Membership Update May/June 2005
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L. P. Hinterbuchner, M.D., Ed itor Mark A. Longo, Legal Counsel
Brooklyn Happenings The Annual Stated Meeting
of the Medical Society of the County of Kings, Inc. and the Academy of Medicine of
Brooklyn was held on May 17, 2005 at Michael’s Restaurant, 2929 Avenue R, Brooklyn, New York. The meeting was called to order by Steven I. Sherman, D.O., President. Present were: Officers (7), Trustees (13), Censors (7), Members-At-Large (4), Representatives of the Auxiliary (2), Members (72) and their spouses/guests, Legal Counsel and our Executive Director. Special guests were Robert A. Scher, M.D., President, MSSNY, Honorable Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President, Honorable Darryl C. Towns, New York State Assembly, Sheldon A. Rosenthal, M.D., Past-President, Hospital Medical Staff, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Julien J. Supplice, M.D., President, Hospital Medical Staff, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. Dr. Evelyn P. Dooley-Seidman, Secretary, indicated that the names of the newly elected members since the last Annual Meeting will be published. There were (2) by Transfer; (9) Active; (14) Young Physicians; (8) Reinstatements; (102) Hospital Residents. Dr. Dooley-Seidman then read the names of those members who have passed away since the last Annual Meeting. They were the following physicians: William Anolik, Jacob Bauer, Bernard Berman, Samuel Berson, Robert Brodsky, Kimberly Clermont, David Cohen, Alexander Ellman, Howard Finkelstein, Solomon Glotzer, Albert N. Gold, Milton M. Greenberg, Joseph T. Guccione, William Kahan, Milton I. Kaplan, Morris Klatzko, Abraham Kleinman, Leo J. Koven, Philip J. Kozinn, Nauttam Kothari, Vincent A. Lacovara, Ruben Levenson, Leon Littman, Sheldon G. Menzin, Jacqueline Messite, Norman Morris, Paul A. Qualben, Joseph A. Raccia, Albert J. Raffael, Leon M. Rothman, Philip Sechzer, Bernard Shulman, Irving Silver, Jagat M. Subudhi, Kumund D. Thakkar. In respect to their memory, a moment of silence was offered. Dr. Steven I. Sherman, President, presented Certificates of Appreciation to the following physician members: Dr. Randall D. Bloomfield for his service as Chair of the Kings Delegation; and Dr. Sam L. Unterricht for his service as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Dr. L. P. Hinterbuchner was was not able to attend, but will receive a Certificate of Appreciation for his service as President of MSSNY’s First District Branch. The report of the Tellers was presented by Dr. Steven M. Kaner and adopted. The following Officers were elected: Robert A. Frankel, M.D., President; Donald E. Moore, M.D., President-Elect; Evelyn P. Dooley-Seidman, M.D., Vice-President, Steven A. Farber, M.D., Secretary, Parag H. Mehta, M.D., Associate Secretary, Joseph C. Amico, M.D., Treasurer, Edward K. Chapnick, M.D., Associate Treasurer, Joseph R. Brennan, M,.D., Directing Librarian, Randall D. Bloomfield, Associate Directing Librarian & Curator. Dr. Steven I. Sherman then passed the gavel to Dr. Robert A. Frankel, incoming President. Dr. Frankel assumed the office of President and delivered his Inaugural Address. The Fifty-Year Citations were presented to the following physicians: Jackie Randolph Gardner, M.D., Leonard Kane, M.D., Emanuel Milder, M.D., Herbert Morton Paley, M.D. and Nicholas Parlamis, M.D. Those physicians who were unable to attend will receive their Fifty-Year Citations by mail. The Medical Society of the County of Kings, Inc. wishes to welcome the following new members: Active: Anil Hingorani, M.D. Reinstatements: Gloria Achara, M.D., Grace J. Bynoe, M.D. Young Physicians: Emefre Udo, M.D. Williamsburg Bank Tower To Become $165M Condominium Project: As you may have already read in the local newspapers, the Williamsburg
Savings Bank Building at One Hanson Place,
Brooklyn, New York, has been sold and is now
being converted to residential condominiums. As a
result, once again, the Medical Society of the
County of Kings, Inc. must relocate its offices.
Please bear with us. We will try our best to make this a painless transition. (Photo appears courtesy of New York State A New Tort Reform Action was announced at MSSNY’s House of Delegates meeting in April. A public relations firm, Gary Lewy of Rubenstein and Associates, was engaged to help in this effort. Lack of true medical malpractice relief threatens access to care, particularly in high risk specialties such as Obstetrics and Neurosurgery. The State of New York has already lost services of qualified physicians in these and other specialties and liability carriers are also dwindling. At the Legislative Brunch of our Society, held in February, Dr. William Rosenblatt, then the President of MSSNY, indicated to the participating legislators that our aim is to cap only non-economic damages. Some of the legislators were apparently unaware of this. The current President of MSSNY, Dr. Robert Scher, and members of our Society’s leadership started to visit our hospitals to explain that financial help in this undertaking is necessary. More than $60,000 was pledged at the House of Delegates meeting. Further contributions solicited are to be forwarded to the MSSNY Medical Liability Reform Fund, 420 Lakeville Road, Lake Success, NY 11042. For information, call (516) 488-6100. Health Savings Account (HSA) is not a health plan. It is a tax-exempt trust or custodial account established exclusively for the payment of qualified medical expenses of a beneficiary who becomes covered under a high deductible plan (HDHP). Contributions to the account by the individual are tax deductible. An employer may contribute to the plan. Amounts in the HSA belong to the individual, they are fully portable and earn tax-free interest. Unused amounts in the account at year end remain available for future years. Distributions are not taxed if used for qualifying medical expenses. To be eligible to establish an HSA, an individual must not be covered under Medicare and can not be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. (New York County Medical Society Update, February 2005 and the Internet) Medical Liability Reform Campaign: At its April 17, 2005 meeting, the Board of Trustees of the Medical Society of the State of New York approved the extension of the Gary Lewis/Rubenstein Associates’ contract for an additional three months, for the purpose of assisting MSSNY on its Medical Liability Reform Campaign. On the local level, presentations were made by Dr. Sam L. Unterricht at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center and by Dr. Steven I. Sherman at Interfaith Hospital. First Excess Layer: HANYS Trust. The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is back in the Excess business through HANYS Trust. HANYS Trust will be offering the first layer of Excess coverage to their old customers minus certain high risk specialties (ie: OB-GYN, Neurosurgeons) and physicians with adverse claims histories. Eligible physicians can obtain an application from his/her hospital of primary affiliation. An eligible physician must first try to obtain his/her Excess coverage through HANYS. If he/she is rejected, he/she can then apply to the State Medical Malpractice Insurance Pool (MMIP). The application deadline is June 15, 2005, however, this is not a “hard” deadline. MSSNY Makes Push To Assure Payment For Emergency Care; Physician Action Urged. All physicians are urged to contact their State Senators and Governor Pataki to urge for the enactment of legislation (S.5578, Bonacic) which would assure that physicians are reimbursed for the emergency health care which they render to intoxicated drivers. Current law permits No-Fault insurers to deny coverage in these instances despite the fact that federal and state law require that care be given to these patients. A letter to your legislators and the Governor in support of this measure can be sent from the MSSNY Grassroots Action Ce or directly at (Conway, Auster, Dears, Capital Update, June 10, 2005)
Around the Nation Medical Liability Reform laws that include limits on non-economic damages passed in South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, Alaska and Illinois. Measures to tighten expert witness provisions, allow expressions of sympathy and other reforms passed in Virginia and Montana. Medicare Physician Payment Reform bills resulted from the AMA’s lobbying effort. The H.R 2356 (Clay Shaw, R-FL and Ben Cardin, D-MD) would permanently replace the sustainable growth rate formula with a system that updates payments based on increases in practice costs. The Senate bill, S. 1081 (Jon Kyle, R-AZ and Debbie Stabenow, D-MI) would provide a two year fix, with increases of 2.7 percent in 2006 and 2.6 percent in 2007. Call your federal legislators and urge them to co-sponsor or at least support these bills. Visit or call the AMA Grassroots Hotline at (800) 833-6354 to be connected with the offices of your senator and/or representative. (AMA Voice, July 2005) Of Medical Interest Malaria Battle May Have A New Weapon: Mosquito-Killing Fungi. The strains of two fungi, called Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium aniisopliae were shown to have the ability to infect mosquitos, vectors of malaria parasites. Sprays containing spores and applied just like pesticides could be a new and environmentally friendly weapon against malaria. (Martin Enserink, Science, 6/10/05) Cancer Drug, deemed a failure, has proved effective at treating non-small cell lung cancer in Asian patients, even as it has flopped in helping just about everybody else. AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of the Iressa is therefore adjusting its marketing plan to focus on Japan, China and other Asian markets. Iressa blocks a growth enzyme that causes cancer cells to proliferate. It is not known why it is more effective in Asians. Researchers have shown that it shrinks tumors dramatically in patients carrying a certain mutation in the cell receptor that controls the growth enzyme. The prevalence of this mutation is much higher in Asian patients and non-smokers. In the United States, many oncologists stopped prescribing Iressa, choosing instead Tarceva (produced by Genentech of the U.S. and Roche in Switzerland) which seems to prolong lives of patients overall in clinical trials. (N. Zamiska and J. Whalen, The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2005) Bird Flu: Concerning increasing worries about a deadly pandemic of avian flu, Vietnam has been slow to report 10 new human cases; farmers in China have been giving antiviral drug amantadine to chickens increasing the likelihood of resistance of the avian flu virus, one of the few drugs available to fight human flu. Drug makers and other sources have recently admitted that they sold amantadine cheaply to farmers since the late 1990s. The only alternative to amantadine is more expensive and harder to produce oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Indonesia has confirmed the first human case of H5NI (avian flu) infection recently. (D. Normille and M. Enserink, Science, May 24, 2005) Bidil is the first race-specific medicine approved by the FDA. The approval was announced on June 23, 2005. Bidil is a combination of two older drugs, hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate and was shown to benefit African-Americans who suffer from heart failure. Hydralazine is an antihypertensive agent, relaxing the arteries and decreasing the work of the heart. Isosorbide dinitrate is an anti-anginal agent that relaxes the veins as well as the arteries. How the two drugs work together is unknown. (FDA News & the Internet) Bypass vs. Angioplasty: A review of records of almost 60,000 patients, in the New England Journal of Medicine (May 25, 2005) shows that stent-and-angioplasty procedures are not as effective as by-pass surgery. The study covered cases from 1997 through 2000, and was conducted by Edward L. Hannan at Albany School of Public Health. (John Hechinger, The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2005) How many people does obesity kill? Two figures came from the CDC; first, in 2004, claimed that 400,000 persons died annually because of obesity related complications. This figure was revised downwards this year to 365,000. A new figure of 112,000 was published on April 20, 2005 by some CDC analysts and the National Cancer Institute. Now CDC officials say that numbers are unimportant. The real message should be that “obesity can be deadly” according to George Mensah, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention. Beverly Rockhill, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina says that we should ask: “Are they living a sicker life?” (Jennifer Couzin, Science, May 6, 2005) Zomig Nasal Spray, a triptan on the market for treatment of migraine since 1997, has recently been shown effective in migraine of adolescents. The study reported at the recent meeting of the American Headache Society in Philadelphia, was double blinded and included 248 teenagers. There are still no prescription drugs approved for migraine in adolescents. An estimated 8 to 12 million adolescents suffer from migraine in the U (Jeanne Whalen, The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2005) How many people does obesity kill? Two figures came from the CDC; first, in 2004, claimed that 400,000 persons died annually because of obesity related complications. This figure was revised downwards this year to 365,000. A new figure of 112,000 was published on April 20, 2005 by some CDC analysts and the National Cancer Institute. Now CDC officials say that numbers are unimportant. The real message should be that “obesity can be deadly” according to George Mensah, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention. Beverly Rockhill, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina says that we should ask: “Are they living a sicker life?” (Jennifer Couzin, Science, May 6, 2005) Hibernation in mice was accomplished by scientists lead by biologist Mark Roth at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. An extremely low metabolic state was induced by exposing the mice to non-lethal concentrations of normally toxic gas hydrogen sulfide. Oxygen consumption of exposed mice fell by half in 5 minutes. The metabolic rate dropped by 90% in 6 hours, and the core body temperature dropped to just a few degrees above the room temperature. Upon return to normal air the mice recovered completely in two hours with no ill effects. (David P.
Hamilton, The Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2005) Of General Interest Tax Deductibility of Car Expenses in Charitable Work: You can deduct the actual cost, such as gas and oil, or you can use the standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile. You can also deduct parking fees and tolls. Be sure the charity is qualified. For more information, see IRS Publications 17 and 526. (Tom Herman, The Wall Street Journal, May 26, 2005) Definition of a Diplomat by Sir Henry Wotton who represented Britain at the court of Venice: “An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country”. (Tunku Varadajan, The Wall Street Journal,) Kennewick Man’s Remains, 9400-year-old, will finally be scientifically studied after 9 years of litigation. Access to the bones, now at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, was arranged this spring according to the scientist’s lawyer. The bones were found along the Columbia River in 1996. Further studies could be threatened by the proposed revision of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act that would broaden the definition of “native American”. The bill (S. 536) would allow tribes to block access to any such remains even if no connection with an existing tribe can be established. (Constance Holden, Science, June 24, 2005) Personal Your Editor was ambushed in May by a childhood disease, appendicitis, which assuredly is more debilitating in later years of life. Hence the delay of this issue. We at the Society hope you all have a nice summer.
Medical Society of the County of Kings, Inc. Phone: (718) 857-7600 Fax: (718) 857-6201 E-mail:
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