Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020 - 4

President's Message

Where to begin?
The last 3 months seem to have been an eternity. We have watched Covid-19 impact us in every
facet of our lives. The guidelines that seemed to change hourly in March, daily in April, and weekly in
May have stabilized as of the beginning of June. Many of us were beginning to believe that there was a
light at the end of the tunnel...
Michael L. Haas, MD
President

Then came May 25, 2020. A date that one day may very well carry as great a level of importance as
other national tragedies such as April 4, 1968 (death of MLK) and November 22, 1963 (death of JFK).
I watched the video of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, struck by a range of emotions
that continue to evolve. I watched with awe and pride as our nation stepped forward to protest the
systemic racism which is rampant in every corner of our society. Attempts at intimidation by local,
state, or national political and law enforcement figures were fruitless, and as of the writing of this
message, protests continue throughout the country and in fact, around the world.
As physicians, we see many of the direct health-related effects of systemic racism. Locally, the
White Coats for Black Lives event on June 5 was inspiring. We know all too well the medical literature
that crosses all specialties suggesting that the likelihood of successfully combatting illness is related to
racial and socioeconomic factors. We should not and cannot allow this to continue. As long as African
Americans are not given the same opportunities for gainful employment and higher education as their
white counterparts, we will continue to see these unacceptable differences in healthcare outcomes.
Every one of us is entitled to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Thank you to our County
Medical Society members who participated in the WCFBL rally. I sincerely hope that Mr. Floyd's
death will not be in vain, as so many who perished before him in similar fashion. We can make a
difference.

As I write to you, Berks County just entered the "yellow" phase of Governor Wolf 's reopening plan.
Hopefully as you are reading this we are in green and beyond. Thank you to Dr. Wexler, Dr. Wilson, and
Dr. Sandel for their frontline reflections on Coronovirus. A big thank you to Dr. Deb Powell, who has
led our region through the biggest challenge of our professional careers.
Over the last few years, we have seen a significant decline in medical society membership. This is not
altogether surprising, given the shift to more employed physicians, as well as decreased participation in
various organizations including professional, regional, and religious. The last few months have proven
that this medical society is more important than ever. Through the prompt actions of our Executive
Director, TJ Huckleberry, within days of the start of the pandemic locally, various alliances were forged
and needs met for our local healthcare professionals. This includes a prominent role in the Berks PPE
Resource Network. Additionally, BCMS worked with several local and national businesses to help meet
PPE needs. We've also created a Covid-19 wellness center and a Covid-19 resource center on our website
www.berkscms.org. Please make sure to read TJ's article in this issue of Medical Record which offers
more details on BCMS activities during the pandemic.

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2020

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