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The Dallas County Medical Society Alliance Foundation recently presented a panel discussion addressing the exceptional performance of all healthcare workers and the challenges they have faced during the pandemic. Kaki Hopkins, President of the Alliance and Kathy Stone, Project Chairman, coordinated the video streamed event. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Mark Casanova, immediate Past President of the Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS), and participants included Jon Roth, CEO/EVP of the Dallas County Medical Society; Dr. Roberto de la Cruz, Chief Medical Officer, Parkland Health and Hospital System; Dr. Amy Wilson, Chief Medical Officer, Baylor University Medical Center; John Phillips, President, Methodist Dallas Medical Center; and James Parobek, President, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

The theme of the evening was how the communal response of all entities in spirit enabled them to become one Family of Medicine. The discussion revealed how the pandemic experience also strengthened the internal families within each hospital and their communication. The main issues addressed were the challenges they faced, how they responded to the pandemic and how it changed the practice of medicine. One of the first challenges faced by everyone was the trouble they had getting PPE. The DCMS worked with the Texas Medical Association to procure $14 million of PPE in Dallas for solo, small and large group private physician practices to enable them to continue treating patients, including those with COVID. Their humanitarian efforts were successful in implementing protocols to protect frontline health workers and their staffs.

These cooperative approaches to the medical issues in Dallas enabled the area to have superior results to those of New York and changed the attitude toward “team” among the Dallas medical community and strengthened public health rapid response teams. The event highlighted the need for humility in the face of limited science and the reality of vulnerability in this situation made for a better response systematically and personally. As a result of COVID, telemedicine is here to stay and will enable the medical community to address the inequalities of healthcare in Dallas and increase their presence in lower income communities, a win-win for all. Mayor Johnson issued a proclamation declaring March 30 Healthcare Heroes Day in Dallas in recognition of the DCMS’s Beyond Duty Project. Please feel free to watch the video below!


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Kaki Hopkins