welcome june

A Message of Cautious Optimism

By Nancy L. Belcher, Ph.D., MPA 
CEO, King County Medical Society
As we mark over 500 days of WA's COVID-19 response, vaccines are readily available and businesses are reopening - but many of us are left wondering how to react. The winds of change have certainly begun to blow. Like many health officials, we are concerned about the huge drop in demand for vaccines across the state, the global healthcare disparities, and how our physicians are holding up.
As you know, KCMS worked hand-in-hand with PHSKC and the WA-DOH to provide PPE, update the State's vaccine database, distribute telehealth equipment, and facilitate vaccine enrollment. We have saved many lives, so that makes it particularly hard to now see so many people refusing the vaccine. We are sure you are dealing with the same concerns. The American Medical Association has provided tips to help you with patients that are choosing not to get the vaccine (link below).
As the WA State Secretary of Health, Umair Shah stated, we need to avoid a "tale of two societies" - those that have had the vaccine and those that have chosen not to. While we are blessed to have the option, that privilege is not available to all. Other governments are racing to vaccinate populations as novel variants emerge, while here in the US not only are vaccinations declined, but physical distancing, mask-wearing, and other public health interventions are relaxing. We are now in a position of having excess vaccines, and the US plans to purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to donate to other countries struggling with a limited supply. 
I'd not only like to recognize this challenging dichotomy but also to call out very loudly "THANK YOU" to the health care providers for their endless compassion and service during this unprecedented time. No one group has done more to bring care, comfort, and strength to the millions of people who contracted COVID-19 than the world’s health workers. Sadly, Amnesty International reports that more than 17,000 health workers died from COVID-19 in the first 12 months of the pandemic. For their brave, selfless commitments, we are grateful.  
The world owes you all more than just its gratitude, it owes you genuine support to make sure that you are properly treated by your employers and government.  In our own little world of King County, we are working tirelessly to support you, and help you to achieve success. Sadly we have seen many of your colleagues leave medicine due to burnout.
There is a new study (link below) that suggests that reducing burnout requires organizational-level changes that value teamwork, balanced interests, and open communication to keep physicians engaged and happy. KCMS is here to provide you with the voice and support you deserve, help you resolve inequities that might arise, and/or connect you with colleagues. Please let us know how we can help. We are here to support you every step of the way.  Thank you all!
10 Tips -Talking About Vaccine Hesitancy
Physician Burnout - how do we prevent it?

Join the KCMS Delegate Council

Please consider joining your colleagues for the 2021 KCMS Delegate Council. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23rd @ 6 p.m. via Zoom. 
Whether you are retired or actively practicing medicine, we welcome your involvement.
Email Connor Hinton at Chinton@kcmsociety.org

KCMS Delegate Council Meetings 6-8 p.m.

June 23rd, July 21st, August 18th, and September 16th. 

Health Care 2030
Free Virtual Event Series

What will health care delivery look like in the next decade?
This virtual event series addresses
global concerns, including the lasting impact of Covid-19,
and provides innovative and practical planning advice.
Click the box below.
Click here for the series

An Offering for Interested Physicians & Patients

KCMS Summer Interns

We are delighted to share the bios of our summer interns. Each intern has been assigned to a research topic for our legislative work, or administrative responsibility. Thank you to this amazing group for their hard work and dedication to KCMS. 
With their help, KCMS continues to fulfill its mandate to improve healthcare for all.

Shwetha Nidyandh

Shwetha is an upcoming senior at Interlake High School in Bellevue, WA. She is passionate about scientific communication and is involved in many clubs, including Science Olympiad and HOSA. She also volunteers at Swedish Medical Center as a Junior Health Scholar.  Recently, she wrote a research essay about “Racial Inequalities in Mental Health Care” for the International Baccalaureate program that sparked her interest in healthcare equity, delivery, and access. She is excited to collaborate with the KCMS team to explore and assist in healthcare research.
Shwetha will be focusing on further developing our next CME on Racism in Medicine v.2.

Lauren Crumb

My name is Lauren Crumb and I am an incoming Senior at Bishop Blanchet High School. I love science (especially chemistry), nature, and just learning in general. The cultivation of knowledge that has the possibility of improving the lives of people around me has always been a pillar in my life, and conducting research at KCMS will help me further develop this principle!
Lauren will be helping KCMS to evaluate how best to combat the harsh effects of climate change from a policy standpoint.

Joe Albrecht

My name is Joe Albrecht and I am a third-year undergraduate student at UW pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Nutrition. I have been passionate about medicine since middle school and hope to attend medical school after my studies at UW. Over the past couple of summers, I have interned at Proliance Surgeons, UW Medicine, and completed the COPE Health Scholars program at Swedish Hospital with over 300 hours of volunteer work. I am also set to begin epileptic research at the VA in the near future. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, and experiencing the outdoors with my friends and family. I am extremely excited for this summer with KCMS and all that this internship has to offer! 
Joe will be helping to create the KCMS and the Pacific Northwest Transplant Society's (PNWTS) CME scheduled for September.

New KCMS Project Manager

Lily Astone

Lily is an upcoming senior at the University of Washington studying Environmental Studies and Political Science. Through her studies and volunteer experience with Food & Water Action, she has become passionate about helping all people obtain equal opportunities and outcomes. She is excited to nurture this passion further by interning for King County Medical Society this summer.

Highlighted Issues - Harms of Term Provider in Healthcare 

Delegate Council Updates: 
Many feel that categorizing physicians as simply a 'provider' sends mixed messaging. Delegates are working on a resolution to recognize, and honor, the sacrifices that physicians have made to ensure quality medical care is available across the United States.
In the article Professional Identity Misformation and Burnout: A Call for Graduate Medical Education to Reject “Provider” produced by Deborah R. Erlich, MD and Joseph W. Gravel Jr, MD, there is an outline of both the background in this information along with some suggested action items to combat this issue. View this article below.
View Article Here
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