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Dr. Alice A. Coombs

5/13/2009, 8:01 a.m.

Dr. Alice A. Coombs

Dr. Alice A. Coombs was elected president-elect of the Massachusetts Medical Society at the organization’s annual meeting, held last Thursday at the Seaport Hotel in Boston.

Coombs, a critical care specialist at South Shore Hospital and an anesthesiologist with South Shore Anesthesia Associates, will serve a one-year term as one of the society’s top three officers, the statewide professional association representing more than 21,000 physicians, residents and medical students throughout Massachusetts.

A member of the society since 1990, Coombs has for the last two years served as its vice president and secretary/treasurer, and has been a member of its board of trustees and its house of delegates. She is also a member of the American Medical Association’s Commission to Eliminate Health Care Disparities and vice chair of the state Board of Registration in Medicine’s Patient Care Assessment Committee, and has served on a number of other medical boards and committees.

In 2005, Coombs was awarded the society’s 2005 Henry Ingersoll Bowditch Award for Excellence in Public Health, an annual award given to a physician who demonstrates creativity, commendable citizenship, initiative, innovation and leadership in public health and advocacy. One of her major public health activities for several years has been her annual anti-smoking program for South Shore youth, “Smoking — Don’t Go There,” an adaptation of a program produced by the American College of Chest Physicians. Coombs developed the program in 1999.

She is also a driving force behind the American Medical Association’s Doctors Back to School Program, which brings physicians into elementary, middle and high schools across the country to interest young men and women, particularly in minority communities, in health care careers.

A graduate of the UCLA School of Medicine, Coombs is board-certified in the medical specialties of internal medicine, anesthesiology and critical care. She is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners, and a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.