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USACS Issues Statement on Healthcare Bias and Injustice Based on Race

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Jun 26, 2020

Authors: Joyce Perfetti DO, Jason Bolden MD, USACS Executive Leadership

As the nation’s leading physician-owned group providing clinical services to acutely ill patients, 2020 has been a year of many difficulties. Our practice of medicine changed seemingly overnight with the spread of COVID-19, an invisible force being fought daily by our clinicians with the support of our healthcare partners. In addition to this new viral adversary, we continue to witness injustice through unequal treatment of members of our communities. The killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was one of the most recent examples of our country’s history of mistreatment, harassment, and disproportionate death in communities of color. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of people of color at a higher rate, mandating our attention on the racial disparities in healthcare in particular.

Here at USACS, we are more than just a company. We are a group of independent and diverse clinicians and non-clinicians who work together as a team to provide quality medical care with compassion for our patients. Our collective diversity is the strength that allows us to better understand our patients with an open heart and empathy.  Our mutual respect of each partner’s uniqueness is one of the inherent values of our USACS culture. Each individual’s diverse perspective is not only accepted but valued, respected and encouraged. We support all our clinicians and communities unwaveringly and stand beside them when facing inequality and injustice.

At USACS, injustice and discrimination can claim no sanctuary. Diversity, equality and inclusion are integral tenets of our company’s mission. Our Diversity and Inclusion Council uses the talents of our clinicians and non-clinicians from all over the country to highlight crucial issues (including racial discrimination) that affect our colleagues and patients. The D&I council, with the support of our leadership, will lead our initiatives on mitigating bias and practices that perpetuate disparities in care. We are mentoring and encouraging our people of all races and ethnicities to pursue positions of leadership to promote a diverse workforce. Although all of us may not personally experience every individual struggle, it is our duty to understand and strive for better for ourselves and for each other. 

To our colleagues, family, and friends of color: To elicit change we have to be the change that we want to see in the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those whose lives were unjustly taken. We are also sending support to all those in our workplace and communities who are grieving or suffering during this difficult time. The battle for human rights against racism is not just for one group of people, but a duty to be shared by us all. 

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

For our patients. For each other. We are ONE USACS.

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Dr. L. Anthony Cirillo elected Chair of the Board for The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

US Acute Care Solutions’ (USACS) Director of Government Affairs, L. Anthony Cirillo, MD, FACEP, was elected Chair of the Board for The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for 2022-2023. This news was released just days before the annual ACEP22 Conference that was hosted in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Cirillo was elected to ACEP’s National Board of Directors in 2018, serving his initial three-year term, and was then re-elected to the Board in 2021. During his more than 30 years as an ACEP member, he has served on numerous committees, acting at times as chair, liaison, or as a representative of the committee during conferences and meetings. Dr. Cirillo began with a USACS legacy group in 2004 and has been with USACS ever since, serving in various clinical, quality, and leadership roles during his tenure. The focus of his work has been, and continues to be, bridging the gap between healthcare and health policy. As an advocate in all arenas, most specifically the legislative, regulatory, and judicial arenas, Dr. Cirillo is continually striving to achieve improvements in both the healthcare system and for the protection of the provider-patient relationship. He also works to educate clinicians on the importance of being advocates for improving the delivery of healthcare for fellow clinicians and patients. His efforts have helped USACS remain a leader in the industry and distinguishes our commitment to our mission in a unique, proactive fashion. Dr. Cirillo earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where he was chief resident. Dr. Cirillo is a native of Brooklyn, NY and resides in Saunderstown, RI with his wife, Libby, and their dogs, Josh and Jenny.

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How USACS Reacted to COVID-19

US Acute Care Solutions experienced the same sudden and unprecedented declines in hospital ED volumes related to COVID-19 that everyone else did. How we reacted was different. We prioritized state-of-the-art patient care We provided clinical updates three times a week to educate our clinicians on the latest evidence-based management techniques during a time of ultra-rapid knowledge development. We created our nationwide COVID Task Force to quickly disseminate best practices nationally. We instituted frequent, clear, and concise communication to reduce information overload and to minimize misinformation. We created a clinical management tool to facilitate appropriate disposition for COVID patients. We created a first-in-the-industry ventilator allocation guideline, leveraging our ethics expertise. We provided educational points for clinicians to educate non-medical community members in their personal social media networks. We prioritized the safety and needs of our clinicians We sourced our own national PPE backup supplies to mitigate local shortages. We developed a state-of-the-art N95 sterilization technique and shared this with our hospital partners. We created on-shift support for decontamination methods. We created the first-in-the-industry quarantine fund to pay clinicians for lost time. We maintained benefits (including our marquee 401k plan) for our clinicians and employees throughout. We distributed wellness resources for our clinicians and their families. We created a communication aid for clinicians to facilitate travel to their hospitals without delays. We offered first-in-the-industry free antibody testing to all clinicians and employees. We prioritized the needs of our hospital partners We built surge ICU and hospital medicine processes and protocols, pre-ED triage tents, pop-up acute care settings, and even new hospital relationships. We supported telemedicine initiatives for hospitals, resulting in new patients being brought into the hospital system for appropriate care. We hosted webinars for hospital partners to coordinate an informed COVID response with best practices by leveraging our national footprint of 200+ acute care sites. We developed a clinical management tool to assign hospital observation, transfer, and inpatient admission. We created guidelines for a COVIDSafe Emergency Department, easing patient concerns about viral transmission and continuing to provide our trademark high-quality care for serious acute conditions. US Acute Care Solutions is different because we are majority physician-owned and are physician-led. We have the clinical, operational, and financial resources to weather the worst of a storm. COVID is case in point. We stepped up to face this crisis as a leader in our industry and an exceptional partner for our hospitals. We were made for this. Search Careers Talk To A Recruiter

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