Annually, members of Baltimore City Medical Society travel to Annapolis to meet with members of the Baltimore City Delegation. COVID-19 and related protocols required a shift this year. From February 23 to February 28, members contacted their elected representatives via e-mail and telephone to request support for two major initiatives the Loan Assistance Repayment Program and increase funding for Medicaid. Join BCMS next year as we return to in-person visits. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
In November 2021, the Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation (BCMSF) co-hosted the Association of Black Cardiologists’ (ABC) annual “Spirit of the Heart Community Forum and Wellness Symposium,” the first held in Baltimore. During the nearly two-hour virtual session, speakers representing faith, education, and health organizations shared their current efforts to reduce hypertension and deaths related to cardiovascular conditions in Baltimore’s black communities. In addition to the symposium, BCMSF will work with ABC to implement other components of the “Spirit” initiative during this year. These include a community health fair, “messages from the faith community,” and establishment of a community and patient health advocate program.
The Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation (BCMSF) was incorporated on December 6, 1972. On Monday, December 6, 2021, the BCMSF “kicked off” its 50th Anniversary with “50 Rising…Setting the Stage”, a virtual celebration of its early beginnings. Students from the neighboring Baltimore School for the Arts shared their artistic talents via three presentations. BCMSF executive director, Bernadette Lane, was interviewed by award-winning radio talk show personality, Anthony McCarthy. Following a video highlighting early programs and activities, BCMSF president, Jos Zebley, M.D., engaged with BCMS members, Anuradha Reddy, M.D., and Tyler Cymet, D.O., on the topic, “Perspectives on Physician Philanthropy.”
When the Homewood Hospitals closed in 1991, the balance in the institutions’ charitable accounts was donated to the Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation to support an annual scholarship. In June, Dr. Ruth Ashman, the last President of the Homewood Hospital staff, presented the Foundation with a check for $75,000 The medical staffs at North Charles General Hospital and the Wyman Park Medical Associates, the institutions which made up Homewood Hospitals, had voted to donate all of the funds left in its treasury after the medical center’s final expenses were paid. Dr. Beryl Rosenstein, the President of the BCMS Foundation at the time, along with Dr. Philip Wagley, who chaired the committee which created the Foundation in 1972, accepted the check.
Other significant contributions enabled the Foundation to bolster its yearly giving. Three scholarships were funded annually by gifts in memory of three Baltimore physicians who were long time city practitioners; Drs. Elliott R. Fishel (President of the Society in 1985), Nathan E. Needle, and Kennard L. Yaffe (Society President in 1983). A strategic plan was set up during the Foundation Presidency of Dr. Murray A. Kalish (1993-1996) to solicit donations from hospital medical staffs, and every hospital in Baltimore participated. Allied specialty societies were contacted, with Dr. Kalish’s own Maryland-District of Columbia Society of Anesthesiologists making the first $1,000 specialty society donation. The Foundation then turned to local corporations for donations.
As early as 1940, BCMS engaged with Monumental City Medical Society, the membership organization of non-Caucasian physicians, and the local affiliate of the National Medical Association. One of the earliest activities were joint scientific and other medical education meetings, since “Negroes” were excluded from membership in Caucasian organizations, including Baltimore City Medical Society and MedChi. Over the years, BCMS and Monumental have continued to hold joint scientific and other educational programs, and social activities.
A December 18, 1948 Baltimore Sun article, “Medical Society to Admit Negroes,” reported on the previous evening’s meeting which received a unanimous vote, from the 250 Baltimore City Medical Society members in attendance, to admit “Negro physicians.” Then BCMS President, Horsley Gantt, M.D., noted that 40 of the approximately 80 “Negro” physicians in Baltimore would probably want to join. In 1950, the Sidney Hollander Foundation presented A Certificate of Award to BCMS for its “..contribution toward the achievement of equal rights and opportunities for Negroes…” The first five physicians to join were Maurice Adams, M.D., Gilbert Banfield, M.D., I. Bradshaw Higgins, M.D., Walter Shervington, M.D., and N. Louise Young, M.D.
In 1978, Roland T. Smoot, M.D., earned the distinction as the first black physician elected BCMS president; he would go on to become MedChi’s president in 1983. Willarda V. Edwards, M.D., followed Dr. Smoot, serving as BCMS president in 1995, while simultaneously serving as Monumental President, and was elected MedChi ‘s second woman president in 2004.
Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation was established in 1972. Later this year, the Foundation will host a “kick- off” event in anticipation of next year’s acknowledgment of the work of the Foundation. Central to this effort will be initiatives to raise funds to assure the Foundation continues its work for another 50 years. The following excerpt on the Foundation is from the book, The Baltimore City Medical Society: A History, by Ron and Pat Pilling. Baltimore City Medical Society commissioned the book in 2004, the occasion of its 100th Anniversary as a component of MedChi.
Scholarships proved to be the permanent legacy of the Woman’s Auxiliary, [later, just the Auxiliary, still later, the Alliance] continuing unabated within the general structure of the Baltimore City Medical Society until the Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation was formed in 1972. The amounts grew to $1,000 in 1972, when a Hopkins-bound student was chosen by a committee of the Baltimore City Public Schools. The need to raise funds for scholarships made necessary the creation of a 501 © (3) non-profit legal entity that could accept tax-deductible donations for the purpose, and in September 1974 the first call went out for contributions to get the Foundation started. “The BCMS Foundation is a philanthropic organization formed to support scholarships, special post-graduate educational activities, public health programs and other worthwhile medically-oriented projects,” the call for donations explained.
By 1975, there were sufficient funds to begin a search for the Foundation’s first scholarship recipients. A letter went out to financial aid offices at medical schools across the country. Prospective recipients needed a permanent Baltimore City address, and had to be enrolled in an accredited medical or osteopathy school. The first two recipients, a student at Howard University and another at Johns Hopkins, received grants totaling $1,500 in 1976. As the fund grew, so did the awards. In 1977, five students shared a total of $4,000 and in 1981 scholarships spread among four students reached $5,000. Eight students benefitted from the Foundation’s programs in 1990, when a total of $12,000 was granted.
Richard Bruno, M.D., was recently appointed Interim Site Medical Director for the Mt. Vernon Center at Chase Brexton Health Care; and Tyler Cymet, D.O., is the Medical Director for the Field Hospital treating COVID-19 patients at the Baltimore Convention Center.
The Maryland Board of Physicians has been notified that licensees may receive a telephone call that represents it is from the Board.
This was actual call information reported by a licensee:
I received a telephone call this morning asking to speak to “Dr. Doe.”
The person on the other end referred to himself as “Mike Moore from the Medical Board.” He said he needed to speak to Dr. Doe regarding his medical license and that he needed to call him back ASAP @888.531.3905 and to tell him it was urgent.
The call did not come from the Board. It is a scam!
*If you receive any calls asking to contact the Board immediately, please ignore them. The Board would reach out by e-mail or paper notice if there was a need to discuss the license status.”
In her remarks during the May 2018 Baltimore City Medical Society (BCMS) President’s Gala, Padmini Ranasinghe, M.D., quoted a well-known ancient Buddhist saying: “Arogya Parama Labha.” “Translated, this means that the ultimate profit, or gain, that anyone can make is in one’s own health and wellness”, she stated. As President-Elect, Dr. Ranasinghe led a series of wellness initiatives, that included establishment of an Wellness Advisory Committee to provide guidance on programming and several continuing medical education activities. “The goal of our efforts is to reach out to physicians at every stage of their career, and our collective vision [is] that physicians who invest in their own wellness will become the true healers for everyone in their community”, Dr. Ranasinghe added. BCMS Foundation, established in 1972 by BCMS physicians, shares that vision, and is using its Speakers Bureau to expand its reach to City residents on topics of well-being.
BCMS and other MedChi components are responding daily to e-mail and phone requests for information on economic and business resources, including federal, state and local funding, personal protection equipment, telemedicine support, and volunteer opportunities. We are managing specialty medical societies’ weekly teleconferences and other communications with their memberships. We are encouraging participation in webinars offered by the Maryland Department of Health and MedChi, as well as BCMS continuing medical education activities. We will continue to share up-to-date information via our websites and publications. Advocating for additional public emergency immunity and additional economic support for physicians are among our top priorities. We are your resource; let us know what else we may offer to assist you.
Built in 1849 by George Carrell Jenkins, a founder of Bon Secours Hospital, Jenkins Mansion is considered “one of the most exquisite homes in Baltimore” with over 6,800 square feet consisting of five bedrooms and four full and two half bathrooms. BCMS Foundation hosted a tour of the Mansion, “one of the most exquisite homes in Baltimore.” It was built in 1894 by a founder of Bon Secours Hospital, George Carrell Jenkins, and beautifully stored by current owner and generous host, Nick Piscatelli.
Baltimore City Medical Society members joined with other MedChi component members to achieve legislative and regulatory victories during the January to April Session of the Maryland General Assembly. Read the full legislative report that outlines victories in patient access to physician services, public health initiatives, and delivery of health care services — www.medchi.org/Your Advocate.
Our theme for 2019 is “Baltimore’s Treasure: Baltimore City Medical Society (BCMS). BCMS has a rich history on which to build. To assure BCMS has a rich future, there is a need to engage more early-career physicians in planning, Incoming President, Tom Edmondson, M.D., has outlined his top priority for 2019: to increase awareness of BCMS within the physician and larger communities. The ultimate two-fold goal is to attract and retain members and to reach and introduce more City residents to the range of BCMS and BCMS Foundation programs. A robust calendar of events is being fine-tuned and will include new activities, a s series of “Fireside Chats” and “Waterfall Conversations,” membership focus groups and surveys, as well as increased physician engagement in public forums to lend expertise on critical health issues in Baltimore City.
Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation’s ongoing “Campaign 365” was suggested by current BCMS Foundation board member, Don Dembo, M.D. Unveiled the day after the November 2018 General Election, the Foundation plans to keep its campaign in high gear year round. BCMS members, colleagues, friends and family are encouraged to donate just one dollar a day to support the work of BCMS Foundation.
On December 24, 2017, Baltimore City Medical Society and MedChi, The Maryland Medical Society, bid farewell to Thomas Edward Hunt, Jr., M.D., the consummate physician, citizen and friend.
He was a retired private practice orthopedist, having graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School, and completing his residency at Johns Hopkins. He was a past president of BCMS, the Maryland Orthopedic Association and the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Maryland . He was considered our unofficial historian of Maryland Medicine, and, in 2008, his friends created the Thomas Hunt Lecture, to honor him, and to help fund presentations on contributions to medicine in Maryland.
He was humbled by this recognition, one of many bestowed upon him. He received the University of Maryland Alumni Distinguished Service Award , and the Community Service Award of the Baltimore City Medical Society Foundation. He was a recipient of the Christopher Spirit Award for Community Service. His over 40 years of service to the Allegany County League for Crippled Children was duly recognized as a Health Care Hero by the Daily Record.
To many others, Tom was a role model. He was described as a “quiet, wise, and unprepossessing man, who was also devoutly religious.” He was devoted to his family; deceased wives, Mary Genevieve Maley Hunt, Amy Glenn Angell, and later companion Mary Catherine Cole. He was proud of his children, Mary Anne Kowzan, Angela Hunt, Kathleen Plandolph, Thomas Joseph Hunt and James Hunt; step children, Elizabeth Angell League, and Robert Angell. He was grandfather of nine and great-grandfather of five. He relished time spent with his extended family and friends.
The Board of Directors and membership mourn the recent passing of our esteemed President-Elect, colleague and friend, Maurice “Ben” Furlong, Jr., M.D., on May 27, 2006. Ben was a member of BCMS for fourteen years and, prior to his appointment as Chair of Pathology at Mercy Medical Center, an active member of Baltimore County Medical Association, for an equal number of years. He joined the BCMS Board of Directors in 2000 and served as treasurer and secretary before his nomination as President-Elect last year. He would have assumed office January 2007. We request your special prayers and thoughts for his wife and family.