Monday Rx: Historic Leadership, Food Insecurity, PPE Relief Event and Seeking AAPI Physician Leaders

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History Made

Incredibly proud to share that LACMA  Secretary Dr. Jerry Abraham, Director or Kedren Vaccines, who organized and launched a community vaccination site that is seen as a model for the county, state, and nation, has been invited to testify tomorrow, March 9th before the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions at 10:00 am EST as part of the “Examining Our COVID 19 Response: An Update from the Frontlines.” Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) chair the committee, respectively.

The committee invited Dr. Abraham, specifically to learn about his experiences, from any challenges faced delivering vaccines to communities of color, and lessons learned from the pandemic that will better prepare communities or challenges ahead. We will record and share the testimony across our various platforms so members can hear Dr. Abraham’s compelling story framed around the most significant public health crisis of our lifetime.

Fighting Food Insecurity

LACMA President, Dr. Diana Shiba, who has led the effort to address food insecurity and LACMA’s role in supporting organizations and legislation that helps families in distress during the pandemic, will participate in a call with the state Senate Human Services Committee tomorrow at 1:30 pm PST. Dr. Shiba is sharing support for Senate Bill 107, the CalFresh simplification budget request.

This urgent bill would make it easier for eligible low-income Californians to sign up and stay connected to CalFresh, particularly older adults and people with disabilities.

SB 107 would achieve the following:

  • Require the State to provide counties with simplified CalFresh applications for households solely composed of seniors and people with disabilities and no earned income (also known as ESAP Households)
  • Ensure all applicants and participants can complete the application and recertification interview processes by phone, including the required client signature.

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to make clear, meeting the nutritional needs of low-income households is an urgent and ongoing need. LACMA works collaboratively with Los Angeles Department of Public Health’s Dipa Shah-Patel, MPH, RD, Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program and May Wang, MA, MPH, DrPH, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to make it easier for food-insecure older adults, people with disabilities, and working families to access the anti-hunger tool, CalFresh.

Health Equity Council Wants Asian American Pacific Islander Physician Leaders!

As the Health Equity Council addresses racism, implicit bias, health and COVID-19 vaccine inequities, xenophobia and violence against the Asian American community continue to increase across the US and in Los Angeles County. The Health Equity Council, initiated by Dr. Diana Shiba, would like to invite members who represent the Asian American Pacific Islander communities, who wish to be active in leadership, and be considered to join HEC as a possible chairperson.

This individual will be considered to join Dr. Resa Caivano and Dr. Hector Flores, current chairs. This role is an incredible opportunity for a member who is currently an active advocate and representative for the AAPI community, to be a part of solution building and the revitalized, and more inclusive direction current LACMA leadership is promoting.

To submit your name, click here and tell us why you would like to be considered for future leadership with the Health Equity Council in 2021.

LACMA Partners with City Councilman Kevin de León, Cliníca Oscar Romero and to Launch First Ever PPE Drive for the Community.

LACMA secured more than 700,000 three-ply masks and 21,000 digital thermometers to distribute to those communities hardest hit by the pandemic. We are working closely with clinics, hospitals, and Federally Qualified Health Centers to get the PPEs directly in the hands of those individuals getting vaccinated and going forward, we will partner with more groups to get supplies to home bound seniors as well.

LACMA also partnered with Clinica Romero and the Mexican Consulate and CMA to deliver PPEs to those served by the Consulate.

Speaking of PPE Relief: CMA Supporting Bill Requiring Payors to Reimburse Physicians for PPE

While physicians can bill payors for certain CPT codes for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-related supplies, most payors are not reimbursing for them, leaving physicians to bear the full brunt of these costs. For months, CMA and AMA have been urging payors across the nation to adopt and pay for the new CPT codes that have been established for supplies and expenses related to the ongoing public health emergency.

CMA is now sponsoring a bill in California (SB 242, Newman) that would require health plans and insurers to reimburse its contracted health care providers for business expenses that are medically necessary to render treatment to patients, to protect health care workers and to prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19.

SB 242 is currently in the Senate Health Committee. CMA is urging all physicians to contact legislators and urge them to vote yes on this important bill.

CMA’s most recent survey found that 87% of physician practices are still worried about their financial health, with revenue down by one-third. And, while revenue is down, practice costs have gone up 14%, with practices having to purchase PPE, comply with public health disinfecting guidelines, implement telehealth, and make other changes due to the pandemic

These increases in uncompensated costs are exacerbating the burden placed on the already strained health care system. SB 242 is essential to addressing and alleviating the significant financial pressures placed on physicians by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to ensure that our health care system remains open and accessible to patients across the state and nation.

Juno: Student Help is Here

As I’ve been sharing with members for a few weeks now, LACMA has partnered with Juno to help those members with student debt. Juno has launched a tracker: Federal Loan Tracker for President Biden’s $10,000 student loan forgiveness plan, 0% interest on federal loans and everything else that is going on in the world of student loans. The process is confusing for a lot of folks and Juno can help simplify the process. When our members subscribe for free, they will be the first to get updates on any government initiatives so that they can better plan a financial future.

Visit Join Juno here for more information or contact Nicholas Talamelli, Director of Business Development:

Save the Date

The Patient Care Foundation’s annual LA Healthcare Awards will be taking place virtually on April 16, 2021. 

For more information, click here. 

Virtual Grand Rounds: Fighting to the Finish - COVID-19 Vaccines vs Variants

With millions of people vaccinated and hope for more vaccines to come soon, the evolution and spread of COVID-19 variants is making the race to get vaccines in arms all the more crucial. Questions abound: how can I avoid the variants? How important are they? If I am vaccinated what can I do that I couldn’t before?

Join CMA to hear from state experts regarding the epidemiology of the virus and its variants, the state of the vaccine rollout, in-depth information on vaccines in use – as well as vaccines in development – and the latest information on personal mitigation techniques and strategies.

Date: Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Time: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Register Here

ACEs and Black Maternal Health

The California Black Health Network (CBHN), which advocates for health equity for African Americans and Black immigrants, is hosting a free webinar exploring the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on black maternal health. The webinarACEs and Black Maternal Healthis scheduled for March 20, 2021, at 9 a.m. via Zoom.

Physicians who provide reproductive and perinatal care are encouraged to join. Attendees will better understand how toxic stress and trauma impacts maternal health. Speakers will also share practical advice on how best to implement ACEs and resiliency screening into clinical perinatal care to improve overall health, as well as black maternal health and infant mortality outcomes.

Date: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Register Here





"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be."


—Rosalynn Carter

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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