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


DC to Enter Phase Two As Early as Monday

Jun 18, 2020, 07:24 AM by MSDC Staff
DC may move into phase two of reopening as early as Monday.

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Mayor Muriel Bowser announced on Wednesday that the District could enter "phase two" of reopening as soon as Monday.

The move to further business and community reopenings is due to declining novel coronavirus cases being reported as well as hospital capacity holding below 80%. Not all of the previously announced metrics for moving to phase two are met however. The Mayor shared that contract tracing, while ramping up, is still focused primarily on older cases.

For physicians and medical practices, "phase two" is similar to "phase one". You can see the entire recommendation here, but a few key points include:

  • As capacity allows, all surgeries and procedures may be performed as long as proper clinical safety is possible (PPE supplies adequate, for example).
  • Patients and visitors must notify facilities if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of their visit
  • All patients must wear face coverings and an office may supply a patient with a cover if they do not have one
  • Staff should wear surgical facemasks at all times
  • PPE should be changed between patients

[As a reminder, MSDC and Action PPE can help you acquire your needed PPE here]

Some of the changes District residents may see next week include restaurants offering limited indoor dining, playgrounds and libraries semi-opened for visitors, and gyms/fitness centers reopening with 200 square feet of space between visitors. 

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.