August 13, 2021
Capital Medical Society Foundation Provides Grants to Improve Access to Health Care
The Capital Medical Society Foundation recently distributed $5,000 grants to three Tallahassee organizations to improve access to health care. Big Bend Hospice, Elder Care Services, and Lighthouse of the Big Bend all received checks in June to help their clients with health care needs.

Source: Tallahassee Democrat
Leadership Opportunities at the Capital Medical Society
The Capital Medical Society will be able to continue to navigate in the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 eras. We have faced challenges before and there will be more in the future, but we can count on strong physician leadership to guide us. I know that the CMS will continue to make a major difference in shaping the future of healthcare in this community and in the State of Florida.
The Capital Medical Society Nominating Committee will be convening in the coming months to consider nominations for the CMS Board of Governors and for the CMS FMA Delegation. If you are interested in being considered for nomination to the CMS Board of Governors or to serve as a CMS FMA Delegate, please complete the form ( and mail to Pam Irwin at:
Capital Medical Society
1204 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Pam Irwin
Executive Director
Capital Medical Society
Tallahassee Hospital Confirms First Childhood COVID-19 Death Amid Push for Masks in Schools
A child younger than 5 has died of COVID-19 at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare — the first child to die there of the disease, the hospital confirmed Thursday.

The child died within the past month, TMH pediatricians revealed Thursday. Four children are currently hospitalized for the infection, including one child younger than 5 and second child between 5 and 12.

Sources tell Florida Politics it is a 14-month-old who specifically died at TMH. The hospital would not confirm this detail.

Source: Florida Politics
School Masks: Alachua Stays Course, Leon Buckles, Broward Put On Notice
Alachua County is moving forward with requiring students to have doctors’ notes to avoid wearing masks, while Leon County backed away from a similar plan and will comply with the state’s demands.

Source: Health News Florida
School Officials Could Face Financial Penalties For Mask Mandates
Local school officials in Florida continue to grapple with implementing student mask policies as the school year begins this week in many counties.

And as school districts navigate a requirement that parents be able to opt out of mask mandates for their children, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced that the state Board of Education could withhold pay from superintendents and school board members who don't comply.

Source: Health News Florida
Corcoran Ramps Up Salary Threat To School Officials Over Masks
State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran is looking to enforce Gov. Ron DeSantis’ threat to withhold the salaries of school officials in Alachua and Leon counties if they don’t comply with a state rule aimed at allowing parents to decide whether children wear masks in school.
Corcoran’s letters came a day after a DeSantis spokeswoman said the Board of Education would pursue penalties against school officials, rather than the overall districts, “as a narrowly tailored means to address the decision-makers who led to the violation of law.”

Source: Health News Florida
COVID-19 Booster Shots May Soon Be Available to Most Vulnerable in U.S.
The most vulnerable Americans may receive booster shots soon, after studies show they may not have had an adequate immune response to just two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“An additional dose could help increase protection for these individuals,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a Thursday White House Briefing.

Source: Orlando Sentinel
FDA Authorizes COVID Booster Shots for Certain Populations
After weeks of speculation, the FDA amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for Pfizer and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines to include an additional booster dose for certain immunocompromised people, the agency said late Thursday.

These populations include solid-organ transplant recipients or others diagnosed with conditions "considered to have a similar level of immunocompromise" who previously received one of the two mRNA vaccines. The FDA kept the language purposely vague, as clinical considerations are set to be defined Friday during CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meeting.

Source: MedPage Today
The Food and Drug Administration is authorizing an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for certain people with weakened immune systems caused either by disease, medical treatments or organ transplants. 

Source: Health News Florida
COVID-19 Vaccine Additional Dose
Medicare stands ready to pay for administering an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine consistent with the FDA emergency use authorization (EUA). We’ll pay the same amount to administer this additional dose as we did for other doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (approximately $40 each). We’ll share more information in the coming days about billing and coding.

For more information:

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
COVID-19 Vaccines While Pregnant or Breastfeeding
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future.
  • Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.
  • There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Florida Launches Antibody Treatment Effort To Help Relieve COVID Strain On Hospitals
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that the state is launching a rapid response unit to expand the use of monoclonal antibodies to relieve pressure at hospitals that continue to report a rise in COVID-19 patients.

DeSantis said the drugs, made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, are for people who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. The governor cautioned people not to wait too long because the drugs are more effective when symptoms are still mild.

Source: Health News Florida
A report released Thursday by AARP shows that Florida had the nation’s highest percentage of nursing homes reporting new COVID-19 infections among staff members during a four-week period in June and July.

The Florida facilities also had the second-lowest worker vaccination rate in the nation.

Source: Health News Florida
Vaccine Hesitancy is Complex
Given the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are asking why people would be hesitant to be vaccinated against it. That's the question that bounces around the skulls of countless physicians, public health experts, journalists, politicians, and others. But before trying to answer the question, it might be reasonable to ask why people do, or fail to do, other things that negatively affect their health.

Source: MedPage Today
State Department Of Health Says CDC Overcounted Weekend's Daily COVID Cases
The Florida Department of Health said late Monday that federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data overstated daily case counts from the weekend, numbers that would have given the state record tallies.

The health department, which no longer publishes daily numbers, tweeted that the correct daily case count on Friday was 21,500, Saturday's was 19,567 and Sunday's was 15,319.
The state agency said the three-day average is 18,795.

Source: Health News Florida
Moderna Selects USF For Study On COVID Vaccine In Young Children
The University of South Florida has been selected as a site for a clinical trial testing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 10 years.

Researchers at USF Health's Morsani College of Medicine are seeking volunteers in the greater Tampa Bay region to participate in the study to evaluate safety and immune responses.

Source: WUSF Public Media
Florida Hospitals Using ‘Significant Levels of Oxygen’ as COVID Patients Soar
Florida hospitals are using “significant levels of oxygen” to treat an unprecedented number of COVID-19 patients, presenting a supply challenge complicated by a nationwide shortage of delivery drivers.

Hospital officials say their needs are being met, but the sky-high demand for medical oxygen is taxing the system.

Source: Orlando Sentinel
One Vax Dose and Done? Evidence Mounts in Previously Infected
People with previous COVID-19 infection had higher antibody levels after one dose of Pfizer vaccine compared with uninfected people after two doses, a small lab study of 59 people showed.

Not only that, but IgG levels did not increase after the second dose among those previously infected, which could indicate that one dose of vaccine may be sufficient for this population, reported James Moy, MD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues.

Source: MedPage Today
COVID-19 Survivors May Possess Wide-Ranging Resistance to the Disease
Recovered COVID-19 patients retain broad and effective longer-term immunity to the disease, suggests a recent Emory University study, which is the most comprehensive of its kind so far. The findings have implications for expanding understanding about human immune memory as well as future vaccine development for coronaviruses.
The longitudinal study, published recently on Cell Reports Medicine, looked at 254 patients with mostly mild to moderate symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection over a period for more than eight months (250 days) and found that their immune response to the virus remained durable and strong.

Source: Emory University
UF Study: Patients With Severe COVID More Likely To Be Hospitalized In Future
Those who end up in a hospital for COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized in the future for additional health problems related to a COVID-19 complication, researchers found.

Source: WUSF Public Media
Lawsuit: Doc Using Old Baylor Affiliation While Dishing COVID Vax Falsehoods
Baylor Scott & White Health sued former employee and cardiologist Peter McCullough, MD, last week, alleging that he illegitimately affiliated himself with its facilities when promoting controversial views about COVID-19.

Nearly 6 months after McCullough's employment had ended, he continued to use his former professional titles -- such as "vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center" -- in media interviews in which he spread his opinions about the pandemic, the lawsuit alleged.

Source: MedPage Today
Research Shows Harm of Heat on Florida Farmworkers
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, attention was paid to the farmworkers who are essential to keeping food on U.S. tables. Here in Florida, they also face extreme, even life-threatening heat, especially as temperatures rise with climate change.

Source: WGCU
Are Hemoglobin Cutoffs for Anemia Outdated?
The WHO's long-standing hemoglobin cutoffs for anemia do not match reality for people around the world, a cross-sectional study found.

Pooled fifth percentile estimates of hemoglobin were 9.65 g/dL for children and 10.81 g/dL for women across 27 nutrition surveys from 25 countries, with low inter-survey variance around these estimates, reported O. Yaw Addo, PhD, of the CDC and Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues.

In line with this finding, hemoglobin concentrations plotted against soluble transferrin receptor (a biomarker of tissue iron deficiency and a physiological indicator of erythropoiesis) reveal compensatory increased erythropoiesis when hemoglobin dips below 9.61 g/dL among children and 11.01 g/dL among women, they noted in JAMA Network Open.

Source: MedPage Today
All Eyes on FDA: The Upcoming Regulation of Juul E-Cigarettes
For years, FDA has allowed the vast majority of e-cigarettes to stay on the market even though none of them have the premarket tobacco product application (PMTA) orders they need to be sold legally. But all that is changing. Following a court ruling, FDA must issue PMTA orders by September 9, pro or con, for every e-cigarette brand or variant that has applied to stay on the market and take any not receiving permissive orders off the market.

Source: MedPage Today
Bayer to Stop Residential Sales of Glyphosate-Based Roundup by 2023
The agrochemical giant plans to replace its controversial herbicide with products that don’t contain glyphosate. The agrochemical giant announced it will replace its controversial herbicide with products that don’t contain glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup), but only for American consumers. Farmers will still have access to the glyphosate-based product.

Source: Modern Farmer
Open Notes in Healthcare: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Cures Act
On April 5, 2021, a requirement of the 21st Century Cures Act went into effect: Patients must be able to access information in their EHRs “without delay.” (This requirement does not apply to paper records.) The Cures Act prohibition against information blocking, often referred to as an “open notes” provision, provides patients with transparency in the outcomes of their healthcare via convenient access to information in their EHR, which can positively or negatively impact the patient-doctor relationship.

Source: The Doctors Company
5 Everyday Things Science Still Can't Explain
The fundamentals of science have shed light on many of life’s mysteries over the centuries, offering explanations for diseases, animal behavior, the cosmos, and more. We’ve come a long way from the days when life forms were thought to appear through spontaneous generation and bloodletting was used to cure a range of illnesses. But there still remain many scientific mysteries embedded in our daily lives. Here are five common occurrences which continue to defy explanations from the top scientific minds.

Source: Trivia Genius
That's the Ticket!
Do you ever find yourself with extra tickets to a game, concert of other fun event? Or maybe your plans change and you can't attend at all? Then think of an FSU Medical Student!! What a great way to say, "thanks!" for being the next generation of physicians AND get them excited about our community!
Florida E-Prescribing
Electronic Prescribing Requirements (Florida Board of Medicine)
House Bill 831 (2019), Electronic Prescribing, was signed into law by Governor DeSantis. The effective date is January 1, 2020. The bill provides important new requirements for prescribers to generate and transmit all prescriptions electronically upon licensure renewal or by July 1, 2021, whichever is earlier.

Florida ePrescribing Clearinghouse (Agency for Healthcare Administration)
The purpose of the Florida ePrescribing Clearinghouse is to provide information that contributes to the promotion and implementation of electronic prescribing by health care practitioners, health care facilities, and pharmacies in order to prevent prescription drug abuse, improve patient safety, and reduce unnecessary prescriptions. This Clearinghouse contains information on the advantages, processes, products, rules, and laws of ePrescribing as well as Florida ePrescribing reports.
Discounted Event Tickets at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center
Capital Medical Society members can receive a discount on certain events at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center by using our promo code "CMS". The newest event is:

September 28-29, 2021
Members can receive the discount a few different ways:
  1. Click the show link above and enter the promo code "CMS"
2. Call 850-645-0747 to purchase over the phone and mention the promo code "CMS"
Save the Date for Upcoming CMS Meetings/Events
Talk to me, Goose.
We all need co-pilots. That's why the Capital Medical Society Foundation Physician Wellness Program is here for its members. The CMSF has teamed up with four wonderful resources who will help you fly - confidentially and autonomously. Your first six wellness coaching visits are at no cost to you. None. Nada. No identifying information. Nothing except peace of mind. Seriously. Pick up the phone and call any of the resources noted below. Telehealth options available.

Special thanks to MagMutual Foundation and others who are helping the CMSF fund this program.
Local Wellness Coaching Resources:
  • Paul Deitchman, Ph.D. - 850-878-3571
  • Tracey Morse, Ph.D. - 850-556-7944
  • Debra Weaver, Ph.D. - 850-942-5585
  • Stephen Wright, Ph.D. - 850-222-3045

C. Vincent Dix, Ph.D. has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2021. We appreciate the services Dr. Dix has provided to local physicians since the inception of the Capital Medical Society Foundation's Physician Wellness Program in 2017.

To view Physician Wellness resources, click here.

The Elephant in the Doctors' Lounge - With roughly 156 million Americans fully vaccinated for COVID-19, physicians are seeing signs of relief on the horizon. That relief can't come soon enough. The initial energy and adrenaline that drove physicians to treat their acutely ill patients in the early months of the pandemic have been replaced by fatigue, burnout, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's time to talk -- and to act -- so these feelings of struggle don't drive more of our colleagues into a mental health emergency.
Source: MedPage Today
CME Resources
Diabetic Retinopathy Webinar: Strategies for Improving Patient-Centered Care - 1.0 CME Credit Opportunity
August 27, 2021
5:00 pm

Re-envisioning Elder Care - CME Opportunity (Open flyer)
All-day Virtual Conference
September 10, 2021
8:15 am - 3:45 pm
Free with fees for CME credit

Wolfson Pediatric CME Webinars - 5.5 CME Credit Opportunity
Wolfson Children’s Hospital is proud to provide Continuing Medical Education opportunities to our partners and referring providers by offering monthly virtual CME sessions at no cost. If you have missed any of our previously offered live webinars and still wish to obtain CME credit for them, we have provided 4 recorded webinars for a total of 5.5 CME credits possible. Please follow the instructions below in order to take advantage of this opportunity!
1.      Open the flyer and choose which education session you would like to watch.
2.      Click the link in the attachment for the desired education session.
3.      Watch the webinar.
4.      Follow the instructions included in the video description to complete the required survey and input the associated activity code.
*Please note, if you are licensed outside of the state of Florida, you must contact the CME office at to request an official transcript of your participation.

Easy to use web portal makes it easy to find courses and track credits. Accredited activities for over 30 medical specialties; Over 100 active courses at any given time; Activity accreditations include ACCME, ANCC, AANP, ACPE, and more; Content is always current, and always free.

Free 1-hour online CME opportunity!
University of Florida's Department of Epidemiology
Raising awareness for Alzheimer's disease and increasing screening for cognitive impairment. This CME has a focus on primary care physicians but is applicable to all physicians who may encounter patients with cognitive impairments.

On-Demand CME by The Doctors Company
Diagnostic error continues to be a top patient safety concern, a global burden, and cause patient harm from treatment delay, testing, or misdiagnosis. “Prevention of Diagnostic Error in Primary Care” is an on-demand CME activity that features patient safety expert Jeffrey A. Gold, MD, professor of medicine, vice chair for quality and safety, for the department of medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University. This program highlights major contributing factors of diagnostic error along with the diagnostic process of care framework with additional focus on strategies to mitigate risk of patient harm in the primary care setting.

On-Demand CME by The Doctors Company
1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
Explore the challenges and risks associated with telehealth. Concerns regarding privacy, security, licensure, and technology that might instigate a malpractice claim are discussed.
Looking for Some Non-CME Credit Learning Opportunities?
TMH has a library of past CME courses for viewing on their MDnews page: The recent CMEs cohosted by CMS and TMH may be found there or by opening: and
Opportunity to Support the 2022 CMS Membership Directory
The Capital Medical Society will publish its 2022 Membership Directory early next year. It will be distributed to all members. We have once again contracted with a company called E&M Consulting to produce the directory. E&M will be contacting our members over the next few months about advertising opportunities in the directory. E&M will manage all the ad sales, creative design, and formatting of the publication for us. This is a very professional group with experience in publishing association directories. If you have any questions or would like to advertise, please contact Rob Schmidt with E&M at 850-347-8182, 800-572-0011, or Information on the available advertising opportunities can be viewed here or can also be viewed online at Please be responsive and help support this directory. Remember, it will include our entire medical community.  
CMS will provide the content - including photos of our members. If you have an updated photo - please send it to us!
Please feel free to call us if you have any questions - and thank you for your support!
The CMS Staff
(850) 877-9018
ABIM Extends Maintenance of Certification Requirement Deadlines Through 2022
Board-certified physicians are getting another extension on the deadline to maintain their internal medicine credentials.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) once again extended the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements through December 2022.

Source: Fierce Healthcare
Coronavirus - Information, Updates, Resources
Updates and Resources

The State-Level COVID-19 profile for Florida. This data is collected from medical facilities in one of two system HHS protect or National Healthcare Safety Network  
 and the White House Coronavirus Task Force analyzes and distributes the report.
The New England Journal of Medicine - A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary
Epidemiological and Clinical Resources For The COVID-19 Pandemic
CDC Healthcare Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
CDC Guidance for People at Higher Risk for COVID-19 Complications
CDC PPE Poster
CDC Guidance for Travelers from Countries with Widespread Sustained (ongoing) Transmission Arriving in the United States
CDC Communication Resources
NETEC coronavirus page includes PPE validation checklists and video resource, in addition to many others:
From the Florida Medical Association: Coronavirus Educational Resource Center

Vaccine Updates

See the latest state Department of Health data summarizing the number of people in Florida who have either received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or completed the vaccine series (FMA) 
 (Florida Department of Health in Leon County)
(Florida Department of Health in Leon County) 
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
COVID-19 Pandemic Planning FAQ (dated 11/19/2020) includes important information regarding procurement and handling of costs for vaccine administration. (FEMA) 
What Happens Once There is a COVID-19 Vaccine? Key Challenges to Vaccinating America (12/3/2020) - VIDEO or SLIDES (Kaiser Family Foundation) 

Reporting for Health Care Providers and Laboratories

Notable recent additions to CDC guidance include more detailed infection prevention and control recommendations for health care settings:

Please continue to closely monitor the CDC novel coronavirus website for situation and guidance updates.

If you have any patients who meet the person under investigation criteria, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Leon County Epidemiology Program at 850-404-6299.
Epidemiology and Disease Control Program
Florida Department of Health in Leon County
2965 Municipal Way
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Office Number: (850) 404-6299 
Confidential Fax: (850) 921-9855
Rx for Miracles
Florida RX Card has created a new program and resource card to help Children's Miracle Network children and families in need. This card will work just as Florida Rx Card, helping people save on their prescription medications. 

The flyer explains the program and can be used to share/download the app.
Informed Webinar Series: Understanding the CMS Proposed Rule: Reducing Provider and Patient Burden by Improving Prior Authorization Processes
On December 11, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would improve the electronic exchange of healthcare data among payers, providers, and patients. If finalized, the CMS rule would streamline processes related to prior authorization with the goal of reducing the burden on providers and patients. Medicaid, CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), and QHP (Qualified Health Plan) payers would be required to build and implement FHIR-enabled APIs that could:
  • Allow providers to know, in advance, what documentation would be needed for each different payer. 
  • Streamline the documentation process. 
  • Enable providers to send prior authorization requests (and receive responses electronically) directly from the provider's EHR or other practice management system.
PAP Machine Donations Needed!
A PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) machine is an electronic respiratory ventilation device used to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Capital Medical Society Foundation, Inc.'s We Care Network program assists low-income, uninsured adults, whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, with obtaining these potentially life-saving medical devices, when prescribed by a pulmonologist. Thanks to our partners at Desloge Home Oxygen and Medical Equipment, Inc., we are able to provide refurbished CPAP, AutoPAP, and BPAP machines for eligible We Care Network patients in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Wakulla Counties. We Care Network also accepts unused, unopened supplies for PAP machines, such as masks, nasal cannulas, and tubing. We Care Network coordinates over $8,000,000 in donated specialty medical and dental care annually.
Machine donations can be dropped off at Capital Medical Society Foundation's office at 1204 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308. Donations to Capital Medical Society Foundation are tax-deductible within IRS guidelines Federal Tax I.D. #: 59-2104510. For additional information, please call 942-5215 or email
You Can Support the CMS Foundation! Sign Up and Shop Today on AmazonSmile!
For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Capital Medical Society Foundation! 
Click here to access AmazonSmile and support the CMS Foundation today!
Check Out the Latest CMS Member Benefits