August 3, 2021


Registration is Now Open for the 2021 VMS Annual & Collaborative Meeting - November 5th and 6th, 2021 

The VMS, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association will host the 2021 VMS Annual & Collaborative Meeting on November 5 and 6, 2021 at the Topnotch Resort in Stowe, VT! We are in the midst of planning this year’s exciting meeting, but you can register now here: If you are a medical student or resident, use code MEDRES2021 for 100% off your ticket.

Visit the VMS website for details and updates. This year's event has been streamlined and features both in-person and virtual options to participate. Make sure to book your room today with the VMS room block by calling Topnotch at 1.800.451.8686 or visiting here with code VTMD21. To register for the meeting click here.


Deadline Extended for VMS Leadership Award Nominations – August 6th, 2021

Who do you know that should receive an award for their outstanding leadership throughout the pandemic and beyond? We have extended the deadline for accepting nominations for our Annual Leadership Awards until August 6, 2021. To view the award categories and criteria click here


VMS Signs Joint National Statement Supporting COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for All Health Care Workers

The VMS has signed onto a joint statement urging requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all workers in health care and long-term care. The joint statement was issued early last week in response to the recent resurgence of COVID-19, driven by the delta variant, and has received support from over 100 health care organizations and societies. After unanimous approval from the VMS Council, the VMS joins health care organizations from across the nation in becoming a signatory, including: the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).

With hospitalizations and deaths once again rising throughout the United States due to COVID-19, vaccination is a proven, effective path to put the pandemic behind us and to avoid a return to stringent public health measures. However, many health care and long-term care workers remain unvaccinated. By requiring all health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, they will better protect themselves and their colleagues from the virus, along with those who are vulnerable, like children and the immunocompromised, their families, and the patients they care for. On Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021, the Darthmouth-Hitchcock Health Network, in New Hampshire, announced they will require all 13,000 employees to be fully vaccinated by the end of September.

Click here to read the full story 

Click here for the VMS Press Release

If you are interested in more information about how your institution could put a mandate in place, see:


Mildred Reardon Medical Student Scholarship Open for Applications

Do you dream of becoming a Vermont doctor? See below to apply for a $10,000 scholarship for a rising 3rd year student committed to practicing medicine in Vermont. The Vermont Medical Society’s Education and Research Foundation (VMSERF) is now accepting applications for the Mildred Reardon scholarship, which awards $10,000 to a University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine third year student committed to practicing medicine in Vermont. The scholarship is made to a student interested in any specialty, with a preference for specialties in high need in Vermont. The scholarship is tuition-linked and is paid directly to the College of Medicine towards tuition. The scholarship award is given as part of the VMS Annual Meeting Awards Banquet, which will be held at Topnotch in Stowe on November 5th, 2021. Click here for more information and details on applying for the scholarship.


Scott Administration Releases Details on School Reopening

At Governor Scott’s weekly press conference today, the Governor, Education Secretary Dan French and Commissioner of Health Mark Levine discussed new advisory guidance that will apply to Vermont schools as they reopen this fall. The elements cannot be required as the state is no longer under a state of emergency and will be released in writing later this week. The recommendations will include:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Recommend schools require that all students and staff wear masks for the first several weeks of school, regardless of vaccination status
  • No distance requirements
  • After the first few weeks of school, recommend schools require masks until 80% of eligible students in a specific school receive their first dose
  • There will be more guidance about how schools can determine their vaccination rates
  • Once a school hits 80%, recommend schools require masks only for unvaccinated students and staff
  • Masks will be required for all passengers on school busses
  • Contract tracing, optional testing programs will continue

When asked about schools with mixed grades, Secretary French stated that most schools in Vermont divide at grade 6 but there may need for more specific guidance for schools with unique configurations. Currently, 71% of 12-17 year olds in Vermont are vaccinated and the state will be holding a number of school based vaccination clinics in the next several weeks to help reach the 80% goal.    

Commissioner Levine and others also discussed the increase in cases due to the Delta variant. Of 56 specimens sequenced in July, 48 were the Delta variant, consistent with national data showing 85-90% of cases are due to Delta. Speakers emphasized that vaccination works and avoids nearly all severe symptoms, hospitalization or death. Despite CDC data now showing Chittenden County in the category of counties where indoor masks are recommended, no state guidance is changing and Commissioner Levine added that guidance remains that those who are unvaccinated do wear a mask when indoors and anyone else may want to wear a mask based on their risk factors, such as living with someone who is immunocompromised, living with children who cannot be vaccinated or when traveling to an area with more transmission. For additional notes, click here.


FDA Authorizes Extension of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

The Food & Drug Administration has provided authorization of an extension of the shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine from 4.5 months to 6 months. Ongoing stability assessment studies have demonstrated that the vaccine is stable at 6 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36 – 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 – 8 degrees Celsius). Vaccine providers should visit to confirm the latest expiration dates of vaccine, including those currently available for administration throughout the U.S. This extension applies to refrigerated vials of J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine that have been held in accordance with the manufacturer’s storage conditions. COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized under an EUA do not have fixed expiration dates. Clinicians should always check the manufacturer’s website to obtain the most up-to-date expiration dates for COVID-19 vaccines.


Arkansas Anti-transgender Bill Blocked by Federal Court

On July 21, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas issued a preliminary injunction blocking HB 1570, the Arkansas SAFE Act. The Act would have prohibited health care professionals from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender minors and was scheduled to go into effect on July 28. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on behalf of families with transgender children and their providers, had challenged the law, alleging that it violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Read more.


Bi-State Primary Care Food Insecurity Survey

Bi-State Primary Care Association is seeking to better understand the landscape of food insecurity screening in Vermont as a foundation for future projects to integrate food access as part of health care. Click here for a brief survey on food insecurity screening. If there is more than one screening policy at your organization, please feel free to forward this survey to others and/or complete it for multiple departments. If you have any questions, please contact Helen Labun at Bi-State Primary Care Association ( 


VDH HAN - July 29, 2021 - Tickborne Diseases: Updates and Resources


    DVHA Provides Ambulatory Aids For Medicaid Providers

    The Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) has created a PowerPoint presentation titled “Obtaining Ambulatory Aids for Vermont Medicaid Members." This presentation is available on the Vermont Health Learn Platform at: The presentation includes three modules that will focus on how to successfully submit a request for Vermont Medicaid coverage for ambulatory aids. Providers who have ideas for helpful presentations are invited to contact


    Medicaid Allowing Purchase of Automatic Blood Pressure (BP) Monitor

    In an effort to help better control hypertension in Vermont, starting 8/6/2021, DVHA will be allowing the purchase of an automatic blood pressure (BP) monitor for the following additional diagnoses: essential hypertension, benign hypertension, nonspecific hypertension, elevated blood pressure without the diagnosis of hypertension, hypertensive heart disease without heart failure and the pregnancy-related hypertension diagnoses. A prescription for the digital BP monitor along with diagnosis is needed. A manual sphygmomanometer/blood pressure apparatus with cuff and stethoscope will no longer be allowed for purchase. Please review the updated DVHA Clinical Criteria at


    Funding Coming this Fall for Practices Caring for Certain Uninsured Children and Pregnant Women

    Act 48, passed by the Vermont legislature this session, expands eligibility for Dr. Dynasaur-like Medicaid coverage to all income-eligible children and pregnant women who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid except for their immigration status. In October of 2021 the State will release an opportunity for practices to receive funding (grant or reimbursement) for furnishing health care services to pregnant persons and children who would be eligible for Vermont Medicaid except for their immigration status in accordance with Act 48. This funding will provide a bridge to a state-funded program that will begin summer of 2022 if the Vermont Legislature provides funding for the program during the next legislative session. Vermont Medicaid is currently analyzing what the funding mechanism will be and whether practices, such as free clinics, which do not currently bill Medicaid, will be eligible for the grant funds. For more information, visit


    Patient Notice of Unapproved Stem Cell Products Required as of July 1

    As of July 1, Act 61 went into effect in Vermont, requiring that health care practitioners notify patients before administering a stem cell product that has not received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The practitioner must provide each patient with the following written notice prior to administering any such product to the patient for the first time:

    THIS NOTICE MUST BE PROVIDED TO YOU UNDER VERMONT LAW. This health care practitioner administers one or more stem cell or stem cell-related products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You are encouraged to consult with your primary care provider prior to having an unapproved stem cell or stem cell-related product administered to you.

    The same language must also be prominently displayed in the practitioner’s office and in any advertisements. The practitioner must also provide a disclosure form to a patient for the patient’s signature prior to each administration of an unapproved stem cell or stem cell-related product. Violations of the law constitute unprofessional conduct. VMS supported this consumer protection measure to address clinics in Vermont that are marketing unapproved stem cell products with claims of efficacy and safety that are not evidence-based. For more information, see the full law here or contact


    Green Mountain Care Board Job Accepting Applications Until August 13th – Clinicians Encouraged to Apply

    The job posting for an upcoming vacancy on the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) is now live and is available hereApplications are due by August 13, 2021. The vacancy will begin in September as member Maureen Usifer is not seeking reappointment. The GMCB oversees and evaluates the development, implementation, and effectiveness of health care payment and delivery system reforms designed to control the rate of growth in health care costs and maintain health care quality and access in Vermont. The Vermont Medical Society strongly supports a clinician serving on the GMCB and encourages any interested health care professional to apply. The Governor makes appointments to the GMCB from a list of qualified candidates submitted to him by the GMCB Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee consists of nine members, appointed by the Speaker of the House, Senate President Pro Tempore, Committee on Committees, and Governor. VMS Members can contact Jessa Barnard at to discuss the position.


      New Summer Schedule! Commissioner Call Update | VMS calls with Vermont Department of Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, M.D. will be held on specific Thursdays from 12:30-1:00 p.m. throughout the summer. These calls are on ZOOM - click below for the virtual meeting address that will remain constant each week.

      This Week! The next summer dates are: August 5 & 19th; September 2 & 16th.  
      Click here for an online schedule.

      Join Zoom Meeting:

      Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

      Dial In: 1 646 876 9923 / Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

      Vermont Suicide Prevention Symposium 

      Wednesday, August 4, 2021

      9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 

      This year's Symposium is being offered as a resource and day of networking for all interested individuals and groups across Vermont and beyond. Register and learn more here. 

      24th Women’s Health and Cancer Conference: Friday, October 1, 2021 – Save the date: the UVM Cancer Center will once again bring together health care professionals, patients, survivors, caregivers and the general public for this event which is aimed at empowering and supporting individuals and communities with knowledge about cancer prevention, detection, treatment and survivorship. Registration will be available in June. For more information click here. 

      Sponsored jointly bythe Mayo Clinic,
      Stanford University and the American Medical Association

      American Conference
      on Physician Health
      October 7- 9, 2021

      Achieving the quadruple aim: Resilient systems in times of crisis.” Joint scientific conference that promotes scientific research and discourse on health system infrastructure, and the actionable steps organizations like yours can take to improve physician well-being.

      • Registration rates: Available through Thursday, Sept. 23.
      • To register for conference and view agenda, visit the ACPH 2021 homepage.

      AMA Steps Forward Webinar Series

      • August 10 (1:00 - 2:00)
        Implementing innovative solutions with an equity lens. Register Here

        VPQHC Expands Health Equity Training Offerings Due to High Demand!

        The Vermont Program for Quality Health Care (VPQHC) has expanded the free health equity training offerings that qualify health care professionals for 3 CME credits, entitled, "Structural Competence and Cultural Humility to Address Disparities and Inequities." This training is being provided by Dr. Maria Mercedes Avila, PhD, MSW, MED and is currently waitlisted through May. Register here.


        Vermont Medical Society

        134 Main Street

        Montpelier, VT 05602

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