Plenary Sessions

Thursday Plenary Session

Martha S. Gerrity, MD, MPH, PhD, FACP


Relationships, Belonging, and Persistence

Martha S. Gerrity, MD, MPH, PhD, FACP
2023–2024 SGIM President 

Dr. Gerrity received her BS and MD from Northwestern University. After completing an internship (Medical Center Hospital of Vermont) and residency (Oregon Health & Sciences University) training, she did the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed an MPH in epidemiology and a PhD in education. She returned to OHSU to work on curriculum development for the School of Medicine and do education, measurement, and health services research. She developed the Physicians Reactions to Uncertainty scales, and her research informed collaborative care models for patients with depression and chronic pain seen in primary care. She served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, SGIM Treasurer, and Philanthropy Committee chair. She has two adult sons, and in her spare time, she enjoys hiking, theater, and spending time with family and friends.


Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH

Building Bridges: The Interdisciplinary Work of Public Health

Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021-23), Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School (2012-2021), and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital (2017-2021)

Dr. Walensky is an infectious disease clinician whose research career is guided by a belief that the clinical and economic outcomes of medical decisions can be improved through the explicit articulation of choices, the systematic assembly of evidence, and the careful assessment of comparative costs and benefits. She has focused these beliefs on mathematical model-based research toward the promotion of global access to HIV prevention, screening, and care. Her ground-breaking work has motivated changes to US HIV testing and immigration policy; promoted expanded funding for HIV-related research, treatment, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPfAR); and led to policy revisions toward aggressive HIV screening – especially for the underserved – and earlier treatment in resource-limited international settings.  In light of these contributions, Dr. Walensky has been an active member of policy discussions at the WHO, UNAIDS, the DHHS HIV Guidelines Committee, and the NIH Office of AIDS Research. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Walensky served on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts until beginning her tenure at the CDC on January 20th, 2021.  While at the CDC, Dr. Walensky led the nation - and the world - through unprecedented times, navigating the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic and further facing the largest density of diverse infectious threats likely ever seen in this country. During her tenure, she participated in nearly 100 press conferences and countless media appearances, and provided testimony at 17 Congressional hearings. 

Friday Plenary Session

Rachel L. Levine, MD

Malcolm L. Peterson Honor Lecture
Challenges and Opportunities Facing Health & Health Care: Perspectives from the Assistant Secretary for Health

Rachel L. Levine, MD
Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Admiral Rachel L. Levine serves as the 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the head of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. She fights every day to improve the health and well-being of all Americans. She’s working to help our nation overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger foundation for a healthier future - one in which every American can attain their full health potential. ADM Levine’s storied career, first, as a physician in academic medicine focused on the intersection between mental and physical health, treating children, adolescents, and young adults. Then as Pennsylvania’s Physician General and later as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health, she addressed COVID-19, the opioid crisis, behavioral health and other public health challenges.

Saturday Plenary Session

Trauma-Informed Clinical Approaches to the Care of Firearm Injury Victims and Families

Nearly 50,000 people in the U.S. die each year from firearm-related violence; nearly twice as many people are shot and survive, and the ripple effects of this trauma extend throughout families and communities. Too often, the health care system focuses exclusively on the emergency and surgical care for patients in the immediate aftermath of an injury, but what is our role as internists in caring for patients and families who have been touched by this violence? How do we recognize the needs of our patients and improve our clinical approach to trauma informed care? Through a discussion of these fundamental questions, this panel of survivors, clinicians, public health officials, and researchers focuses on helping clinicians to reject the common feelings of helplessness so often associated with this complex issue and instead to recognize concrete steps within our own practice to make a difference in this national epidemic.

Robbie Goldstein, MD, PhD 
Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Eric Gordon, PhD
Professor of Civic Media, Director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College

Clementina M. Chéry
Co-founder, & CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston, Massachusetts

Chana Sacks, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Co-Director, Center for Gun Violence Prevention