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.

CDC Study Shows 1 in 5 Adults Sought Mental Health Treatment in 2020

Oct 21, 2021, 12:27 PM by MSDC Staff
There was a slight increase in adults seeking mental health treatment from 2019-2020, with women much more likely to seek treatment.

Considering the stress on society and healthcare in 2020, it should come as no surprise that American adults were more likely to seek mental health treatment last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The survey data came from the annual National Health Interview Survey. NHIS is, "a nationally representative household survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. It is conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Interviews are typically conducted in respondents’ homes, but follow-ups to complete interviews may be conducted over the telephone."

The survey found that 20.3% of respondents had received mental health treatment in the past 12 months, including 16.5% who had taken medication for their mental health and 10.1% who received counseling. That is a slight increase from 2019 when 19.2% of adults sought treatment, 15.8% took prescription medication, and 9.5% received counseling or therapy. 

The survey also divided the respondents by different demographic types:

  • The age 18-44 age demographic was most likely to seek mental health treatment, but the age 45-64 demographic was more likely to specifically seek prescription treatment.
  • Women were more likely than men to seek mental healthy treatment, 25.6% to 14.6%
  • Non-Hispanic white adults were most likely to receive mental health treatment ( 24.4%) versus non-Hispanic Black (15.3%), Hispanic (12.6%) and non-Hispanic Asian (7.7%)
  • Respondents were more likely to seek mental health treatment the more rural their place of residence is, but the respondents most likely to seek counseling were large metropolitan dwellers.

You can read the data and summary here.

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.