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February 29, 2024

Registration is Open for MSD's Interim Council Meeting!

Indulge in Fine Food Prepared by Renowned Local Chef

Registration is now open for the MSD 2024 Interim Council Meeting to be held on Thursday, April 18th at the Smyrna Opera House, located at 7 W. South St., Smyrna, DE. The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with sign-in and a half-hour cocktail social, followed by the Interim Council business meeting beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. As a member of MSD, this event affords you the opportunity to connect with your peers and meet new colleagues, all the while enjoying fine food and beverage at a historic Delaware location!

We have secured a wonderful catering group, led by Robbie Jester, to complement the evening’s experience. Robbie took home top honors as the winner of Netflix’s “Pressure Cooker,” squared off with and beat celebrity chef Bobby Flay, and was featured on the Food Network show “Guy’s Grocery Games.” He has also catered events for then Vice President Biden and the King and Queen of Sweden. Come enjoy great food and network with your peers! Plan to attend this year!

Reports being submitted must be received no later than Monday, March 25th.

Consider submitting a resolution. Resolutions are a vehicle to submit to Council your issues for change. Learn more about writing a resolution from the MSD Resolution Writing Guide or the brief training video developed. Resolution submission deadline is Friday, April 5th. Resolutions must be in final format by this date, with no further modifications accepted (i.e., reviewed, proper format, correct citations, etc.). Please email resolutions to Mary.LaJudice@medsocdel.org.

To register go to: https://reg.planetreg.com/INTERIM2024. Absolute registration deadline is Thursday, April 11 by end of business day.

MSD Pubs & Politics Series

Next Event - March 12 in Dover

MSD's Pubs & Politics continues to be a successful way for members to spend one-on-one time with state legislators discussing important issues that affect health care across the state. Plan to attend the next Pubs & Politics session hosted by MSD, the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and the Delaware Academy of Family Physicians at 9 E Taphouse in Dover on Tuesday, March 12 from 5:30-8 p.m. There is no charge for this event, but registration is requested. Complimentary food and beverages will be provided. This event is sponsored by MSDIS/USI and DELPAC. Please register prior to March 7th.

Coming Soon: MSD's Health Care Reality Podcasts

Delivered Biweekly with Special Guests

Stay tuned for the launch on MSD's Health Care Reality Podcast Series hosted by MSD Past President Nicholas O. Biasotto, DO. Special guests will be hosted for each podcast program discussing the issues you want and need to hear. Our first featured guests will be Robert J. Varipapa, MD, MSD President; and Mark B. Thompson, MSD Executive Director. Look for more information in the near future to begin your MSD podcast experience!

MSD Advocacy Activity Continues During Budget Sessions

Learn More About MSD's Doctor of the Day Program

The 152nd General Assembly is focused on budget hearings during the month of February, but MSD continues to advocate for our key priorities to be ready for a busy legislative session. MSD is excited to bring back a physician presence in Legislative Hall and brought back this time-honored tradition for several reasons:

  • Physician presence in the Hall during a critical time in health care;
  • Access to legislators;
  • Ability to testify (support/oppose) in-person, guaranteeing MSD's message is heard by the legislature; and
  • Networking with other health care professionals.

If you are interested in learning more about representing MSD at Legislative Hall,

contact Lisa Gruss at lisa.gruss@medsocdel.org.

MSD published its February monthly Legislative Update on Tuesday, February 27th. If you did not have an opportunity to read the update, you can access the information here.

Opportunity to Serve on the Delaware P&T Committee

Contact MSD If You Are Interested In Serving

On April 1, 2005, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) began implementing a preferred drug list (PDL). The PDL is composed of drugs that are medically appropriate and less expensive than other drugs in the same class. The drugs are chosen for inclusion on the list by a Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee (P&T Committee). The P&T membership includes clinicians from various specialty areas and includes public advocates. The P&T Committee meets to make recommendations to the Division regarding drugs to be considered for inclusion on (or deletion from) the PDL.

MSD has been asked to nominate a physician for consideration in serving on the Delaware P&T Committee. Currently, the state is looking for nominations of an oncologist, gastroenterologist, or pulmonologist to serve. However, if you are interested but do not practice in these subspecialty areas, they welcome all! The P&T Committee meets four times a year on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. There are three scheduled virtual meetings and one meeting in person that the committee member can either attend or otherwise participate virtually. Physician appointments are made by the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. Terms are for three years. If you are interested, please email Mary.LaJudice@medsocdel.org and provide an updated CV. It is appreciated to receive a response by Friday, March 1st.

Potential Hepatitis A Cases in Seaford

DPH Issues Health Alert

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) was notified on February 27, 2024, through wastewater surveillance, of hepatitis A in the Seaford, Delaware region. DPH issued a health alert to advise clinicians of potential cases that may present with hepatitis A in the Seaford area. DPH conducts wastewater surveillance for some infectious organisms through Verily/Wastewater Scan. The contractor scan detected hepatitis A virus in the wastewater from the Seaford region two times during the past week, suggesting that someone living in the area has hepatitis A. At the time of publication of the health alert, DPH had not received any reports of any individuals diagnosed with hepatitis A recently. Hepatitis A infection is a vaccine-preventable illness and can be spread even from persons who do not have symptoms. Currently, the outbreak is significantly impacting persons who use drugs and those experiencing homelessness. Hepatitis A is a reportable disease in Delaware. It is imperative that hepatitis A cases are reported in a timely manner due to the need for time-sensitive administration of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to those exposed. Read the alert and recommendations for health care professionals.

Change Healthcare Cyberattack Disruption

Network Connectivity, Indicators of Compromise

A cyberattack on UnitedHealthcare's unit Change Healthcare, a division of Optum, was discovered last Wednesday, disrupting prescription drug orders at pharmacies and continues to have effects on the entire health care system, leading to major challenges in reimbursement and claims processing for health care professionals and pharmacies. Law enforcement officials indicate the breach appears to be by a foreign country, with the ransomware gang "Blackcat" being identified behind the outage. UnitedHealth Group was forced to disconnect some of Change Healthcare's digital network from its clients, and as of Monday this week, had not been able to restore all services. The Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Health-ISAC) issued a bulletin providing information regarding maintaining network connectivity with UnitedHealth Group, Optum, and UnitedHealthcare. The American Hospital Association has also published a Cybersecurity Advisory (February 26th) to help navigate this evolving incident. The attack underscores the vulnerability of health care data.

At the ViVE 2024 Conference, Optum Health CEO Amar Desai, M.D., took the stage on Monday morning and discussed the cyberattack on Change Healthcare that's still causing disruption nationwide. While a cyberattack wasn't the planned agenda for the session, he stated the Optum team has been in regular communication with its clients' technology and cybersecurity leaders as it navigates a response to the lingering challenge. He emphasized that the issue is confined to Change's systems, and that Optum broadly, UnitedHealthcare and UnitedHealth Group were spared.

Today, the Delaware Department of Insurance issued an announcement regarding this attack. The communication indicated that Insurers have been in contact with the Delaware Department of Insurance about this issue and are in communication with contracted providers to inform them of available portals and processes. The Delaware Insurance Data Security Act has not yet been triggered, but all parties continue to watch the situation closely. Additionally, the department will be closely monitoring any potential prompt payment compliance issues that may arise as a result of this situation. At this time, there is no indication that consumer data or insurer data has been impacted. However, consumers are still encouraged to engage in personal cybersecurity practices at an enhanced level.

Healthcare Business Management Association is holding an emergency Town Hall regarding this cyber attack. MSD members are invited to attend.

Emergency Town Hall - Change Healthcare

Hosted By Healthcare Business Management Association

Friday, March 1, 2024

2:00pm ET

 Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 839 5682 2023

Passcode: 234574

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/keEKIRO2Jh 

CDC Issues New Guidance on Tetanus Vaccine

Constrained U.S. Td Supply

Historically, two tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine products have been available for use in the United States:

  • TdVaxTM, manufactured by MassBiologics
  • Tenivac®, manufactured by Sanofi

MassBiologics has discontinued production of TdVaxTM, which is exclusively distributed by Grifols. Sanofi is taking steps to augment their available U.S. supply of Tenivac®. Despite these efforts, it’s anticipated that the supply of Td vaccine in the U.S. market will be constrained during 2024. Temporary ordering controls are in place in the public and private sectors to help manage the gap in supply. Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccines are available without supply constraints at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for vaccination providers. The limited supply of Td vaccine needs to be preserved for those with a contraindication to receiving pertussis-containing vaccines. To assist vaccination providers, CDC has developed the following guidance:

  • Transition to use of Tdap vaccine in lieu of Td vaccine whenever possible while Td vaccine supplies are constrained.
  • Tdap vaccine is an acceptable alternative to Td vaccine, including when a tetanus booster is indicated for wound management.
  • Tdap vaccine isn’t an acceptable alternative only when a person has a specific contraindication to pertussis-containing vaccines, which is very rare.

This guidance will remain in place until the period of temporary ordering controls for Td vaccine ends.

AMA Publishes Report on Augmented Intelligence

Outlines Opportunities and Risks for Those Looking to Adopt AI

As reported by Health IT Analytics, the American Medical Association (AMA) and Manatt Health published a report this week outlining the transformational potential and associated risks of augmented intelligence, also known as artificial intelligence (AI), that are tools in clinical and administrative applications. The AMA emphasizes that growing interest in AI necessitates increased education for clinicians to successfully navigate the deployment of these technologies. The new report, The Emerging Landscape of Augmented Intelligence in Health Care explores key terms and definitions, potential applications and use cases, and other opportunities and risks that AI tools present. 

The MSD Council adopted a resolution at its 2023 Annual Meeting in November, Artificial Intelligence in Health Care, that advocates for appropriate use of AI in health care, to be aware of AI evidence-based medical literature for providing relevant medical education, and to review the role of AI in health care with a focus on patient safety and the equitable delivery of health care in the state.

The Health of US Primary Care: 2024 Scorecard Report - No One Can See You Now

Scorecard Highlights State-Level Primary Care Performance, Lack of Physician Training in Underserved Communities

The second national Primary Care Scorecard released today reveals an intensifying primary care crisis and identifies five reasons why access to affordable, quality primary care services is expected to get worse. Developed by researchers at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Robert Graham Center and co-funded by the Milbank Memorial Fund and The Physicians Foundation, The Health of US Primary Care: 2024 Scorecard report and data dashboard examine critical measures of primary care performance nationally and across all states. Key findings include:

  • The primary care workforce is struggling to meet population demands.
  • The primary care sector is experiencing a workforce exodus and lacks real-world community training opportunities.
  • The U.S. continues to underinvest in primary care, despite diminishing supply and growing demand.
  • Cumbersome electronic health records burden primary care physicians.
  • Inadequate research funding impacts primary care access and quality.

Read the report.

Read the press release.

CMS Updates Medicare Disparities Mapping Tool

Includes Medicare Advantage Data

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the Mapping Medicare Disparities (MMD) Tool to include 2018 Medicare Advantage data and new visual enhancements. The tool is an interactive map that provides a population view to look at data on a national, state, or local level, and the hospital view, which looks at hospital quality and costs of care at the county level. The tool can identify disparities between subgroups of people with Medicare (e.g., racial and ethnic groups) in health outcomes, utilization, and spending. It is an excellent starting point for understanding and investigating geographic, racial, and ethnic differences in health outcomes. Previously, the MMD Tool used only Medicare Fee-for-Service data but will now include Medicare Advantage data as well. The tool is available in English and Spanish.

Initiative to Accelerate Women's Health Research

$100 Million ARPA-H Sprint for Women's Health

Just over three months ago, President Biden established the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, led by First Lady Jill Biden and the White House Gender Policy Council. Last week, First Lady Jill Biden announced the Initiative’s first major deliverable: the Biden Administration is committing $100 million this year towards women’s health research and development through the first-ever Sprint for Women’s Health at the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). This effort will help ensure that bold women’s health innovations can exit the lab and start improving women’s health outcomes—meeting our overall goal of getting women the answers they need when it comes to their health. It will take all of us to spur transformative progress in women’s health research. The Biden Administration is committed to doing our part, and thank you for doing yours—together, we will build a new future for women’s health and change women’s lives.

CDC Advisory Committee Recommends Spring COVID Vaccine for Older Americans

CDC Director Endorse Recommendation For Adults Ages 65 Years and Older

On Wednesday this week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Mandy Cohen endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for adults ages 65 years and older to receive an additional updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine dose. The recommendation acknowledges the increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 in older adults, along with the currently available data on vaccine effectiveness. Previous CDC recommendations ensured that people who are immunocompromised are already eligible for additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Adults 65 years and older are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with more than half of COVID-19 hospitalizations during October 2023 to December 2023 occurring in this age group.

Study Suggests mRNA COVID Vaccines Don't Wear Off Quickly

Antibody Responses Were Long-Lasting

Antibody responses induced by mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech were long-lasting, a large study from New York City has found, challenging the idea that immunity from those shots wanes quickly. Researchers examined how antibody responses to the virus' spike protein changed after vaccinations and infections and only analyzed the vaccines' effect on immune responses to the full spike protein on the original version of the coronavirus and did not assess antibody responses to later variants. The report was published in Immunity.

In a related article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a large new study found that patients with long COVID may experience measurable cognitive decline, especially in the ability to remember, reason and plan. Study participants with persistent post-COVID symptoms scored the equivalent of 6 I.Q. points lower than people who had never been infected with the coronavirus. Those who had been infected and no longer had symptoms also scored slightly lower than people who had never been infected, by the equivalent of 3 I.Q. points, even if they were ill for only a short time.

CDC Guidance on Assessing, Investigating, Responding to Suicide Clusters

New Guidance Recommends Three Primary Steps

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week issued new guidance on identifying and responding to clusters of suicide, as tens of thousands of lives are lost to suicide each year in the U.S. The agency recommended three primary steps: conducting a preliminary assessment to determine if a formal assessment is warranted; a formal assessment of the suspected cluster to determine whether it meets the definition of a cluster; and an investigation to identify similarities in cases that can guide community response. CDC researchers wrote that while rare, suicide clusters can have unique characteristics and challenges and can have considerable negative effects on the community, including prolonged grief and elevated fear and anxiety about further deaths.

AHRQ Safety Program for Telemedicine: Improving Antibiotic Use

Have You Adapted Your Prescribing Approach for Telemedicine?

Is your practice interested in improving appropriate use of antibiotics in telemedicine? The

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is currently recruiting practices for a no-cost, 18-month program beginning in June 2024 to promote appropriate antibiotic use while

maintaining patient satisfaction and reducing potential side effects in patients seen via

telemedicine. Practices will receive training and one-on-one expert coaching to implement

sustainable improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of infections in the telemedicine

environment. Practices will learn how to improve workflow efficiencies and participants will

be eligible for continuing education units (CEUs), continuing medical education (CME) credits, and American Board of Internal Medicine maintenance of certification (MOC) points. Learn more and sign up for an informational webinar on the program website:


Superfund Site Cleanup Project Funding Announced

New Castle, Delaware One of 25 Superfund Sites Targeted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday a third and final wave of more than $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 Superfund sites across the country. This funding is made possible by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will launch new cleanup projects at 25 Superfund sites including the Standard Chlorine of Delaware Inc. Superfund site in New Castle, Delaware. Thousands of contaminated sites exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. These sites can include toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities, processing plants, landfills and mining, and can harm the health and well-being of local communities in urban and rural areas. At the Standard Chlorine of Delaware Inc. Superfund site, funds will go toward excavation and treatment of wetland soils and sediment contaminated through historical industrial activities and spills outside of the former chemical manufacturing plant.

Premier Educational Program Partner Spotlight

MSD is pleased to highlight one of our 2024 Premier Educational Program Partners. Delaware Quitline has been a part of the effort to keep our professional medical and public education programs growing through its partnership with MSD as a Premier Educational Program (PEP) Partner.

Quitting smoking is a journey — your patients need help to curb the urge. Smokers and Vapers 13+ and older who get help from their health care professional, or a trained coach triple their chances of quitting for good. You can encourage your patients to participate in the Delaware Tobacco Prevention and Control Program’s free cessation services, which includes evidence-based, coaching by phone or in person, or through www.quitsupport.com.  Your patients may also qualify for free nicotine-replacement therapy and pharmaceuticals. We are here to help you. To order materials for your office, schedule a lunch and learn, or to get additional information contact Romie Lutz, Provider Outreach Coordinator, Rlutz@rvohealth.com, 1-302-654-8886 x 105 or Jo Wardell, Training and Outreach Associate Director, jwardell@rvohealth.com, 302-383-7836.

If you would like to become a PEP Partner, please contact Lynn Robinson, MSD's Director of Professional Education. 

Implementing the HIPAA Security Rule

Federal Resource Available

The resource provides an overview of the HIPAA Security Rule, strategies for assessing and managing risks to electronic protected health information, suggestions for cybersecurity measures and solutions that physicians and medical practices might consider as part of an information security program, and resources for implementing and complying with regulations. Read more.

AMA Pearl of the Week

Partner for Success in Value-Based Care

Many practices are looking to improve care and reduce costs by transitioning to physician-led, value-based care models, in which payment is linked to health outcomes and care quality. Building partnerships will help you offer patients better transitional care and outpatient care management, avoiding fragmentation. The best collaborations include local hospitals, specialty practices, physical therapy providers, skilled nursing facilities, urgent care centers, payer partners and others. MSD's subsidiary, MedNet, also provides opportunity to join in on value-based contracts. For more information, contact LoriAnn Rhoads, Director of Health System Innovation (LoriAnn.Rhoads@medsocdel.org or 302/224-5182).


Upcoming Webinar:


AMA STEPS Forward® offers a collection of engaging and interactive educational content designed to help put the joy back into medicine.

Get Ready for Match Week

Match Day is Friday, March 15th

Match Week takes place Monday, March 11th – Friday, March 15th. Students find out Monday morning at 10 a.m. whether or not they matched; however, you'll have to wait to hear where you matched when it is announced on Friday of the same week at 12:00 p.m. via email. Unmatched applicants can apply and interview for unfilled positions Monday through Thursday. On Friday, match results are sent by email to all initial matches, as well as applicants who found a position through the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP - see below).

The days and weeks leading up to Match Day are stressful, to say the least. And since so many of your peers are in the same boat, emotions are running high all around you. Before Match Week, take some time to check in on your own mental health. What support do you need during Match Week and on Match Day? Some students benefit from the support of friends and family, and if you think that’s you, reach out to them so that they are available to celebrate with you on Match Day (or help you through a no-match outcome.) Ensure your schedule is as clear as possible that week so that you can dedicate your time to the SOAP process if you don’t initially match. Good luck to all our medical student members in matching to your first choice!

"SOAP" a Chance to Land Residency Position

For Eligible Unmatched Applicants to Residency Programs

For eligible unmatched applicants to residency programs, the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) can be a chance to land a residency position that went unfilled. SOAP is a service of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). More than 2,431 positions were filled through SOAP. In 2024, SOAP will take place March 11–14, and as has been the case during the prior three residency application cycles, there will be an added fourth round of SOAP this year. Read more. Refer to the 2024 SOAP schedule.

Member Spotlight

Stacey Kuhfahl, DO

MSD spotlights members throughout the state, highlighting medical students, residents, and practicing colleagues, whether they are new to membership or have been a member over the years.


This week’s spotlight is on Stacey Kuhfahl, DO, Internal Medicine physician with Delta Health and Wellness in Lewes, DE. Read more about Dr. Kuhfahl.


If you would like to be featured in a future Member Spotlight, please contact Michelle Seymour, Manager of Membership.

Pending Members

Asanthi Ratnasekera, MD - Surgery, Trauma/Critical Care, ChristianaCare

MSD members are afforded a seven-day review period from the date of this publication to comment regarding applicants for membership. Please contact Michelle Seymour at (302) 224-4905 or Michelle.Seymour@medsocdel.org with any comments on the current pending member(s) listed above or if you know of someone interested in joining MSD. You could be eligible for a membership referral discount on your dues!

Safety Information and Adverse Reporting Notices

Information on Recent Product Recalls

Recall of Equate, CVS Health Eye Ointments

Thane, Maharashtra, India, Brassica Pharma Pvt. Ltd. is voluntarily recalling Eye Ointment products with expiration date ranging from February 2024 to September 2025. The products are being recalled due to lack of sterility assurance at the facility noted during an inspection conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For those patients who use these products, there is a potential risk of eye infections or related harm. These products are intended to be sterile. Ophthalmic drug products pose a potential heightened risk of harm to users because drugs applied to the eyes bypass some of the body’s natural defenses. To date, Brassica Pharma Pvt. Ltd. has not received any reports of adverse events up to February 16, 2024 related to this recall.

BioZorb Markers with Use in Breast Tissue

On Tuesday, the FDA issued a safety communication to inform patients and health care professionals about the potential risk of serious complications with the use of Hologic BioZorb Marker and BioZorb LP Marker devices in breast tissue. The BioZorb Marker and BioZorb LP Marker are devices implanted in soft tissue, including breast tissue, to mark the site for future medical procedures, such as radiation for breast cancer treatment. The FDA has received reports and is aware of published literature describing serious adverse events in patients who were implanted with the BioZorb Marker or BioZorb LP Marker devices in the breast tissue. The FDA has cleared BioZorb Marker and BioZorb LP Marker for radiographic marking of sites in soft tissue (including breast). Also, the markers are indicated in situations where the soft tissue site (including breast) needs to be marked for future medical procedures. The FDA has not cleared or approved these devices to fill space in the tissue or to improve cosmetic outcomes after procedures.

Safe Use of Electrical Operating Room Tables

The FDA issued a Letter to health care professionals to raise awareness about the safe use of electrical operating room tables. The FDA has received reports of adverse events associated with electrical operating room tables and is providing recommendations for health care professionals to help protect patients. Following the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s product manual and user training can reduce potential risks associated with electrical operating room tables.

Recall of Care Plus and Lullaby Incubators

Wipro GE Healthcare Private Ltd. is recalling its Care Plus and Lullaby Incubators because the bedside panel or porthole may look closed but not be latched properly. If a bedside panel or porthole is not latched properly, the panel can detach and open, no longer protecting the patient from falling. The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death. Please be aware, this recall is a correction, not a product removal.

Voluntary Recall of MIC* Gastric-Jejunal Feeding Tube Kits

In direct response to the Nurse Assist, LLC voluntary recall of pre-filled syringes and other sterile water products, Avanos Medical, Inc. (NYSE: AVNS) voluntarily recalled specific lots of MIC* Gastric – Jejunal Feeding Tube Kits on Jan. 16, 2024. These kits include Nurse Assist supplied syringes, pre-filled with sterile water, essential for inflating the retention balloon of the feeding tube. The Nurse Assist voluntary recall was initiated due to concerns about the potential lack of sterility assurance in these water-based products. This deficiency may lead to non-sterile products, posing a risk of the water coming into contact with a patient’s surgical site. Any open wound exposed to non-sterile products could potentially put the patient at risk of infection. The pre-filled syringe is the only item in the Avanos feeding tube kit affected by the Nurse Assist recall.

Update: Cinnamon Applesauce Pouches - Elevated Lead & Chromium Levels

As of February 27, 2024, FDA has not received any additional confirmed complaints/reports of adverse events potentially linked to recalled product. To date, confirmed complainants, or people for whom a complaint or adverse event was submitted and met FDA’s complainant definition, are between zero and 53 years of age and the median age is one year old. Read the full update.

After additional analysis of the cinnamon collected from the manufacturer in Ecuador (Austrofoods), FDA has confirmed that the lead and chromium previously detected in the cinnamon are from lead chromate. People who ate recalled products, especially if they had elevated blood lead levels, may have been exposed to chromium and should inform their healthcare provider so they can monitor health and provide supportive care, as needed. Healthcare providers can refer to CDC’s Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA Now) announcement for information for additional guidance. Historically, lead chromate has been illegally added to certain spices increase to their weight and enhance their color, which increases the monetary value of the adulterated spices. FDA’s leading hypothesis remains that this was likely an act of economically motivated adulteration.

Hospital News


On Tuesday, ChristianaCare and its partner, Emerus Holdings, Inc., announced they will develop two new neighborhood hospitals in Delaware County, in addition to the neighborhood hospital already being developed at ChristianaCare’s West Grove Campus in southern Chester County. Together, the three neighborhood hospitals represent a new layer of care coming to southeastern Pennsylvania. Specific locations for the Delaware County neighborhood hospitals have not yet been finalized and will be announced at a later date. All three neighborhood hospitals are planned to open in 2025, with the West Grove location expected to open first.

Steven Huege, M.D., MSEd, has been named The Swank Foundation Endowed Chair in Memory Care and Geriatrics at ChristianaCare. Dr. Huege joins ChristianaCare from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, most recently as clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry. His administrative appointments included interim associate vice chair of continuing medical education. At UC San Diego, Huege was also program director for the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program, director of wellness for graduate medical education, and chair of the Health Physician Well-being Committee. He served as a staff psychiatrist in the Department of Behavioral Health at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Diego, California.

Highlight on Events

Most clinicians agree that serious illness conversations are a critical part of their practice, yet few have formal training. ChristianaCare presents, "VitalTalk: Navigating Serious Conversions" presented in-person and virtually. Clinicians (physicians, ACPs) who care for seriously ill patients in any setting are welcome to attend. The small group facilitated trainings are evidence-based and improve your likelihood and ability to have serious illness conversations while making these conversations less emotionally taxing through skill building and practice. Free CME is offered for all in-person and virtual courses. Courses are held in the VEST Center at the Newark campus or virtually. Dates for the in-person and virtual events are listed below. Click here to learn more and to register.

VEST Center, Newark

March 1: 8 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Virtually (Zoom)

May 8: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

May 8: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

The AMA and Manatt Health have developed recommendations for policymakers to improve access to care for pregnant and postpartum people with opioid use disorder, focusing several strategies on justice-involved individuals. In a new webinar with front-line clinicians and policymakers on March 5 at 2 p.m. Eastern time, the AMA and Manatt share these recommendations and highlight state- and community-based best practices. Register for "Improving Access to Care for Pregnant and Postpartum People with Opioid Use Disorder."

MSD's Campaign for Kids Promotes the Health and Well-Being of Delaware Youth... "It's OBVIOUS!" Join MSD for a free March lecture series to address issues that impact young Delawareans on March 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the ChristianaCare John H. Ammon Medical Education Center, Newark Campus. Presentations on Obesity, Bullying, Violence, Intelligent Decisions, and Suicide Prevention. Download the flyer. For more information and to register, please visit https://reg.planetreg.com/OBVIOUS%20Lecture%20Series.

MSD's Pubs & Politics continues to be a successful way for members to spend one-on-one time with state legislators discussing important issues that affect health care across the state. Plan to attend the next Pubs & Politics session hosted by MSD, the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Physicians, and the Delaware Academy of Family Physicians at 9 E Taphouse in Dover on Tuesday, March 12 from 5:30-8 p.m. There is no charge for this event, but registration is requested. Complimentary food and beverages will be provided. This event is sponsored by MSDIS/USI and DELPAC. Please register prior to March 7th.

"What About Our Kids?" film screening and panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cheer Center, 20520 Sand Hill Rd, Georgetown. Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Sharon Baker will present highlight reels from her new film "What About Our Kids?". Attendees will get a special preview of this must-see film featuring mental health practitioners, educators, and teens themselves directly addressing teen mental health, social media, and how the caring adults in their lives can help them. Panelists will respond and react to the film, increasing awareness and understanding by sharing their unique expertise in brain science, equity and inclusion, trauma-informed care, education, and public health and leading attendees in highly interactive discussions that encourage critical thinking, and collaborative problem solving to empower positive change. Free admission, open to all, but limited seating. Includes a light dinner. See the flyer for more information and to register.

The Division of Public Health’s Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (OIDE) now has office hours for Delaware health care providers. OIDE is hosting an accessible and informative platform for health care professionals to engage with epidemiologists and other experts to stay informed about key public health topics. The monthly “Epichat” forum is for Delaware health care professionals to learn about Delaware’s reportable diseases, ask questions, and share insights. Resources will be shared. During these meetings, OIDE will provide information and guidance on various public health topics. The Epichat series will feature online discussions with epidemiologists and subject matter experts via DPH’s One Health partnership.

  • Thursday, March 21 at Noon - Lyme disease's epidemiology, geographic distribution, clinical presentation, diagnosis, treatment, and tick prevention and control. Register for the Lyme Disease EpiChat.

  • Thursday, April 18 at Noon - Rabies Education: How to report potential rabies exposures, when rabies post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is needed, and how PEP should be administered.

To receive Epichat notifications, contact Reportdisease@delaware.gov. Click to register for the March EpiChat Lyme Disease session: https://tinyurl.com/MarchLyme. For more information, contact OIDE at 302-622-4149.

Registration is open for the 2024 AMPAC Candidate Workshop – March 22-24 at the AMA offices in Washington, D.C. The Candidate Workshop is designed to help physicians make the leap from the exam room to the campaign trail by providing the skills and strategic approach needed to make a run for public office. At the Candidate Workshop, Republican and Democratic political veterans work together to give expert advice about being a successful candidate and how to run a winning campaign. Space is limited and the deadline to register is March 1.

Navigating AI in Health Care - Thursday, March 28 at 11 a.m. ET. Delve into the practical uses of augmented intelligence (AI) in health care with this webinar, including addressing the risks of AI, exploring its transformational potential and understanding how physicians are navigating this new technology. Learn more.

Moving Delaware Forward: From Equity Awareness to Action. Equity Action Summit will take place April 18 & 19 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront. Join the ongoing movement to advance equity for all as shared stewards. The goal is to work and learn together to ensure that all people and places in Delaware are thriving - no exceptions. Over two days, gain knowledge of the vital conditions for well-being and explore multisolving to advance equity. Learn about local initiatives, find ways to build momentum, and be ready to inspire action in your communities. This is a safe space to see, support, and align equity efforts in Delaware. Closing celebration at Wilmington Blue Rocks game with fireworks. Free to everyone. Learn more and register.

Is your practice interested in improving appropriate use of antibiotics in telemedicine? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is currently recruiting practices for a no-cost, 18-month program beginning in June 2024 to promote appropriate antibiotic use while maintaining patient satisfaction and reducing potential side effects in patients seen via telemedicine. Practices will receive training and one-on-one expert coaching to implement sustainable improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of infections in the telemedicine environment. Practices will learn how to improve workflow efficiencies and participants will be eligible for continuing education units (CEUs), continuing medical education (CME) credits, and American Board of Internal Medicine maintenance of certification (MOC) points. Learn more and sign up for an informational webinar on the program website: safetyprogram4telemedicine.org. Refer to the informational flyer.

Physician Employment Contract Negotiation Self-Paced, Online Program. Equip yourself with the vital business skills needed to negotiate fair and sustainable physician contracts. Enroll now to level the playing field and secure favorable outcomes for your professional partnership. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 3.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credit. Discounted registration fee for MSD members and residents/fellows. For more information and to register, visit https://reg.planetreg.com/PhysicianContractNegotiation. Download the flyer.

On December 29, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 enacted a new one-time requirement which went into effect on June 27, 2023, for any Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered practitioner to complete eight hours of training “on the treatment and management of patients with opioid or other substance use disorders.” You can satisfy this training requirement to meet the conditions of the MATE Act through courses offered online by the American Medical Association. If you have not met this specific eight-hour training requirement yet, the deadline to do so is the date of a practitioner’s next scheduled DEA registration submission.

Other Upcoming Events

March 5 - 2024 State of the State Address by Governor Carney, 2:00 p.m., State House of Representatives Chamber in Legislative Hall. The event will be livestreamed on de.gov/sots and on the Governor's YouTube channel.

March 9 - 28th Annual Diabetes Update, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., John H. Ammon Education Center, ChristianaCare Newark Campus. Registration deadline March 1st. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 4.75 AMA PRA Category 1 credit/4.75 ABIM MOC.

March 15 - 6th Biennial Perinatal Palliative Care Symposium: Aspects of Trauma in Perinatal Palliative Care, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., John H. Ammon Education Center, ChristianaCare Newark Campus. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 credit.

March 26 - Strategies for Improving Maternal and Infant Health Due to Opioid Use, 12-1 p.m., virtual webinar. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit.

April 9 - SAVE THE DATE! Delaware Cancer Consortium Retreat, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Bally's Dover Casino Resort.

April 12 - Climate and Health Conference, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., John H. Ammon Education Center, ChristianaCare Newark Campus. This activity has been approved for a maximum of 6.75 AMA PRA Category 1 credit. No fee to attend, but registration is required, no late in-person registrations will be accepted. Registration deadline is April 10th.

April 13 - SAVE THE DATE! Delaware Academy of Family Physicians Annual Meeting, Bayhealth SIM Center, Dover.

April 17 - 18th Annual Delaware Healthy Mother & Infant Consortium Summit, 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Chase Center on the Riverfront.

October 29 - SAVE THE DATE! 28th Annual Delaware Healthcare Forum, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Bally's Dover Casino Resort, Rollins Center, Dover.

"Rerum Cognoscere" 

The Latin phrase Rerum Cognoscere translates to learn, examine, or become aware of facts or things. In this section, we highlight measurable items of interest in health care from MSD, Delaware, the US, and the world.


Percent of physician respondents to a survey who indicated they experienced burnout after working 15 hours over their normal hours.

Athenahealth Survey


Percent of physician survey respondents who said Artificial Intelligence could contend with administrative workloads and staffing shortages contributing to burnout.

Athenahealth Survey


Percent of physician survey respondents said they have considered leaving medicine or staying in the field but no longer seeing patients due to burnout.

Athenahealth Survey

Sign Up for DPH Health Alerts

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages you to sign up for Delaware Health Alert Notifications through the Delaware Health Alert Network (DHAN). The DHAN is an electronic notification system to health care professionals through emailing and faxing. The system is activated when a CDC HAN email message is received. The message is sent out to the distribution lists selected by DPH subject-matter experts. Learn more about Delaware's Health Alert Notification system. If you are not currently receiving health alert messages directly and would like to sign up to receive, please self-register in the Health Alert Delaware system.

Recommended Immunization Schedules, 2024

Influenza Dashboard (2023-2024 Flu Season)

Mpox Dashboard

COVID-19 Information Finder

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The information contained herein is solely informational, planned in accordance for a diverse membership audience. This communication reflects news and announcements that have been made available to MSD and is not intended to exclude other pertinent material. The content published is proposed to represent facts of interest and provide awareness to the members. MSD reserves the right to determine what information is relevant to its membership.

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