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

24th Council session information coming soon.

MSDC Announces Advocacy "Curriculum" for DC Physicians

Jan 6, 2021, 08:56 AM by MSDC Staff
MSDC will have new ways for physicians to build their advocacy skills and advocate for their top issues in 2021 (and beyond).

The year 2020 saw increased participation by physicians in advocacy, leading to a number of important advocacy victories. To build on this energy, MSDC is announcing today an advocacy "curriculum" for DC physicians to help engage the community in common advocacy efforts.

This "curriculum" is not a traditional educational series of courses, but practical resources to give physicians the tools and ability to speak out on issues important to the practice of medicine. By participating in events and initiatives throughout the year, DC physicians can equip themselves to be effective advocates for themselves and their patients.

The new advocacy curriculum will launch January 13 with an MSDC WHOW webinar with new Councilmember Christina Henderson. After the Councilmember's presentation and Q&A, MSDC leadership will hold a 30 minute open forum for MSDC members. Members can ask advocacy questions of the leadership, bring up issues they'd like MSDC to advocate for or against in 2021, and learn about upcoming opportunities to get involved. 

The advocacy curriculum will include the following opportunities for physicians to sharpen their advocacy skills:

  • Monthly advocacy-specific events as part of MSDC's Washington Healthcare on Wednesday (WHOW)
  • Open Advocacy Committee meetings to allow MSDC members to hear issues being discussed and contribute opinions on specific issues under discussion by the committee
  • Monthly "advocacy advice" posts on the MSDC website
  • Videos of MSDC members testifying to show how you can testify before the Council (coming soon)
  • A new webpage/resource page on best practices on testifying before Congress and the Council (coming soon)
  • More targeted messages and emails on specific issues as they arise throughout the year
  • And more

Anyone interested in becoming involved in MSDC's advocacy efforts and contributing can sign up on our website or contact Robert Hay Jr. You can also check MSDC's advocacy agenda for this Council period and past successes in the previous two years.

Sample of Health Equity Legislation MSDC Tracked 


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.