Enjoy Wednesday’s NCMS Morning Rounds!

Jan. 6, 2021

Pharmacists May Administer COVID-19 Vaccine

The NCMS, along with other stakeholder groups, recently offered feedback on the state’s standing order allowing immunizing pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Last May, before a COVID-19 vaccine had been approved, the NC General Assembly passed legislation authorizing immunizing pharmacists to administer the vaccine to expand immunization efforts throughout the state.

As result of negotiations with the NCMS and other groups, the final legislation stipulates that stakeholder groups like the NCMS must be consulted before implementing the standing order. Read the NCMS’ summary of the legislation, SB704, here. You may also read the pharmacy provision on page 22 of the full COVID-19 relief act here.

Last month, with two vaccines nearing approval and vaccinations about to begin, representatives from the NCMS, NC Academy of Family Physicians, the NC Pediatric Society, the NC Association of Community Pharmacists, the NC Association of Pharmacists and the NC Retail Merchants Association, offered verbal feedback on the standing order in a phone conversation with State Health Director Betsey Tilson, MD, MPH. Points raised by the NCMS during the call included:
• Encouraging vaccinating the public as safely as possible.
• Acknowledging that the two-dose immunization requirement makes information sharing incredibly important.
• Screening questions and procedures should be included in standing order.
• Discouraging the use of pharmacy technicians to administer the vaccine due to training concerns
• Informing the patient’s medical home of the vaccination to ensure safe follow up care

The order authorizes pharmacists licensed by the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy and practicing in the state of North Carolina to administer FDA-authorized or FDA-licensed COVID-19 vaccine(s) to eligible candidates according to the protocol outlined in the standing order. Read the order, which was signed Dec. 27, 2020, here.

Reach Out and Read Expands

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recently received approval to use up to $3,013,000 in federal matching funds to expand services for Reach Out and Read, the evidence-based childhood brain development intervention initiative. This partnership with Reach Out and Read is one of the first in the country among Medicaid programs.

Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based intervention that partners with pediatric primary care locations to deliver training for medical providers, literacy tools for families and to encourage healthy routines and relationships through shared stories. In every well-visit, children and families receive a “prescription for reading” with new, developmentally appropriate books to help grow children’s home libraries.

Research shows that children who participate in this program have improved literacy and language comprehension, and clinics have improved patient-clinician relationships and well-child visit attendance.

For more information:
Early Childhood Action Plan
Reach Out and Read Carolinas
NCDHHS press release

Kudos to Dr. White

Thomas R. White, MD, was recently honored by being named 2020 NC Family Physician of the Year by the NC Academy of Family Physicians at their Annual Meeting. The award recognizes a family physician who tirelessly promotes access to primary care services and shows a steadfast commitment to the community.

Dr. White is an NCMS Foundation Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership 2013 Leadership College alumnus. Watch the presentation of the award and Dr. White’s acceptance remarks here.

Congratulations, Dr. White!

In the News

Five Key Milestones in the COVID-19 Pandemic That We’re Anticipating in 2021, STAT, 1-4-21

Learning Opportunity

For the first Power Hour of 2021 this Friday, Jan. 8 from noon to 1 p.m., join a group of influential community health care leaders as they discuss ‘Overcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Minority Populations.’

Moderated by NCMS VP for Rural Health Systems Innovation Franklin Walker, MBA, the conversation will include Program Manager and Co-Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Orthopaedic Surgery, Wake Forest Baptist Health Artina Dawkins, PhD, MPA, C-TAGME; NCMS Board Member and Anesthesiologist with UNC Healthcare Bryant A. Murphy, MD, MBA; NCMS Board Member and Family Physician in Raeford, NC Karen L. Smith, MD, FAAFP and George Pride of Black Doctors USA.

Learn more and register here.

The KIPL Power Hour aims to provide a forum for ongoing conversation, collaboration, and community. Tune in to Power Hour every other week to hear from different experts, decision makers and influencers on a variety of topics. The format is informal and conversational and sessions are easy to access through Zoom. Power Hours will be recorded and made available to you through your NCMS Morning Rounds and on the KIPL webpage.

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!