Pennsylvania COVID-19 Updates
Governor Wolf signs Executive Order providing medical liability immunity for health care providers: big first step with miles to go

On May 6 th , Governor Wolf signed an Executive Order providing medical liability protections for “good faith efforts” while practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this is an important first step in affording additional protections for health care providers during this unprecedented time, this order is not a blanket protection for all physicians. NOTE: Those healthcare providers practicing in an outpatient setting or in private practice are not covered by the order.

Our colleagues at the PA Medical Society have led this effort. Although the current Executive Order does not cover all physicians in all practice settings, it is our understanding that the Wolf Administration will be providing additional guidance and potentially additional protections for those within private practice and within outpatient settings.

Wolf Administration creates plan to build a Trauma-Informed Pennsylvania
As part of Governor Wolf’s commitment to his Mental Health Matters: Reach Out PA initiative, the Office of Advocacy and Reform (OAR) was created to protect our most vulnerable citizens. On May 7 th , that office announced the creation of a volunteer think tank to work towards making our commonwealth a trauma-informed state. A copy of the press release and an Executive Order detailing this initiative is enclosed here .

Member shares thoughts on COVID-19

The Society is one of the founding members of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council (PPLC). In the event you are not familiar with the PPLC, it was created during the tenure of PA Department of Public Welfare (now Department of Human Services) Secretary Estelle Richman to focus on public service psychiatry across the commonwealth. The PPLC has an advocacy arm as well: The Coalition for the CommonHealth. Kenneth Thompson, MD, past president for our Pittsburgh chapter and former APA Area 3 representative, serves as the PPLC Medical Director.
Here is a link to an article he recently wrote on Public Source related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CME Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. The APA is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this live activity for a maximum of  1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ . Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
APA Updates
Free Confidential Referral Service for APA Members Introduced

Mental health professionals can submit questions about COVID-19 and bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia and receive evidence-based guidance from SMI Adviser's team of national experts within a day. Ask about medications, resources for families, telehealth options, and much more. This is a completely confidential and free service. 
Are you practicing telehealth? APA wants to know! Please complete this survey

With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, practice settings and delivery of services has migrated to telehealth across the country. For the APA to better understand how telehealth has affected your practice, a short survey has been created. These results will assist the APA in developing the most appropriate resources and advocacy initiatives in the future. Here is a link to this short survey Please feel free to contact with any questions. 
Online Webinars

Hear from experts about how to manage different types of services, key messages to give to your team leaders, unique challenges for people with SMI, how to handle group therapy, and more.

This webinar from SMI Adviser offers an overview of how to use tele-mental health and video visits in the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar outlines how psychiatrists can support patients, communicate with family members and children, and be a resource to other providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.