With all of the buzz around the approval of the vaccines for COVID-19 from Moderna and Pfizer, the next question naturally how to get the vaccine to those that are most susceptible to the virus. As it stands currently, the federal government will lean on pharmacies to help distribute vaccines as soon as they become available, however a new study shows that nearly a third of rural counties in the US do not have a pharmacy that is connected to a network that can participate in the federal COVID-19 vaccination program. This study, done by the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy and Analysis states that 750 of the nearly 2000 nonmetropolitan countries do not have a pharmacy listed in the HHS vaccine distribution partnership. The populations of these counties account for nearly 13% of the total rural population, which is nearly 5.6 million people. Currently there is not a fix to mitigate this challenge.
Governor Ralph Northam laid out the state’s three-phased plan for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccines. After months of news limited to tales of the tragedy this virus is causing for the country, this plan comes as good news. There are two companies preparing to roll out their vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, both of which say their vaccine is 95% effective. In the first phase of the distribution plan, Virginia will receive 70,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and will distribute them to health care workers on the front lines of fighting this virus and residents of long-term care facilities. A more detailed plan of who will get vaccines first will be created by the Virginia Hospitals and Health Association and the Virginia Disaster Medical Advisory Committee.
FOR CME CREDITS:
This Live activity, Head for the Hills 2020, with a beginning date of 09/19/2020, has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Ballad Health and GMEC. Ballad Health is accredited by the ACCME to provide 4.0 CME credits for physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
To claim the credit physicians must submit to the AMA the completed Direct Credit Application or Resident Credit Application, along with the required documentation and appropriate processing fee. Complete instructions are found on the AMA website.
Copy of Speaker Presentation Slides:
- What: GMEC’s Annual CME Conference
- Theme: Contemporary Opioid Prescription and Management
- This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Ballad Health and GMEC. Ballad Health is accredited by the ACCME to provide 4.0 CME credits for physicians.
- When: September 19th from 2PM to 6PM
- Where: Virtual Zoom Webinar -or- The Inn at Wise | Wise, VA
- Guest Speakers:
- Biopsychosocial Approach to Addressing Addiction in Primary Care – Kevin Myers, PsyD (Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Cherokee Health Systems)
- Controlled Substance Safe Prescribing: Including TN/VA State Regs/Guidelines and Federal Laws – Steven J. Baumrucker, MD, FAAFP, FAAHPM (Medical Director, BHMA Palliative Medicine Associates)
- Understanding Opiate Addiction – Vance Shaw, FASAM (Medical Director, High Point Clinic)
- Please click HERE for free registration
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Additional funding through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund will be available statewide.
$21 million in available GEER funds will be distributed to schools through formula-based and competitive grants. The money will support things such as:
- School nutrition operations and
- Virtual instruction for students in need of devices and broadband access.
$17.75 million in available ESSER funds will support:
- Special education services and supports;
- School-based mental health services and supports;
- Social-emotional screening;
- Summer academic academies;
- Instructional delivery supports;
- Cleaning/sanitizing supplies for schools and school buses; and
- Facilities upgrades and protective equipment.
School divisions received a consolidated application for GEER and ESSER state funding earlier this week. The due date for completed applications is Aug. 14.
Click HERE for updates on K-12 Education.
VIEW the Appalachian Regional Commission’s reports and analysis on the state- and county-level data for Population, Education, Employment, Income and Poverty, and Computer and Broadband Access in Appalachia.
Ballad Health has announced that their 10-year investment in ETSU’s newly established Center for Rural Health Research will include an in-depth study on rural hospitals. Harvard Medical Center will assist with researching how non-urban markets – where a recent surge has forced many hospitals to span across markets and state lines – struggle to keep themselves at a competitive advantage. The new study will also seek to find the predictors of hospital closure and acquisition. The hope for the study is to provide a better informed view of the rural health system for future policy decisions.
Click HERE to read.
In addition to this study, Ballad Health’s Strong BRAIN – ‘Building Resilience through ACEs-Informed Networking’ – Institute will shed a light on the impact adverse childhood experiences have on the developing brain. The CDC estimates that “1.9 mil cases of heart disease and 21 mil cases of depression could have been avoided by preventing those events”. This is key information for SWVA residents seeing as how their health is driven by income, education, access to healthy food, and other social determinants of health.
Click HERE to read.