Seattle Times Op-ed:

The Need to Update the WIIS Database

By Dr. Amish J. Dave, Dr. Rajneet (Neetu) Lamba, and Dr. Danny Low

As we race to find a vaccine for CoVID-19, we understand that with more than 70 vaccines currently under investigation, some vaccines are bound to be more effective than others. In fact, it is likely that certain vaccines will be effective against particular strains of coronavirus, whereas others might prove more efficacious against other strains of the virus.
As variant strains of coronavirus emerge, new vaccines may need to be developed. Knowing who has received which vaccine is therefore vital for individual and public safety, making now the most critical time for Washington State to enhance the Washington State Immunization Information System Database. King County Medical Society is proud to share this Op-Ed from members of the Board. The KCMS Board of Trustees fully endorses this effort. 
The Need for an Improved WIIS Database

Non-Urgent Medical Procedures

On Wednesday, April 29th Gov. Jay Inslee announced updated guidance for the March 19th Proclamation 20-24 order that limited non-urgent medical procedures, "...there are some much-needed procedures that aren't being performed that should be, and we need to make sure that everyone gets the care they need during this time," Inslee said. 
Restrictions on Non-Urgent Medical Procedures

Honorarium to Prescribe Buprenorphine

In an effort to increase the availability of buprenorphine prescribing, Public Health— Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is offering a $500 honorarium to providers who become waivered to prescribe buprenorphine.  This is for providers practicing in King County. To get started:
1) Register for the honorarium (below) prior to completing a waiver training.
2) Register for any in-person or online waiver training course. Learn about training requirements, sign up for online training, or find in-person training (below).
3) Participants will complete a short survey before and after obtaining their waiver.

This offer lasts only as long as funding is available. After receiving your honorarium registration, they will contact you to confirm your place on the list, send the pre-waiver survey, and provide instructions on how to claim your honorarium after you’ve obtained the waiver. It may take 2 months to receive the honorarium.

PHSKC has printed material/posters/cards on fentanyl, free to order at 
"Access to treatment is available during COVID-19. Medications such as buprenorphine are an effective treatment for opiate use disorder. Starting medications is now more accessible than ever. People can connect with a provider via phone or online from their own home.  Call the Washington Recovery Hotline for resources. 1-866-789-1511"    
Register for the $500 honorarium
Register for Online Training

SHM Pacific NW Chapter Webinar

Wednesday, May 6, 2020, from 5 - 6 p.m.  PDT

Hospital Medicine Exchange

Please join the SHM PNW Chapter for their next webinar! They will be hosting a panel of experts to discuss how things might look as we emerge from the COVID surge and return to a new normal. Featured speakers include Dr. Steve Lim for a discussion of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation COVID predictive model and Dr. John Lynch, ID Specialist from the UW.
Topic: Life on the COVID Plateau - A Return to the New Normal
1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM
Moderator: Therese Franco, MD, FHM
Speakers: John Lynch, MD, MPH, and Steve Lim, Ph.D.
Click Here to Register

CMS Increased Payments for Audio-only Telephone Visits

The AMA has shared the following information with KCMS,
"In response to efforts by organized medicine, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced this afternoon that they will be increasing payments for audio-only telephone visits between Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians to match payments for similar office and outpatient visits. This would increase payments for these services from a range of about $14-$41 to about $46-$110, and the payments are retroactive to March 1, 2020. This is a major victory for medicine that will enable physicians to care for their patients, especially their elderly patients with chronic conditions who may not have access to audio-visual technology or high-speed Internet."

The full AMA request can be found below. Thank you to the AMA!
AMA Request Letter to CMS

India Association of Western WA

A special thank you to the India Association of Western Washington for donating hundreds of (gorgeous) homemade masks that KCMS has donated to shelters and smaller healthcare facilities in desperate need of PPE. These smaller facilities have been overlooked by many of the PPE resource centers, and we feel privileged to be able to provide for them.

Thanks to our friends Tulika Dugar, and Lalita Uppala who have identified the mask drive as one of the many India Association of Western Washington Covid19 responses.

Evergreen Pediatric and WAPP

A wholehearted thank you to Dr. Basma Raees MD, the Medical Director at Evergreen Pediatrics who spearheaded a strong fundraising campaign for PPE.  Dr. Raees would like to acknowledge her family, friends of Evergreen Pediatrics and WAPP (Washington Assoc of Pakistani Physicians) for their generosity.
Their donation is dedicated to Dr. Francis X Reido, all our Evergreen Health Heroes, and Dr. Ryan Padgett.
Thank you, Bank of America for matching the donation gift!

KCMS Helping Those in Need

KCMS and its partners have delivered PPE, telehealth equipment, and food to hospitals, clinics, shelters, and home care centers throughout the region.
Foundation Update: 
1) We have made and delivered tens of thousands of surgical masks, thousands of caps, and gowns.
2) The Foundation received a donation of 1,000 plastic face shields and has delivered far and wide. Local 3D printer manufacturers are making dozens more for us per week.
3) Telehealth equipment donations include hundreds of webcams and headsets as well as dozens of iPads, laptops, and Rally Cameras to be used for monitoring patients.
4) Food offerings are coming in from all over. Ranging from biscuits to catered boxed lunches, the clinics in and around King County are enjoying these generous donations.
Personal Note: We received an email from an ICU nurse in CA who saw an Instagram photo of the gowns we are creating. She hoped to make a similar gown to propose to her hospital as they are running out of PPE Gowns. Gavin Sullivan, with Lighthouse Uniforms, is spearheading the KCMS PPE effort and promptly sent the nurse the full pattern and protocol. Gavin suggested we send her gowns to be used and as a reference in creating their own. Here is her response:

"Gavin thank you kindly for responding so promptly! I am humbled and touched by your kind gesture! I would gladly appreciate all the information I can get... Thank you kindly 💜.
I have been a nurse for 25 years 20+ of those as an ICU nurse in every ICU you can think of and I have never seen this level of stress, sadness, and at the same time kindness from strangers. I love what I do and still do despite the dangerous challenges I now face daily.  Thank you to you and your organization for helping us the front-liners so we can do what we do and have peace of mind that we have the Protective equipment/tools to help others."

A Shout Out to Patients, Family, and Friends!

Please consider sharing our fundraising efforts with friends, patients, and family. The networking of our physicians has made our effort incredibly successful. THANK YOU! Please ask your connections to make donations at the link below.

Interested Eyeglass Wearers? Curbside exam!

Interested eyeglass wearers can get their eyes tested and receive an emailed prescription for eyeglasses.
Contact the office of Barry Sandoval, M.D, 425-606-1359, for instructions regarding self-scheduled appointments.
Appointments will be available at 160 NW Gilman Blvd, Issaquah, WA  98027 where participants will wait in their vehicle until curbside (outdoor/covered) eyeglass tests are performed.

The FDA and Ventilators

The FDA released information regarding the development of a ventilator by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is tailored to treat patients with COVID-19. 
For questions, you can contact 
NASA Ventilators

Contact Tracing PHSKC

Public Health-Seattle & King County is currently working with WA Department of Health to define a model for case and contact tracing, including staff, training, isolation, and quarantine, and necessary support services. If the case and contact tracing are to be successful, patients with COVID-19 will need to be isolated as quickly after they are tested –even before results return, with rapid follow-up by public health staff to identify contacts and provide guidance and support. 

If you are interested in volunteering, email, or the KC contact for volunteers is the Public Health Reserve Corp inbox at

For additional information about COVID-19 and the response in King County, be sure to check the webpage:
Please check the following link for the most up-to-date recommendations:
  2. COVID-19 Data Dashboard:
  3. Public Health Insider blog:
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