New Jersey Section report
Sharon B. Mass, MD, section chair
The New Jersey Section has been busy the last several months with activity in each of our three focal areas: communication, advocacy, and leadership development.
The New Jersey Section website launched, featuring accurate listings of Section Advisory Council members, ob-gyn departments and their chairs, and residency programs and their directors. Furthermore, we are in the process of developing town hall-style meetings, which will occur regionally, allowing more members to network with each other and with section leadership. Finally, we are partnering with the District III ROUNDS project and are happy to report that New Jersey has the most requests of the sections in our district for educational presentations. Talks by Thomas Westover, MD, section secretary-treasurer, and me were highly requested.
New Jersey Section members were active in the development of legislation regarding dense breast tissue notification. In July, Jessica Frasco, ACOG lobbyist, and I attended a roundtable hosted by Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), sponsor of the legislation. Bills were introduced in the House and Senate on September 9. The final language:
- Mandates health insurance coverage of any screening and/or testing deemed medically necessary by providers
- Recommends a baseline mammogram at age 40 followed by yearly screening
- Includes a lay letter to be sent to all patients along with their mammography report
- Requires creation of a breast cancer task force that will assess and recommend strategies to improve patient awareness
The New Jersey Section also committed to developing educational materials regarding dense breast tissue. In preparation for this effort, I’ve created a survey regarding dense breasts, as well as new screening modalities, which will evaluate the current state of a patient’s knowledge.
The New Jersey Women’s Health Coalition held a meeting on May 23 with Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (R-Monmouth). On August 26, I attended a dinner where several key Republican leaders in New Jersey met with physicians from six specialties to discuss issues in health care. Gov. Chris Christie attended and shared his thoughts. Donald M. Chervenak, MD, section vice chair, attended the ACOG State Legislative Roundtable in September.
Several young physician leaders have been invited to participate in section activities. We continue to develop our Leadership and Mentorship Program.