Medigram, the Society’s electronic newsletter for physicians, features timely news, upcoming events, answers to frequently asked questions and all the information you need to know to make your practice run more efficiently. Topics include legislative updates, legal information, practice management information, government regulations, and much more. Published weekly, Medigram is delivered via email on Thursdays.

If you have a Medigram story idea or would like to offer feedback, please email us or call 866.442.3800.
As pandemic worsens, health care’s warnings grow louder
Wisconsin continues to be a national hotspot for COVID-19 with increased indicators across the spectrum. Wisconsin’s physicians and other health care professionals have fought valiantly against the pandemic for more than six months, yet the increased number of hospitalizations and the overall spread of the virus are taking a troubling toll on the available workforce.

COVID-19 Risk Chart to share with your patients
The current rise in COVID-19 cases has shown that a significant portion of the general public remains unsure about activities that put them more at risk for catching the underlying virus despite widespread information about COVID-19.

Physicians honored at November Board of Directors meeting
The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) honored the accomplishments and contributions of three outstanding physicians during the Board of Directors meeting held virtually on November 7.

Communicability and Public Health Response, next in SARS-CoV-2 CME series
Laura D. Cassidy, MS, PhD, will present Communicability and Public Health Response, next Wednesday, November 18.

COVID-19 Vaccine Program enrollment underway
Physicians and other health care providers who want to administer any upcoming FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine need to apply and be approved by the State of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

N95 respirator orders due November 23
Wisconsin physicians and clinics can purchase Honeywell N95 respirators via a group buying program.

Financial lunch and learn sessions
Put the major financial pieces in place for your future by joining one or all of the lunch and learn classes hosted by WisMed Financial.

Society bylaws updates
The Wisconsin Medical Society House of Delegates (HOD) met on August 22, 2020 when it voted to adopt constitutional amendments which dissolved the House of Delegates effective with the 2020 meeting.

Recommended by Wisconsin Medical Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA

 

As much as we all want the pandemic to be over, COVID-19 case rates continue to rise in Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. A physician in a small community in South Dakota shares his experience caring for his friends and neighbors during the pandemic in this Washington Post article. He’s been struggling to convince people to change their behaviors and makes a plea to his community members to make small sacrifices for the greater good.

As pandemic worsens, health care’s warnings grow louder

Wisconsin continues to be a national hotspot for COVID-19 with increased indicators across the spectrum. Wisconsin’s physicians and other health care professionals have fought valiantly against the pandemic for more than six months, yet the increased number of hospitalizations and the overall spread of the virus are taking a troubling toll on the available workforce. The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) and other leading health care organizations have redoubled efforts to warn the public that without their strong commitment to wise behaviors, our hospitals may not be able to care for everyone who is sick.

Coalition launches PSA with blunt message
“Wisconsin is Losing” is the stark title of the latest Stop the COVID Spread! coalition public service announcement which started airing statewide earlier this week. It’s the fourth PSA from the coalition – a diverse group of more than 100 leading health care, business and government advocacy groups that launched in early October – and has a much harder-edged message about rising caseloads and the effects on Wisconsin’s front-line health force.

“With the pandemic only getting worse, the message to the public needs to be much more direct,” says Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA. “We want people to realize that their access to Wisconsin’s health care system – whether or not they have COVID-19 – is literally being threatened. The Society is committed to helping protect our physicians’ health by doing all we can to sound the alarm that needs to be heard.”

You can see all of the coalition’s PSAs, press releases and current list of members at the Stop the COVID Spread! website.   

Society echoes Gov. Evers’s plea to the public
Governor Tony Evers gave a rare statewide address the evening of November 10, announcing Executive Order #94, which urges the public to stay home as much as possible, including limiting holiday get-togethers to a household’s immediate family. He also said that he would announce a package of legislation that would further address the pandemic – details of that legislation haven’t been released. In what could be an important signal of political movement, Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “we need to take politics out of it and work together to fight the virus.” While tensions have been high for months between the Democratic Governor’s Office and the Republican-controlled State Legislature, the current COVID-19 numbers might be fostering a less partisan future.

The Society sent this press release statewide Wednesday morning echoing the Governor’s plea, with Board of Directors President Jerry Halverson, MD, DFAPA, supplying a statement amplifying the call for smart public behaviors as a way to protect Wisconsin’s physicians and health care front lines. “We must reduce the spread (of the virus),” the statement says, “or the people who have always been there to take care of us suddenly might not be available to help.”

WHA presentation to major business group lays out stark realities
The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) has also been a leader in bringing facts and data to the public and sharing the pandemic’s effects on Wisconsin. Society member and WHA Chief Medical Officer Mark Kaufman, MD, gave a compelling PowerPoint presentation Wednesday morning as part of a Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce webinar. The fast-moving and fact-filled address shared hospitalization numbers in various regions, the latest news on vaccinations and theories on why Wisconsin is suffering so severely compared to the rest of the country. Dr. Kaufman’s presentation is recommended reading.

Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD for more information.

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COVID-19 Risk Chart to share with your patients

COVID-19 Know Your Risk

The current rise in COVID-19 cases has shown that a significant portion of the general public remains unsure about activities that put them more at risk for catching the underlying virus despite widespread information about COVID-19. To help inform your patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s (Society) COVID-19 Task Force has created this downloadable display that you can use when talking with your patients, have on display in your examining rooms, lobby or other areas where patients may see it or give to your patients at discharge.

The Society’s COVID-19 Task Force meets every other week to discuss the latest issues related to the pandemic and strategize on ways to support physicians and better educate the public. Contact Society Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Grapentine, JD with any questions or suggestions.

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Physicians honored at November Board of Directors meeting

The Wisconsin Medical Society (Society) honored the accomplishments and contributions of three outstanding physicians during the Board of Directors meeting held virtually on November 7. The 2020 Director’s Award, Physician Citizen of the Year Award and Presidential Citation were presented to honor physicians who have made a difference to the Society and the profession of medicine.

Click on the links below to learn more about each of the award recipients.

  • Directors Award: Presented to Barbara Hummel, MD, Greenfield. Established in 1928, this award is the Society’s highest honor, given to recognize outstanding physicians who have served the medical profession with integrity and honor and who have made numerous and substantial contributions to the profession and the community.

  • Throughout her career, Dr. Hummel has been involved with the Society in many ways, most notably as president and Board of Directors Vice Chair. Dr. Hummel has also had longstanding commitment as an AMA Alternate Delete, involvement in the AMA Senior Physician Council and Private Practice Physicians Congress. Join your colleagues in congratulating Dr. Hummel on WisMed Community.

  • Physician Citizen of the Year: Presented to Jose Ortiz, Jr., MD, Mayo Clinic, Northwest Wisconsin. Presented annually, this award recognizes physicians who have volunteered their time and talents to improve their communities. The award honors recipients for the civic, economic and charitable services they provide beyond their regular practice.

  • Dr. Ortiz was honored with this award for his dedication to medical education, public health initiatives and his work with the Chippewa Valley Free Clinic. Dr. Ortiz brought activities of the Wisconsin Science Festival to the Eau Claire area and established and nurtured the Medical Experience Program to engage youth to consider careers in medicine. Please share your congratulations for Dr. Ortiz on WisMed Community.

  • Presidential Citation: Presented to Christine Sinsky, MD, Merrimac. The award was established in 1959 to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to medicine and to the public’s health.

  • Dr. Sinsky received her B.S. and M.D. from the University of Wisconsin Madison and completed her postgraduate residency at Gundersen Medical Foundation in La Crosse where she served as Chief Medical Resident. Currently, she is the Vice President of Professional Satisfaction at the American Medical Association, where she works continuously to improve opportunities for joy and purpose in a physician’s work.
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Communicability and Public Health Response, next in SARS-CoV-2 CME series

Communicability and Public Health Response, next in SARS-CoV-2 CME series

Laura D. Cassidy, MS, PhD, will present Communicability and Public Health Response,* next Wednesday, November 18. This presentation will describe some basic epidemiologic principles such as the transmission of disease, period of infectiousness, exposure and risk, determinants of health, containment and control and provide some statistics and trends about the virus in Wisconsin.

The SARS-CoV-2 CME webinar series is free for Wisconsin Medical Society members, but registration is required to attend.

Cassidy is a professor and director of the epidemiology division and founding director of the MS program in Global Health Equity in the Institute for Health and Equity at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). She has an MS in Biostatistics and a PhD in Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she is volunteering her time with the MCW leadership to guide businesses on how to safely reopen and operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Topics and schedule for the remaining sessions in the series are listed below. All live presentations will be held from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. Sessions will be available on demand after the live presentation. To view the sessions and to register click here.

November 18, 2020 | Communicability and Public Health Response
November 25, 2020 | The Convergence of Seasonal Flu and SARS-CoV-2
December 2, 2020 | Combating COVID-19 Challenges in Disadvantaged Populations – a Case Study

Please email education@wismed.org with any questions.

*This activity has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credit™.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Program enrollment underway

Physicians and other health care providers who want to administer any upcoming FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine need to apply and be approved by the State of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) is administering the application procedure; the page also links to an enrollment tool that can help applicants through the process.  

According to DHS, COVID-19 vaccines will not be available for private purchase, but only through delivery from the Program. The state is urging those interested to apply as soon as possible – especially those planning to vaccinate “priority populations” which include health care workers, essential workers or people age 65 and older. Supplies are expected to be limited early on in any vaccination supply process, so first shipments will likely go to those who have committed to vaccinating priority groups.

DHS has informed the Wisconsin Medical Society that while most of the early distribution will be through health systems due to infrastructure concerns (the minimum number of doses sent out at first will be in groups of 1,000, ultra-cold requirements for some of the likely vaccines, etc.), independent and smaller clinics should still apply as they will likely want to eventually have the ability to provide vaccinations when there is a more ready supply of product.

Be sure to check the DHS Questions and Answers section of the COVID-19 Vaccine Program page for more information.

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N95 respirator orders due November 23

N95 respirators available for purchase

Wisconsin physicians and clinics can purchase Honeywell N95 respirators via a group buying program. This opportunity is available through a partnership of the Wisconsin Medical Society with ActionPPE and other associations. Orders must be received by November 23. 

The respirators cost $3.85 per mask. Please note, the discount for Wisconsin Medical Society members does not apply to this special offer. A box of 50 masks costs $192.50 and a $500.00 minimum order is required to obtain free shipping. Click here for additional information and to order.

Please note, the Wisconsin Medical Society is not generating any profit for this service.

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Financial lunch and learn sessions

Lunch & Learn

Put the major financial pieces in place for your future by joining one or all of the lunch and learn classes hosted by WisMed Financial. The Retirement Readiness series is focused on decisions for those near or in retirement. Financial Planning 101 provides a good knowledge base for anyone. All of the sessions start at noon. To register please visit wismedfinancial.org/lunch-learn.

Retirement Readiness
11/19 Have you saved enough and Social Security
12/3 Wills, estate documents and charitable giving
12/10 Replacing the paycheck with investments and smart tax planning
12/17 Health insurance, Medicare and long-term care

Financial Planning 101
11/17 Cash flow and eliminating debt including student loans
11/24 Charitable giving, wills and other estate documents
12/1 Saving for retirement and kids’ college
12/8 Building an investment portfolio
12/15 Smart tax strategies, life and disability insurance

WisMed Financial

To learn more or for questions, please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® of WisMed Financial, Inc.

Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®
WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society

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Society bylaws updates

The Wisconsin Medical Society House of Delegates (HOD) met on August 22, 2020 when it voted to adopt constitutional amendments which dissolved the House of Delegates effective with the 2020 meeting. Updated bylaws were needed to reflect the suspension of the House of Delegates until 2023 when a membership referendum will be conducted to determine whether to continue as is or reinstate the HOD. A significant majority of the bylaws changes involved removing references to the HOD and the positions of Speaker and Vice-Speaker; and added constitutional changes assuring membership input, an ongoing process to consider submitted resolutions throughout the year, the holding of an annual membership meeting and a membership referendum in 2023 to continue as is or reinstate the HOD.

The Wisconsin Medical Society’s Board of Directors approved the redrafted bylaws at its November 7, 2020 meeting. Those redrafted bylaws can be viewed here and the redlined copy is available here.

Please contact Society CEO Bud Chumbley, MD, MBA, with questions or concerns.

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