Durable Solutions
Durable Solutions

President's Message

Governor Inslee has publicly shared his data-driven strategies toward a phased re-opening.  Nationally, an update from UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts increased COVID-19 illness and death attributable to relaxed social distancing and ongoing disease transmission.  Physicians and other healthcare workers in our state have continued to offer their best under contingency and crisis standards of care for PPE.  An April CDC Report noted that healthcare workers may account for 19% of US infections, of which nearly 3 out of 4 were women.  With sobering reminders that we are in a marathon and not a sprint, many of our physicians are left wondering not if, but when we will be called upon to care for one of our own.  
     During these extraordinary times, we continue to recommend advocating for best safety practices with those in your healthcare space as recommended by the Consortium of Medical Specialty Societies.  KCMS continues its PPE and telehealth drives to support local supply chains and raise awareness in our community.  We are dialoguing around hazard pay with elected officials.  Our members continue to promote policy in the interest of public health with an eye toward durable solutions.    

Message from Our VP

The widely published seven emotional stages of grief are:
  1. shock or disbelief,
  2. denial,
  3. bargaining,
  4. guilt,
  5. anger,
  6. depression, and finally
  7. acceptance/hope. 
     SARS-CoV-2 has upended much of what we have taken for granted. For some, this economic and social slowdown allows for reflection,  reconnection, and a chance to complete long lost to-do lists,  learn new skills,  and renew old friendships.   Many face economic catastrophe, with loss of jobs, businesses, and careers that built over a lifetime of study and sacrifice.  Still, others have experienced the actual COVID-19 illness and are recovering, or have lost a friend or family member to the virus.  Even as we acknowledge that we are “all in this together” we wonder how we are going to make it through.
     The paradox is that life is moving in different directions, and at varying speeds, with no guarantees that anything will ever be back to the ‘normal’ state of 2019.  There has been a significant disruption to the economy and it is probably not realistic or practical to expect that its sectors will resume exactly the same in the near future.
     The health-care economy now employs 11 percent of American workers (Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] 1980–2019), and accounts for 24 percent of government spending (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] 1987–2018), and 18 percent of the US gross domestic product is spent on health care.   The costs of health insurance, malpractice insurance, pharmaceuticals, and billing and administrative overheads, based on a multi-payer system,  have continued to increase year over year. If things go back to the way they were, then costs will continue to escalate, patient and provider satisfaction will deteriorate, and there will be increased health disparities.
     Looking forward as we emerge from our grief, the colloquial quotes that come to mind are, “Never let a crisis go to waste”, and “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. Our individual and collective future as physicians depends on positive, systemic changes within the health care economy in order to provide services in better ways.
     It is time to design a single-payer system in our country to reimburse medical education, lower the medical billing administrative costs, better negotiate drug prices, decrease individual risks, improve the patient experience,  and promote research and innovation for progress.  Our focus must be on building fiscal programs that support physicians and patients, so we can all do more of what matters in our lives. It is our shared responsibility to transform for good.

Michelle Terry, MD
Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics UW School of Medicine

NPR Report on KCMS Vaccine Work

Will James with KNKX (a public radio station and member of National Public Radio) interviewed KCMS physicians about WA state's adult vaccination. Described as "incomplete" and "inaccurate," the lack of a comprehensive database is leading some to worry that the current system may complicate efforts to eventually vaccinate for COVID-19.
KCMS Doctors Say

Remembering Our First Female KCMS President

Dr. Nola Mae Moore

On Friday, April 17, Dr. Nola Mae Moore M.D., our beloved first female president of the King County Medical Society, an energetic champion of patient and physician's rights, passed away due to complications caused by the novel coronavirus at the age of 88. Nola, you will be missed.
Nola Mae Moore, MD Obituary

Your Foundation Update

The King County Medical Society Community Foundation wants to sincerely thank all of our wonderful donors.  
We have not limited ourselves to King County - here is what we are delivering (and mailing) far and wide:
1) Tens of thousands of masks and gloves, hundreds of gowns and caps to hospitals, clinics, shelters, medical schools, food banks, senior homes, and more. 
2) Free food for our frontline healthcare providers. Food ranges from 700+ Pho noodle dishes to thousands of cupcakes and dozens of gourmet boxed lunches,
3) Thousands of plastic face shields that were originally donated by individuals and now in collaboration with 'Masks for Docs' and local fabricators,
4) Hand sanitizer donated by Westland Distillery who normally makes whiskey (!), 
5) Hundreds of webcams, cameras, headsets and dozens of iPads for telehealth,
Please, Donate TODAY!  Healthcare systems are in dire need.
Mail to:
King County Medical Society Community Foundation
200 Broadway, Suite 200
Seattle, WA. 98122
Or via our website by clicking HERE

Member Awarded

Dr. Erica Liebelt was honored by her professional medical society and was awarded the American College of Medical Toxicology’s Matthew J. Ellenhorn Award on March 14th, 2020 at the ACMT Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting. This award is given to honor an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of medical toxicology.   
Dr. Liebelt says that she has been recently "reflecting on the past 6 weeks and how fortunate I am for my health, my career, and all of my colleagues who have contributed to my journey in life.  I am very grateful." Congratulations Dr. Liebelt! 

Thank You to Just - Evotec

Just-Evotec Biologics has generously donated to the King County Medical Society Comunity Foundation's PPE effort. THANK YOU! 
Just-Evotec Biologics

The Ethics of COVID-19 Immunity-Based Licenses


Countries around the world are choosing to implement certifications that a person has contracted and recovered from COVID-19 or, in the future, has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Such policies have been discussed in the US and have elicited strong opinions.
The Ethics of COVID-19 Immunity-Based Licenses

FDA Combats Fraudulent COVID-19 Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is combating the actions of some individuals who are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the FDA’s "Operation Quack Hack", the agency has discovered hundreds of fraudulent drugs, testing kits, and PPE sold online. 
FDA Fraudulent Products

FDA Authorizes First At-Home Diagnostic Test

The FDA has authorized more than 80 COVID-19 tests for at-home sample collection.
Home Covid-19 Diagnostic Test Approved

Dr. Hickman Obituary

In the 1970s, Dr. Robert O. Hickman was a founding member of the transplant team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Hickman catheter “was a gift to the world,” says Fred Appelbaum, MD. The Hickman catheter has enabled cancer patients to receive nutrition and chemotherapy intravenously. 
Dr. Hickman

In Memoriam

Howard L Kuhl- Obituary

Alan L W Gunsul – Obituary

George E Wright -  Obituary

John Nave (Jack) Lein- Obituary

Thomas W Martin- Obituary

Wil Borchers Nelp- Obituary 
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