The Pulse of King County Medicine
The Pulse of King County Medicine
A physician membership organization

Join Us at the KCMS Delegate Council: 
Help Shape the Future of Healthcare

Your insights and experiences are invaluable to driving healthcare reforms. Whether you are currently practicing, retired, or still in training, we need your voice to shape the future of healthcare.

📅 Mark Your Calendar!

Date: June 4th, 2024. Join us for one meeting, or all 3, scheduled from June - Sept
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM  -  join via Zoom
Event: First 2024 KCMS Delegate Council Meeting

Why Attend? 
  • Shape the Future: Engage directly in crafting solutions that advance healthcare.
  • Represent Peers: Be the voice for the needs and challenges of healthcare professionals and the communities they serve.
  • Flexible Support: KCMS is committed to supporting your participation, offering flexible involvement options to fit your busy life.
  • Build Community: Connect with fellow physicians, share experiences, and grow together in a collaborative environment.

    Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference in the healthcare landscape. Your participation is crucial as we unite to innovate and improve healthcare for everyone.

    📩 RSVP & More Information contact Shurlon Brathwaite at

    Join us in making a pivotal impact in healthcare through innovation and collaboration.
Learn More About the KCMS Delegate Council

Lost Patients Podcast

Lost Patients is a deeply-reported, six-part docuseries examining the difficulties of treating serious mental illness through the lens of one city's past, present and future. With real-life testimonials from patients, families, and professionals on the front lines, Lost Patients provides a real, solutions-oriented look at how we got stuck here... and what we might do to break free.

Lost Patients is a joint production of KUOW and The Seattle Times. It is distributed by the NPR Network. To listen please click the link below.

H5N1 Update

From KCMS CEO, Nancy L. Belcher, Ph.D., MPA.

Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, I discovered the insightful work of Katelyn Jetelina, Ph.D., MPH, the author behind "Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)." I became a subscriber and I've found her scientific analyses thorough. I encourage you to add her expert commentary to your inbox.

As we continue to monitor emerging health threats, we are following the evolving situation with H5N1. This virus, primarily of avian origins, has shown unusual patterns, including cases affecting livestock. In her latest update, Dr. Jetelina highlights the current state of H5N1, revealing that 36 herds across 9 states had been identified as infected as of April 25th. 

Key Takeaways from Dr. Jetelina's Latest Update:

Current Risk to the Public: While H5N1 is a topic of concern among health professionals, the risk to the general public remains relatively low. Risks would increase significantly only if clusters of human cases begin to appear, which is currently not the case.

Symptoms and Transmission: H5N1 symptoms are similar to those of influenza and include fever, chills, cough, and, in some cases, red eyes. Transmission is primarily through direct contact with infected animals or consumption of unpasteurized products from infected animals.

Impact on Pets and Food Safety: Pets, particularly those on farms, can contract H5N1 from infected birds or their droppings. Dr. Jetelina highlights a recent case where cats became ill after consuming unpasteurized milk from infected cows. Regarding food safety, the FDA has confirmed that pasteurization effectively neutralizes the virus, ensuring that dairy products and beef remain safe for consumption.

Precautions: The public is strongly advised to avoid unpasteurized milk, avoid handling sick or dead birds, and maintain a safe distance from visibly ill livestock. 
To stay updated with Dr. Jetelina's expert analysis on various public health issues, click below.
Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)
The Everett Clinic and Polyclinic believe that the right partnerships can make your best work even better. That’s why they’ve aligned to provide accessible, innovative care for their community. Their mission is: To create a healthier world with you at the center. Together, they strive to help make health care more accessible and effective for everyone.
More About Optum

Health Advisory:

Suicide risk screening and safe medication storage

A message from Public Health Seattle & King County

Syndromic surveillance data has detected a small but significant suicide attempt cluster among younger adolescents in the King County area during early April 2024. 

Only two of the cases were associated with each other, but there were six cases in geographic and temporal proximity. This health advisory aims to highlight best practices and support all health care and social service physicians in promoting well-being and safety for people of all ages. Our common goal is to prevent further increases in youth suicide attempts.

In addition to the ongoing stressors young people face, this part of spring 2024 includes most school districts’ spring breaks, three major religions’ important holidays, a rapidly approaching end of the school year, and impending state testing. Young people might feel that their routines have been disrupted or their links to protective factors and support outside the family are interrupted. 

Routine suicide risk screening during tumultuous times is good clinical practice. In light of this cluster, we recommend activating regular and routine mental health screening for all adolescents in your care. Connecting young people with culturally relevant supports can also help prevent social isolation and support positive identity development.
Some of the suicide attempts in this cluster involved the use of medication. Home safety is an important part of mitigating identified suicide risk. We recommend physicians encourage families to securely store all medications and drugs, including over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, and allergy medicine. It is also critically important for families who own firearms to secure or remove their firearms if there is a mental health concern with a family member since firearms have high lethality in suicide attempts.

Suicide Prevention

WSMA 2024 Leadership Development Conference

The 2024 WSMA Leadership Development Conference is scheduled for May 17-18 at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan. Registration is available. To sign up or receive more information, click the button below.
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