Carlos Baleeiro, MD, has been installed as the 2021 president of the Chattanooga Hamilton County Medical Society. Dr. Baleeiro, a pulmonologist with CHI Memorial Lung Care Associates,
succeeding past President James Haynes, MD, with UT Family Practice. Other officers are Marijka Grey, MD, president-elect, internal medicine with Common Spirit Health, and Kelly Rodney Armstrong, MD, secretary treasurer, family practice and medical director of Clinica Medicos.
Dr. Baleeiro said the Medical Society’s efforts in 2021 will continue to support the community through the COVID pandemic. “Our physicians have been actively engaged in this effort, with a number of us serving on COVID Tasks Forces and helping direct hospital initiatives,” he said. “There is no better organization than the Medical Society to help get to the other side of COVID. Vaccination is the way to get through the pandemic to a new era of health. As physicians we are in a unique position to allay fears, promote education, and encourage people to take advantage of the vaccines to protect against COVID. We need to urge the community embrace the idea of immunization, now for COVID, but really for all of the miraculous vaccines that have transformed public health.
“In the meantime, we will continue to help our member practices become part of the vaccination delivery system when supplies increase. We will continue to respond to new challenges as they emerge. And we will continue to promote safe practices: wear a mask, physically distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands. Those actions continue to be vital.”
As a pulmonologist, Dr. Baleeiro also hopes to continue the society’s long-standing work to focus on the dangers of smoking and vaping.