The King County MS COVID-19 Response

From the President - A Child's Selfless Support.

Last night, a 9-year-old Seattle girl donated her monthly allowance to the King County Medical Society to, "help keep our doctors safe" during the pandemic!  Personally, as a doctor on the frontlines, I am still totally overwhelmed by that kind of community support. This child found us on Facebook and felt compelled to give all that she had. 

Sometimes it takes a real crisis for an organization to truly find its stride, and the King County Medical Society is running toward the crisis. Our CEO, Nancy L. Belcher, has led us into many different opportunities and collaborations that all align with our goals of supporting physicians, patients, and promoting our profession. KCMS Board members are also staying involved! Chair of the KCMS Public Health Committee, Dr Amish Dave is active and spearheading our Telehealth equipment drive to get the logistics up to speed during COVID-19.  Dr. Donald Ross, Chair of the KCMS Mental Health Committee, has been connecting us with local tailors and keeping the PPE creation effort alive.

The donations are slowly coming in and our online visibility is rising. Thank you for all of your support! Our staff, board members, and our growing medical society body appreciate it greatly as we venture into unchartered territory with new projects. 

Please continue to promote and support our work. Forward this blast to all, 'Like' or 'share' the KCMS Facebook page, follow us on LinkedIn, share our website and foundation page ( with your friends and family or ask friends/patients to mail checks to 200 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122

We also ask that you share with us funding avenues that could help support our efforts and reach out to your networks. Open yourself up to the generosity of your community as we all seek to be more connected during this time of social distancing. Gestures of support, like accepting lunch from a local restaurant, can be such morale boosters for your team (see below). If someone asks if you need anything during this time, don’t be afraid to tell them that your medical society could use some help!    

Doctor, do you have something to say?

Over the past few weeks, I know you have all been working overtime to decrease the spread of COVID-19. I am honored to work alongside (virtually) so many of you. In the midst of all the turmoil, KCMS has identified these tangible ways to help you while you do the hard, courageous jobs:
1) Telehealth Insurance Parity: We pushed for private insurance to increase telehealth reimbursement rates. Regence Insurance was the first to provide parity, and the Governor followed by signing a mandate for early parity legislation.
2) PPE Creation. By collaborating with Expedia and Lighthouse Uniforms, we are creating PPE. Thousands of masks have been distributed and gowns produced.
3) Telemedicine Technology. In order to effectively triage possible COVID positive patients, healthcare systems must have enough headsets and webcams. Most healthcare systems do not have enough. KCMS secured donations from Expedia and is asking Microsoft, Amazon, and others to chip in too. You can donate/buy straight from Amazon! Visit our amazon wishlist to help.
4) Housing. Sometimes going home after your clinic/hospital shift isn't an option. Members are in quarantine or simply can't expose their families to hidden hazards. KCMS has partnered with Airbnb to provide housing for frontline workers in need.
5) Food. While many hospitality workers are now unemployed, they still want to provide for frontline staff. KCMS is collaborating with the WA State Hospitality Assoc to partner restaurants that want to donate food with their local hospitals/clinics. 
6) Childcare. Our referral service has evolved! More on this later in the newsletter.
7) Amplifying Your Voices. I have had innumerable media requests for physician interviews. While there are a handful of physicians that can speak, I am alarmed and disturbed by the silencing of physicians by their employers. In the past month I have heard from physicians who have been:  
  • Called in for talking (or posting) their personal truth and told their job was in the balance,
  • Told that a hospital media rep had to be on the phone while speaking with a reporter,
  • Stopped from providing an interview because it doesn't fit into the communication depts 'strategic media plan' (I ask, is there a media plan for a pandemic?),
  • Instructed that if they continue wearing a PPE mask in the hallway they will be fired. (The next day the hospital changed its policy and mandated masks.)
Medscape has a great article related to the silencing of physician voices here -  I encourage you to read it. The Council of Medical Specialty Societies posted a statement on behalf of hundreds of thousands of physicians and the AMA has supported the position, 
 "... informs hospitals, quite pointedly, that employees should not face any form of retribution for voicing concerns about health and safety, even to the media."
So, in an effort to promote our fundraising effort,  I agreed to speak on the radio on behalf of our members. If you like, listen to the KIRO Radio 97.3 interview where I discuss what KCMS is doing to support our healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.

Thank you for all you do!  Nancy
KIRO Radio Interview

Thank you Evergreen Pediatrics!

Our fundraising efforts were in need of a boost, and yesterday we got it!
Basma Raees MD, Medical Director, Evergreen Pediatrics sent an email today stating,  "I have collected about $4000 for PPE to donate to you through my friends and other doctors and my patients at Evergreen pediatrics. Bank of America can match up to $5000!"
Dr. Raees, we are humbled and grateful. Your generosity of funds, and spirit, will help us to make thousands of more masks and provide more technology to our frontline healthcare providers. Thank you!
To support our PPE/telehealth efforts, and to enable us to distribute thousands of masks + telehealth equipment, please donate through the link below or share it with family and friends.
Donate for PPE and Telemedicine Equipment

COVID-19 Frontlines, the PNW Experience


Last week's SHM/KCMS webinar focused on our early regional response to novel disease and featured KCMS President, Dr. Rajneet Lamba along with KCMS member, and SHM Chapter President,  Dr. Therese Franco as moderator.  With over 200 live participants, we see the demand and are looking to make this a weekly event!
Tune in this Wednesday, April 8th at 5 pm.  Registration below. Topics will include:
  • Operational considerations in crisis standards of care,
  • Staffing to meet demand,
  • PPE conservation and preservation, and 
  • Updates in testing and treatment.
SHM/KCMS 4/8/2020 5pm Webinar Registration
SHM/KCMS 4/1/2020 Webinar Recording

Appeal for Blood in WA State

Ellen Derrick MD, MPH, FACS, FSVS
Like many of you, I am sitting at home. I am with my 4 children working on reading, writing, and arythmatic. I get to go for a walk once or twice a day, with my dog. I can’t work from home because I am a vascular surgeon and so I only work when there is an emergency.
People ask me all the time, “What is a vascular surgeon?”. The answer is simple: I am a "human plumber". If an artery explodes, I turn it off and replace the pipe. If an artery is blocked and blood can't get to afoot, I unplug the pipe. The main difference between me and a typical plumber is that the “water” I work to restore is not run by the city or dependent on the snowpack. The water that I work on is blood, and every 2 seconds in our country, doctors like me are treating a patient who needs blood to save their life. My patients are just like you and me - they are at home, unaware that they are about to have a “death problem” that can only be fixed by a human plumber who needs extra blood to pump into their heart while I fix their pipe.

Sadly, no number of donated masks can be used as a replacement for the blood, Unlike Ralph Lauren sewing protective gowns, and Louis Vuitton making hand sanitizer, we can not engineer lifesaving blood. There is no government bailout and stocks can’t save their lives. However, there is someone who can help ...YOU can save them, just like me.

Washington blood centers are open and they need you to donate blood. One donated pint of blood can saves 3 patients’ lives.  So, in the time of COVID-19, when we feel like we are unable to do anything for our fellow man but work from home and socially distance ourselves, where we are irritable, scared, and feeling trapped by something we can’t see or control, we CAN donate blood. We can save one life every 2 seconds!
Donating blood remains a safe action. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Make an appointment at or by calling 800-398-7888.

Panera Boxed Lunches

Panera catering is excited to help support the medical community by providing discounted prices for boxed lunches for healthcare workers. Panera's individually packaged items and wrapped grab-and-go style meals make distribution quick and easy. They also offer contactless delivery.
Use the code BOXLUNCH20 for $20 off on orders of $100 or more. Catering by Panera HERE

KCMS Childcare Registry &

Bright Horizons

King County Medical Society created a Childcare Registry, and we have now partnered with Bright Horizons/First Responders First to provide FREE childcare to the children of healthcare workers, caregivers, and first responders.
Bright Horizons has special COVID-19 protocols in place. Care is available for infants and children up to 6 yo. Space limited to 40 children. Contact: 

Gov Inslee signed SB 6288

Unprecedented Firearm Safety Bill Signed 

On April 2, 2020, Gov Inslee signed Senate Bill 6288. This bill allows for the creation of the WA Office of Firearm Violence Prevention. The intent of the office is to coordinate and promote efforts to reduce firearm violence.
KCMS advocated steadily for SB 6288:
  •  As members of the KCMS Delegate Council who wrote resolutions,
  • Repeatedly provided testimony to the House and Senate,
  • Held regular meetings with elected officials,
  • Edited legislation, and
  • Wrote op-eds. 
This legislation will create a means to find root causes and solutions for the crisis of firearm deaths. KCMS is proud to have played a role in the creation of this unprecedented office and will continue its mission to advocate for causes that are important to our members and that protect the health of our communities.

Contact Us | 206-621-9396
200 Broadway Suite 200 | Seattle, WA 98122 United States
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