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February 12, 2021

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MMA Weekly State Vaccination Plan Update

As Mainers continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maine Medical Association Board of Directors and staff is continuing our efforts to engage Maine DHHS & Maine CDC to ensure equitable access to potentially lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine doses. We hope recent meetings and plan development will soon include more independent community physicians in COVID-19 vaccination plans.

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MMA Leadership & Staff Share Condolences on Passing of George Smith

It is with very heavy hearts, that the Maine Medical Association Board of Directors and staff send their condolences to retired MMA Executive Director, Gordon Smith and his entire family on his brother George Smith’s passing on Friday.

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Maine PMP to Stay with Appriss System

Director of Opioid Response for the State of Maine, Gordon Smith directly messaged various stakeholder organizations this week to inform PMP users statewide that after months of deliberations and concerns expressed by clinicians, Maine has decided to retain the use of the Appriss Prescription Monitoring Program system rather than install and transition to a new system.

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Next Maine CDC COVID-19 Update for Clinicians with Stephen Sears, MD scheduled for Feb 25

The calls are held bi-Weekly every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 12:30 p.m., however, the meeting schedule for last week had been previously canceled. We apologize for not proving notice in advance.

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Federal Government Finalizes Purchase of 200M COVID-19 Vaccines Doses

President Biden announced this week the federal government has finalized deals to buy 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of July, a major step to widespread national vaccination efforts to attack the current pandemic.

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US CDC: Fully Vaccinated Meeting Criteria No Longer Required to Quarantine After Exposure

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance (02/10/21) that people who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is infected with COVID-19.

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AMA President: Physicians & Medical Societies Can Play Vital Role Advocating for Strong Public Health

American Medical Association President, Susan Bailey, M.D., writes outlines that while overcoming COVID-19 will be a significant victory, the larger campaign to rebuild our public health infrastructure will remain before us.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in the provision of health care across our nation and exacerbated the tremendous differences in health outcomes tied to race, income and other demographic factors.

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NEJM: The FDA’s Experience with Covid-19 Antibody Tests

Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., and Timothy Stenzel, M.D., Ph.D. from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review the process, procedures, and challenges related to evaluating test performance and authorizing products—specifically antibody tests—early in the pandemic. Their conclusion: “Moving forward, the FDA will continue to take steps to ensure the timely availability of accurate and reliable antibody tests to meet the public health need as the pandemic evolves.”

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NEJM: Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine

Using data from a phase 3 randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, conducted at 99 centers across the United States with over 30,000 volunteer enrollees, authors reveal the mRNA-1273 vaccine showed 94.1% efficacy at preventing Covid-19 illness, including severe disease. Aside from transient local and systemic reactions, no safety concerns were identified.

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Monoclonal Antibody Authorization from the FDA (Updated 02/09/21) & MaineCare Reimbursement

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) this week for bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]) who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

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Guidance for Industry: Investigational COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (Updated 02/11/20)

On August 23, 2020, FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.  The FDA recognizes that while COVID-19 convalescent plasma may be used under an EUA consistent with the authorization, COVID-19 convalescent plasma may also be used under an investigational new drug application (IND).

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Maine Legislative Leadership COVID-19 Bill Set for Public Hearing Tuesday

LD 1, An Act To Establish the COVID-19 Patient Bill of Rights is scheduled for a public hearing, this Tuesday, February 16 before the Joint Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services at 10:00 a.m.

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Next MMA Legislative Call Will Be Wednesday, February 17th

MMA Legislative Committee Chair, Jay Mullen, M.D. welcomes you to participate in the weekly conference calls of the MMA Legislative Committee.

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Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership’s Renowned Physician Executive Leadership Institute – The Advanced Course Enrollment is OPEN

Enrollment is now under way for the Daniel Hanley Center’s sixth annual Physician Executive Leadership Institute—Advanced Course. Be sure to save your seat in the next cohort as we can only accept the first 35 physician enrollments!

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PPE Available Through the MMA & ActionPPE

The Maine Medical Association is teaming with ActionPPE.org for access to PPE SUPPLIES for the safety of your patients, your staff, and communities!!

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A Message from Maine Responds: Volunteer Opportunity

By registering with Maine Responds at maineresponds.org, you will join our listing of volunteers against which we search for any emergent volunteer workforce needs.

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Maine Legislature Week 5 Update

The following is a summary of happenings during week 5 of the Maine Legislature.

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Upcoming Public Hearings & Work Sessions; New Bills Introduced

 The following bills of interest to MMA have been scheduled for public hearings and/or work sessions before legislative committees of policy jurisdiction. Also listed below are new bills of interest printed this week being monitored and considered by the MMA Legislative Committee and MMA Board of Directors. They will potentially be reviewed and discussed during MMA’s weekly MMA Legislative Policy Feedback Call this Wednesday.
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Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings

Below you will find an on-going list of Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings. Any questions should be referred to the contact person listed for each specialty.

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Maine CDC Physicians To Host Regular Clinician COVID Vaccine Info Sessions

CDC physicians, and MMA members, Stephen Sears, M.D, MPH, and Lisa Letourneau M.D., MPH will be hosting a series of 30-minute Clinician Info Sessions twice weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) for the next couple of months to provide key information on the emerging COVID-19 vaccines & offer an opportunity for Q&A with clinicians statewide.

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Suicide Prevention and Management in Healthcare Practice Settings: A Comprehensive Evidence-Based Approach

NAMI Maine is now scheduling this presentation for healthcare practice settings.

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MOA VIRTUAL Midwinter Symposium - February 12th-14th

The Maine Osteopathic Association has opened Early Bird Registration for its VIRTUAL Midwinter Symposium, being held February 12-14, 2021.

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Maine CDC Annual Prevention Professionals Conference - March 2nd-3rd

The health and safety of Maine prevention professionals is our first priority, for this reason the Prevention Professionals Conference planned for October 2020 has been rescheduled to March 2 & 3, 2021. The conference will be held virtually over two days.

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AAP EQIPP Course: Immunizations - Strategies for Success (for RURAL Health Providers)

The recently revised EQIPP immunization course is designed to identify immunization rates in your practice, uncover barriers to immunization delivery systems, and provide techniques to overcome those barriers using clear aims that reflect expert principles and proven quality improvement methods and tools.

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Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine)

Mt. Abram Regional Health Center, (Kingfield, Maine) seeks a Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine) with outstanding clinical and interpersonal skills to provide primary care to patients of all ages in a family practice with integrated behavioral health services.
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Nursing Director

Nasson Health Care is seeking a qualified clinical leader to work collaboratively with a team of health and administrative professionals to provide comprehensive primary care to patients while utilizing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care delivery. 
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Medical Director - Bucksport Regional Health Center

As an integrated center we are seeking a Medical Director to oversee the structure/scope of our clinical program, provide supervision to physicians, and other clinical providers, lead quality improvement activities and provide ambulatory/primary care for patients.
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Rangeley Family Medicine seeks Physician

Rangeley Family Medicine seeks a Physician to:

  • Engage patients in improving their wellbeing.
  • Participate in a team of clinicians serving a network of 11 family practices.
  • Serve people of all ages and economic situations.
  • Develop a common treatment plan with behavioral clinicians to address physical/behavioral needs.
  • Live/work in spectacular setting with shimmering lakes, mountain views, verdant forests, abundant wildlife, 4-season family escapades.

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