COVID-19 Updates & Resources

“We stand at a crossroads: We can allow the coronavirus crisis to reinforce the worst impacts of the digital gender divide; or we can use the crisis to accelerate change, expand horizons, and get millions of girls and women online.”

– Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of UN Women and Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen of Plan International

Advancing Our Knowledge of Covid Management

Gaps in COVID management have been noted by prominent national groups, specifically the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which cited gross inadequacies in US nursing home (accounting for an estimated 19% of all Covid deaths, despite making up less than one half of 1 percent of the U.S. population.

 These gap in care are attributed to several possible factors:

  • Not all nursing staff may be aware of the need for early diagnosis given the therapeutic window of antiviral treatments
  • Lack of communication and/or inconsistent adherence of county, state, and federal/CDC guidelines to nursing home staff and in long-term care facilitie
  • Policies have focused on testing and isolation with less guidance on treatmen
  • Challenges in guideline adherence due to staff competency and turnover
  • Lack of physician oversight in nursing homes

Managing Drug Interactions
When Treating Patients for COVID-19

One-Hour On-Demand Continuing Medical Education Program

VIEW MODULE

Enduring Module Available: April 20, 2023 – April 19, 2024

AMWA is a Partner of the COVID-19 Vaccine Education and Equity Project (CVEEP)

Updated resources from CVEEP include a 2023 issue brief that highlights barriers to accessing oral antiviral treatments, available in both English and SpanishMillions of Americans – especially vulnerable populations – face significant challenges to accessing medicines to treat COVID-19. To bridge the gaps in access to treatments, CVEEP has developed additional new resources about COVID-19 treatment options, the various factors that increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19, and to raise awareness of the treatments that are available – and currently free – to help mitigate the risk of serious illness and hospitalization.

AMWA Was a Founding Member of the COVID Community Corps (HHS) and a Partner of Made To Save.

Made to Save was a grass roots coalition that worked to save lives by increasing access to the COVID-19 vaccines in communities of color. Read the Made to Save Impact Report.

Studio AMWA Artist in Residence 2020-2021 Highlighted COVID-19 Care

Six Feet Apart

 

In 2021, AMWA Artist-in-Residence, Dr. Karen Poirier-Brode created Six Feet Apart and WASH to reflect the changes wrought on our society by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Six Feet Apart is an accordion-style book depicting social distancing. I used the clear polymer background because so many of us are behind shields and glass during the pandemic. The 6ft/2m circles are like the ones we see for queues everywhere. You’ll notice that I chose an imprint of high heels. The love stethoscope seemed the best image for this lady doctor. Technique: Computer-designed images were made into decals, and the stickers were applied to the clear plastic. The joins are dyed Tyvek or Satin binding tape. The covers are made of leather-look bookbinding paper and marbled endpapers. The cover letters are black Cappuccino Thickers from American Crafts. The dimensions are 9 x 11 x 0.8 inches.

 

 

 

WASH: The book is made of 20 Bounty paper towels using single folio signatures with a die-cut “20” on each signature’s first page. The number 20 represents washing for 20 seconds, but there is also a double meaning with the 20 sheets and the number 20 representing the year 2020. The signatures are bound to a soft backcloth cover by waxed linen thread French-Lock and Kettle stitching. The Kettle stitches go through the accordion folder Reeves BFK to add strength to the structure. The cover letters are white Dolce fabric letter Thickers from American Crafts. The book dimensions are 6 x 5.75 x 1.5 inches.”

 

AMWA Statement: VIEWING COVID-19 From a Gender Lens

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust our nation into unprecedented times and highlighted disparities of race, ethnicity, and gender.

Sex and gender differences impact all health conditions and must inform clinical decision-making concerning COVID-19 at every level of care, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.  In addition, sex and gender must be considered as crucial variables in any research or public health surveillance conducted.  The American Medical Women’s Association calls for sex-disaggregated data in all COVID-19 surveillance reports as well as clinical and basic science research.

While women comprise about 75% of the healthcare workforce and thus will likely be disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, women healthcare leaders continue to be largely underrepresented across the nation. In addition, women healthcare professionals usually serve as primary caretakers on the home front, and the challenges of work/life integration will be compounded by exposure to potentially fatal occupational hazards. As with other crises, especially those resulting in loss of jobs and increased risks of anxiety and substance abuse, higher rates of domestic violence against women have been reported.  Inclusion of women in leadership is essential to identify disparities that affect women in the workplace and at home. We must safeguard principles of equity, address gender bias and discrimination, and ensure that health care is based on the science of sex and gender differences.

“We stand at a crossroads: We can allow the coronavirus crisis to reinforce the worst impacts of the digital gender divide; or we can use the crisis to accelerate change, expand horizons, and get millions of girls and women online.”

– Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of UN Women and Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen of Plan International

Gender Equity and COVID -19 

Credit: AMWA, Dr. Somalee Banerjee, AMWA Artist-in-Residence 2019-2020. Feel free to share with credit to AMWA. Not for commercial use.

COVID-19 and Gender Issues

COVID-19, Reproductive Health, and Pregnancy

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic and Racial/Ethnic Disparities
in the United States of America

Underserved populations in the United States suffer from health inequity based on race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only thrust our nation into unprecedented times, but has highlighted on-going racial and ethnic disparities. Now is the time to help protect our most vulnerable populations and improve the quality of life for these marginalized groups.

As social determinants of health impact all health conditions, understanding these differences in terms of risk factors for COVID-19, disease presentation, treatment, and prognosis must inform our research and clinical decision-making at all levels. This paradigm underscores the need for data disaggregated by race and ethnicity in both clinical and basic science research. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated vast differences in infection rates, illness, and death rates in underserved communities compared to other groups but data are lacking from many states.

In 2020, the American Medical Women’s Association called for the following:

  • Data collection and dissemination. HHS, CDC, CMS, and other state and federal government organizations should collect and release nationwide racial and ethnic demographic data on COVID-19 testing, confirmed cases, ventilator access, intubation time, and deaths. Data should be collected in a national, standardized, valid, and inclusive manner while promoting autonomy and transparency among participants engaging in data collection.
  • Guidance. Immediate and explicit guidance from HHS, CDC, and CMS on mitigating health disparities
  • Immediate resource allocation to impacted communities. Federal, state, and city/county governments should provide the following to heavily impacted communities: targeted testing, contact tracing, outreach to residents through community-based organizations, PPE for all essential employees (not limited to healthcare workers), additional healthcare workers, oxygen and ventilators.
  • Equitable resource allocation. Medical and public health interventions and allocation of resources and funding must be guided by data. Social and structural determinants of health must be considered as part of the decision-making process about allocation of all resources including but not limited to: healthcare providers, medicines, medical equipment, adequate nutrition, and clean water to ensure that minoritized groups are not denied needed resources that could prevent unnecessary harms.
  • Immediate housing support. Local and state governments should work with hotels, uninhabited rental spaces, empty schools, and other organizations to provide safe housing to individuals experiencing homelessness to promote social distancing and self-quarantine. Housing for recently discharged individuals experiencing homelessness should be prioritized.
  • Research and analysis of the most affected communities by infectivity and mortality rate. This will guide future healthcare modeling for clinicians. Moreover, such data will serve to guide instruction for the necessary preparation our healthcare system needs in the event of future disaster pandemics.

Furthermore, the focus on resolving pre-existing health disparities and inequities must extend beyond this pandemic, with the goal of eliminating the implicit biases and prejudices that have historically influenced resource allocation. Data collection on health disparities, guidance on mitigating disparities, and improved resource allocation to underserved communities must remain federal and state priorities.

Additional Reading

Media

Population Epidemiology

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and COVID-19

Journal Articles

Dr. Mary Rorro, co-founder of our AMWA Music and Medicine Committee, composed the MWIA Centennial Congress theme song “Physicians, Healers.” Inspired by the tremendous dedication, sacrifice and compassion that physicians around the world have shown in battling COVID-19. Dr. Rorro composed this variation on her centennial song, with lyrics to honor the “Physicians, Heroes” of COVID-19.

Physicians, Heroes
Dr. Mary C. Rorro (composer), April 2020

 

Mental Health PPE

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought professional and personal stress the breath of which this generation of physicians has never seen. We are treating a communicable disease that we know precious little and fear we can take home to those we love. Many have changed to an isolated manner of living in their own homes while having the unexpected task of schooling and childcare. Virtually all hospitals have changed their operations.  Some have the unanticipated financial loss having been furloughed due to the decrease in patients. We witness patients dying alone without their family’s hands and hugs to say goodbye. Without a cure or herd immunity the end is not known. There may be days when our spirit is fatigued. There may be days when our soul is scarred. There may be days when we are broken.

These burdens may weigh more heavily on the hearts and minds of women physicians. A March 2020 JAMA article of healthcare workers in Wuhan China indicated that women, nurses and frontline healthcare workers are more likely to experience adverse psychological effects. On April 26, a New York City emergency physician took her own life after recovering from COVID. The news rocked the community with the feeling if it happened to her it could be any one of use. We have physical PPE- we now also need to focus on mental PPE.

Suicidal ideation can happen with overwhelming situations (such as COVID, malpractice, divorce, death of a child, etc.). The thought of killing oneself can crop up when a physical or psychological pain overwhelms the coping tools at that moment. With enough stress it could happen to any human being.  The trick is to alter the balance with less pain and increased coping. This is much easier to do if one has a plan before getting into the crisis situation.

A Safety Plan is a mental health equivalent of putting on a car seat belt. It could help save your life one day or the life of someone you love. One can develop a personal crisis management plan (PCMP) to call on when thinking starts to go off the rails.  It is something to hold on to from a time with a clearer frame of mind.  It is important to remember that most people do not want to die-they want to be out of pain.  The PCMP gives concrete suggestions of another course of action.

Each plan is individual but shares the common threads of:

  • Connections.
  • Calling (purpose, sense of enjoyment, reason for living).
  • Compassion.

For help in developing  your own personal crisis management plan, please download this Personal Crisis Management Plan document.

AMWA Spokesperson Dr. Saralyn Mark on COVID-19

AMWA Applauds the Heroic Work of Dr. Helen Chu

Student Efforts to Support the Medical and Local Community

Webinars

View our One World, One War Against COVID-19: Women Physicians Come Together series HERE.