Weekly Address from Mary Faria: Fall Week 5

AOMA weekly updates (week of 10/12/20)

1. AOMA’s desire to combat racism and healthcare disparities –

-We have some great guest speaker events coming up in Oct, Nov, and Dec. In October, Dr. Sharad Kholi will join us to discuss healthcare disparities in Austin, People’s community clinic’s work to provide service to the underserved, and AOMA’s partnership with People’s community clinic. In November Dr. Damon Tweedy will join us for a Q&A session. Dr. Tweedy is a Black Physician with the Duke Healthcare System. In July he wrote a powerful article for the New York Times entitled “Medical Schools Have Historically Been Wrong on Race”. A great perspective on racism that exists in our Medical Schools. In November we will focus on generations of members providing patient care, racism they have experienced and how they have contributed to helping close the health disparity gap.

2. Plans and issues related to COVID-19 crisis including clinic and campus re-openings

- Many questions regarding students or students with spouses or family members who work in healthcare or other professions where exposure risk is high. We are evaluating these on a case by case basis. What we look for in the evaluation are the following:

· Precautions that the individual or the individual’s family member or spouse’s employer takes to mitigate exposure

· Precautions the family takes to mitigate exposure

· How successfully the student passes screening in consideration of the previous two bullet

The safety committee takes each case and asks the student to complete a questionnaire, additional questions may also be asked. The COVID situation is very complex thus decisions regarding quarantine are situational. We very much appreciate the wonderful attitude of safety and compliance by all our students! It has been most impressive.

3. Key operational issues or updates

- I am in the process of working with school leadership to better organize how we are structured to best serve you, our students. We are still very much in the initial stage of this. As we get closer to finalizing the re-organization we will share with you our plans for 2021.

4. Important announcements or answers to questions sent in by students, faculty or staff

- Nothing new currently

Take care, stay safe and stay healthy (mind, body and spirit).

With Love and Peace,