Welcome to the first NCMS Morning Rounds of October

Oct. 1, 2020

Get Out the Vote – Physicians and PAs!

VoteHealth 2020 is a nonpartisan group encouraging physicians and other health care professionals to make sure they are registered to vote and cast their ballot for the upcoming general election on Nov. 3.

Historically, physicians have voted at a lower rate than the rest of the population, so the NCMS and the AMA are promoting the work of this group, VoteHealth2020, to increase turnout among physicians and PAs. Easy to access tools to check your registration, register to vote and request an absentee ballot are available by clicking here.

If you need more of an incentive, read this opinion piece by your NCMS colleague Lacy C. Hobgood MD, FACP, FAAP, Governor, NC Chapter, American College of Physicians. “Voting is Good for Your Health. So Long As You Do It Safely,” was published yesterday in the Greenville Reflector. Read it here.

Legislative Committee Addresses Law Enforcement Issues

At this week’s meeting of the NC House Select Committee on Community Relations, Law Enforcement & Justice committee members heard from several law enforcement associations on policing reforms the groups have implemented or for which they are advocating. NCMS member Rep. Kristin Baker, MD, (R-Carbarrus) is a co-chair and NCMS member Perrin Jones, MD (R-Pitt) is a committee member.

The NC Association of Chiefs of Police told the committee that the association’s foundational principle is preservation of life as the core of law enforcement and outlined policing reforms they have supported with the goal of creating a culture of trust and racial equity.

The NC Sheriff’s Association explained training processes, data collection, recruitment and retention and use of force investigations. The NC Police Benevolent Association spoke about mental health, response to non-police matters and whistleblower protections among other issues.

The committee will meet again in October. Read a full summary of the proceedings on the NCMS legislative blog.

NCMS’ Project OBOT Highlighted in Webinar

A recent webinar highlighting the AMA’s work on Behavioral Health Integration, NCMS Strategic Planning Officer Karen Smith, MD, spoke about the benefits to her patients of the NCMS Foundation’s Project OBOT.

This innovative model is a truly collaborative approach to treating those with substance use disorder (SUD). Beyond offering medication assisted treatment training, the initiative brings together health care professionals, counselors, social workers, those in the judicial system, pharmacists and others throughout the community to help ensure treatment success. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, practices like Dr. Smith’s family practice in Raeford used Project OBOT’s telehealth function to help keep SUD patients’ treatment on track.

Watch this hourlong informative and inspiring webinar on how to successfully integrate behavioral health into a primary care practice by building a culture of collaboration. The segment about Project OBOT begins at minute 25:50. Watch here.

In the News

Health on Wheels: Tricked Out RV Delivers Addiction Treatment to Rural Colorado, NPR, 9-28-20

Learning Opportunity

Join the Virtual Legislative Town Hall with NC legislators representing western North Carolina on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 7 to 8 p.m. The Western Carolina Medical Society is hosting this event, which is moderated by NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, and offers an opportunity to engage with WNC legislators on issues most important to them, such as access to affordable healthcare, telehealth reform, and much more! Learn more here and register here.

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