Monday Rx: Oil and Gas Drilling, Message from Dr. Deen, Public Health and 2023 Employment Law Webinar

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Los Angeles City Council Votes to End Oil and Gas Drilling & Message from Dr. Omer Deen

Last Friday, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to end oil and gas drilling within the city and to phase out existing wells over the next 20 years.

The city of Los Angeles is home to 26 oil and gas fields and more than 5,000 wells, with active, idle, and abandoned wells dotting much of the city, from downtown to the west side. A 2021 study found that Angelinos living near oil wells suffered respiratory harm similar to breathing secondhand smoke daily. Studies have also found that people living near drilling sites are at greater risk of developing leukemia and preterm birth.

The new ordinance comes on the heels of a similar measure, passed unanimously by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, that bans new drilling in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County and phases out existing projects over the next two decades.

Statement from LACMA President Dr. Omer Deen

"It is important to recognize the many adverse impacts associated with oil and gas extraction/refinement on the health of Los Angeles citizens. We applaud the Los Angeles City Council for this historic vote to end oil and gas drilling within the city and we strongly support continued innovation and research to develop healthier, viable, safer forms of energy that will protect both our citizens and our environment." - Dr. Omer Deen

Coronavirus Surge

There has been a troubling spike in coronavirus-positive hospital admissions among seniors in California, rising to levels not seen since the summer Omicron surge.

Hospitalizations have roughly tripled for Californians of most age groups since the autumn low. But the jump in seniors needing hospital care has been particularly dramatic. Only 35% of California's vaccinated senior's age 65 and older have received the updated booster since it became available in September.

Fentanyl Update

In 2021, methamphetamine and fentanyl were the most common drug types listed as a cause of death in accidental drug overdose deaths in Los Angeles County (LAC), accounting for 56% and 55%, respectively, of all alcohol and other drug overdose deaths. While methamphetamine significantly contributes to accidental drug overdoses, there are also unique risks associated with one-time fentanyl exposure. Interventions such as naloxone are available to address fentanyl overdoses that do not exist for methamphetamine.

This explains the unique focus on and needs to understand the fentanyl crisis amid broader drug overdose concerns to inform activities to reduce the impact of fentanyl overdoses in our communities. This data report presents the number and rate of fentanyl overdose deaths, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations by sociodemographic and geographic groups from 2016 when routine testing for fentanyl began among overdose deaths.

Accidental fentanyl overdose deaths increased by 1,280%, from 109 in 2016 to 1,504 in 2021. From 2016 to 2020, fentanyl overdose ED visits increased by 308% from 133 to 542, and fentanyl overdose hospitalizations increased 98% from 102 to 202 cases.

Adults aged 26-39 years had the highest rates of fentanyl overdose deaths (30.0) and ED visits (13.1) per 100,000 population, while young adults aged 18-25 years had the highest hospitalization rate (4.5) in the most recent available data year. Males accounted for more fentanyl overdose deaths and had a rate per 100,000 population that was 3.9 times that of females (23.4 vs. 6.0) in 2021. Males also accounted for more fentanyl overdose ED visits and hospitalizations and had rates per 100,000 population that were 3.3 and 2.3 times, respectively, of those for females (ED visits: 8.2 vs. 2.5; hospitalizations: 2.8 vs. 1.2) in 2020. White residents accounted for the largest number of fentanyl overdose deaths, ED visits, and hospitalizations, followed by Latinx, Black, and Asian residents.

After adjusting for size differences in population, Black residents had the highest rates per 100,000 population for fentanyl overdose deaths (30.6) and hospitalizations (3.2) and the second highest rate of ED visits (6.7) as compared to White residents (deaths: 22.5, ED visits: 8.6, and hospitalizations: 2.7), and Latinx residents (deaths: 11.1, ED visits: 3.4, and hospitalizations: 1.3), and Asian residents (deaths: 2.0, ED visits: 0.6, and hospitalizations: 0.3) in the most recent data year. Similarly, more affluent areas had higher numbers of fentanyl overdose deaths than less affluent areas, with nearly half (48%) of fentanyl overdose deaths occurring in the most affluent areas and 8% occurring in the least affluent areas in 2016-2021.

However, the rate of fentanyl overdose deaths per 100,000 population in the least affluent areas was more than triple that of the most affluent areas (38.4 vs. 12.3) of LAC in 2021.

To see the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Data Report, click here.

It’s Time to Renew Your 2023 Membership Dues!

2023 Employment Law Updates

Please join us for an informative session that will provide important updates on leave, employee handbook updates, extensions regarding COVID supplemental sick pay, and other laws that may impact your practice.

Date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PST 

Location: Zoom


Southern California Burnout Symposium

Each week I look forward to sharing news about our February Symposium discussing the topic of physician burnout. LACMA is the lead sponsor for this groundbreaking event that promises to be profoundly impactful. LACMA members also receive a $400 discount of additional savings.

Visit to see the complete agenda or register below!


LACMA Members can also contact for the discount code to register for this historic and worthwhile event!


The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.



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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