Health Equity

Being a physician in the District in the 21st century means being on the front line of the most pressing public health issues in the world. In our small geographic boundaries, physicians help address issue found in every state all in one area. The issues are too lengthy to list on one webpage but physicians are on the front lines of addressing health issues for all District residents.

News, MSDC Statements, and MSDC Testimony on Health Equity Issues


Study: Children Less Likely to Be Infected with COVID-19

Jun 17, 2020, 08:38 AM by MSDC Staff
A new study from the UK indicated kids and teens are much less likely to get and show symptoms of COVID-19.

A study published by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine indicate children and teens may be half as likely to contract COVID-19 versus adults.

The study was published Tuesday in Nature Medicine (see here). The researchers surveyed participants in six countries: Canada, China, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. The findings indicate youths have a reduced likelihood of being infected, and those that are usually are asymptomatic. Among the studied population, only 21% of those between the ages of 10 and 19 that were positive showed symptoms. That is compared to 69% of adults older than age 70. The authors do not confirm, but do reference, a popular theory that children are more immune due to cross-protection from other coronaviruses. 

A gap in the study however is the transmission rate between children or between children and adults. As governments decide on how to resume in-person schooling or social activities, there is a large gap in knowledge on how these types of communal activities spread COVID-19. While a lower health impact in children from COVID-19 is encouraging for resuming activities, unknowns about how easily adults can be infected from children in these settings make decisions complicated. 

Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC is Tracking

(See the whole list of bills here

Student Access to Treatment Amendment Act (B23-467)

What does it say? The bill allows for the administration of medicinal marijuana in schools as well as allows students to bring sunscreen to schools and apply it without a prescription.

MSDC position: MSDC supports the language permitting sunscreen application in schools

Current status: A win for DC physicians and public health! The legislation passed the Council in February and awaits the mayor's signature. Previous temporary and emergency legislation permitted students to use sunscreen at schools this school year already.

Electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment Registry Amendment Act (B23-261)

What does it say? The bill requires DC Health to establish an electronic Medical Order for Scope of Treatment registry (eMOST).

MSDC position: MSDC supports this legislation to more easily allow patients to make their treatment orders known.

Current status: A win for the physician community and our patients! The Council passed the bill in December and the Mayor signed it into law on January 16, 2020.

Healthy Beverage Choices Amendment Act (B23-495)

What does it say? The bill would implement a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on the distribution of "sugary" beverages. The money collected from the tax would establish a Healthy People, Healthy Places Open Spaces Grant Program.

MSDC position: MSDC sent a letter to Council Chair Mendelson asking for a hearing to discuss all of the issues around a beverage tax.

Current status: The bill was introduced October 8, 2019 and referred to the Committee on Business and Economic Development and the Committee of the Whole.