NCMS Morning Rounds 10-21-20

Already Wednesday and time for your NCMS Morning Rounds!

Oct. 21, 2020

NCMS Foundation Appoints Two New Trustees

At its regular meeting last Saturday, Oct. 17, the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees approved the appointment of two new trustees – Roy Strowd, III, MD, MEd, and Pascal Udekwu, MBBS, MBA/MHA, FACS. NCMS Immediate Past President Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA, rolled off in his capacity as an Ex-Officio member and now is eligible to begin his first term as a voting member of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. Strowd is an Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in the departments of neurology, internal medicine, section on hematology and oncology and the Translational Sciences Institute. Dr. Strowd has been particularly involved with the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership and its Future Clinicians Leadership College. Learn more about KIPL here.

Dr. Udekwu is Executive Medical Director, Trauma Services at WakeMed, Raleigh and Director of WakeMed’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit. He also is an Adjunct Professor at Campbell University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is Associate Program Director for the Surgical Residency Program.

Dr. Edwards is just completing his term as NCMS President. He is a psychiatrist in Winston-Salem. In addition to his private practice, he is a clinical associate professor in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine and a psychiatric consultant to the Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Adult Medicine Clinic. [For more about Dr. Edwards’ term as NCMS President, see the following article.]

The NCMS Foundation’s Board of Trustees is led by President Katie Lowry, MD, MPH. Other officers include President-Elect Lyndon Jordan, MD; Treasurer Connette McMahon, MD; and At-large member Blaine Hall, MHS-CL, PA-C.

Learn more about the many NCMS Foundation programs that benefit the profession and the people of North Carolina. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the NCMS.

“What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been’

NCMS’ Immediate Past President Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA, quoted the Grateful Dead lyrics to describe his year as president as he reflected on his tenure at the Board of Directors’ meeting last Friday, Oct. 16.

He also quoted the opening paragraph of Charles Dicken’s classic, A Tale of Two Cities, to describe both the negatives of the past year as well as some resulting positives – ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.’

While we are in the throes of the upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some positives have emerged for the NCMS, he noted. For instance, medical professionals are more often seen as heroes today; the NCMS is working more closely than ever with the state to address the challenges brought by the pandemic; we rapidly developed and deployed a telehealth platform – Presence – to help practices at no charge continue to see patients remotely. The state has recognized the NCMS by allocating $5 million to us to help get PPE to needy independent practices and another $25 million to help struggling independent practices with financial recovery funds. The NCMS staff pivoted quickly to working remotely ensuring members continue to see the benefit of their NCMS membership, Dr. Edwards said.

The horrific deaths of George Floyd and other African-American citizens further illuminated the racism prevalent in our country. While the NCMS had already been moving to address the issue, it redoubled its efforts with a public statement on the racial unrest; with Racial Equity Institute trainings for staff and at the recent LEAD Health Care Conference, by convening a Racial Reconciliation Task Force and a new, forward looking, Health and Racial Equity Task Force.

Finally, this year brought a change in NCMS leadership. After 26 years at the helm, Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA moved on to become CEO of The Physicians Foundation. After a national search, Chip Baggett, JD, was named the new NCMS Executive Vice President/CEO in August.

Who knew the seismic changes that were ahead when Dr. Edwards took his oath of office last October. In his final comments to his fellow Board members, Dr. Edwards cautioned that there is no way to predict what 2021 may hold, but ‘fasten your seatbelt!’

Operation Medicine Drop Events This Month

To help stop prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) helps sponsor prescription drug take-back – Operation Medicine Drop — events across the state each fall and spring. Several areas are hosting events this month. See if there is one near you here.

Safely disposing of old medications through Operation Medicine Drop events instead of flushing them down the drain prevents chemicals from ending up in the water supply. The SBI partners with Safe Kids North Carolina, the Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement to collect and safely destroy prescription drugs during Operation Medicine Drop.

North Carolinians have safely disposed of approximately 80,600 pounds of pills at Operation Medicine Drop events from 2013 to 2018.

Because narcotics and other dangerous drugs are often received at prescription drug take-back events, these events must be overseen by law enforcement officials. Unsecured collection boxes are not permitted. However, secure collection boxes are now available year-round in some communities. Find a permanent drop box near you.

In the News

The Last COVID-free Counties in America, ABC News, 10-16-20

Learning Opportunity

Tune in to this week’s Power Hour on Friday, Oct. 23 from 1 to 2 p.m.

This election year has been compared by some scholars in political history to the 1860 election, as another stark choice between two competing visions for the future of the US. Politics at the local level is thus fundamental for the vision of the state.

Join a conversation with NC General Assembly representatives from both sides of the aisle  as we discuss crucial issues for the state as well as the $25 million relief package for independent practices and other pressing health care issues.

Learn more and register here.

The KIPL Power Hour aims to provide a forum for ongoing conversation, collaboration, and community. Tune in to Power Hour weekly to hear from different experts, decision makers and influencers on a variety of topics. The format is informal and conversational, and sessions are easy to access through Zoom. Power Hours will be recorded and made available to you through your NCMS Morning Rounds and on the KIPL webpage.

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!


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