News & Events

Dr. Foley inducted as CSMS president

October 2, 2012

John Foley, MD, tells people he learned the science of medicine at college, but he learned how to be a doctor in the halls of Backus Hospital.

Before a crowd of physicians from throughout the state, family members and friends from Backus, Dr. Foley proudly shared that sentiment as he became the President of the Connecticut State Medical Society on Friday, Sept. 14.

His speech combined personal insights with his ambitious goals for the state medical society. His earliest dreams of becoming a physician at the age of 6 were nearly dashed in medical school, when he thought he might not be up to the challenge.

Fortunately, a bald, smiling, outgoing young boy who had just undergone chemotherapy — and the boy’s mom, who said she prayed every day for doctors — turned his head around.


Dr. Foley, a cardiologist on the Backus medical staff and medical director of the Backus Congestive Heart Failure and Wellness Program, said this is an important time for physicians to speak with one voice about the issues that matter most to them and their patients.

He vowed to represent “every doctor, from Fairfield County to the Massachusetts border” with five initiatives:

  • Elimination of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), a formula that keeps Medicare reimbursements too low
  • Medicaid payment reform
  • Changing antitrust laws to be less burdensome for physicians
  • Tort reform to eliminate frivolous malpractice suits
  • Domestic and family violence — bringing greater awareness to an issue he and his wife have supported through volunteer work.


Dr. Foley thanked his family and colleagues for allowing him to undertake such a major position at this time of unprecedented change in health care.

“We are extremely proud of Dr. Foley, and wish him every success in his term as state medical society president,” said Dave Whitehead, President and Chief Executive Officer. “He is a committed physician leader at a time when health care needs such champions.”

Acknowledging the vast amount of change facing health care in general and physicians in particular, Dr. Foley said commitment and vision are required.

“If not us, who?” he asked his fellow physicians. “If not now, when?”