Monday Rx: Health Equity Council, Clear as Mud and Remembering Our Leaders

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Health Equity Council Growth

The LACMA Health Equity Council has made tremendous progress just in the last month thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr. Diana Shiba, co-chairs Dr. Hector Flores and Dr. Resa Caivano and members: Dr. Jerry Abraham, Dr. C. Freeman, Dr. Sion Roy, Dr. Troy Elander, Dr. William King and Dr. Valencia Walker.

The mission of the Health Equity Council is to foster an environment for LACMA which promotes the full health potential and well-being of every member of society and advocates for equity and justice for all. To learn more email

An exciting new effort under the Health Equity Council is the creation of a series of zoom calls featuring a wide variety of guests who are experts in race, medicine and social determinants of health to name a few. “Race Against Time” will kick off Tuesday, October 20th at 6 PM with Dr. Brian Williams, Associate Professor of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, University of Chicago Medical School.

To register for the inaugural conversation, click below.
Clear As Mud Podcast
Bringing Clarity to Medicine.

Launching later this month is the new LACMA podcast “Clear as Mud”. Knowing how busy physicians are, each episode will be 10 minutes long with bonus coverage available on The purpose of each episode is to deliver relevant, purposeful information via a well-paced channel featuring great guests, inspired conversations, and clear takeaways. The first episodes will discuss how the pandemic has destroyed lives and livelihoods. We want to hear from physicians who have faced tremendous adversity and hear their views as doctors, employers, business owners, parents, partners, caregivers. Stay tuned for more details.

M.D.'s and D.O.'s

CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D., and Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OSPC) President Wadsworth H. Murad, D.O., issued the following joint statement today:

"As facts and science come under increasing attack, it is important for Californians to be able to distinguish science from pseudoscience.

While many Californians may not know the difference between an M.D. degree and a D.O. degree, allopathic (M.D.) and osteopathic (D.O) physicians are similarly educated, trained, and regulated by state medical licensing boards. It is becoming increasingly common for Californians to be treated by osteopathic physicians. Roughly 25% of U.S. medical students train at osteopathic medical schools.

More than 150,000 D.O.s in the United States practice in all medical specialties. D.O.s are important providers of primary care. According to the American Medical Association, more than half of those with D.O. degrees practice in primary care specialties – family medicine, internal medicine, and pediatrics.

Given the current state of American politics, we run the risk of inherently apolitical matters becoming markers of division. Some things must transcend our political differences. In this charged political environment, we should not make the mistake of undermining or belittling the credentials of physicians with D.O. degrees. Both President Trump and Vice President Biden are treated by primary care physicians with D.O. degrees.

While people are free to form their own opinions about President Trump’s medical choices, doing so on the basis of his physician’s credentials is not only inaccurate, but undermines the public’s confidence in organized medicine and can have negative impacts on public health."

ACA Back on the Front Burner

Senators on Monday made the future of the Affordable Care Act a central issue in the first day of Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Democrats claimed Republicans were rushing Barrett's confirmation to ensure she is seated by the time the Supreme Court hears a case that could determine the ACA's fate on November 10th. Republicans argued that the legal issues are different from prior cases and Barrett should not commit to ruling a certain way on any specific case.

Democrats presented a unified message, arguing that Barrett's confirmation would mean the demise of the ACA and eliminate protections for patients with preexisting conditions during a pandemic. If Barrett is confirmed the court would be tilted 6-3 in favor of Republican-appointed and generally conservative justices, but legal experts say votes on the California v. Texas case may not break along party lines.

Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) highlighted a tweet by President Donald Trump from before he was elected to argue that a willingness to overturn the ACA was a litmus test for candidates to receive Trump's nomination.

During the hearing, Trump tweeted his promise to protect individuals with preexisting conditions and provide "much better healthcare at a much lower cost," though he and Vice President Mike Pence have refused to explain how they would accomplish that.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Barrett's confirmation Thursday, which could pave the way for a potential floor vote before the November election. What are your thoughts on this? Is there any room for compromise in a toxic Washington, DC? Let me know.

Reply back to this email with your thoughts!

The Passing of Two Leaders

Dr. William H. Hayling, OBGYN, passed on October 2, 2020 and left an indelible legacy, over 55 years in medicine he delivered more than 8,000 babies. Our thoughts are with Dr. Hayling’s family, friends and colleagues at Martin Luther King, Jr Community Hospital (LACMA group members) and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.

Dr. Samuel Loring Biggers, Jr. neurosurgeon, passed on September 24, 2020 and was a LACMA member from 1969-2001. Dr. Biggers was one of the first African American neurosurgeons to practice in Los Angeles and served as Vice Chairman of The Department of Neuroscience at King Drew Medical Center.

Our thoughts are with Dr. Bigger’s family, friends and colleagues at California Hospital, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and the National Medical Association.


House of Delegates

149th Annual Session of the California Medical Association House of Delegates will convene virtually Saturday, October 24, 2020.  Members of the House will be discussing the following major issues: Pandemic Response and Preparedness and the Future of Medical Practice Post COVID.

Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 Updates in Therapeutics

Join CMA's Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 Updates in Therapeutics on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. PT to 1:30 p.m. PT 

Best practices in COVID-19 treatment have rapidly evolved from the “wild west” of April, and this webinar focuses on the latest clinical practices and decision-making processes. Participants will also learn about state initiatives around the management and allocation of scarce resources, including remdesivir as a case study, as well as California's convalescent plasma donation initiative. 

 As a result of this activity, participants should be able to: 

  • Summarize therapeutic agents commonly used in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and describe the currently recommended indications for use.
  • Explain current best practices on supportive care interventions to prevent or treat acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) including self-proning.
  • Counsel patients on the state initiatives around donating convalescent plasma. 
  • Participate in discussions and decision-making regarding the allocation of scarce resources including remdesivir during a pandemic.
Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Register Here

“Life offers you so many doors, it is up to you which to open and which one to close.”