William M. Foley, DO reflects on accomplishments from his tenure as MOS President
By MOS Staff

From August 2013 to August 2017, the Massachusetts Osteopathic Society knew only one president. Through the distinguished leadership of William Foley, DO the organization both grew and thrived, expanding membership and solidifying financial standing. Dr. Foley, physician and owner at Boston Osteopathic Health, discussed the changes he helped undertake during his tenure and his hope for the future of the society.

As president of the MOS, what were the accomplishments that you’re most proud of?
First of all, the accomplishments achieved by the MOS over the four years were a team effort. I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of all the officers, board members, and our AOA affiliate executives, Sally Podolski and Samyuktha Gumidyala. Everyone really worked hard. Overall, I believe that we’ve made a difference for our members and the osteopathic profession. One notable achievement is that our total membership increased by over 100 percent since 2014. We also developed a working budget and managed our finances better, which in turn helped us become more fiscally stable. Our presence has been strengthened in legislative affairs and we even started the process of introducing osteopathic equivalency legislation in Massachusetts. Moreover, we enlisted the AOA’s assistance in exposing those who are not licensed to practice osteopathic medicine and are continued to work with state authorities to make sure that issue is addressed. Our bylaws have been restructured to help run the MOS more efficiently. The MOS has also conducted many CME courses for members to improve their skills in OMM/OMT. In 2015, we submitted a resolution on Maintenance of Certification to the AOA House of Delegates which was added to another resolution and approved by the House. The MOS website has been upgraded and is now more organized and accessible for our members.

Any memorable experiences?
One memorable experience was meeting at the Massachusetts Medical Society’s headquarters in Waltham in June 2016. Katherine Riggert, DO, our treasurer at the time joined me to present the MOS’s concerns with Medicare reimbursement for OMT. I gave a short presentation at the meeting explaining the importance of OMT and the necessity for proper reimbursement. We met with then-President of the AOA Boyd Buser, DO, later that afternoon and started what later became the national “Save OMT Campaign”.

Can you describe your work with the Save OMT campaign?
When the National Government Services released a draft LCD on OMT in June 2016, the MOS responded immediately in opposition. We alerted our members and colleagues in other organizations and kept them engaged. The MOS worked tirelessly those two months. From writing letters and emails to attending meetings and conference calls, we persevered in getting the LCD defeated. Together with the AOA and other states, over 5,000 comment letters were written from the campaign. Massachusetts alone sent in 235 letters. As a result, the NGS released the final version of the LCD in August 2016 and it ensured that physicians will get appropriately paid for OMT provided to Medicare recipients. It was rewarding to see that all our hard work paid off, but ensuring proper insurance reimbursement has been and will continue to be an ongoing battle.

How has the MOS’s situation improved during your presidency? What’s different now than when you took over?
Before I became president, the MOS hit trying times. We were struggling financially, membership was low, and the future of the society was in question. My first term goals were to rectify these problems. We balanced the budget by cutting costs that were unnecessary and creating an annual budget based on the previous year’s earnings. At the beginning of my second term, Samyuktha came on as the new affiliate executive for the MOS. Together, we made membership a priority. With Samyuktha’s help, we had two of the most successful membership campaigns in recent MOS history. As a result, membership is up, we have a stronger influence in the osteopathic community, we are more active in advocating for the profession, and we are doing better financially.

Can you detail some of the best practices you’ve compiled for increasing membership?
Increasing membership is a continuous team endeavor. It’s important to keep putting ourselves out there and letting people know who we are and what we do. In early 2016, the MOS conducted a membership drive where a mailing was sent to all of the DO’s in Massachusetts inviting them to become members of the MOS. The drive went really well; a total of 27 new members joined. Moreover, physician-to-physician interaction is the key for getting new members. Whether it’s over the phone, email, or in-person, it’s essential to connect with as many people as possible and effectively market our member benefits. Another method is to develop a strong base of students and residents. They are the future of the profession and we want to ensure they stay in Massachusetts and become involved with the MOS down the road. At the same time, even if we increase membership, we have to work on member retention and keep our members involved so they can come back and renew every year.

What are your expectations for MOS under its new president, Mekkin Lynch, DO?
I have known Mekkin since she was a medical student. She served on the MOS Board as the resident representative when she moved to Boston to complete her Family Medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. Mekkin is an intelligent, kind, and compassionate human being, which are all the qualities needed to be a great physician and leader. With her leadership, I expect nothing but great things from her and for the MOS.