December 6, 2022


VMSERF Celebrates 2022 Graduates of the Physician Leadership Institute

VMS Education & Research Foundation (VMSERF) is proud to celebrate the graduation of the 18 physicians and PAs who graduated in November from the third VMSERF Physician Executive Leadership Institute. The participants spend the past year studying topics from facilitating difficult conversations to leading teams to health system finance and health equity. Each participant also picked a practice improvement project to implement the new knowledge and tools presented. Participants presented their projects and were recognized for completing the course on November 17-18th.

As one participant shared, “I believe I learned a lot about practicing around the state of Vermont –increased awareness of APP practice concerns, ER constraints, neonatology in critical access hospitals, psychiatry clinic issues, piloting high-performance airplanes as pastime, and much more. Many interesting things to consider, to reflect on. So thanks to each of you. I also learned how little I know about leadership! I choose to view this as a truly valuable insight looking forward toward the rest of my career in medicine – there is always so much more to encounter, to learn, to practice. Thank you for this as well.”

The 2022 course graduates are:

  1. Catherine Ayers, MD, Family Medicine, Porter Medical Center
  2. Alexandra Bannach, MD, Pediatrics, North Country
  3. Dragos Banu, MD, Internal Medicine, UVMMC
  4. Conor Carpenter, MD, Psychiatry, UVMMC
  5. Andrew Goodwin, MD, Pathology, UVMMC
  6. Naeem Haider, MD, Anesthesiology, UVMMC
  7. Crystal Labbe-Hasty, PA-C, Urgent Care, Southern Vermont Medical Center
  8. Andrew Mahoney, MD, Urology, Porter Medical Center
  9. Mariah McNamera, MD, Emergency Medicine, UVMMC
  10. Lee Morissette, PA-C, Emergency Medicine, Mt. Ascutney Hospital
  11. Terry Stein, MD, Family Medicine, BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
  12. Andrew Rosenfeld, MD, Psychiatry, UVMMC
  13. Jacqueline Gallagher, PA-C, Emergency Medicine, Central Vermont Medical Center
  14. Michael Seaton, MD, Pediatrics, Porter Medical Center
  15. Leah Skypeck, PA-C, Critical Care, Rutland Regional Medical Center
  16. Erica Sweet, DO, Neurology, Rutland Regional Medical Center
  17. George Terwilliger, MD, Emergency Medicine, Grace Cottage Hospital
  18. Brent White, MD, Surgery, DHMC/Mt. Ascutney Hospital

Help Stop Medicare Cuts – Contact Vermont Delegation

The American Medical Association and state medical associations, including the Vermont Medical Society, are strongly urging Congressional action to prevent a 4.5% reduction to Medicare payment rates from being implemented on January 1, 2023.  This desperately needed relief will help provide crucial short-term financial stability for practices until permanent, bipartisan payment reforms are enacted.  The impending 4.5% Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) payment cut comes as medical practices throughout the country are experiencing pressures stemming from rising rates of inflation.  All health care stakeholders struggle to endure steep, annual payment reductions; however, the negative impact of such policy decisions is exacerbated by the fact that physicians are the only providers whose Medicare payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update.  This statutory flaw that characterizes the MPFS consistently leads to financial uncertainty and budgetary challenges for all physicians.  The stark reality is that, adjusted for inflation in practice costs, Medicare physician pay has declined 22 percent from 2001 to 2021.  Allowing cuts to Medicare payments is simply unacceptable during this time of record inflation and coming on the heels of a highly disruptive pandemic.   For a fact sheet on the pending cuts, click here.

Please contact Vermont’s Congressional Delegation to ask for their support in preventing the entire 4.5% reduction to Medicare payment rates from being implemented:

Contact Senator Sanders:

Contact Representative/Senator-Elect Welch: 

Public Health Updates from Commissioner of Health

The Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, MD, continues to hold regular public health update calls with VMS.  Last week, he reported on the “tripledemics” of COVID-19, RSV and flu.  Notes from the call can be found here and notes from a Dec. 2nd call with the Association of Hospitals and Health Systems can be found here.  COVID-19 activity remains stable, with low community transmission levels and lower hospitalization than in prior weeks.  While twice that of the national rate of 13%, only 27% of Vermonters age 5 and older have received a bivalent booster. State walk-in EMS vaccine clinics will begin winding down at the end of January, as an increasing number of vaccines are being administered by pharmacies and medical practices and that is historically when seasonal vaccine demand tapers.  The Biden Administration recently announced recently a six-week campaign through the end of the year urging Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine, although many of these strategies are already in place in Vermont. Vermont has been at low transmission rates of flu, however VDH expects this to increase in upcoming CDC reports and hospitals nationally and in Southern New England are reporting high positivity rates. Vermont is only at about a 30% vaccination rate for flu, lower than in past years, which is concerning with flu activity beginning earlier.  Southern New England may now be past its peak of RSV and regional hospitals are not as overburdened, but it is possible that Vermont is behind in cases and has not yet hit our peak.  The Department of Health is working with EMS providers and hospitals to ensure there is enough pediatric capacity should cases continue to increase, including contracting with a pool of four pediatric nurses and respiratory therapists who can travel to Vermont hospitals, as needed. 

Dr. Levine will next join an open call with VMS on Thursday, December 15th at 12:30 pm. Starting in 2023 these calls with be held once a month on the first Thursday of the month at 12:30 pm (beginning Jan. 5th). Join us on December 15th at 12:30 by clicking here.

In other COVID-19 updates:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week announced bebtelovimab is no longer authorized for emergency use in the U.S. because it is not expected to neutralize Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1
  • The October/November Vermont Immunization Program Newsletter is available here.  It includes updates on new COVID-19 vaccine training requirements, COVID-19 single dose vials, vaccine ordering and distribution, and more. 
  • The Immunization Program also issued an email update anticipating a recommendation of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for 6 months through 4 years (Pfizer-BioNTech) and 6 months through 5 years (Moderna) in mid-December. As with past roll-outs, pre-orders placed now will not ship until after the EUA’s are issued.
    • Anticipated Product Information, subject to change through the EUA approval process, includes that Moderna bivalent (6 months through 5 years) will be authorized as a booster to the Moderna 2-dose primary series for 6 months through 5 years and Pfizer bivalent (6 months through 4 years) will be authorized as the third dose of the primary series for ages 6 months through 4 years.  Children under 5 who have received three monovalent COVID-19 vaccine doses (a complete Pfizer series, or mix and match) may not be authorized to receive a bivalent booster dose.
    • Confirmation of the above and information on timing, mix and match, and how this approval may change the use of current monovalent products is not available until the EUAs are issued. There will be a recorded COCA call about these products on December 13, 2022, which the Immunization Program will send out once the registration links are available.
    • For more information on what CDC expects will be included in the upcoming EUAs, please look through the CDC Fall Vaccination Operational Planning Guide: 6-months-under-6-years


2023 VMS ERF Leadership Course – Final Deadline this Friday 12/9!

The Vermont Medical Society Education & Research Foundation is open for enrollment for a 4th statewide Physician Executive Leadership Institute Foundational Course beginning in January 2023. The course will run from January through November 2023.  It is aimed at physicians and PAs with 5 or more years of clinical experience but minimal formal leadership training. To apply, submit a CV and brief description of interest to   Applications must be submitted by 5pm Friday, December 9th. View the full 2023 brochure, schedule and application information here.

This course is offered in partnership with the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership and Lumunos and is supported by funding from the Physicians Foundation. Perhaps more than ever before physicians and PAs are being asked to step up and skillfully lead rapid change. Every clinician is being called upon to bring their leadership and management styles and skills to the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for Vermont patients. VMSERF is pleased to continue to offer an experiential learning opportunity that will enhance and fine-tune leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs.

Dr. Eappen Steps into Role as UVMHN President & CEO

Sunil “Sunny” Eappen, MD, MBA, took the helm last week as the University of Vermont Health Network’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  He released an email welcome message today, saying: “I'm excited and humbled to be the UVM Health Network's new President and CEO. In the coming months, I'll be working hard to get to know our communities – the things that make them unique, their greatest needs and what our health system does or could do to meet those needs. Today, I'm reaching out to say hello and ask for your partnership: Let's work together to make our communities as healthy and as vibrant as they can be.”  Read his full welcome here.   



Briefing on Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) 

December 7, 12pm ET

Please join the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for a briefing on Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) this Wednesday.

Register here.

Emergency Medicine Update

January 22 - 25, 2023

In-Person - Lodge at Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT


This course will discuss a variety of timely, practical issues that are encountered in the emergency department on a daily basis. Lectures will be engaging, sometimes controversial, and present the audience with examples of both successes and failures in emergency medicine. At the end of this program, participants should be able to distinguish between advancement and change in the emergency department in a relaxed, family-oriented environment where learning does equal fun!

All emergency medicine professionals are welcome.

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit:

Hospital Medicine 2023

January 29 - 31, 2023

In-Person - Lodge at Spruce Peak, Stowe, VT

This course will provide practical approaches to common problems in hospital medicine informed by experts and the latest evidence. Target audience: physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses practicing Hospital Medicine. Also open to program administrators, resident physicians, and medical students with an interest in careers in Hospital Medicine. Topics will include: Curbing the Opioid Crisis, Pharmacy Pearls, Long COVID, Biliary Disease, End of Life Care in the Hospital. Optional workshop: POCUS

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit:

Eastern Winter Dermatology Conference

February 2 - 5, 2023

In-person - Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, Stowe, VT

The 34th Annual Eastern Winter Dermatology conference is designed to provide high-level continuing education for dermatologists and medical professionals specializing in dermatology, keeping them abreast of new and exciting findings in basic science, clinical dermatology and dermatologic therapy. Primary care physicians and medical professionals with a special interest in dermatology are also welcome to attend. Topics will include: Acne & rosacea update, innovations in connective tissue disease management, diagnosis of early CTCL, hidradenitis suppurativa, pediatric psoriasis issues, professional development - “how to say no,” erythema migrans pearls, management of high risk skin cancer, medical pearls from the literature and more!

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit:

2023 Epilepsy & EEG in Clinical Practice

February 10, 2023

In-person - Main Street Landing, Burlington, VT

Held in Burlington for the first time, the 2023 Epilepsy & EEG course will focus on providing a review of current medical and surgical clinical practices related to seizures and conjunction with adjunctive EEG testing and will address errors that may lead to incorrect diagnosis and treatment. An interactive and didactic format that includes multimedia presentations and allows for audience participation. Target audience: internists, family practice and general practice physicians, pediatricians, neurologists, physician assistants, nurses, allied health professionals and residents involved in the care of patients with seizures and epilepsy are encouraged to attend.

Note: This is being held in conjunction with the EAEEG Annual Meeting. There is a discount for attending both events.

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit:

More conferences from UVM CMIE are expected this Spring to include these topics: Anesthesia, Cardiovascular/Vascular Disease, Geriatrics and Family Medicine. Sign-up to get updates via email for topics that are of interest here


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

Montpelier, VT 05602

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