Health Equity

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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

 

MSDC Leaders Testify Before Board of Medicine and Council

Jul 30, 2020, 07:51 AM by MSDC Staff
Three MSDC leaders testified on numerous important health topics yesterday, furthering the Society's mission to make DC the best place to practice medicine,

Yesterday, MSDC leaders spoke out on myriad topics before the District government as part of the Society's mission to make DC the best place to practice medicine.

MSDC Healthy Physician circle logo_red-lightMSDC President J. Desiree Pineda, MD, FACP, presented to the monthly DC Board of Medicine meeting briefly on the new Healthy Physician Program. The program, to launch next week, provides professional and peer support services for physicians who are experiencing moral injury or need a colleague to speak with during these uncertain times. Dr. Pineda gave the Board an update and reinforced the need for the Board to collect and share good data as part of the license renewal process. MSDC seeks to work with DC Health to study workforce survey data to see how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting physician wellbeing.

Moghimi CME testimony 7.20Also yesterday, two MSDC leaders testified before the Committee on Health on five separate bills. MSDC Board member and psychiatrist Yavar Moghimi, MD testified on B23-543, the Suicide Prevention Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2019. Dr. Moghimi testified that MSDC is concerned with the high rate of suicide in America, and referenced the higher-than-average suicide rate among medical professionals versus the entire population. However, Dr. Moghimi shared that the medical licensure process is a process designed to indicate who is qualified to practice medicine in the District, not who is most knowledgeable, and mandatory content matter across all specialties (even those who do not interact with patients) is counterproductive. Instead, on behalf of MSDC, Dr. Moghimi offered to work with DC Health and the private sector to educate the physician community on signs of suicide risk.

Kareff lyme disease 7.20Samuel Kareff, MD, the Chair of MSDC's advocacy committee, testified on four other bills before the Committee: the Certificate of Stillbirth Amendment Act, the Lyme Disease Testing Information Disclosure Act, the Opioid Labeling Amendment Act, and the SMA Screening Act. Dr. Kareff provided a medical perspective on all four bills. He expressed MSDC's support for the Certificate of Sillbirth Act and the Opioid Labeling bill. He shared some concerns on the Lyme disease bill, as it would mandate a scripted message providers and health facilities must give a patient after a Lyme disease test. He also expressed support for the SMA Screening Act but shared the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) guidance on screening for SMA.

MSDC is constantly testifying before government entities on health policy. If you would like to learn how you can be involved in MSDC's advocacy efforts, contact our office.

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.