Here’s your final NCMS Morning Rounds of the week.

  August 21, 2020

$12 million to Expand Internet Access Allocated

More than $12 million will be allocated in 11 rural North Carolina counties to expand internet access thanks to the 2019-2020 Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grants and COVID-19 Recovery Act funding. Access to reliable broadband service is crucial during the current pandemic as many patients may need to rely on telehealth for some of their care and many children statewide are learning remotely.

The GREAT grant program, which was launched in 2018 and has already provided $10 million for projects in rural counties, provides matching grants to internet service providers and electric membership cooperatives that compete for funding to expand high-speed internet service in Tier 1 counties. Tier 1 counties are those that are the most economically distressed. The COVID-19 Recovery Act also contains funding for internet access projects and will provide about $2 million of the $12 million for this latest round of projects.

The latest grant recipients are expected to connect 8,017 families and 254 businesses, farms and community institutions to high-speed internet.

For more information and a list of the counties receiving the grants, see this press release from Governor Roy Cooper’s office, which announced the awards on Wednesday. The NCMS continues to advocate for improved broadband infrastructure to help ensure Internet access as telehealth adoption becomes more necessary and readily accepted by physicians, PAs, patients and payers.

NC Medical Board Seeks Input on Non-Compete Clauses

The Policy Committee of the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB) is considering the ethical implications of covenants-not-to-compete in physician employment contracts and is seeking input from stakeholders around the state.

If you or the entity you represent are interested in providing input on this topic, please submit any materials you wish to be considered in writing to Senior Board Attorney Todd Brosius at [email protected] by Tuesday, Sept. 8. It is anticipated the materials will be considered by the Policy Committee at its next meeting on Sept. 23.

Finding Well-being and Joy – A Leadership College Scholar’s Request

Marion M McCrary, MD, FACP, a Leadership College scholar in the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership, is seeking your feedback on her Leadership College project. Here is her request:

I wanted to share with you a project I completed as part of the Leadership College curriculum with the North Carolina Medical Society’s Kanof Institute of Physician Leadership.

Stepping Stones – A Practical Path to Well-Being and Finding Joy is a series of videos discussing tangible and practical ways to “Beat Burnout.” I used the framework from the American Medical Association’s StepsForward™ Module on Physician Well-Being and broke the concepts down into bite sized chunks of information. I discussed my own experience and strategies I have learned while studying this over the last several years. I am passionate about Physician Well-Being and Prevention of Burnout and serve as a Well-Being Champion for the North Carolina chapter of the American College of Physicians.

I would be honored if you would watch the videos and share them with any physician or physician group that you feel might benefit from them. My goal is to reach as many physicians as I can with this project.

If you find your system firewall prevents accessing them from your work organization internet connection, please try accessing them on your home computer or on your mobile device.

I am seeking feedback on these as part of my project and there is a link to the survey available on each section and in the description noted for each video on VIMEO!

Thank you!

In the News

A Litany for Survival: Giving Birth as a Black Woman in America, Harper’s Magazine, September 2020

Learning Opportunity

Don’t forget to tune in to TODAY’s Power Hour from 1 to 2 p.m. when we will continue our ongoing discussion around racism in the United States and what we can do as individuals, as a health care community and as a medical society to address racial injustice and health inequities. Join your colleagues and our guests, who are focused on change at all levels to address health inequities and disparities, as we grapple with these issues. Learn more and register here

Dismantling Racism in Healthcare: A Path Forward, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 5 to 6:15 p.m.
Triangle Healthcare Executives’ Forum of North Carolina (THEF) chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) offer a virtual discussion of strategies for addressing racial disparities in health care. Health care leaders will share ideas about strategies that have been successful in dismantling systemic racism and generate thought leadership for new solutions. 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!