Message from the MMSA President
Hello. My name is Gerald McKinney and I am excited about serving the people of Mississippi and the members of the Mississippi Medical & Surgical Association (MMSA) as the new president. MMSA was established on October 5, 1966. We serve as a state member of the National Medical Association (NMA), an organization formed from the refusal of the American Medical Associations (AMA) to accept blacks as members. The NMA looked to address issues that affected the poor and under represented including one of its primary missions of confronting health care disparities. This mission remains the same today.
During my term I would like for this organization to continue the mission and narrow this gap. We have seen changes in recommendations for a number of diseases that affect African American men and women disproportionately. “The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with a health care provider about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Research has not yet proven that the potential benefits of testing outweigh the harms of testing and treatment.” In spite of this, our men appear to have a far more aggressive form of this cancer and are dying at an alarming rate. There are 40.8/100,000 African American men per year that die of prostate cancer. That is more that whites (18.2/100,000) and Hispanic (16.1/100,000), combined. Current statistics show that African American males are 70 times more likely to develop prostate cancer than white and Hispanic males.
Similar disparities exist for African American women. Even though white woman develop breast cancer at a rate of 127 cases per 100,000 compared to 118 cases per 100,000 black women, they are dying at a higher rate. Recent statistics show that black women die at a rate of 30.8 per 100,000 as opposed to whites at a rate 22.7 per 100,000. Historically, decisions on our health are based on statistic from studies that we have not been a significant part of. That's why I believe that our voices, research, and care are needed now more than ever. We must be the voice of the people through lobbying, legislation and policy making. Let us return to the purpose of organized medicine and fight for those that cannot fight for themselves. Let’s make a difference.
Gerald McKinney, MD, FACS
Chief, Surgical Services
G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery VAMC
Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy
University of Mississippi Medical Center
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