By the time this letter reaches you voting day has come and gone, and hopefully you were able to set aside some time to make it out to the polls on November 4. Between the highly debated topic of medical marijuana, the continued legislative issues brought about by the Affordable Care Act, the potential threat of Ebola, and the approaching deadline for ICD-10 conversions, the coming New Year will have its own unique set of challenges for the medical industry. So it’s essential for us— as physicians in the field— to be a voice for Florida medicine and work with government officials to help them understand what will help and hinder the intricate practice of providing patient care.
On October 25, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order stating that those returning from Ebola-affected countries must receive monitoring two times daily for 21 days. In an official statement, Gov. Scott said, “I want to be clear that we are taking this aggressive action at the state level out of an abundance of caution in the absence of much-needed Ebola risk classification information from the CDC.” Then, on October 27, The Florida Department of Health reported that they had begun monitoring six low-risk individuals who had returned from Ebola-affected areas. At the time of writing this letter, only 95 of the state’s 210 hospitals had reported their completion of Ebola training. This brings to mind the old phrase, “forewarned is forearmed,” and we must each do our part to be prepared.
On a lighter note— and ending on a note of thanks— we recently held our Fourth Annual Casino Night fundraiser in the luxurious showroom at Fields Motorcars Mercedes Benz in Lakeland, and it was a tremendous success! Proceeds from this annual event went straight to We Care of Polk County and the Polk County Medical Foundation. We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to the many sponsors and donations received to make such a festive gala possible. With the generous support received from sponsors and attendees, we can continue to provide local families in need with the specialty medical care that they otherwise could not obtain.
On behalf of the Polk County Medical Association, may you and your loved ones have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!
Arvind B. Soni, M.D.
Director of Radiation Oncology
St. Joseph’s Hospital, BayCare Health System
President, Polk County Medical Association