Halfway through the week — enjoy your Wednesday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Dec. 9, 2020

Several NC COVID-19 News Updates

North Carolina’s response to COVID-19 has been in the national eye lately. On Sunday, CNN featured an 8-minute interview with NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH about distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccines. Sec. Cohen detailed the “massive” logistical undertaking distributing the vaccine entails. Watch the interview here.

The first 85,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go to those workers at 50-60 hospitals statewide who are in direct contact with COVID-19 patients. On Monday, NCDHHS released the first 11 of those hospital slated to get the first shipment of vaccines:

Bladen Healthcare
Caldwell Memorial Hospital
CarolinaEast Medical Center
Catawba Valley Medical Center
Cumberland County Hospital System Inc.
Duke University Health System
Henderson County Hospital Corporation
Hoke Healthcare LLC
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (Atrium Health)
University of North Carolina Shared Services
Wake Forest Baptist Health

The state also featured prominently in an Associated Press article over the weekend about the under-use of COVID-19 exposure tracking apps. The smartphone tool used in the District of Columbia, Guam and 16 states, including North Carolina where it is called SlowCOVIDNC, is meant to help in contact tracing. Learn more about SlowCOVIDNC, how it works and where to download it here.

Nationwide, the article notes that a small percentage of people – about 1 in 14 — have downloaded the app in the 18 areas of the country it is available. In North Carolina, where the app launched in September, about 482,000 of the 10.5 million state residents have installed it through the end of November. Read the article here.

Would Your Patients Benefit from a Y Medical Membership?

If you are a Triangle-area physician, the YMCA of the Triangle in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has launched a Medical Membership pilot program, powered through the NCMS Foundation’s Our Community Health Initiative (OCHI) software platform. This platform allows you to refer a patient to an evidence-based program in diabetes prevention, weigh management, high blood pressure monitoring, falls prevention or support for cancer survivors. The software allows you to follow your patient’s progress toward their health goals in their program.

Medical Memberships are a bundled service that provide care coordination, a YMCA membership and the evidence-based as prescribed due to your diagnosis.

Enrollment is open now for both in-person and virtual programs in January and February 2021. Your patients can find out more about cost and program enrollment here. For additional questions please contact Medical Membership at [email protected] or at 919-582-9396

Today is ‘Release the Pressure’ Wellness Wednesday

Today is the official launch of the Release the Pressure (RTP) Wellness Wednesday initiative, which brings together a coalition of health care professional organizations and heart health experts to partner with black women to support their heart health. Coalition members include the AMA, AMA Foundation, Association of Black Cardiologists, American Heart Association, Minority Health Institute and National Medical Association.

With 49 percent of black women over the age of 20 living with heart disease, the RTP initiative aims to partner with them to make self-care a priority.

Today at 7 p.m. , AMA immediate-past president and the first black woman to hold that office, Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, will speak radio talk show icon, Tom Joyner about a recent health scare that led to his support of the RTP campaign. The second half of the interview will air on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. Learn more about this initiative and how to listen to the interview here.

In the News

The COVID-19 Vaccines Are A Marvel of Science. Here’s How We Can Make the Best Use of Them, STAT, 12-2-20

Learning Opportunity

The current president of the NCMS-managed NC Orthopaedic Association, Cynthia Emory, MD, MBA will be participating on a panel, ‘Advancing Women Surgeons to Leadership Positions’ TOMORROW, Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 7pm. This virtual event is sponsored by the Johnson & Johnson Institute and is free. The discussion will appeal to any physician, and the audience is not limited to surgeons. 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!