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Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) Calls On Grocers and Essential Retailers To Enable Physicians and Healthcare Workers Quicker Access To Food, Supplies

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Frontlines Voluntary Campaign Thanks COSTCO For Creating Priority Access for Region’s Medical Personnel

April 8, 2020 -- Los Angeles, CA: The Los Angeles County Medical Association announced today that its urging local grocery stores like Von’s, Albertson’s, Gelson’s, Trader Joe’s and large supply retailers to allow physicians, nurses and other essential healthcare staff on the front lines of the COVID 19 pandemic, to gain more immediate access to food, supplies and other essential items. Specifically, a physician, nurse or healthcare worker who are working in the most demanding, stressful of environments, namely hospitals, clinics, practices, drive-thru testing sites, will be allowed to enter participating grocery stores more expeditiously.

“We’ve been listening to our physicians who are working round the clock shifts, caring for dozens of infected patients without care for their own health - both mental and physical needs,” says Gustavo Friederichsen, Chief Executive Officer, LACMA. ‘This prompted us to ask, ‘What can we do for them, their families?’ The theme of “front lines’ means that those risking their own lives and under tremendous personal stress need not wait in long lines further adding stress, anxiety while placing themselves and others at risk.

LACMA also acknowledged COSTCO for temporarily allowing priority access to healthcare workers and first responders who present a Costco membership card and official identification of their role. They will be allowed to move to the front of any line to enter the warehouse.

Dr. Sion Roy, President of LACMA added: “As physicians, we have difficulty asking others for help which is why burnout was an epidemic throughout our profession before COVID 19. The pandemic has exacerbated the problem and we think giving all healthcare workers working long hours a chance to expeditiously obtain the supplies they need for them and their families while not having to wait in long lines will make a significant difference for them during this crisis” said Dr. Roy.

Dr. Roy stressed: “This isn’t about preferential treatment, rather, a way to thank all healthcare workers on the front lines who are risking their lives so Los Angeles residents are cared for, comforted, and healed during the pandemic. Additionally, this measure will allow workers to have more time to recuperate at home in between shifts that are immeasurably more stressful than normal times,” Dr. Roy said.

LACMA’s Frontlines Campaign calls for: A voluntary program whereby grocers and essential retailers add dedicated shopping hours to healthcare workers, extend curbside pickup hours, enable workers to place orders through employer-provided links, provide any discounts for healthcare workers. LACMA suggests medical personnel show credentials, which could help participating grocery stores and retailers manage access and process.

Since 1871, LACMA has been at the forefront of medicine in L.A. County, ensuring that our members are represented in the areas of public policy, government relations and community relations. Through our advocacy efforts in both Los Angeles County and with the statewide California Medical Association (CMA), our physician leaders and staff strive toward a common vision – that physicians spend more time treating patients and less time navigating the obstacles that threaten autonomy and undermine the practice of medicine. LACMA and CMA will continue to resolve the healthcare challenges of today, as well as the healthcare and healthcare delivery problems of tomorrow. LACMA and CMA physicians share a unified voice that strives to educate and promote a greater understanding of the “care” in healthcare, the needs and political pressures in healthcare delivery, and the preservation of the practice of medicine.

Are you a grocery chain interested in helping physicians, nurses and other essential healthcare staff on the front lines of the COVID 19 pandemic gain more immediate access to food, supplies and other essential items?

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