Petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo; New York State Department of Health
Protect the Lives of our Frontline Medical Staff During Covid-19
Ask Governor Cuomo to allow hospitals to make decisions based on best medical practices. My 29-year-old daughter is a Chief OB resident at a New York hospital. She and the doctors, nurses, and midwives in her department are risking their lives every day to make sure that women in New York State are able to deliver their babies safely, despite the Coronavirus pandemic. They may not always have sufficient protective equipment and are terrified of getting sick and possibly dying - - but they show up every day because they are committed to their patients. Because a significant percentage of those infected with the coronavirus are asymptomatic, and hospitals do not have sufficient tests to determine who may be an unknowing carrier, hospitals have barred all visitors - - with one exception: Women giving birth are allowed to have a partner present. Because of an incident several weeks ago resulting in the exposure of some fifteen health workers to the virus by someone in the delivery room who was asymptomatic, the Columbia and Weill Cornell Hospital network made the difficult decision to bar labor partners in order to save the lives of medical workers. This policy - - unthinkable in normal times - - is essential. Every additional, possibly Covid-positive person in a small, crowded labor or delivery room puts health workers at additional risk. This is especially true now that we have learned that talking, and even breathing, can spread the virus. In addition, every partner uses up a set of hospital-supplied PPE, at a time when many hospitals do not have enough for medical staff. The “no partner” policy sparked a backlash among expectant mothers and their partners and, in response, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order last week requiring hospitals to permit a partner in every labor/delivery. We are asking Governor Cuomo to rescind that order, and to allow hospitals to make decisions based on science, balancing the desires of expectant mothers and the safety of medical staff, even if that means not permitting partners during labor and delivery. Nobody denies that the presence of a supportive partner benefits mothers, babies, and partners. In this unprecedented situation, however, we must consider the costs of allowing partners: Partners expose health workers to the virus; some may die as a result or be unavailable for weeks at a time; Partners use scarce PPE, again exposing health workers to the virus should they later lack this essential protective gear; and When OB health workers die or are out sick due to exposure to the virus, fewer will be left to deliver the women who are due in the coming weeks and months. Please sign and circulate this petition if you live in New York State, to protect our brave and invaluable medical workers.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Forgive Student Loan Debt for Healthcare Providers Responding to COVID-19
We implore the United States Congress to pass legislation forgiving all remaining student debt for the heroes fighting to keep our country alive. Student debt is only one of the many burdens faced by those combating COVID-19 to save as many patients as possible, but it is one Congress has the power to ease. Healthcare workers are putting their lives and those of their families at risk on the front lines of the international COVID-19 crisis. As a group, nurses, attending physicians, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and resident physicians are working in uncertain, understaffed, dangerous conditions. Some have been redeployed from their usual clinical duties, many without appropriate personal protective equipment and other supplies. We have been seeing stories of healthcare workers separated from family, depressed, anxious, working extended hours, sick, and dying. On 3/24/2020 a nurse from New York passed away from complications of COVID-19, likely contracted while working with patients, and there are more to come. The mounting pile of student debt is an enormous weight carried by these workers, especially those who attended college and graduate school for 8+ years. For instance the average medical school graduate’s debt load now exceeds $200,000 (Source: National Center for Education Statistics). The recently enacted CARES Act mandating a six-month freeze on interest and the option to take a break from payments on federal student loans is helpful, but does not go far enough to give assistance to those providing direct care during this pandemic. Let’s show our support as a nation by easing the financial burden - allowing them to afford housing away from family, care for their children while they are working, medical care including mental health services, and relief from the many other extraordinary, intangible costs of providing on the front lines during this time. Thank you for considering supporting this bill. Your constituents, those benefiting from the thankless work done by these healthcare workers every day, want to see this debt forgiven.
Petition to CVS Pharmacy, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, pharmacy
Make pharmacies drive thru only during the corona crisis
Like many other healthcare professionals, pharmacy employees are being put at risk with the corona virus situation going on. People will continue to need their medications and should continue to have pharmacy access, but when it is possible to limit exposure, necessary steps should be taken. Limiting pharmacies to drive thru only will help protect, not only the customers, but the employees who come into contact with hundreds of customers a day. Many other businesses are closing or limiting hours, but most pharmacies are remaining open and even extending front store hours. To help minimize exposure, front stores do not need to be open. Customers are vital to businesses, but so are employees. Their health and well-being should also be a top priority, but so far it doesn’t seem to be. So let’s try and make pharmacies drive thru only until the Coronavirus is u set control! Let’s get the corporate chains to do more than provide their employees with more than a few cans of Lysol! Let’s help protect the employees while they have to continue their essential job! I know that I, like many of my coworkers, am not comfortable with all of the foot traffic going on in store while it is highly suggested for everyone to remain in their homes and distance themselves socially. Let’s get pharmacy employees the help they need right now!
Petition to Donald J. Trump, Members of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, Steny H. Hoyer, Kevin McCarthy, James E. Clyburn, Steve Scalise, Hakeem Jeffries, Mitch McConnell, Charles E. Schumer
Support the COVID-19 Pandemic Physician Protection Act (CPPPA)
Colleagues, Friends, and Family, By now, many of you have been personally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In some households, it may be several family members, or even yourself. As physicians and healthcare workers, we have been called to the frontline of this war against COVID-19, and we do not take this responsibility lightly. However, we do need your support. We need more tools and assurances in this fight against COVID-19. After hearing the feedback of the grassroots physician community through online communities with membership totaling over 100,000 physicians, we have proposed the COVID-19 Pandemic Physician Protection Act (CPPPA), which outlines the areas where we need help the most. Highlights include: Ensuring that physicians and other healthcare workers have access to adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), protecting physicians from malpractice concerns that have arisen as a result of deviation from standard practices in order to protect patients from COVID-19 exposure, increasing access and removing restrictions for TeleHealth services, keeping our private practices financially solvent, ensuring mental health coverage for healthcare workers, canceling student loan debt, and creating provisions for our families if we die or become disabled during this pandemic. Please take a moment to sign our petition, which will also supports our proposed legislation (the CPPPA). We truly believe it will save lives - not only of physicians and other healthcare workers, but of patients throughout the United States of America. Respectfully submitted, Nisha Mehta, MD Carlos Vital, MD Karla Vital, MD The full text of CPPPA can be seen at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15ls6Mff-b5JV3uWA666Lxvo9JF1VVDEn/view?usp=sharing
Petition to Florida Governor, Donald J. Trump, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Donna E. Shalala, Carlos A. Gimenez, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
MASS TESTING for Covid before any orders for social distancing are relaxed!
Experts are unanimously and universally recommending MASS TESTING of the population for the COVID 19 virus as a prerequisite to "restarting" the economy or relaxing social distancing orders. The US is testing at a rate of less than 3.2 per thousand, in eleventh place among industrial nations. This is unacceptable, as mass testing is the only way to isolate the COVID 19 virus in our communities and slow its spread considerably. Social distancing alone, without testing, is just a momentary pause (at considerable expense both socially and economically); but premature loosening measures will be counterproductive, and will only result in further harm to the population and economy. The people demand that our local, state and federal leaders commence a massive project (with the help of private industry and capital) for universal testing across the country before any relaxation of standards are considered. Time is of the essence. The people are living in a state of permanent anxiety and it doesn't help when we see the lack of coordination across the spectrum to tackle this severe health crisis. People are dying and suffering unnecessarily while we spend valuable time bickering about the details. There will be time for that AFTER we defeat this pandemic. The urgent and most consequential action to be taken right now is MASS TESTING - let's get it done!
Petition to Riverside county sheriff department, DA Mike Hestrin, Sheriff Chad Bianco, Riverside County Board of Supervisors, Chuck Washington, Kevin Jeffries, Karen Spiegel, V. Manuel Perez, Jeff Hewitt, Peter Aldana, Paul Angulo, Jon Christensen, Phil Williams, Kathleen Kelly, Tami Scott, Niamh Ortega, Tina Daigneult, Aaron Brown, Countywide Oversight Board for the County of Riverside
Implement PERT in Riverside County to decrease police presence on mental health calls!
The implementation of a PERT program in Riverside County would not only decrease police presence during emergency responses to a person experiencing behavioral health issues, but it would also ensure that a licensed mental health clinician is always in attendance with a law enforcement officer to assess the person in distress. All law enforcement officers are trained on behavioral health awareness, response, and de-escalation tactics. Law enforcement officers in Riverside County have a history of being negligent to de-escalate behavioral health-related crises and unnecessarily using excessive force on behavioral health calls which ultimately caused the death of Matthew Tucker in 2016 as well as the unjust mistreatment of Joseph Ramirez in 2020. PERT is a program used in San Diego County and should be a model for all counties to partner their law enforcement agencies with mental health providers and emergency medical services to provide the safest assessment and assistance. ~What is PERT? The Psychiatric Emergency Response Team (PERT) is a program of Community Research Foundation (CRF) in partnership with San Diego County Health and Human Services (HHSA), San Diego County law enforcement, emergency medical services (EMS), and consumer advocacy organizations. PERT contributes to the well-being of persons living with mental illness by actively and compassionately assisting those in crisis who come to the attention of law enforcement and EMS to access appropriate services through on-scene assessments and referrals. PERT pairs a licensed mental health clinician with a law enforcement officer/deputy or EMS community paramedic. The teams ride together in the field for their entire shift and are first responders to assist persons in behavioral health related crises. PERT provides training to all San Diego County law enforcement agencies, as well as fire service personnel and dispatchers on behavioral health awareness and response, including de-escalation. Vision: Persons living with mental illness will have access to and be referred to programs at the appropriate level of service and no person will be hospitalized or incarcerated unnecessarily. Mission: PERT provides effective and compassionate crisis intervention to persons (including their family members and supports) living with mental illness who are contacted by law enforcement officers/deputies and EMS. The goal is to safely and effectively de-escalate crises and provide appropriate referrals that offer the least restrictive level of care, thus avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and incarceration. PERT is recognized as a "best practice" model that epitomizes law enforcement, EMS and clinicians working together to provide the best service options for persons living with mental illness. PERT Cores Values: We believe that persons living with mental illness should be compassionately assessed and be referred to assistance that is appropriate to those needs. We believe that first responders and behavioral health clinicians have a responsibility to collaboratively work together with persons living with mental illness, their family and support persons, and the community as a whole to ensure that people receive the level of care they require. We believe that on-scene partnership of behavioral health and first responders contributes to the well-being of persons living with mental illness and to the community. We believe that outreach efforts to marginalized groups in the community assist persons to meet identified needs and assist communities to recognize and address larger issues related to community health and safety. History: In the early 1990's, there were several officer involved shootings and critical incidents involving persons living with mental illness. At that time, there was a gap in collaboration between law enforcement and mental health providers. The community at large, mental health consumers, family members, San Diego County HHSA, and law enforcement agencies convened to recommend that officers/deputies receive additional training in recognizing and responding to persons experiencing behavioral health issues and acquire clinical support from behavioral health professionals. Hence, PERT is the result of community partners collaborating to provide optimal service for persons (and their family members and supports) living with mental illness, including the provision of training to public safety personnel throughout San Diego County. ~Information provided by Community Research Foundation.
Petition to Bill Dodd, Gavin Newsom, DIane Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Mike Thompson
Armer Law; They take care of us. We need to take care of them.
Santa Rosa Police Detective Marylou Armer was denied COVID19 testing twice before she went into the emergency room, was put into a coma and died alone. Armer spent two weeks with a fever, aching body and shortness of breath. Armer asked twice to be tested for COVID-19. Armer was denied by Kaiser Permanente’s Vallejo Medical Center. She was not considered vulnerable because of her age and no underlying medical conditions. Armer was finally cleared to be tested on March 23, when her husband brought her to the emergency room. She was sedated, intubated, and placed in a medically induced coma. She died on March 31. Armer was with the Santa Rosa Police Department for 20 years and her death is devastating to all who worked with her to help victims of crimes that include domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse and elder abuse. But this is not an isolated incident. There have been several first responder deaths as a result of COVID-19 in the past few weeks – and there will be more. To date more than 20 law enforcement personnel alone, as well as nurses, doctors and firefighters have died from COVID 19. Athletes and Celebrities, and those with money at their disposal have been getting tested when they have no symptoms. Marylou knew something was wrong and was denied access to healthcare that may have saved her life. "Armer Law" would allow that during any epidemic or pandemic, first responders which include but are not limited to; law enforcement, social workers, healthcare, and EMS workers, can NOT be denied testing, and should automatically be approved at the first sign of symptoms. They are on the front lines, entering people’s homes and having to make physical contact with the public, and they have the highest risk of exposure. Also provided would be regular, continued testing if necessary, and treatment covered by worker’s compensation, not sick leave. This death was preventable. Our first responders take care of us, it is time to take care of them.
Petition to Lebanon County Commissioners
Honor our local Fire, Police, and EMS with the Lebanon County First Responders Memorial
Lebanon County currently has 37 fire companies, 13 police departments and 8 ambulance services to respond to the emergencies of over 140,000 residents. Many of these first responders are volunteers who dedicate their time and lives to the welfare and safety of their neighbors, and it is our belief that it is time that all of these heroes were honored, whether they are paid or volunteer, and whether they are actively serving, retired, or made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Countless such memorials exist in communities across our country. Every state in the nation with the exception of Pennsylvania and Hawaii has a monument to firefighters lost in the line of duty. On a recent visit to Cape May County, New Jersey, the founder of this project - a retired firefighter and paramedic himself with a multigenerational legacy in service - came upon a very touching Memorial to the Emergency Personnel of Cape May County, both past and present. This memorial served as the inspiration to bring this tribute to our community. Our vision for this monument includes tribute monuments to Fire, Police and EMS First Responders with Honor Walls with the names of First Responders lost in the line of duty. We plan on working with local tradespeople and artists to construct the monument and have been in contact with a nationally renowned metalworker to design a touching centerpiece in honor of the First Responders and their families. To supplement funding for this project, we intend to sell personalized laser-engraved bricks and paving stones to allow the community to contribute and leave their own lasting words and impressions for future generations. This monument is currently in the early planning stages with Lebanon County government officials. By signing this petition, we the public show our support and desire to honor the brave men and women who protect us every day.