October 12th, 2021


VMS 2021 Annual & Collaborative Meeting Virtual Agenda Includes a Special Presentation titled “My Body is a Beautiful Work” from Mirna Valerio

This year's 2021 VMS Annual & Collaborative meeting, a virtual event, held in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians, and the Vermont Psychiatric Association, includes a special presentation from Mirna Valerio.

Mirna Valerio is trail runner, cyclist, newish downhill skier, all-around adventurer, former educator and cross-country coach, and writer who gained notoriety after her blog Fatgirlrunning appeared on the radar of major news outlets in 2015. She will tell us her story, relating specific ways that those in the medical professions have been helpful or harmful during her trajectory. Don't worry, as she puts it, "I've had the incredible privilege of having doctors, nurse practitioners, and PAs who have treated me kindly, expertly, honestly, and who have helped me stay upright and healthy. My goal is always long-term health and wellness, no matter what I do, and my luck with excellent doctors who see beyond my body type, has been great! I'd like for everyone who has a similar body-type, race, ethnicity, and/or gender to have access to exactly this. I want them to feel entitled to ask questions and push back against long held notions of which body types are worthy of quality care. I want them to really be seen and heard without the presupposition that whatever "lifestyle" they live is unworthy. Everyone is entitled to the kind of joyous, comprehensive, and empathetic care I have had the privilege of experiencing. Let's talk about how we can get to that."

We hope you will be able to join us for Mirna’s presentation as well as the CME sessions on both Friday, November 5th and Saturday, November 6th, 2021. Although we will not be meeting in person, these virtual sessions will provide unique opportunities for you to align with VMS colleagues on how to tackle tough clinical issues in your practice. Please join us in welcoming our 2021 Speakers, who bring their valuable expertise to topics centered on health equity and breaking down systemic bias and stigma. This year's sessions include: 

Friday, November 5th:

  • 1:00 to 2:00: Primary Care Investment Panel with Jessa Barnard, Executive Director of VMS, Devon Green, Vice President of Government Relations of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, and Mary Kate Mohlman, Director of Vermont Public Policy at the Bi-State Primary Care Association. 
  • 2:00 to 3:00: Child Psychiatry Access Program with Greta Spottswood, M.D., MPH, Child Psychiatrist at the Community Health Center in Burlington, Vermont.  
  • 3:00 to 4:00: Trans Care 101 for Primary Care with Erica Gibson, M.D., Adolescent Primary Care at UVM Health Network and Evan Eyler, M.D., Psychiatrist at UVM Health Network. 
Saturday, November 6th
  • 1:00 to 2:00: Body Image and Fitness: My Health Care Experience with Mirna Valerio, Author and Motivational Speaker from Montpelier, Vermont.
  • 2:00 to 3:00: Substance Use Disorder: Bias & Stigma Within the Medical Community with Kim Blake, M.D., OB/GYN Physician at UVM Health Network
  • 3:15 to 4:15: COVID Today: Long COVID with David Kaminsky, M.D., Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician at the UVMMC; Pediatric Update with Rebecca Bell, M.D., Pediatric Intensivist at UVMMC; and Supporting Workforce with Doug Wysocki Johnson    

All 2021 Annual Meeting activities will be held virtually. For more information on the agenda click here. Register for the membership meeting here


Vermont Sees Increase in COVID-19 Cases

At the Scott Administration’s weekly COVID-19 press conference today, Commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak reported that Vermont has experienced a 26% increase in COVID-19 cases over 7 days and 8% increase in cases over the last 14 days. Cases are currently higher than average in the Northeast Kingdom and are trending higher in children. While the hospitalization rate in Vermont has decreased in the past 7 days, there are currently 5 pediatric hospitalizations. Commissioner of Health Mark Levine reflected that states with higher vaccination rates tend to see a “slow burn” of COVID-19 cases rather than a steep increase and decrease. Secretary of Education Dan French reported on efforts to implement the “Test to Stay” program in Vermont schools, in which students who are close contacts of a positive case can receive antigen testing and still attend school rather than quarantine. Secretary French stated that the Department of Education is working to get training resources and support to schools though cautioned it will take some time to implement the program. Vermonters initiating vaccination increased 35.8% in the last week and Vermont is the first state to surpass 70% of its entire population to be fully vaccinated.  The State is prepared to roll out Moderna and J&J boosters and vaccines to children under 12, should the FDA approve such doses later this week. _________________________________________________________________

Office of Primary Care and AHEC’s Academic Detailing Program

The Vermont Academic Detailing Program is offered through the University of Vermont’s Office of Primary Care and Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) and provides one-hour interactive sessions geared toward practitioners who prescribe medications. The goal of the Vermont Academic Detailing Program is to promote high quality, evidence-based, patient-centered, and cost-effective treatment decisions by health care professionals. Session topics for the one FREE hour of CME include: Advanced Management of Opioids, Cannabinoids, Fluoride Varnish in Primary Care, Management of COPD, Management of Fibromyalgia and more. To register for virtual or in person virtual academic detailing sessions (scheduled on a case-by case basis, contingent upon current COVID-10 protocols) here! View the Vermont Academic Detailing Program flyer here.

For more information or to schedule a session contact Laurie McLean at the Office of Primary Care at (802) 656-2888 or Laurie.McLean@uvm.edu.


Action: CCB Seeking Public Comment on Draft Warning Labels and Advertising Regulations for Commercial Cannabis Market

Thursday, September 30th, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) Public Health Sub-Advisory Committee approved draft warning labels (slide 31/page 32) for cannabis product packaging. These draft warning labels have been sent for review by the Vermont Department of Health (VDH)The CCB will then release final draft warning label regulations for public comment. The CCB has outlined a very aggressive timeline of October 20th as their deadline to draft regulation proposals for packaging & labeling rules; advertising & marketing rules; and developing regulations for edibles. Within this aggressive timeline, the CCB provides opportunity for public comment. This process would benefit from your clinical expertise and we urge you to weigh in on the need to design warning and labeling regulations that will not target Vermont youth. Please send your comments to Jill at jsudhoffguerin@vtmd.org or Click here to provide public comment.


AHS Seeks Feedback on One-Year All-Payer Model Agreement Extension

The Vermont Agency of Human Services is currently taking comments on a proposal to negotiate a one-year extension of the State of Vermont’s All-Payer Accountable Care Organization Model Agreement (APM) between the State and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). The current Agreement expires at the end of 2022; it was a five-year agreement that began in 2018. The Agreement is limited to outlining Medicare’s participation in Vermont’s payment reform efforts. 

The State must submit a proposal to CMMI by December 31, 2021 and continues to accept comments on a one-year extension. Please send feedback to Jessa Barnard at VMS at jbarnard@vtmd.org to inform VMS Comments on the extension. Comments can also be submitted directly to AHS at Kristin.kellett@vermont.gov with the subject line “APM Extension Comments.”


Guaranteed Individual Disability Insurance for UVMMC Residents and Fellows

The Pastore Financial Group is offering this guaranteed individual disability insurance program to all UVM residents and fellows, underwritten by Ohio National Life Insurance Company. For any resident and/or fellow, the fall enrollment window is July through October (normally September but we received an extension this year). There is an additional Spring enrollment window for residents and fellows in their final year, which is typically May through July. Details about the program can be found in the attached PDF.


    Howard Center Free Speaker Series: Conversation with Ashley C. Ford,

    October 13th, 4:00-5:15 pm

    The Howard Center is hosting a free speaker series in recognition of World Mental Health Day. Dr. Jude Smith Rachele will host a conversation with Ms. Ford about her best-selling memoir, Somebody’s Daughter, and her perspectives on current topics like, mental health, diversity, equity, inclusion, LGBTQIA+, and race. Registration required: click here.  

    VPQHC, Vermont Association of Hospital and Health Systems, and Vermont Care Partners: “The Trieste Model: A Comprehensive Vision for Community-Based Mental Health Care with Minimal Involuntary Admissions - A Presentation & Discussion

    October 15th, 2021 10:00-11:15am

    with Dr. Roberto Mezzina, Psychiatrist, Vice President of the World Federation for Mental Health - Europe.” 

    Register here

    UVM Larner School of Medicine: Primary Care Mental Health Integration Conference - All Virtual

    October 21st, 7:30am - 4:30pm

    This year's Primary Care Mental Health conference will enable your team to implement evidence-based screening and behavior change strategies by learning specific problem-based techniques, assessing and changing the culture of your office site and learning how to measure your success. Earn 6.25 CME credits in an array of disciplines. Click for more information. Click to register. 

    UVM CORA Community Rounds: "Cannabis Use and Cannabis Addiction in Rural Populations: Phenomenology, Intervention, & Policy"

    November 3rd 12-1pm, ET

    Join Dr. Alan Budney, PhD, from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth November 3rd 12-1pm. Registration here.


    Vermont Medical Society

    134 Main Street

    Montpelier, VT 05602

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