COVID-19 and South Island MSA Activities Update

1. Communications

First, apologies for our communication mix-up last week. While advocating for better communication from Medical and Academic Affairs, it gets egg over our face when we also confuse the issue.

The evening bulletins sent out from Medical and Academic Affairs seem well organized and worthwhile. They are sent to physicians’ previously identified “preferred email” addresses. IF YOU DIDN’T GET IT, they don’t have the correct email. Please let us know at and we will get it to them.  This is really, really important for everyone’s sake.

If you think it could be improved, or done better, let us know and we will continue to advocate.

2.  Information Organizers

Some groups of physicians asked if we could support a physician to be a local information organizer for their specific concerns at this time. Makes sense: Island Health has to address general concerns, and each group / division / locale may have very specific things or protocols to sort out, including an emergency manpower plan “for what happens if…”

There can be no better use of engagement funds at this time. So, time spent by the “Organizer” and any physician meetings to address COVID practice concerns are eligible for funding. All we need is an email from the Information Organizer (or delegate) giving date, times of meeting plus attendance (so we know who to pay and how much) and topic / reason, and we will deal with it.

We now have 24 “organizers”. Some are Division Heads. We have checked with MAA, and because this is outside any anticipated scope, they are eligible for these funds without any suggestion of “double dipping”. Because this is a response to an already arrived crisis, activities from Wednesday, March 11 are eligible. Please submit information billing ASAP, we would like to get some done before the end of the fiscal year.

Also note that for this, we are suspending our rule that checks whether you paid your membership dues last year.

3.  Morning Huddles

MAA have established Morning huddles for medical leaders. At this time, we are able to provide summaries to the organizers, for them to use. Island-wide huddles are on Tuesday and Thursdays; Geo-specific ones on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At the time of writing, Geo 4 is not yet organized – likely a function of our size and complexity. We are pushing for this to happen, so we can all know what is happening in our locality.

Your Executive is very aware of the tremendous effort being made by MAA physicians to be supportive at this time. They are under immense pressure, as you may imagine. Send them good thoughts and best wishes: everybody grumbles at them – sometimes justified, sometimes not. Communication is a good example: the docs there were equally aware of the difficulties, but it was not a clinical problem to solve.

Things may well have changed even by the time you get this. We will update as appropriate. In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands and smile at your loved ones.

Don Milliken

President South Island MSA

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