Past president of AMA to speak at R.I. Medical Society annual meeting

Updated at 11:15 a.m. on Sept. 18.

PROVIDENCE – Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., immediate past president of the American Medical Association, will be the keynote speaker at the Rhode Island Medical Society 211th Member Convivium on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Squantum Association in East Providence.

The society says the annual meeting and awards dinner, which will run from 6-10 p.m., is an opportunity for physicians, physician assistants and medical students to celebrate their profession; learn about health care issues critical to meeting the evolving challenges of medical practice and quality patient care; and recognize Rhode Island physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of patients in Rhode Island and beyond.

“The Rhode Island Medical Society is especially excited about this year’s convivium,” said Dr. Thomas A. Bledsoe, president of the society’s board of directors. “We are so pleased to be joined by Dr. Resneck and look forward to hearing his national perspective on issues facing health care in America. We are also looking forward to honoring a number of physician colleagues who exemplify the best qualities of a physician in their work locally and abroad.”

The society says Resneck has been an advocate for physicians and patients, a prominent spokesperson for innovation and a champion for a more equitable health care system. Dr. Resneck received a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Brown University.

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“I’m excited to return to Providence and honored to join my Rhode Island physician colleagues, medical students and physician assistants at this year’s convivium,” Resneck said. “Being a part of organized medicine is more important now than ever. We each know firsthand how physicians have put everything into our nation’s response to COVID-19. Now it’s time the nation renews its commitment to physicians and to shoring up our health system. That’s why the AMA launched the AMA Recovery Plan for America’s Physicians – aimed at reforming Medicare payments to physicians, improving telehealth, and reducing stigma around mental health care and burnout. We will continue to make this our top priority and advocate for changes that will improve the health of everyone in the U.S.”

The physicians who will be honored at the Convivium:

  • Humanism in Medicine Award: Dr. Jonathan Cahill, associate professor of neurology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and staff neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Rhode Island.
  • Recognition of Outstanding Medical Volunteerism – Halifax Award: Dr. Sybil Cineas, associate professor of medicine, pediatrics and medical science for the Brown Med-Peds Residency Program and longtime volunteer attending physician and Medical Advisory Committee member for the Rhode Island Free Clinic.
  • Recognition of Leadership and Service – Dr. Charles L. Hill Award: Dr. Andrew Saal, former chief medical officer at Providence Community Health Centers.
  • Recognition for Exemplary Professionalism and/or Humanitarian Service – Dr. Herbert Rakatansky Award: Dr. Jane Sharp, partner at the Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology, a division of the Southern New England Healthcare for Women LLC; clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Warren Alpert Medical School; and attending physician at Women & Infants Hospital.

There will also be the Recognition of Commitment to the Profession – 5 Under 40 Award. The five awardees are:

  • Dr. Fahad Ali, emergency medicine resident and first-ever chief resident of diversity, equity and inclusion at Brown Emergency Medicine.
  • Dr. Allison Heinly, associate professor of pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School, associate program director of Brown Pediatric Residency Program and general pediatrician at Hasbro Children’s Hospital Primary Care.
  • Dr. Anita Knopov, a medical education fellow at Brown Emergency Medicine, a research fellow at Annals of Emergency Medicine, a practicing physician at The Miriam Hospital, and an advocate of firearm injury prevention and education.
  • Dr. Vincent LaBarbera, an assistant professor of neurology at the Warren Alpert Medical School and medical director of the Louise Wilcox ALS Clinic at Rhode Island Hospital.
  • Dr. Katelyn Moretti, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School, co-founder of the Rhode Island Medical Society Climate Change and Health Committee, and co-investigator on the 3CRS project – Community-driven Coastal Climate Research and Solutions.

Additionally, the society’s upcoming convivium marks the milestone at which its inauguration of 2023-2024 officers will take place, including the “passing of the torch” of the presidency of the board of directors from Bledsoe to Dr. Heather A. Smith.

“Dr. Smith brings a wealth of experience from her work on the national stage with the American Medical Association and the American College of Gynecology,” Bledsoe said. “The medical society is very fortunate to have her step into the leadership role at this time. I look forward to seeing her in action but also to being on hand to support her and the other incoming officers over the coming year.”

To register for the Rhode Island Medical Society’s 2023 Annual Meeting Convivium, visit the society’s News & Events website page at and scroll to the bottom. Click on the “Annual Meeting Information” link. Tickets are $125 each.

(Correction: An earlier version of the story and caption was inaccurate on how many Conviviums have been held by the Rhode Island Medical Society. This is the 211th Member Convivium. Also, the story was reformatted to clarify the winners of the 5 Under 40 award.)

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