As the New York State Legislature continues to grapple with its 2019-20 State Budget, MSSNY is hopeful that any discussion regarding legalization for recreational or “adult use” of marijuana be taken out of the budget.

Since Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) legalized marijuana, past-month use of the drug has continued to rise above the national average among youth aged 12–17 in all five jurisdictions (National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH], 2006-2017).  Many people believe that marijuana is not addictive, but brain scans of marijuana users show changes in the structure of the brain’s reward center to be consistent with addiction (Gilman et al., 2014).  Colorado Department of Health Services, Office of Behavioral Health reported in 2017 that marijuana is the second most implicated drug—after alcohol—in addiction treatment admissions.  These are just some of the reasons that we have been strong in our opposition to legalizing this substance.

We have been making some headway and part of this effort has been through collaboration with the Medical Societies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware.   We offered a joint statement opposing the legalization and just this week the New Jersey Legislature was unable to muster the votes for passage.

However, we have heard from many legislative members about the need to “decriminalize” certain aspects that lead to disparities in arrests and convictions of minorities that come from involvement with marijuana.  All of us have different views on what “decriminalization” means in the context of marijuana.   Does it mean lower fines, no jail time?  Or does it mean treatment rather than arrest? Should we expunge a criminal record related to marijuana convictions?  These are all questions that will need to be answered.

We will be asking the other states to join with us in urging that their respective governors and legislatures of each state have a meaningful discussion on “decriminalization.” While we recognize that each state has its own set of laws and regulations, perhaps it’s time for us to combine our effort in resolving this issue of ensuring that all individuals are treated equitably under the law.

Our geographical nearness should permit the creation of an interstate task force to allow us some common sense rules that would be applicable along state lines.

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

 

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia

Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516.488.6100 x 302
rraia@mssny.org
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