The induction of the upcoming MAOFP president happens during the Summer Family Medicine Update each year. Unfortunately, our members couldn't be together this year, but we still wanted to provide you with an update from ACOFP and watch the induction of our new President, Tina Metropoulous, DO. We want to thank Kristen Sumners, DO for her time as President (2019-2020) and look forward to her leadership as she transitions into her role as Immediate Past President.
New rules will require health care professionals to undergo training to help reduce racial and other disparities in delivery of medical services
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Directive 2020-7 which directs the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to begin developing rules that will require implicit bias training as part of the knowledge and skills necessary for licensure, registration and renewal of licenses and registrations of health professionals in Michigan. Implicit bias training was one of the recommendations made by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which Governor Whitmer created in response to the devastating and disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on communities of color.
"There's no doubt that our front line health care workers like doctors and nurses have been the real heroes of this crisis, putting their lives on the line for us every day," said Governor Whitmer. "COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors, and we must do everything we can to address this disparity. The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan's health care system. That’s why my staff has begun this kind of training and every member of my team, including me, will complete this type of training on an annual basis.”
Since day one, both Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II have been committed to making Michigan a more equitable state. During her State of the State Address this year, Governor Whitmer called for implicit bias training for all healthcare and medical professionals to combat racism felt across the healthcare industry.
“The existing health disparities highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic have made it clear that there is more work to do to ensure people of color have the same access to the same quality of health care as everyone else,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II, chair of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. “By providing awareness to health care workers on how to recognize and mitigate implicit bias, we can help them carry out their mission of providing the best health care to every patient they serve.”
As of July 5, Black Michiganders represented 14% of the state population, but 40% of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in which the race of the patient was known. COVID-19 is over four times more prevalent among Black Michiganders than among white Michiganders.
The National Healthcare Disparities Report concluded that white patients received care of a higher quality than Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Asian Americans. People of color face more barriers to accessing health care than white people and are generally less satisfied with their interactions with health care providers.
“There is no question that our healthcare workers have risked their own lives and saved countless others during the COVID pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “But the fact is that implicit bias exists, and studies show that it can have an impact on health outcomes. Every healthcare professional should be trained in implicit bias so that we can make sure everyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity, has access to the highest quality care.”
“This is an excellent step in the right direction, I applaud our Governor for addressing this issue and as Chair of the Board of Medicine, I stand ready to work with our board members and the Administration to establish implicit biased training for physicians,” said Micheal Chafty, MD, Chair of the Michigan Board of Medicine.
Under Executive Directive 2020-7, LARA is required to consult with relevant stakeholders in the medical profession, in state government and elsewhere in the community by November 1, 2020 to help determine relevant goals and concerns under the new rules. LARA will work in collaboration with the relevant professional boards and task forces to promulgate the rules.
To view Executive Directive 2020-7, click the link below:
On July 1, MAOFP joined other Michigan medical professional organizations and sent a letter to the Governor supporting the I Vaccinate Campaign funding.
Download the letter here
As approved at the Special Membership Meeting on June 11, the MAOFP board election is occurring electronically this year. Members with voting privileges received an email on June 12 with voting instructions. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (517) 253-8037 if you didn't receive the email. The deadline to vote is July 12.
The Leadership Committee has vetted and recommends the following nominees for the open board positions. The Board of Directors has given their approval.
The MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is actively seeking preceptors for to be a part of second-year students’ osteopathic training. Rotations are for one week and are a great chance to expose students to the field of primary care.
Preceptors earn CME hours and a $100 credit towards registration for an MSUCOM CME course for each week they participate. Additional benefits can be found here.
The preceptor experience dates for the 2020-2021 academic year are as follows:
Indicate your interest by completing this form. Contact the MSUCOM at 517.353.4732 with any questions.
Childhood immunizations have fallen sharply so far this year amid the new coronavirus outbreak, state data shows.
From January 1 through April 23, there was a 19 percent decrease in non-influenza vaccinations administered and reported to the state among children 0-8 years old compared to the average for the same period in 2018 and 2019 and a 27.5 percent decrease among those 9 to 18 years old, said data from the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Immunization.
The decline has affected adults as well with an 11 percent decrease among those 19 to 105 years old.
The situation has concerned one physicians’ group, the Michigan State Medical Society, which has called for Governor Gretchen Whitmer to rescind or revise her executive order banning "nonessential" medical procedures.
There have been concerns in some quarters of the health care community that the order, which the governor issued to assure hospital capacity as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Michigan in March and threatened to overrun hospitals, is now discouraging patients and their physicians from tending to important medical needs that may not fit the definition of "nonessential." Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, has defended the order and given guidance to providers that they have the freedom under the order to schedule procedures physicians deem necessary.
"Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations before," said Dr. S. Bobby Mukkamala, president of the Michigan State Medical Society. "For most Americans today, vaccines are a routine part of health care but, for some, routine health visits have halted. There could be some very real consequences which would be dire if our patients can't get back to their routine health care."
DHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin said the state recognizes the importance of vaccinations. The Division of Immunization recently sent the data on falling immunization rates to providers with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that urges offices that can only provide limited well-child visits to prioritize newborn care and vaccination visits through age 24 months.
Ms. Sutfin also pointed to the guidance Ms. Khaldun issued to providers earlier this month that urged providers to systematically prioritize in-person patient interactions and in doing so "consider allowing medical visits for immunizations." She asked providers to consider reaching out to families to schedule immunization visits in future months to keep patients up to date.
On March 30, the Division of Immunization sent a memo to providers regarding what to do about a falloff in immunizations because of the pandemic and reminded them to use the immunization catch-up schedule.
"Keep in mind that vaccinating can indirectly help our state respond to COVID-19," the memo said. "When we vaccinate against influenza, pertussis, pneumonia, etc., and thereby decrease hospitalizations from vaccine-preventable disease, this contributes to flattening the curve with regard to preventing additional burden on the health care system."
Ms. Sutfin did not answer a question about whether the situation would prompt a change to the medical services order but did say the state recognizes "the pandemic is affecting immunization services differently across providers in the state."
She also said the state works with the Franny Strong Foundation on the IVaccinate campaign and will use the partnership to promote vaccination efforts throughout the state in the upcoming months.
Dr. Pamela Rockwell, an associate professor in the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine, said she does not attribute the fall in immunization rates to Ms. Whitmer's order.
"I believe some of this falloff is attributed to patients' 'fear of going to the doctor' combined with physicians and healthcare systems' initial advice for patients to stay home and avoid health care facilities if at all possible, to lessen the risk of COVID-19 exposure during the height of the pandemic," she said. "Pediatric visits are now ramping up in my area: children due or overdue for their immunizations are being called and scheduled for both 'drive-through' immunization stations and 'well-only' office visits."
Ms. Rockwell said DHHS has provided "excellent guidance" for health care providers and said avoiding office visits and procedures for low acuity issues makes good public health sense to help keep COVID-19 infection rates down. Still, Ms. Rockwell said the decline in pediatric immunization rates is during the pandemic is alarming.
She suggested the state engage in public service announcements in all forms of media to educate the public on the importance of vaccinations as physician offices ramp up their vaccination services.
"If this declining curve is not 'flattened' soon, children will be at risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, notably Pertussis and Measles as social distancing requirements are soon to be relaxed," she said. "Though this falloff in immunization rates is concerning, I believe it can be rectified in the next several months with a concerted effort by family physicians and pediatricians to prioritize childhood immunization administrations."
LANSING – The state’s family physicians, pediatricians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and psychiatrists are urging Michiganders not to ignore their healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Heart attacks, broken bones, and other medical emergencies requiring immediate attention are still happening every day. Children still need vaccinations to protect against life-threatening contagious illnesses like measles and whooping cough. Pregnant mothers still need prenatal care to protect their and their babies’ health. People suffering from depression and anxiety still need behavioral healthcare. Adults and children with diabetes and asthma still need help managing their chronic illnesses.
“These and other acute and chronic conditions haven’t disappeared because COVID-19 is here. Seeking necessary healthcare is just as important today as it was before,” said Keerthy Krishnamani, MD, MBA, a family physician at Henry Ford Health System and president of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP).
That’s why MAFP and the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Michigan Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Michigan Psychiatric Society are reminding residents that primary care physicians are available and prepared to provide care safely and efficiently.
“Health is too important to avoid seeking care. People should call their primary care physician if they have a concern. Your doctor will help you determine if you need to be seen in person, or if you can be treated over the phone or by video. We are here to take care of you and your family, as always. How we do that just might look a little different than in the past,” said Sharon Swindell, MD, FAAP, president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Anyone experiencing life-threatening symptoms, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, slurred speech, or abdominal pain, should call 9-1-1 or seek immediate care at the emergency room.
“Every minute counts when someone is experiencing a medical emergency,” said Dr. Swindell.
Care that should not be postponed includes:
Should you require in-person care, you can be assured that primary care physician offices and hospitals have put even more stringent infection prevention and control measures in place to protect you and your family from COVID-19.
“Not seeking necessary healthcare out of fear of getting COVID-19 is actually more dangerous than the virus itself,” said Kristen Sumners, DO, president of the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians and a family physician with Lakeshore Health Partners in Zeeland.
Sumners continued: “By adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, physicians’ offices and hospitals are safe places to be. We are continually sanitizing and disinfecting even the smallest surfaces, like doorknobs and light switches. Our healthcare teams wear personal protective equipment and require patients to wear masks as well. Staff and patients are screened for COVID-19. Patients no longer wait for their appointment in the waiting room and social distancing is practiced. The healthcare community is taking every step to protect the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers.”
Pointing to studies showing that individuals who have an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician have better health outcomes, longer lives, and lower healthcare costs than those who don’t, Dr. Krishnamani encourages all Michigan residents to establish and maintain a relationship with a primary care physician.
“Primary care doctors provide comprehensive, coordinated, continuous care. Because we really get to know our patients and their health histories over an extended period of time, this enduring relationship allows us to provide patient-centered care. This is even more important during a public health emergency like COVID-19,” he said.
Michigan Academy of Family Physicians is the state’s largest medical specialty association, representing more than 4,200 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students across the state. www.mafp.com
Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physiciansworks to promote osteopathic family medicine and its role in optimizing health for patients and communities. www.maofp.org.
Since 1949, the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has been the leading child welfare and safety advocacy organization in Michigan. www.miaap.org
The Michigan Section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is dedicated to the advancement of women’s health care and the professional and socioeconomic interests of its members through continuing medical education, practice, research, and advocacy. www.acog.org.
At the May 2020 Board Meeting, the MAOFP Board voted to cancel the 2020 Summer Family Medicine Update due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this was a difficult decision for the Board, ultimately the health and safety of our members, staff, and Board are the highest priority.
Please plan to join us for 2021 Winter Family Update February 4-7, 2021 at Boyne Mountain Resort
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