Our Top 10 Moments of 2020 (and what’s to come!)

2020 has brought growth in many ways for Memphis Medical Society and its associated entities. We are most proud of the resilience our members displayed in caring for our community. In case you have not heard it enough—THANK YOU!

It is difficult to talk about our “top” moments with COVID-19 having rattled us to our core. But realistically, COVID-19 is part of our story that we cannot erase.  It’s part of YOUR story. We should record it and learn from it. It is a history lesson to be shared for generations. And when we’ve finally overcome the bad, we can celebrate the good. Already, one positive is that MMS leadership found ways to support our members better. You will see some hints in this email of what’s to come and what we are working toward in 2021. So, here goes…

1. 2020 President’s Gala. The event ended a fantastic presidency for Dr. Jimmie Mancell, allowing me to take the reins of our 143-year old organization. Thank you again, Dr. Mancell, for your continued service. What’s next? I hand over the reins to our new President, Dr. Andrew Watson. We are still finalizing our plans for gathering in 2021.

2. Thrive. Our physician well-being initiative was launched. The highlight is a free, confidential hotline that physicians can access anytime they feel the need to connect with a psychologist. What’s next? We’re exploring peer-led counseling with a particular focus on supporting physicians who experience trauma due to clinical error, loss of a patient or other dramatic episode.

3. PPE. Well, this came out of left field didn’t it? Who knew we would be left without the equipment most of us probably took for granted. As of November 20th, we have distributed hundreds of thousands of items to our members. MMS supported the largest systems in our community, while making sure our independent physicians were able to access necessities at a moment’s notice.  What’s next? We are researching the viability of a group purchasing organization to meet our members’ needs through and beyond the pandemic.

4. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. This inaugural committee was created in partnership with Bluff City Medical Society (BCMS). Much appreciation to BCMS president, Dr. LaTonya Washington, for her dedication and collaboration in this endeavor. What’s next? The group will continue to meet and develop goals for the health care community and public in 2021 and beyond.

5. Digital communication. Our growth is evidenced by the early-on creation of documents and scheduling of Zoom meetings for educating members about all things COVID-19. The focus continues to be condensing the flood of information you receive from local, state and national resources into quick and easy-to-read documents. What’s next? An audio version of communication aimed at getting you news, information and education in less than five minutes. Watch your email and search for Memphis Medcast in your favorite podcast platform to learn more.

6. Fresh perspectives. We welcomed new and diverse leaders to our Board of Directors. We conducted our first Phone-a-Thon during which board members and volunteers made 450+ calls to nonmember physicians and recruited them for membership. We gained over 30 new members to the Society in about an hour! What’s next? A customized communication strategy aimed at creating an inclusive and supportive medical community in Memphis.

7. Partnership. We continued our bond with the Tennessee Medical Association and closed one of our most successful legislative sessions ever—combating issues like scope of practice, telehealth, COVID-19 and balance billing. Read more here.

8. Money and Medicine. We evolved this initiative established to support physician financial education throughout all career stages. What’s next? We will increase its presence for offering tailored education to support physicians.

9. MedTemps. This entity has become a pleasant benefit to many. It seems each month we receive a report that MedTemps is aiding our members at a record pace. MedTemps has gone from essentially an afterthought to a leading asset for our membership. The service is contributing to the healthcare economy by placing leaders at our clinics. They are doing this at a rate that hasn’t been seen in 10 years!

10. MMS staff. Last, but definitely not least, I must thank the MMS staff for their hard work and commitment to the organization. This has been their most challenging year in quite some time. Behind the scenes, they’ve been rising to the occasion. I’d like to recognize their names and a few of their unique contributions to our advancement this year.

Cara Azhar (the PPE Queen and our new Physician Liaison)

Allison Cook (all those condensed and timely communications)

Cailyn Lillard (leading all of the growth of MedTemps)

Leah Lumm (leading our PPP loan application and absorbing new responsibilities)

Katie Yaun (leading all the efficiency and modernization of MedTemps)

Clint Cummins (inserting MMS into leadership positions in the community, particularly to support members through COVID-19)

You made it this far in the email—thank you for hanging in with us. I speak for both the staff and Board of Directors when I say we are committed to making our members’ lives better at home and in their practices. Our doors are always open, so please let us know if you have suggestions for helping us keep that commitment. Stay engaged on social media and mdmemphis.org. Here’s to making 2021 our most excellent year yet!


Best to all,


Danielle Hassel, M.D.

Memphis Medical Society President