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An OPEN LETTER

to Rep. Frank Hoffmann, chairman, Louisiana House Health & Welfare Committee:
By George S. Ellis, Jr., M.D., President, Orleans Parish Medical Society

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. On behalf of Orleans Parish Medical Society, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to you as House Health & Welfare committee chairman for sponsoring two House Resolutions (numbers 107 and 109) to study the impact of further limiting smoking in Louisiana. I would also like to express our thanks to the members of the House for overwhelmingly backing those resolutions on May 7th.

READ COMPLETE LETTER HERE »

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WHEN IT COMES TO PROVIDING HEALTHCARE, no region in the country has dealt with more unique environmental, sociological, and cultural challenges than those experienced by the Greater New Orleans area. Poverty, crime, drug addiction, teen pregnancy, low levels of education, and natural disaster have plagued it for decades. Hurricane Katrina caused a major brain drain in the medical community, and yet there are over two thousand physicians replenishing the area. Poor health indicators, including a high smoking rate, morbid obesity, and alcoholism, contribute to the high incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and mental health issues.

Attention Members:

In January 2017, the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) House of Delegates voted to amend the LSMS Charter and Bylaws as they relate to their requirement for joint membership. Beginning on September 1, 2017, Orleans Parish Medical Society members will have a choice on how to spend annual membership dues. You may now choose to join either OPMS or LSMS or both.

Membership in both organizations is encouraged but no longer required. The LSMS is the 17th state medical society to move away from the unified membership model, which was established in 1903. Additionally, each individual Parish Medical Society must determine their future relationship with LSMS by choosing to be designated as either a Chartered or an Affiliated Parish Society. After careful review and considerations of information and options provided by LSMS on "Local Independence", the Orleans Parish Medical Society board of directors has decided that OPMS will remain a "Chartered" Medical Society.

Re-enrolling in Orleans Parish Medical Society:
By October 1, 2017, you will be receiving information regarding re-enrollment in Orleans Parish Medical Society via mail and e-mail. We plan to make re-enrollment as simple as possible by providing stamp-addressed return envelopes and the option of enrolling using an electronic platform to re-enroll on the OPMS website, www.OPMS.org. We hope that you decide to remain an OPMS member and will encourage others to join as well. 

Follow updates from Orleans Parish Medical Society on social media:
Orleans Parish Medical Society now provides regular information and updates on Facebook and LinkedIn social media platforms. If you are not already, please follow OPMS on social media. In addition, we will also soon feature an OPMS Twitter handle and a OPMS LinkedIn discussion group.

If you have any questions about future enrollment in Orleans Parish Medical Society and our new social media platforms, please feel free to contact me at jpittman@OPMS.org. Have a great weekend! -- Jim P.