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


MSDC Resolution on COVID Vaccine Passes AMA House

Nov 16, 2020, 19:47 PM by MSDC Staff
MSDC's resolution urged AMA to take the lead on educating the public and physicians on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine

An MSDC resolution on the coming COVID-19 vaccine passed the American Medical Association House of Delegates at the 2020 Special Interim Meeting.

MSDC submitted a resolution to I-20 due to concerns about the lack of trust in the coming COVID-19 vaccine. An October 2020 Lancet article cited a report showing that 31 million people follow anti-vaccine groups on Facebook, and one in six people would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine due primarily to social media misinformation. To be effective, a COVID-19 must be widely distributed and be trusted. 

MSDC's recommendation (with the final title "An Urgent Initiative to Safeguard COVID-19 Vaccine Programs") urged to AMA to institute a program to take the following steps:

  • Educate physicians on speaking with patients about the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Educate the public on the safety of the vaccine
  • Counter misinformation on the vaccine
  • Form a coalition of national medical groups to create an educational campaign on the vaccine
  • Support ongoing monitoring of the vaccine to ensure it is safe and effective

The resolution was considered in Reference Committee D, where Alternate Delegate Neal Barnard spoke in support of the bill on behalf of MSDC. The committee accepted most of the recommendation and made wording changes to clarify language intent.

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 was signed by the Mayor. 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.