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Monday Rx: L.A. Public Health Speakers Needed, CalVaxGrant Extension, Membership Appreciation Event and Vaccine Mandates

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Update on Delta Variant and the Need for Speakers!

Los Angeles County health officials, on Saturday, reported 4,229 new coronavirus cases and 21 related deaths as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread, noting that unvaccinated people are nearly four times more likely to get infected than those who are fully vaccinated.

More than 1.3 million coronavirus cases and nearly 24,900 deaths have been identified in the county since the pandemic began. There are 1,627 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a quarter of them in intensive care.

Test results in the county show a daily 3.9% positivity rate, with an average of more than 3,000 cases per day for the last week.

Though vaccine coverage varies by region, unvaccinated residents are, on the whole, a shrinking minority in California. To date, 63% of Californians have gotten at least one dose, and nearly 55% have been fully vaccinated.

LACMA is working closely with many organizations to provide accurate information to those communities impacted by the virus. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is launching a speaker’s bureau to communities with low vaccination rates and those individuals who continue to be hesitant when it comes to getting vaccinated.

In this role, COVID-19 Speakers would lead group discussions for community members or clinical providers who want an opportunity to have their questions and concerns answered by a clinical professional whom they can identify with based on

language, culture, faith group, or clinical expertise. As a result, the department is recruiting a cadre of providers who would participate in COVID-19 related training and conduct presentations to allay community members or provider concerns and address misinformation or rumors about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Click here, to express your interest in serving as a COVID-19 Speaker.

CalVax Grant Program Extension

As I’ve shared previously, a new state program to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates, has expanded its scope and extended the application cycle to reach more Californians.

In addition to physicians and medical practices*, independent pharmacies can now apply to receive up to $55,000 in support of their vaccination efforts.

Eligible providers can be reimbursed for related expenses incurred since November 2020 and through November 2021, including staffing and training (most common expenses), technology, infrastructure, supplies and equipment, and administrative overhead.

The application cycle has been extended until Friday, September 10, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT and is first come, first served. CMA encourages physicians to apply early to capitalize on this grant funding.

The Disparities Between Black and White Patients

As members may be aware, LACMA launched the historic Health Equity Council and Public Health Council thanks to the leadership of LACMA's immediate past president Dr. Diana Shiba. Both entities have delved into systemic racism in medicine, health inequities and possible solutions. This week, Catholic health systems around the U.S.—including giants like CommonSpirit and Ascension—committed to addressing systemic racism by taking concrete steps to reduce health disparities. Why am I sharing this news? New data suggest Black adult patients experienced more harmful events, such as perioperative pulmonary embolism, than white patients who were the same age, the same gender and were treated in the same hospital.

These disparities persisted when comparing patients with similar types of insurance coverage as well as within hospitals serving a substantial population of Black patients, according to the Urban Institute analysis.

Our previous work suggested increasing the racial diversity of patients that high-quality hospitals serve or concentrating resources to improve quality of care at low-performing hospitals would narrow racial inequities in care,” Anuj Gangopadhyaya, senior research associate at the Urban Institute and the analysis’ lead author, said in a statement. “This study’s findings show that achieving racial equity in patient safety requires transforming the way care is delivered within hospitals as well.”

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded study reviewed patient data collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) across 26 states in 2017. Using the complete hospital discharge records for 2,347 hospitals, Gangopadhyaya compared Black and white patients’ outcomes across 11 AHRQ patient safety indicators—four related to general inpatient safety and seven related to surgical procedures.

Click here, for the full story.

Membership Appreciation

We will be celebrating LACMA’s 150th Anniversary with our members at the Huntington Library in the Rose Hills Garden Court on Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. We would love for you to join us!

RSVP by emailing Lisa La at

New Mandatory Vaccine Requirement For Health Care Workers

On August 5, 2021, the California State Public Health Officer issued an order imposing new COVID-19 rules on employers in the health care industry. The previous order had allowed employees in health care settings and certain high-risk congregate settings to choose between documenting that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergoing regular testing. The new order, issued on August 5, 2021, eliminates this choice for employees in the health care industry and requires them to undergo vaccination unless they document that they have religious or medical grounds for exemption.

Learn more about the vaccine requirement for health care workers by viewing the full PDF here.

ACEs Online Wellness Engagement Groups - Tuesday Series

Join CMA's Free, Online Wellness Engagement Groups for Physicians Screening/Treating Patients with ACEs or Toxic Stress

The California Medical Association's (CMA) wellness program (CMA Wellness) is pleased to launch free, online wellness engagement groups for health care providers that conduct patient screenings for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

Treating patients with multiple ACEs or toxic stress can potentially impact your personal wellness and increase feelings of burnout. CMA Wellness' engagement groups will support providers by offering subject matter experts, best practices and an open forum to share experiences, facilitated by trained, volunteer physicians.

Each monthly webinar is organized around a prevailing theme with a stakeholder co-host to provide a variety of perspectives with a general discussion and breakout rooms. Registration is required, and providers will be joining the Tuesday series for a 6-month duration.

Event Date: August 17, 2021 - December 14, 2021

Next Session: Tuesday, August 17, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Register Here


"When things change inside you, things change around you."

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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