Monday Rx: Omicron & Flu Updates, Enriched Member Experiences, Practice Makeover Extended and More

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Omicron and Flu Updates

New York announced three more cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus Saturday, bringing the number of state cases linked to the new variant to eight.

"The omicron variant is here, and as anticipated we are seeing the beginning of community spread," state Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said in a news release.

The number of states finding the variant is growing as well, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Washington state announcing their first cases Saturday, a day after New Jersey, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland reported their first confirmed cases. Missouri reported its first presumed case Friday.

The variant also has been detected in Nebraska, Minnesota, California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Utah. Five cases in Northern California were linked to a wedding in Wisconsin late last month, public health officials said. One of the individuals had recently returned from traveling internationally, according to the Alameda County Department of Public Health.

Meanwhile, ten people aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship approaching New Orleans have tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday night. The Norwegian Breakaway departed the city Nov. 28 and was due to return this weekend after making stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico in recent days, Louisiana's health agency said. More than 3,200 people are on board. Officials did not immediately say whether the passengers had been tested for virus variants. For the latest on the variant and holiday travel restrictions click here.

The California Department of Public Health for the week of Nov. 21 to Nov. 27 found statewide flu activity was sporadic but is likely to increase in the coming months. Lab detection of the flu virus did rise from .9% to 1.1% last week, according to CDPH. Read more here.

Vaccination with a booster dose of COVID vaccine is expected to offer "some degree of cross protection" against the Omicron variant, said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing on Friday.

While there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the new variant -- including how transmissible it is, the severity of disease it causes, and its ability to evade our immune systems -- Fauci, who is chief medical advisor to President Biden, anticipates answers will come in "a matter of days to weeks."

Specifically, to Los Angeles and its medical providers, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health confirmed eighteen new deaths and 1,473 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 18 new deaths reported today, seven people who passed away were over the age of 80, five people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, two people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena. To date, Public Health has identified 1,528,586 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 27,184 deaths.

There are 562 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 9,434,000 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive. Today’s test positivity rate is 1.7%.

LACMA Enters Into Agreement to Enrich Member Experiences

In our continuous effort to enhance the member experience, we have forged a unique partnership with Confirmed360, a global event and entertainment service unlocking access to the world's most coveted experiences and live events. The partnership will showcase Confirmed360’s unique, iconic moments driven by unparalleled client service and attention to detail. Whether its concerts, festivals, sporting events, award ceremonies, arts, and theater events, Confirmed360 delivers premium access to the most coveted experiences.

Confirmed360 provides exclusive access to celebrities, musicians, athletes, and influencers through highly curated experiences including, VIP tickets, luxury & private suites, backstage passes, celebrity meet and greets, and more. Confirmed360's network of industry partners spans music, sports, theatre, fashion, film, and television, allowing their clients to go places no one else can. In addition, the company has designed a unique portal for our members to access:

Sending Our Condolences

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of physicians who passed away recently including:

Dr. Thomas Calcaterra, a renowned Otolaryngologist who practiced at UCLA for many years. “Dr. Calcaterra was full-time faculty and internationally regarded,” said Dr. David Aizuss. Dr. Calcaterra was 84.

Dr. Otto Joseph Klinger, served at Holy Cross, now Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. He was 96.

Dr. John Sellman, Orthopedic Surgeon, Providence St. Johns Health Center. He was 83.

Dr. Luigi Gentile, Surgeon, St. Johns Medical Center, Burbank.

Practice Makeover Applications Extended!

The Medical Practice Makeover Initiative has been extended to 2022 to provide more opportunities for physician practices to apply. We are giving away $5,000 grants and free practice assessments to qualified practices.

To apply click here.

Join Us for the Young Physician Mixer at Lucky Strike LA Live!

Our live in-person event takes place on Friday, January 21, 2022, at 8 pm at Lucky Strike LA Live. LACMA is taking serious measures to ensure the safety and health of all of our guests. We ask that those in attendance provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 prior to the event. Please note that this event is open to members and invited guests only. Each individual (including guests) must register separately.

Register Here

Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 and the Holidays

Join CMA's Virtual Grand Rounds: COVID-19 and the Holidays - Where Do We Stand? and Updates on Testing and Outpatient Treatment on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. PT to 1:30 p.m. PT

As we navigate this year’s holiday season, the choices before us feel very different than those in 2020. More people are traveling and choosing to gather with family and friends to celebrate, and still, many of us are moving forward with trepidation. As we make our own decisions and counsel our patients about whether to travel and gather, it is essential to have a full understanding of the local COVID-19 conditions including vaccination rates, confirmed cases, etc. Coupled with the importance of this information is understanding testing information: when to test, which test to use and how to interpret the results.

In this Virtual Grand Rounds, we will get an update from Erica Pan, M.D. on the status of COVID-19 in California. We will also hear from other experts on the role of testing at this phase of the pandemic, how the US differs from many countries in the availability and cost of rapid tests, and how investment from the federal government may improve our ability to test rapidly and frequently.

Featured Topics:  

  • State of COVID-19 in California; Erica Pan, M.D., MPH, California State Epidemiologist and Deputy Director, California Department of Public Health, Center of Infectious Diseases
  • Testing and COVID-19
  • Injectable Monoclonal Antibodies: New Options for the Outpatient Setting


Date: December 7, 2021

Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM PST

Register Here

CMA’s Dustin Corcoran, Dr. Sandra Hernandez, Dr. Stephen Shortell to be Town Hall Guests

LACMA will kick off the Universal Coverage Town Hall Series, facilitated by Dr. Omer Deen and Dr. Hector Flores, on December 13th when CMA CEO Dustin Corcoran discusses universal healthcare expansion.

Dr. Sandra R. Hernández, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation will be our guest on February 8th, followed by Dr. Stephen Shortell, Co-director, Center for Healthcare Organizational and Innovation Research, University of California, Berkeley in early spring, 2022.

Date: December 13, 2021

Time: 6:00 PM PST

Questions? Email Lisa Le or Register Here


"We all need solitude in order to find again the true essence of ourselves."

Gustavo Friederichsen

Chief Executive Officer

Los Angeles County Medical Association

“If it matters to our LACMA members, it matters to me.”

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