Enjoy Tuesday’s NCMS Morning Rounds!

Oct. 20, 2020

NCMS Racial Reconciliation Task Force Video

The NCMS’ Racial Reconciliation Task Force, co-chaired by Karen Smith, MD and Robert ‘Charlie’ Monteiro, MD, presented its report at the NCMS Annual Business Meeting last Friday, detailing the task force’s research into the NCMS’ past discriminatory policies toward African-American physicians and what actions can now be taken to reconcile with those physicians’ and/or their families.

The report concluded with a video focused on the experience of one African-American physician, Joseph Weaver, MD, who eloquently and effectively questioned the segregated policies of organized medicine in the 1950s and 60s. The video, introduced by Dr. Smith, includes Dr. Weaver’s daughter, Claudia Richardson, MD, recounting the challenges her father faced in opening a practice in Ahoskie, NC in the 1950s and his struggle to be fully accepted by the NCMS and other medical societies.

Watch the video.

The Task Force recommended that the NCMS Board of Directors send an apology letter to the family members of those impacted by the discriminatory policies as one way to help acknowledge and heal past wounds. The Board approved this recommendation at its meeting last week.

NCMS PPE Update — Nitrile Gloves in Stock!

For those who are looking for Nitrile gloves, the NCMS’ PPE supplier, ActionPPE now has a limited supply of those gloves in-stock for NCMS members.

Please order ASAP, while supplies last. Here are the details:
• Nitrile sizes M/L/XL
• 4Mil
• Exam grade
• Color: white
• $19.95 per box of 100
• FDA certified

Order yours at the NCMS ActionPPE webpage.

Remember to use your membership discount code: NCMS-SAVE5 and save 5 percent on checkout.

This PPE is separate from the FREE PPE available through the NCMS for independent practices thanks to a state appropriation. Learn if you are eligible for and order free PPE here.

NC Submits COVID-19 Vaccination Plan to CDC

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) submitted its plan for immunizing North Carolinians once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved and available to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last Friday. The plan’s goal is to immunize everyone who is eligible for and wants a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Leaders from across sectors came together under tight timelines to collaboratively develop a vaccine plan that leads with equity and prioritizes building trust. We will continue to update this plan as we learn more from the science and data on vaccines and in response to the needs of North Carolinians,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, MD, MPH.

North Carolina’s vaccine plan reflects five principles:
1. All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
2. Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
3. Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
4. Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
5. Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation.

Currently, multiple vaccines are in development. Promising vaccines are being manufactured at the same time they are being tested, so there will be an initial supply when the science shows which vaccines are found to be safe and effective. Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes a vaccine, it will take time for manufacturers to ramp up production. Therefore, states will receive limited vaccine supplies at the start and will need to determine which populations receive the vaccine first. North Carolina’s prioritization framework was developed based on the National Academy of Medicine framework and in consultation with an external COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM).

NCMS Board of Directors member Art Apolinario, MD, MPH, FAAFP, a family medicine physician at Clinton Medical Clinic, co-chaired the NCIOM Vaccine Advisory Committee, along with Goldie Byrd, MD, Director, Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest University; and Leah Devlin, DDS, MPH, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC School of Public Health.

“My patients have taught me how important it is to recognize the mistrust that the current health care system has created with non-white communities,” Dr. Apolinario said. “We worked to ensure that racial disparities and equity in delivery of care were recognized and put in the forefront of this COVID-vaccine decision making process. We had stakeholders at the table to make sure we made unbiased decisions. Our work was independent, free of political bias, open to all opinions and strictly adhered to data and science as the main tenets for good decision making.”

This is an interim plan and will continue to be revised based on further information and guidance from the CDC and other federal agencies, increasing data on safety and efficacy from vaccine trials, ongoing input from state and local partners and the Vaccine Advisory Committee, and refinements needed as the state progresses through the planning and operational stages.

Read the plan here.

In the News

STAT-Harris Poll: The Share of Americans Interested in Getting COVID-19 Vaccine As Soon As Possible is Dropping, STAT, 10-19-20

Learning Opportunity

Please join the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. for a webinar on the release of its new report Understanding the Well-Being of LGBTQI+ Populations. This report will review the available data and future research needs relevant to persons of diverse sexualities and genders, and persons with differences in sex development, across multiple dimensions over the course of their lives. The webinar will include an overview of the study process and discussion of the report’s findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Learn more 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!