#CALTCMProud: CALTCM President Report

On March 9, CALTCM produced our first webinar on COVID-19.  On August 31st we produced our 21stwebinar.  It truly has taken a village of volunteers.  Some of the webinars attracted a thousand-plus attendees.  Over 200 people participated in our most recent webinar, which is a remarkable achievement in view of the abundance of information that is available online.

On March 19th the CALTCM Board of Directors passed a resolution discouraging the discharge of COVID-19 positive patients to nursing homes and on March 20th we passed a resolution in support of having full-time infection preventionists (IPs) in every nursing facility.  Not only have full-time IPs become standard in California, there is a current House bill recommending it for nursing homes across the country.  

On April 17th, CALTCM officially published our “Long Term Care Quadruple Aim for COVID-19 Response,” the four tenets of which have held up remarkably well in the intervening months.  We have convened four expert Delphi panels, the first of which published a paper on the importance of widespread testing of all nursing home staff on May 31st.  This recommendation has found its way into policy at the local, state, and federal level.  Another Delphi group has focused on visitation requirements and has written a paper currently pending publication.  Another Delphi group has been advising the California Department of Public Health regarding their proposal to reform the survey process and is presently looking at various approaches to survey reform.  We also recently reconvened the testing Delphi group to develop recommendations regarding Point-of-Care (POC) Antigen Testing.

Our members and leaders, all of whom graciously volunteer their time in the interest of advocating for vulnerable older adults, have stepped up big time during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We have gained new members, many of whom are already contributing.  Even more exciting is that our new members are truly interdisciplinary.  CALTCM has long been on the forefront of recognizing that it takes a team to care for vulnerable older adults.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has solidified this commitment to the team approach to care. 

I would also like to share that I’ve been honored to have been chosen to be part of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on developing a Framework for the Equitable Allocation of the COVID-19 Vaccine (https://www.nationalacademies.org/our-work/a-framework-for-equitable-allocation-of-vaccine-for-the-novel-coronavirus).  This Committee is being sponsored by the NIH and CDC, and it is a privilege to be able to represent the fields of geriatrics and long-term care medicine.  I am also reminded and humbled to recognize how much there is still to learn.  None of us know all of the answers, and I can vouch for the fact that most of what I’ve learned in the past six months has come from my colleagues.  We make each other better.  We can all be #CALTCMProud.
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