NNESAM Virtual Conference This Saturday!
On Saturday, June 5th, the Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine (ME/NH/VT) will be hosting a virtual Spring Scientific Session from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The deadline to register is June 3rd. Register here today! Please direct any questions you may have to NNESAMeventInfo@gmail.com.
Throughout the U.S. the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges associated with the nation’s other pandemic: substance use. This virtual event aimsto re-shift our clinical focus back to the ongoing efforts of those providing treatment for substance use disorders using current best practices. This educational opportunity is open to all healthcare professionals interested in increasing or solidifying their understanding in how to best meet the needs of patients during what has been a challenging period for those in recovery in the Northeast region.
Our engaging presenters will discuss…
- How injectable buprenorphine is used in office-based treatment of opioid use disorder;
- Current evidence-based use of medication in the treatment of alcohol use disorder;
- The future potential of addressing substance use disorders by limiting legal penalties for possession and use
The American Society of Addiction Medicine has designated this live activity for a maximum of 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Registration fees from $10-80. View the Conference Brochure and Spring Scientific Session: Info Page. Register here today!
VMS Publishes Final 2021 Session Legislative Bulletin
The VMS Policy team has prepared this Final 2021 VMS Legislative Bulletin to provide you with the status of 2021 State legislation covering topics relevant to healthcare including: the COVID-19 emergency, health reform, insurance regulation, public health, scope of practice, mental health, health equity and regulating the practice of medicine. This end of session bulletin provides a comprehensive status update on 2021 health care legislation that advanced during this session. Because this is the first year of the 2021/2022 legislative biennium, some VMS priority bills that did not receive action in 2021 were not included in this report, but could be taken up in the second year of the 2021/2022 legislative biennium. For information not covered in this report or for further clarification please reach out to Jill at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, our next VMS Webinar on Thursday, June 17th, 2021 will provide you with what you need to know about the 2021 New Health Care Laws and will feature VMS’ Jessa Barnard and Jill Sudhoff-Guerin. Click here to register. This is the last webinar in our 2020/2021 series but for the recordings and presentations of all of our webinars go to: VMS Thursday Webinar series for 2020/2021 . The webinar content will take place from 12-12:30pm and then we will hear from Commissioner Mark Levine as a part of our regular Thursday calls with the Commissioner of Health from 12:30-1pm.
Feedback Needed by June 3: Pharmacist Prescribing of Tobacco Cessation Products in Vermont__________________________________________________________________________
The Board of Pharmacy released a draft protocol (starting on page 3) and met last week to allow for comment on pharmacists prescribing tobacco cessation products. State law passed last year authorizes pharmacists in Vermont to prescribe tobacco cessation products in accordance with an adopted protocol. As stakeholders in this process, VMS, VTAFP & AAPVT provided comments outlining our support for pharmacists prescribing nicotine replacement products, but stating the organizations’ concern with prescribing of non-nicotine replacement therapy tobacco cessation medicines. The comments stated that the protocol should prohibit the prescribing of tobacco cessation medications Buproprion (Zyban) and Varenicline (Chantix) due to the risk of significant side effects, including complex psychiatric and other health complications, risk of complications with other medications even in the absence of a mental health diagnosis, and an increased rate of abuse of bupropion with horrific effects such as vascular necrosis in those who have injected it. In response, the Vermont Pharmacists Association stated that significant data collected in the last five years shows that that these concerns are not necessary and cited this 2016 study. Attached are their full comments.
VMS is seeking further feedback to inform follow-up comments. Please send your input by Thursday, June 3 and any supporting information to Stephanie Winters at email@example.com.
State Invests Federal Dollars in Summer School Expansion Across the State
Last week, Vermont Afterschool, along with Governor Phil Scott and Senator Bernie Sanders awarded a total of $3.85 million to approximately 100 summer programs in the “Summer Matters for All Grant Program.” The grants will help expand access to summer enrichment opportunities for K-12 youth this summer and were provided to 13 Vermont counties for programs that include summer camps, libraries, municipalities, teen centers, non-profit social services organizations and more. The aim of this funding is to increase affordability and accessibility of summer programs for all Vermont youth to reconnect and recover from the isolation of the past year. These offerings will supplement school-based programs and will also lead to more partnership options for local school-based programs. In total, the federal funds will create 31,650 new summer program slots over the course of the summer, lead to a total of 238 new weeks of summer programming and decrease the average weekly cost to families by $162. Additionally, 55 of the grant recipients will offer transportation; 100 will offer low or no cost programming for eligible students, and 90 are ensuring access for all kids, including those with disabilities or unique needs. For more information on the Summer Matters campaign, visit: Summer Matters – Vermont Afterschool. A full list of grant recipients will be available here: Summer Grant Program – Vermont Afterschool.
EEOC Clarifies Employers can Offer Vaccine Incentives:
As reported in Politico, employers can offer incentives to their employees to get the coronavirus vaccine without running afoul of federal anti-discrimination law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said last week. In an update of its Covid-19 guidance, the agency said employers may offer incentives to employees who provide documentation of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine outside of work, because requesting proof of vaccination "is not a disability-related inquiry" or an "unlawful request" under federal anti-discrimination laws.
AMA Launches New Initiative to Standardize Blood Pressure Measurement Training
Last week, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced a new effort aimed at ensuring future physicians and health care professionals in the U.S. are uniformly trained on how to consistently take accurate blood pressure (BP) measurements. Experts point to accurate BP measurement as an important step to improve hypertension control for the more than 120 million U.S. adults with high BP. While measuring BP is a common procedure and BP guidelines recommend periodic re-training, research shows that student training in BP measurement is often brief, with varying training models among health care schools. Click to learn more about BP Measurement Essentials: Student Edition, SMBP Essentials: Student Edition, and BP Measurement Refresher: Student Edition.
Recent COVID-19 Guidance and Resources:
VMS Weekly Zoom with Commissioner of Health, Thursdays at 12:30 pm