September 1, 2020


AAP VT and VDH Offer Grants for Flu Vaccination Expansion

The American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, in collaboration with the Department of Health’s Immunization Program, is providing funding to support expanded influenza vaccination by healthcare practitioners or organizations. In an effort to decrease the incidence of respiratory disease throughout the state of Vermont, healthcare practitioners are encouraged to offer expanded services to increase influenza coverage, including, but not limited to, longer hours or designated flu hours, off-site clinics, or additional staffing.

Health Care Practices/Organizations may retrospectively receive $1000 per clinic held (up to $5000 total). Applications will be reviewed on receipt and funds will be distributed upon project completion and receipt of final project report. Applications must be received by October 23rd, 2020.  Flu Clinics will ideally be held before the end of the year, but must be completed by March 31, 2021. If would like to apply for the grant, please complete this application and email back to me at


Legislature Works with AHS to Create Child Care Hubs Before School Starts

Last week, the House Human Services Committee and the House Appropriations Committee took testimony from the Agency of Human Services (AHS) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) on a proposal to create child care “hubs” across the State. The hubs would be designed to ensure that child care is accessible to all school-age students and provide flexibility, as each Vermont school is opening with different in-person and remote learning policies and schedules across the state. AHS is looking at multiple ways to build off the existing child care system including creating approximately 73 hubs using existing after-school providers across the state to meet the need for additional school-age child care during remote learning days. Click for more information and child care resources.

This week, lawmakers are focused on drafting the FY21 Budget and are also scheduled to take up: S.220 - the bill that authorizes protocols for pharmacist prescribing, H.607 – a primary care scholarship bill, S.252 – a bill to require notification when administering non-FDA approved stem cell products, S.54 – a bill to allow retail sales of marijuana and S.119 – a bill to address racial disparities in policing. 


Take Action: Please Urge Conference Committee to Prioritize Prevention in Marijuana Commercialization Bill

S.54, Vermont's marijuana commercialization bill, is currently in final negotiation in Conference CommitteeThe Vermont Medical Society (VMS) and American Academy of Pediatrics, Vermont Chapter (AAPVT) remain opposed to the creation of any non-medical commercial system for retail sales of marijuana because of the negative health impacts on the Vermont population, especially youth and young adults. Please tell the Committee that if a commercialized system for the sale of cannabis is going to be enacted into law, it MUST retain the prevention strategies and corresponding funding that the House added to S. 54 to protect public health, including:

  • NO cap on prevention funding
  • NO mass marketing
  • A limit on THC and flavored cannabis products
  • Health warnings created by the Department of Health
  • Primary enforcement of the use of seat belts
  • Medical marijuana registry maintained under the Department of Public Safety
  • Allowing towns the right to opt-in to sales

For more information click for this fact sheet.

Please contact Conference Committee members TODAY:;;;;


CMS Adds to Restrictions to Medicare Beneficiary COVID 19 Testing

Last week, CMS announced a new round of sweeping regulatory changes that affect numerous provider types. Among them, the revised policy specifies that each Medicare beneficiary may receive one COVID-19 test without the order of a physician or other health practitioner, but Medicare will require such an order for all further COVID-19 tests. This change was enacted to help ensure that beneficiaries receive appropriate medical attention if they need multiple tests. It is also designed to stop fraudsters from performing or billing for unnecessary tests. Click to view the new rule.


VMS Meets with Congressman Welch  

VMS leaders and staff met virtually with Congressman Peter Welch last week, engaging in a wide ranging discussion of a number of federal issues impacting health care services in Vermont. VMS Delegate to the American Medical Association, Norm Ward, MD, and VMS Past President, Stephen Leffler, MD, led the discussion, which touched on topics including COVID-19 testing supplies, federal financial support for health care services, prior authorization and federal confidentiality requirements.

NEW! Commissioner Call Update

VMS weekly calls with Vermont Department of Health Commissioner, Mark Levine, M.D. are held each Thursday from 12:30-1:00 p.m. on ZOOM - click below for the virtual meeting address that will remain constant each week. 

NEW! Once a month, VMS has a guest speaker during this call time, as the Commissioner has a conflict. On September 17th, please join with the regular call login information at 12:00 p.m. for the VMS Thursday webinar, MOUD Modifications in a COVID-19 World.

Join Zoom Meeting -

Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

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


Reminder – Your Patients with Military Service May be Eligible for Burn Pit Registry

The Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is a tool to help service members and veterans become more aware of their own health and to help the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify health conditions possibly related to burn pit exposure or other airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires, or pollution during deployment), during military service. Participation in the registry is voluntary. Active-duty service members and veterans can participate in the registry by completing a web-based health questionnaire about their health and exposures to airborne hazards. Information reported by participants is maintained in a secure database, and may be used in future research studies.  For more information for you or your patients, click here.


Apply Today! VMS Physician Executive Leadership Institute Accepting Applications

Perhaps never before have physicians and PAs been asked to step up and skillfully lead rapid change than they have throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Every clinician has brought her or his leadership and management styles and skills to the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for Vermont patients. The VMS Education & Research Foundation is pleased to announce it is now accepting applications for its experiential Executive Leadership Institute, which will enhance and fine-tune the most important leadership skills and concepts for a statewide cohort of Vermont physicians and PAs. Applications will be accepted through September 18th, and the 40-hour, year-long course begins in November. Click here for more information.


2020 VMS Still Seeking Your Feedback on Policy Resolutions for Annual Meeting 

All VMS members were sent a survey with the proposed 2020 VMS Policy Resolutions, as we are seeking feedback and non-binding comments on the resolutions until September 11, 2020. Members should have received a unique link to submit comments via SurveyMonkey. Comments can also be emailed to Please note: the comments DO NOT REPRESENT A VOTE on the resolutions and feedback is in comment format only. Members will be required to share their name on comments. Voting on the policy resolutions will take place during the live, virtual VMS Member Business Meeting, Saturday, November 7th from 8:30 am – 10:30 am. Click for more information and to register for the virtual 2020 VMS Annual Meeting.


VMS Launches 2020-2021 Third Thursday Webinar Series

Please join us Thursday, September 17th at 12 p.m. for the first webinar in the new VMS 2020-2021 Third Thursday Webinar Series, entitled, MOUD Modifications in a COVID-19 World, with Tony Folland, from the Vermont State Opioid Treatment Authority (SOTA). MOUD is almost universally identified as a lifesaving intervention however COVID-19 has required practitioners to reconsider how to initiate care, monitor treatment responses, and modify treatment plans while minimizing face to face contact. We will discuss the regulatory and clinical opportunities and challenges, and lessons learned to date.

Join Zoom Meeting -

Meeting ID: 867 2625 3105 / Password: 540684

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

VMSERF Online Silent Auction

Do you have an item, skill, or activity you’d be willing to donate to the Vermont Medical Society Education and Research Foundation (VMSERF) silent online auction? Help VMS President Cathy Schneider, M.D., and President-elect Simha Ravven, M.D., support fellow members during this challenging year through a silent auction. Your creative and generous donations will be directed to VMSERF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit sponsored by the Vermont Medical Society, and organized to support charitable, educational and scientific activities in the field of health. If you would like to donate, please complete this form by September 14th. The auction will take place online on 32Auctions between October 28th and November 4th. PIease contact Elizabeth Alessi with questions at

Register Today for the 2020 VMS Collaborative Virtual Meeting - Nov. 7, 2020

Held In collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association. 

Please join us for the 2020 VMS Annual Meeting, as collaboration with our colleagues and peers is more valuable than ever during this incredibly challenging year. Register here, as the this year's Collaborative Meeting is sure to be different than any other VMS meeting to date. To start, this year's meeting will be held virtually (short commute) and the schedule has been significantly reduced to one day. Even though we won't be there in-person, the 207th VMS Annual Meeting will provide ample opportunities for meaningful policy work, engaging CME sessions and spontaneous laughter and fun. Click to learn more and register today. 


The Vermont Board of Medical Practice is pleased to announce it will again partner with the Boston University School of Medicine to present an online version of the award-winning SCOPE of Pain CME course. “SCOPE” stands for Safer/Competent Opioid Prescribing Education and satisfies Vermont's requirement for all healthcare professionals who register with the DEA to prescribe controlled substances to earn at least two hours of CME on opioid prescribing. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. EST

Register here

OneCare–COVID Update & Impact on those with Respiratory Conditions (Dr. Levine)

Friday, September 11, 2020

2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EST

Register here


Vermont Medical Society

134 Main Street

PO Box 1457

Montpelier, VT 05601

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