NCMS Morning Rounds 9-14-20

Welcome to a new week and your Monday NCMS Morning Rounds.

Sept. 14, 2020

NCMS Legislative Update

Governor Roy Cooper signed the legislation allocating $25 million to the NCMS to distribute to financially struggling independent medical practices in North Carolina. The window to get these funds to qualifying practices is small – everything needs to be spent by the end of December 2020. If you are an independent practice that could benefit from this money, please begin to gather documentation on how the pandemic has had a financial impact. Watch your upcoming NCMS Morning Rounds and weekly Political Pulse videos for details on eligibility factors and exactly what financial records are necessary.

In the meantime, thank you once again to everyone who reached out to their legislators about the importance of this appropriation as it was being considered. Now is a good time to follow up and thank legislators for supporting medical practices in this way.

There is An App for That – ‘SlowCOVIDNC’

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is developing a COVID-19 Exposure Notification app called ‘SlowCOVIDNC’ to launch statewide later this month. The app, downloadable for free to your smart phone through the Apple App or Google Play stores, is designed to help North Carolinians slow the spread of the virus by alerting them when they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

SlowCOVIDNC, which leverages Google and Apple’s Exposure Notification System (ENS), will alert users that have the app if they have been in close contact with an individual who later tests positive for COVID-19. The app is completely anonymous and does not collect, store or share personal information or location data.

Learn more about how this app works here.

NCMS Student Council Update: Brody School of Medicine at ECU

NCMS’ Student Council members are sharing with NCMS members news from North Carolina medical schools. In the Sept. 1 issue of your NCMS Morning Rounds, Duke University School of Medicine student council representative Luke Wachsmuth, wrote about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we get the latest from the Brody School of Medicine:

As a staunch mission-driven institution, students at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University have remained committed to the eastern North Carolina community throughout the pandemic and in support of the movement for racial justice.

Three Brody-affiliated groups — the Office of Diversity Affairs, Student National Medical Association, and the Joint Social Action Committee — came together to organize a White Coats for Black Lives march on June 26. We were extremely pleased to see more than 200 participants — including students from many schools, faculty, staff, administration and even hospital department chairs — show up to march in solidarity with us. Participants gathered near the hospital and marched together — while physically distanced and wearing masks — along a mile-long path to show solidarity and support for the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly as it relates to disparities in health care. Students also volunteered for an event offering free drive-thru COVID-19 testing on July 18 organized by the Pitt County Health Department in conjunction with community organizations. The event was a success and maxed out all of the 300 testing swabs that were available to community members.

The current pandemic has impacted medical education in many ways, though we are pleased to welcome our new incoming class of medical students who are engaging safely with each other and faculty with a combination of online and in-person didactics. Additionally, administration at Brody was recently approved for on-site USMLE testing for about 20-30 spots. This will have a significant impact on mitigating any future access issues with the Greenville Prometrics testing location, and we are excited to see how this pans out to assist students at Brody and beyond.

If you have questions or would like to get involved with the NCMS Student Council, please contact Ashley Newton,

In the News

How Common Is Burnout Among Physicians? It Depends On How It’s Defined, STAT, 9-9-20

Learning Opportunity

‘Unmasked: How the COVID-19 Crisis Exploited North Carolina’s Most Vulnerable Communities,’ a live webinar, will be offered on Oct. 8 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This webinar will address the challenges North Carolina has faced over the course of the pandemic, highlight cases of patients in marginalized communities with COVID, and explore the history of disparities of care in this country and how that history informs the current crisis. Learn more and register here.

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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