July 5, 2022


Join VMS for U.S. House Primary Candidate Health Care Policy Forums on July 14th and July 21st

Please join us this Thursday, July 14​th from 12-1pm for the VMS U.S. House Primary Candidate Health Care Policy Forum. This event is the first of two health care policy candidate forums the Vermont Medical Society is hosting before Vermont's Primary elections, which take place on August 9th. Both events will feature the Democratic and Republican candidates for the Congressional races and will focus on the candidates’ positions on health care policy.

The U.S. House forum will take place on Thursday, July 14th from 12-1pm via Zoom and will be moderated by VMS President-Elect Ryan Sexton, M.D. The confirmed candidates that will participate are:

  • Becca Balint - Democratic candidate
  • Sianay Clifford Chase - Democratic candidate
  • Molly Gray - Democratic candidate
  • Louis Meyers, M.D. - Democratic candidate
  • Liam Madden - Republican candidate
  • Ericka Reddic - Republican candidate
  • Anya Tynio - Republican candidate

July 14th 12-1 pm: U.S. House forum (registration not required) - Click Here to Join

July 21st 12-1 pm: U.S. Senate forum (registration not required) - Click Here to Join

If you are unable to join the forums, they will be recorded and posted to the VMS website.​

Join the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter for a chat with a local pediatrician to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5

Please share widely that the chat will take place, Monday, July 11th from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. No registration is required, so you just need to join via zoom here or by clicking the image above at the start time. 

We will be recording this session for later viewing as well as holding other chats throughout the summer.

Application Open Until July 15th: Clinical and Translational Scholarship Program

The Clinical and Translational Scholarship Program provides two days of in-person comprehensive training and consultation with the University of Vermont Center on Rural Addiction (UVM CORA) clinicians, faculty, and staff experts. The Program is intended for teams of up to four individuals from practices in rural counties in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and New York who are hoping to:

  • Learn how to better support patients in rural areas with complex needs related to substance use disorders (SUD) including opioid use disorder (OUD)
  • Receive extensive training on topics related to OUD/SUD with a specific focus on evidence-based best practices and how to enhance prevention and treatment in rural communities, and
  • Explore issues or challenges occurring within their own practice with other experts in the field and gain the skills and resources necessary to make improvements.

The application deadline is July 15, 2022! Applicants will ne notified by early August, and the program will take place in Burlington, VT on October 27th through the 28th. 

For more information and to apply, click here

Omicron-Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters To Roll Out In The Fall

The Washington Post reports, “This fall, vaccine makers will begin rolling out coronavirus booster vaccines better tailored to fight the current phase of the pandemic.” The FDA “announced that the fall shots would include a component from BA.4 and BA.5, the Omicron subvariants gaining ground in the United States.” Though “the precise formula has not been tested in people yet...studies showed that vaccines tuned to fight a previous version of Omicron modestly increased the short-term immune response in people compared with more shots of the original.”

The New York Times reports this “decision came just two days after the agency’s committee of independent vaccine experts overwhelmingly voted for regulators to adopt more advanced vaccines tailored to forms of Omicron.” The FDA “recommended that manufacturers produce a so-called bivalent vaccine targeting BA.4 and BA.5 along with the original coronavirus.”

The July 1, 2022 VAHHS Call with Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine also discussed vaccines, testing, and therapeutics. To read those notes from that call, click here.


Vermont Announces Renewal of State’s Global Commitment to Health Demonstration Waiver

On June 28th, Governor Scott announced the renewal of Vermont’s Global Commitment to Health Demonstration Waiver (also called the 1115 Wavier). The agreement, which began July 1 and extends for five and half years, provides Medicaid coverage to 200,000 Vermonters and grants Vermont flexibility in its use of federal Medicaid dollars. This funding is critical to the State’s goal to build a more accessible, equitable, and coordinated system of care.

The new agreement includes:

  • More Dollars for Innovation in Vermont’s Health Care System. The new agreement grants Vermont the ability to spend 32% more than before for public health programs and services addressing social factors that influence health.
  • Flexibility to Adjust Provider Rates. The state has flexibility to adjust provider rates so that they can continue to provide needed services to Vermonters.  
  • Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment. Vermont is the first state in the nation able to use Medicaid funds to expand access to substance use treatment services for individuals whose income is above Medicaid limits.
  • Sustainable Support for the Lund Home. Vermont is the first state to obtain Medicaid funding for maternal health and treatment services offered in a residential facility.
  • Access to Supportive Housing. Vermont obtained approval to implement a pilot program that will help people covered by Medicaid secure and maintain housing based on their needs.
  • Strengthening Data Sharing. Mental health, substance use, and long-term services providers will have access to health information technology funding for tools to manage and improve Vermonters’ health.

Vermont’s 1115 Waiver documents can be found here.

Reminder: Updated DNR/COLST Order Now Available

On June 1, 2022, the new and improved VT DNR/COLST order went into effect. This form was developed in collaboration with the Palliative Care Task Force, the Vermont Department of Health and with extensive input from clinicians across the state. As of June 1st, all new orders should be completed on this form if possible, although orders on previously approved VT DNR/COLST forms remain legal and valid. To learn more about the updated form and best practices for clinicians completing these orders watch the Vermont Ethics Network Information Session video and access FAQs here: https://vtethicsnetwork.org/medical-decision-making/start-taking-steps/set-your-limits

Funding Opportunity

The RCORP-Medication Assisted Treatment Access program will provide funding to rural communities to establish new MAT access points and increase their capacity to provide sustainable MAT services. While this program is primarily intended to support MAT to treat opioid use disorder, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) encourages applicants to also target alcohol use disorder (AUD) with MAT if the need exists.
The funding opportunity is now available on grants.gov (HRSA-22-165). HRSA anticipates making 10 awards at $1,000,000 per award, per year, for a 3-year period of performance. Applications are due on July 29, 2022. 

Please CLICK HERE for more information

VT Conversation: The 'Courageous Doctor' Who Helped Legalize Abortion in Vermont

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade on June 24, it left each state to decide its own abortion laws. Many Republican-led states are reverting to the anti-abortion laws that were on the books before 1973 when Roe legalized abortion.

The case that legalized abortion in Vermont featured “Jacqueline R.,” an unmarried server who wanted to end her pregnancy, and an OB/GYN resident at the University of Vermont named Jackson Beecham. 

Recently The Vermont Conversation with David Goodman, a VTDigger podcast that features in-depth interviews on local and national issues with politicians, activists, artists, changemakers and citizens who are making a difference, had the opportunity to interview Jackson Beecham.

To listen to the podcast or read about the interview, visit here.


Join us for the next conversation with the Commissioner - Thursday, July 7th @ 12:30!

Join us the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month from 12:30pm to 1pm as Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine provides us with the most pressing information affecting the state and nation. You will have the opportunity to submit questions to Dr. Levine who will answer them, time-permitting.

You can join the zoom meetings here or add to your calendar by following this link and clicking download (you will then need to open the downloaded file and click save to add to your calendar).

No Cost Well-Being Workshops

VMS is continuing our partnership with Doug Wysockey-Johnson of LumunosWellBeing to offer no-cost clinician wellbeing workshops at up to 10 Vermont medical staffs/practices over 2022. There are 3 remaining slots available this summer.  New topics for 2022 include A Clinician’s Guide to Recovering from the COVID Marathon and A Realistic Look at ‘Work-Home Balance’ for Clinicians. See the full list and additional details here.  Members can contact jbarnard@vtmd.org or doug@lumunos.org for more information or to schedule a workshop. 

Strategies for Distributing Naloxone to Rural Communities

July 13, 2022, 12pm to 1pm EST

Join the UVM CORA Community Rounds Workshop series session on, “Strategies for Distributing Naloxone to Rural Communities.” Our speakers are Geoff Capraro, MD, and Brooke Lawrence, co-founders of NaloxBox, an organization whose mission is to reduce harm from opioid use disorder by improving access to naloxone. This presentation will explore the need for naloxone distribution in rural areas and discuss innovative methods and technologies for increasing access.

Register here.

Can't make it? Watch the webinar recording to claim Continuing Education credits (within one month of the live event). Register for the webinar before July 13th so that you'll receive the recording later!

Providing Healthcare to Afghan Refugees: Strengths and Challenges of Afghan Resettlement in VT

July 14, 2022, 12:15pm to 1pm EST

This webinar will discuss strengths and challenges of Afghan resettlement in Vermont and both general Afghan culture as well as cultural considerations applicable to providing health care.

This webinar is a part of a series of webinars on Health Care for Afghan Refugees hosted by the Vermont Medical Society. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend. Registration is required here.

To learn more about what other topics will be included in this series, click here.

Vermont ACP Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting

October 14, 2022

Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, VT

The Vermont ACP Chapter's Annual Scientific Meeting will occur on Friday, October 14, 2022. The ACP is optimistically planning for an in-person meeting. The ACP will host a virtual poster competition for resident and student members.

Update your medical knowledge, engage with colleagues, and receive CME credits and MOC points.

Meeting details and agenda forthcoming.

Vermont Medical Society Annual and Collaborative Meeting

November 4th and 5th, 2022

The 209th VMS Annual Meeting will be held on November 4th and 5th in person at Topnotch Resort, Stowe, VT, with virtual options. The weekend will be filled with educational content, time to spend with colleagues, policy-setting meetings, and the opportunity to honor physicians and other health care leaders across the state. VMS’ Annual Meeting, hosted in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter, the Vermont Academy of Family Physicians and the Vermont Psychiatric Association, is a celebration of the unwavering commitment Vermont clinicians have to their practice and to the deep connection VMS members have with each other.

To view more information or submit nominees for 2022 leadership awards, please click here. Registration information will be shared in the future.

UVM will have more primary care conferences in Fall 2022. 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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