August 16, 2022


Vermont Primary Results in First Female Candidates Down the Ticket

Last Tuesday’s primary election was historic not only in the number of open statewide seats, but also in the outcome of female candidates securing Democratic nominations in several races down the ballot. Senate President Becca Balint won the nomination in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House, beating out Lt. Gov. Molly Gray. Newcomer Liam Madden won the Republican nomination to go the U.S. House, but is currently not being recognized by Vermont’s GOP party.  Current Rep. Peter Welch won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin to replace Senator Leahy who is retiring. Brenda Siegel ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for Governor. In the Lt. Gov. race David Zuckerman eeked out the Dem. nomination over former Rep. Kitty Toll and Senator Joe Benning secured the Republican nomination. Vermont Dems opted for Charity Clark for Attorney General and Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas for Secretary of State. With record retirements in the legislature, there were also State House and State Senate primary races. To learn who secured the nominations for each party in all Vermont primary races click here for the Vermont Public 2022 Primary Election Results.

COVID-19 Updates, Return to School Guidance

Last week, the Vermont Agency of Education and the Department of Health issued a joint memo to school nurses for the opening of school relative to COVID-19. This memo provides school nurses considerations for how to manage symptomatic individuals, recommendations for testing, and suggestions on communication strategies, including the need to work closely with local medical practices. The guidance states that the approach to testing has shifted over the course of the pandemic and COVID-19 testing should no longer be required for symptomatic students or staff to stay at or return to school.

The CDC also updated its K-12 school guidance last week. Among the changes, the updates:

  • Removed the recommendation to cohort
  • Changed the recommendation to conduct screening testing to focus only on high-risk activities during high COVID-19 Community Level or in response to an outbreak
  • Removed the recommendation to quarantine after exposure, regardless of vaccination status, except in high-risk congregate settings
  • Removed information about Test to Stay
  • Added detailed information on when to wear a mask, managing cases and exposures, and responding to outbreaks

The CDC also dropped its recommendation that those not fully vaccinated quarantine and instead recommends that individuals wear a mask for 10 days and test at day 6. The FDA, reiterated by the CDC, also sent a safety communication advising people with symptoms or concerns about exposure to perform repeat, or serial, testing 48 hours following a negative result on any at-home COVID-19 antigen test, to reduce the risk of false negative results.

The Vermont Medical Society's COVID Conversation call on August 18th with the Commissioner of Health has been cancelled. The September 1st call will be replaced by the Providing Catch Up Immunizations/On-going Pediatric Care as part of our Providing Healthcare to Refugees webinar series. You can register for that webinar here.

The next time we will speak with the Commissioner of Health will be September 15th. 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).

Monkeypox (hMPXV) Updates

While only one confirmed case of human monkeypox virus (hMPXV) has been reported in Vermontthe case count in the U.S. continues to rise rapidly and is now over 11,000. In the U.S., cases are currently concentrated in California, New York, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Illinois.  As of the latest CDC MMWR, 99% of cases have occurred in men, 94% of whom reported recent male-to-male sexual or close intimate contact.  The MMWR concludes that public health efforts should prioritize gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, who are currently disproportionately affected, for prevention and testing, while addressing equity, minimizing stigma, and maintaining vigilance for transmission in other populations. Although most cases to date have occurred among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, any patient with rash consistent with monkeypox should be considered for testing.

For more information and clinical guidance, see: 

  • CDC Information for Healthcare Professionals 
  • Vermont Department of Health HMPXV Information for Clinicians
    • If Clinicians suspect hMPXV, call the Vermont Department of Health Infectious Disease Program at 802-863-7240 (option 2) to speak with an epidemiologist 24/7. They will help determine whether testing is indicated. If so, they will guide you through the process of specimen collection and sending specimens to the Vermont Department of Health Laboratory or commercial labs
    • If eligible patients contact practices looking for vaccine, please contact the Health Department at (802) 863-7240, Option 0, or email You will be referred to an administering location or instructed on how to obtain a dose for your patient. 
    • Clinicians who see a patient with a rash characteristic of hMPXV and one or more risk factors should have a low threshold for testing for hMPXV.
  • BiState Primary Care Association Monkeypox Outbreak Links Document
  • In the news: U.S. officials said they are able to ship out more monkeypox vaccine doses than previously planned — because of a strategy shift that allows more shots to be drawn from each vial.

VAHHS Urges the GMCB to Approve Hospital Budgets as Submitted

The Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS) urged the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) to approve hospital budgets as-submitted, as hospital-by-hospital hearings with the GMCB begin this week. (Follow the hearing schedule and materials here.) Hospitals are calling their fiscal year 2023 budget requests “stabilization budgets,” as continued staffing shortages, high demand for care and historic inflation continue to stress the Vermont hospital system. Read more here.

VMS Leadership Award Nominations Extended – Submit by August 17th

Who do you know that should receive an award for their outstanding leadership throughout the last year? We extended our deadline and are still accepting nominations for our Annual Leadership Awards until August 17th. To view the award categories and criteria click here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Birdie Pauley at

Federal "Inflation Reduction Act" Should Reduce Health Care Costs for Many Vermonters

Governor Phil Scott announced yesterday that the federal Inflation Reduction Act will help mitigate rising health care costs for many Vermonters, particularly those on Medicare and who buy health plans on Vermont’s health insurance marketplace. The Act is expected to be signed into federal law by the President this week.

The Act includes the following key initiatives:

  • Starting in 2025, Vermonters who are on Medicare will not pay more than $2,000 per year for prescription drugs. Beginning in 2023, they will not pay more than $35 per month for insulin.
  • Vermonters who are covered by Medicare or Medicaid can receive all recommended adult vaccines for free beginning next year.
  • The Act extends federal dollars to help eligible Vermonters who purchase insurance through Vermont’s health insurance marketplace, Vermont Health Connect, pay for health insurance premiums through 2025. Vermonters who enrolled in the first year that subsidies were available saw their premiums decrease by $186 per month, or 62%.

 Click here to view more details at


The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine welcomed its newest class of medical students last week with a 5 day orientation capped off with a student resource fair.  The Vermont Medical Society was there to introduce them to what we do and let them know they have a voice as a member!  VMS intern and 2nd year medical student Vennela Pandaraboyina joined the VMS table to welcome students with her experience with VMS working on legislative topics and how VMS has helped to amplify her voice on topics she is interested in. 

VMS was impressed with the engagement of the newest class and their keen eye toward health policy!  Welcome Larner College of Medicine Class of 2026!  VMS looks forward to working with you!

FDA Hearing Aids Final Rule

Today, the FDA issued a final rule to make hearing aids available over the counter. This action establishes a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids, enabling consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment to purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or a fitting adjustment by an audiologist. Today’s action means that in October, hearing aids will be available over the counter, saving nearly $3000 per pair for American families. For more information, see the FDA Release and POTUS Statement.

July/August Immunization Program Update

The Vermont Immunization Program has released its July/August newsletter.  Topics covered include Flu 2022/2023, Polio Vaccine, hMPXV (human monkeypox virus) and COVID-19 Vaccine.  Click here for the newsletter.  All past editions of the Vermont Vaccine Program Update are on the Immunization Program Website. You can also subscribe to receive messages directly.

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. This year the award will be made at the VMS Annual Meeting, being held at Topnotch in Stowe and virtually on November 4th, 2022.

Click here for more information and details on applying for the scholarship by August 26, 2022.



Vermont practice has the following items available for purchase:

  • Voluson P8 U/S machine (2013 model) with a 3D probe and an abdominal probe (sold separately or bundled).
    • In great condition, great resolution
  • Aquarius LT Urodynamics System
    • Very gently used, in excellent condition.
  • Urodynamics System Supplies:
    • Pump Tubing Infusion Line, Ref TUB500, total count: 13, expiration date: 6/2023
    • Neotrode II, Ref ELE428, total count: 15, expiration date: 4/26/2023
    • Air Charged Abdominal Sensor Catheter, Ref TDOC-7FA, total count: 20, expiration date: 11/10/2022
    • Air Charged Single Sensor Catheter, Ref TDOC-7FS, total count: 19, expiration date: 12/22/2022
  • Stirrups - OR quality
  • Gooseneck exam lights

If interested, contact: Edwin Garcia, MBA, Vermont Gynecology, 802.735.1252.


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 or for more information or to schedule a workshop. 

Understanding Collective Bargaining for Physicians: An Expert Perspective

August 17, 2022, 7pm CT

Join the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section on Wednesday, August 17 at 7:00pm Central Time for a webinar examining the risks and benefits of collective bargaining for physicians and physicians-in-training in today’s healthcare environment. Covering the current status of physician unions, trends in the employment status of physicians, and the basic rights of employed physicians, our panel of national experts will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of physician collective bargaining.

Register here.

Virtual Forum on Global Health with Senator Patrick Leahy and Tim Rieser

August 22, 2022, 7pm EST

This forum will acknowledge Senator Leahy on the occasion of his pending retirement for his many global health accomplishments over 33 years as a leader on the Senate subcommittee that funds foreign aid. There will be a discussion with his long-time staffer Tim Rieser on the backstory of some of these accomplishments and an opportunity to ask Tim for advice on what needs doing next.

Register here.

Addressing Adult Suicidal Ideation in Primary Care Setting

September 1, 2022, 12:00 pm CT

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Building off the Practical Strategies for Managing Suicidal Ideation & Reducing Risk, this pre-recorded webinar focuses on how primary care practices can address suicidal ideation within their adult patient population.

Register here.

Dismantling Stigma for All: Addressing Physician and Patient Mental Health and Suicide Risk

September 8, 2022, 12:00 pm CT

As part of National Suicide Prevention Week, this live, interactive forum will connect attendees with industry experts on suicidal ideation and physicians with lived experience to discuss solutions for dismantling the stigma around seeking mental health treatment.

Register here.

Regenerative Medicine: Highlighting and Correcting Misinformation

September 9, 2022, 8:00 am CT

Panelists, Zubin Master and Emily Vraga, will discuss the clinical and promotional landscape of stem cell-based interventions, ways of correcting misinformation, and resources and multi-sectoral policy approaches to help lead patients to more informed decision-making.

Learn more about the event here.

Register here.

VMS COVID Conversation with the Commissioner of Health, Mark Levine, M.D.

September 15, 2022, 12:30pm EST

Our August 18th call with the Commissioner of Health has been cancelled. The September 1st call will be replaced by the Providing Catch Up Immunizations/On-going Pediatric Care as part of our Providing Healthcare to Refugees webinar series. You can register for that webinar here.

The next time we will speak with the Commissioner of Health will be September 15th where he will provide 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 which take place on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 12:30pm to 1pm EST 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).

25th Annual Women's Health and Cancer Conference

September 30, 2022, 8am to 3pm EST

In-person and Virtual

Join us for a special 25th anniversary celebration and a keynote address by Kim Dittus, MD, PhD, Moving from treating cancer to treating the whole person

This free, educational event is geared towards a broad range of clinical providers as well as patients, friends and family members, researchers, and caregivers. Together, you'll learn about cancer screening, treatment, survivorship, reducing the cancer burden, and how the science has changed over 25 years (and where it’s going next). This conference is accredited at no charge to participants courtesy of the UVM Cancer Center.

For more information about the speakers, sessions, accreditation and to register please visit 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.

Register here.

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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