It’s Thursday and must be time for your

NCMS Morning Rounds!

May 21, 2020

NCMS Launches First Virtual White Coat Wednesday

Yesterday, at the request of NCMS Board of Directors member Holly Biola, MD, MPH, FAAFP, she and a group of University of North Carolina Preventative Medicine residents met virtually with their legislators to discuss policy issues particularly as they relate to social determinants of health and public health.

The session, arranged by NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Sue Ann Forrest, MPA, generated meaningful interaction and conversation with the legislators never lagged. The group met with Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Orange), Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) and Sen. Natalie Murdock (D-Durham).

If you would like to arrange to participate in a virtual White Coat Wednesday during this unusual legislative session in order to advocate for issues of importance to your profession, please sign up here.

MAHEC Receives $4 million Grant for Behavioral Health Clinic

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) a 2-year, $4 million grant to establish the first Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic in western North Carolina.

The clinic will provide vital services for people with serious mental illness and substance use disorders across 18 counties in the western part of the state. Funded in part through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act, this grant will enable MAHEC to provide comprehensive care to more than 2,500 adults and children, including those who are uninsured and underinsured.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for those who were already vulnerable,” said MAHEC CEO Jeff Heck, MD in a press release. “This funding ensures we can serve those who need our support now more than ever.”

This is the first Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic in western NC and the fourth in the state. This model is designed to increase access to comprehensive mental health and substance use treatment including same-day behavioral health care, mobile crisis services, treatment with medication for opioid use disorder, primary care health screenings, community-based treatment, case management and care coordination with community partners who serve veterans, children and those involved with the justice system.

Many of the services under this grant are available through MAHEC now. Learn more here.

Podcast Takes Scientific Look at Many Aspects of COVID-19

NCMS Business Alliance member, Pfizer, recently published the first podcast in the second season of its ‘The Antigen’ series. This season will take a factual, science-based look a past pandemics, outline potential coronavirus treatments in development and look ahead to life after this latest pandemic. This first episode of the new season, ‘COVID-19: Looking Back to Look Forward,’ features David Swerdlow, MD, Pfizer’s medical affairs lead for COVID-19. Listen here to the 18-minute podcast.

The first season of ‘The Antigen’ focused on the scientific, cultural and political elements of vaccination. Over the course of the eight episodes, the podcast looked at the basic science of vaccines, reviewed vaccine history, explored the many facets of their global impact as well as public sentiment about vaccines around the world. Season one is archived here in case you want to listen.

Pfizer is a Leadership Council member of the NCMS Business Alliance meaning their representatives are among a select group of corporate leaders who come together with NCMS members to lead and challenge the status quo in health care. Learn more about the Business Alliance here.

In the News

Preventing a Parallel Pandemic – A National Strategy to Protect Clinicians’ Well-Being, NEJM Perspective, 5-13-20

Learning Opportunity

DON’T FORGET: This evening at 5:30 p.m. the NCMS, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), NC AHEC and Community Care of North Carolina will virtually host NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, and State Health Director Betsey Tilson, MD, MPH along with subject area experts who will provide the latest updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. by registering now at this link.

The next in the Rural Talk Advocacy Speaker Series will be held TODAY from 11 a.m. to noon to discuss rural health in North Carolina. Panelists include Laura Gerald, MD, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association. NC legislators Sen. Mike Woodard (D-Durham) and Rep. Josh Dobson (R-McDowell) will also participate. The panelists will consider issues around access to care, provider needs and shortages, social determinants and drivers, and the impact of COVID-19. Learn more and register.