Dr. Wayne Wilkins to Lead Discussion in Medicine and Movies Series

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Williamstown - Williamstown resident Dr. Wayne Wilkins '41 will lead a discussion on the film “Something the Lord Made,” as part of the Medicine and the Movies Series at Williams College on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Griffin Hall, room 6 at 7:30 p.m. The film documents the development of the first operative procedure on a congenital heart abnormality and tells the legendary story of two men - a determined white surgeon, Alfred Blalock, and a talented black carpenter turned lab technician, Vivien Thomas – who defied racial restrictions and pioneered the medical field of heart surgery at John Hopkins Hospital in 1944. The duo’s patients are known as “blue babies” –infants who suffer from a congenital heart defect that turns them blue as they slowly suffocate. J. Alex Haller, professor emeritus of pediatric surgery at the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, who trained under Blalock and Thomas in the 1950s, was a primary consultant on the film. “A touching moment for me came when they operated on the first blue baby," he said. "As they operated and new blood began to flow into the infant’s heart, they took off the sheets and you saw the child’s color change from blue to pink - a miracle." Directed by Emmy winner Joseph Argent, the HBO film stars Alan Rickman (Blalock), Mos Def (Thomas) and Mary Stuart Masterson (Helen Taussing) along with Kyra Sedwick, Gabrielle Union and Charles S. Dutton. After the film, Dr. Wilkins will conduct a discussion about the key doctors and the history and the science of heart surgery.
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Massachusetts County Farm Bureaus Hold Meeting

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. - Twelve Massachusetts County Farm Bureaus gathered virtually to set policy priorities for 2021. 
 
This year, the 12 counties that make up Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) met virtually to elect their officers and establish legislative priorities for 2021 and beyond. Typically, these meetings are held in person, during which members bring forth their concerns to develop Farm Bureau's policy. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, most of the counties held their meetings virtually. 
 
"This grassroots resolution process makes Farm Bureau unique and it is critical, we continue this process even this year," MFBF President Mark Amato said. "Legislators respect our organization's policy as it comes from our farmer members who bring up a concern and provide the staff and board guidance on policy. There is no board making decisions for farmers behind closed doors. The process all starts with one farmer."
 
During the 12 county Farm Bureau annual meetings, farmers bring their concerns forward for discussion and approval by other county members. If a resolution is adopted at a County Farm Bureau annual meeting, it is then forwarded onto the statewide annual meeting. The resolution is then discussed and voted upon by delegate farmer members. This year's meeting is set to be held on Dec. 4 virtually.   
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