Joseph J. Straight, director of primary care, sports medicine and biologics with First State Orthopaedics, was elected the 176th president of the Medical Society of Delaware for 2020 during the organization’s 230th annual meeting on Nov. 23.
Straight, a graduate of the University of Delaware and Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, is also the head team physician at Goldey Beacom College and Wilmington University, as well as numerous high school teams. He also serves on the DIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
Straight, a Delaware native and St. Elizabeth High School graduate, was raised on sports, playing baseball and football throughout his youth. A childhood knee injury that led to multiple surgeries and a lost dream of playing professional baseball introduced him to orthopaedic medicine and First State Orthopaedics.
Upon graduating from Jefferson Medical College, Straight worked in research at New York University’s Hospital for Joint Diseases, after which he returned to Delaware for his residency with ChristianaCare, later completing a sports medicine fellowship. During his time with ChristianaCare, Straight worked with the medical aid unit and during his second year of residency was dispatched to help with Hurricane Katrina relief.
Straight has been involved with the Medical Society of Delaware. Among his many positions, he is a past chair of the Delaware Medical Political Action Committee, the past vice president of the Government Affairs Committee and a former member of the School Health Subcommittee. He also serves on the Workman’s Compensation Oversight Panel for the State of Delaware and is an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Delaware.
Straight was voted a Delaware Today Magazine “Top Doc” for Sports Medicine by his peers for the past nine years, and has co-hosted, alongside some of his First State Orthopaedic colleagues, the Comcast Channel 28 weekly television program “Youth in Sports,” filmed and produced at Wilmington University.
Straight plans to focus his presidency on continuing the momentum started in 2018 with the passage of Senate Bill 227, the Improving Access to Primary Care bill, as well as helping find solutions to issues with mental health care in Delaware.
“We need to improve access to mental health services, decrease the stigma associated with mental health disorders, as well as improve reimbursement to the providers of these services,” said Straight. “The Medical Society of Delaware has and will continue to stay active and engaged on the topics of prior authorization reform, opioid prescribing, as well as medical aid in dying. We will also continue to communicate with other medical disciplines to see how we can unite to best serve our patients and the community of Delaware.”
Straight joins his colleagues Leo W. Raisis and Randeep S. Kahlon at First State Orthopaedics serving as president of the Medical Society of Delaware.
Other officers who will serve for 2020 include President-Elect Matthew J. Burday, Vice President Robert J. Varipapa,Secretary Bhavin R. Dave, Treasurer Prayus T. Tailor, and Speaker of the Council Leo W. Raisis.
During the meeting, MSD honored members who graduated from medical school 50 years ago: Robert Abel Jr., Chandra S. Beesam, Gordon A. Bussard, Steven L. Edell, Brett Elliott, Herbert H. Heym, Zelimir Kozic, Mona Lebreton, Majid Mansoory, Mir M. Mousavi, William A. Newcomb, Frank Owczarek, Leslie I. Rapkin, Stephen J. Rodgers, E.F. Joseph Siebold, Donald C. Tilton, Jose R. Tuma-Aid and Richard J. Wilder.
Immediate Past President Richard W. Henderson was honored with the Daniel A. Alvarez Distinguished Service Award; Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Kara Odom Walker was awarded the President’s Award; and the Delaware Foundation for Medical Services board of directors was awarded a Special Recognition Award for their service and commitment to the practice of medicine in Delaware. DFMS board members are Michael A. Alexander, Justin P. Eldridge, Nancy Fan, Richard E. Menkiewicz, Patt E. Panzer, Suzanne J. Sherman, Edward R. Sobel and Andrew A. Willet.