July 27, 2020
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health
The first of dozens of personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution events around the state began this week, as the California Medical Association (CMA) partnered with its component medical societies and the State of California to bring millions of medical-grade masks, gloves and gowns to physicians who need them.
The string of events kicked off on Monday in Pasadena as representatives from more than 600 physician practices descended on the Rose Bowl to receive their free PPE kits.
Practices with 50 or fewer providers were eligible to receive up to a two-month supply of PPE to ensure they can reopen with proper safety precautions in place. This equipment was made available to all qualifying physician practices, whether or not they are CMA members.
The events will continue over the next couple of weeks in drive-through events around the state.
The PPE is being made available to physician practices free of charge by the State of California. Funding for the distribution of the equipment was provided by Altais, a new health care services company that helps physicians maximize the health and well-being of their patients in a way that is sustainably affordable and maintains professional satisfaction.
“CMA and its component medical societies are proud to be working with the state Office of Emergency Services (OES) to ensure that physicians of California can keep their practices open, and keep themselves and their patients safe,” said CMA President Peter N. Bretan, Jr., M.D. “We want to thank Gov. Newsom and his administration for ensuring this essential protective equipment gets into the hands of the physicians who need it so they can provide essential health care to their patients.”
Lack of personal protective equipment has compounded the hardships for medical practices since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. Gov. Gavin Newsom has worked to secure shipments of equipment from Chinese manufacturer BYD, among others, but getting that equipment into the hands of physicians who need it remains a challenge. The administration leaned on CMA and its component medical societies around the state to help get this equipment out of state warehouses and into the hands of frontline workers.
The demand was clear on Monday morning, as lines of cars waiting for equipment began amassing hours before the Pasadena event began. In all, 675 physician practices registered to receive equipment at the Rose Bowl event, a small percentage of the nearly 10,000 practices that will be receiving PPE as part of this initial effort.
See photos of the events on Twitter using the hashtag #PPErelief.
For more information on CMA’s PPE Relief events, go to cmadocs.org/pperelief.