MSSNY eNews: November 6, 2020 – To Offer COVID-19 Vaccine You Must Enroll in NYSIIS



The Medical Society of the State of New York is involved in helping New York State to plan for the COVID-19 vaccine.  As your president, I have been appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Task Force to help guide the process and  Pat Clancy, Sr. Vice President for MSSNY Public Health and Education, has been asked to serve on the operations workgroup for the state, which includes ensuring clinical training and provider support once the vaccine is available.

We must do all we can to prepare for this vaccine, and the first step is for any physicians interested in providing the COVID-19 Vaccine to be enrolled in the New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS). This includes physicians whose patients are adults only.  All physicians who are interested in providing the vaccine must first complete a survey for the state Department of Health.

This questionnaire can be found here and will begin the enrollment process into the NYSIIS system. Those physicians who are already enrolled in NYSIIS must also complete the questionnaire.  The survey assesses your interest in providing the vaccine to patients, and queries about practice size, location, storage ability, etc.

NYSIIS was established in 2008, and is a web based statewide immunization system that maintains computerized immunization data. Immunization information systems are operational in 46 states.  Any physician, who provides immunizations to children less than 19 years of age, must be enrolled in the system to enter the immunizations into the system.  For adults, Immunizations can be entered into the system if the adult consents to have that information stored.  More information about NYSIIS and how to enroll in this system can be found here.

Physicians who immunize children in New York City must enter the date into the Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR).

Under New York State’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program plan, New York State’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution approach will be based solely on clinical and equitable standards that prioritize those at higher risk of exposure, illness and/or poor outcome. It is likely that initial vaccine distributions from the federal government will be for high risk populations and essential healthcare workers.  New York State is not only relying on community-based providers, but local health departments, long term care facilities, community health centers, rural health clinics, pharmacies, and hospitals to assist in this effort.

Concerns have been expressed by the public about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, and to that end Governor Cuomo has also appointed an array of experts to the Clinical Advisory Task Force to help advise the state on the vaccine’s safety and also assist with helping us to craft a positive message to our patients.

There will be further information in the weeks ahead and we will provide you with vaccine updates as the program takes shape.  If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Pat Clancy at

As we enter the “next wave” of the pandemic, we must work together to help New York State begin this major public health campaign. Today, we are asking you to take the first step to ensure that you can provide this immunization.

Our patients need us, now more than ever, in this pandemic!

Bonnie Litvack
MSSNY President

NY Legislative Election Results Still Being Tabulated; Join Us for Virtual Lobby Day March 2
As reported earlier this week, with potentially over a million mail-in ballots to be counted across New York State, election results for New York legislative races remain under development. Based upon the initial tallies, Republicans stood a chance to pick up several seats in the New York State Senate to narrow the Democratic majority, currently at 40-23.  More on this here.

At the conclusion of Tuesday night, Republican candidates were winning in 7 Senate districts currently held by Democrats, including districts in Long Island, Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley.  On the other hand, Democrats had a chance to win 3 Senate districts currently held by Republicans in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.  There are also other competitive Senate races still too close to be called in Syracuse and the greater Capital District, where the number of outstanding ballots to be counted exceeds the difference in vote totals.  But in each of these races there are tens of thousands of ballots still to be counted.

With regard to New York’s Congressional delegation, after Tuesday night’s election, Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents held a lead in 3 Congressional seats, including on Long Island, Staten Island and the Mohawk Valley/Southern Tier, again with thousands of ballots still to be counted.  More here.

Even with these potential Republican gains, the New York State Assembly and Senate will still be governed by sizable Democratic majorities in 2021, and the US House of Representatives will maintain a Democratic majority.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of these races, there are likely to be dozens of new legislators in Albany next year, and we will need physicians to continue to work to educate these new lawmakers on the litany of issues physicians face in delivering care to their patients. Please plan to put Tuesday, March 2 on your calendar for MSSNY’s Virtual Physician Advocacy Day!

Updated PPE Survey for Physicians

Several months ago, MSSNY sent a survey to physicians asking them about whether they have experienced challenges in procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) for their practices. Thank you to the many of you who responded.

The purpose of this survey is to obtain updated data to share with policymakers whether these difficulties in obtaining PPE continue to exist for physicians. Since the last survey, MSSNY has taken several steps to assist physicians with obtaining needed PPE, and soon will be announcing an agreement with an entity to help further ensure availability. .

Please take just a few minutes to complete the survey.

MSSNY Weekly Podcast

Governor Cuomo’s NYS Coronavirus Update: “Mask Up”

Chart of the Day: Yesterday, NY State reported over 160,000 diagnostic tests.

The positivity rate in the “micro-cluster” focus areas fell was 3.04 percent yesterday. The statewide positivity rate excluding these areas was 1.70 percent. Of the 161,019 tests reported yesterday, 2,997, or 1.86 percent, were positive. Total hospitalizations were at 1,277. Sadly, we lost 24 New Yorkers.

Download the COVID Alert NY App Today
New York launched an Exposure Notification App so that New Yorkers can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and receive exposure alert notifications without compromising privacy or personal information. Click here to download it directly to your iPhone. Click here to download it directly to your Android device.

MLMIC Banner

Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Cases Top 120,000 in a Day
The U.S. recorded another record day of newly reported coronavirus infections Thursday, a nearly 20% increase from a day earlier.

Thursday’s 121,888 newly reported infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, bring the U.S. total to more than 9.6 million. The tally is 18.5% higher than the previous record high, Wednesday’s count of 102,831. It is the third day in a week the U.S. has set a daily record. Last Friday’s tally was 99,321.

The number of people dying of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is increasing again as well. More than 1,200 deaths were reported on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins data, a figure not seen since mid-September following sharp increase in the summer. Overall, nearly 235,000 people have died of the disease in the U.S.

States in the Midwest are being hit particularly hard—with many reporting record-high infection counts on Thursday—including Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and North Dakota. Several others have reported record-high daily figures in recent days.

Overall, 13 states posted record-high numbers on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins. The nation’s seven-day moving average of daily new cases—which smooths out data irregularities—is 94,626, including Thursday’s tally, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins data. The 14-day average is 85,569. When the seven-day average is higher than the 14-day average, it suggests case numbers are rising. (WSJ, Nov. 6)

Council Notes-November 5, 2020

  • Council approved the 2021 Legislative Program.
  • New member benefit: MSSNY members will soon have access to Premier, a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) that offers the most comprehensive purchasing portfolio of products and services available in the market.  Premier offers best pricing on everything from medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, to business solutions and support, to employee benefits and IT/Telecom services. MSSNY members will soon receive an email with a link to join and begin receiving these premier benefits.
  • Council approved working with the AMA in supporting litigation that defends the right of the New York State government to place restrictions on the size of indoor gatherings to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.
  • Council approved taking further steps to work with entities and law firms that are defending against a further troublesome expansion of New York’s “date of discovery” exception to its Statute of Limitations for medical liability claims.
  • MSSNY’s virtual Lobby Day will be hosted in Albany on March 2, 2021.
  • Council approved the following resolution: MSSNY will support legislation that prohibits a “restrictive covenant” provision in a health system-physician employment contract or in a contract between an MSO and a physician that limits the ability of the physician to deliver care in the same region after the physician leaves employment from the health system or the medical practice. MSSNY will conduct a survey of physicians to assess support or opposition to legislation to prohibit all restrictive covenants.

.Garfunkel Symposium Ad

How Many Lives Could Be Saved by Mask Wearing?
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD reviewing IHME COVID-19 Forecasting Team. Nat Med 2020 Oct 23

A model suggests that universal mask wearing could save more than 100,000 U.S. lives in the next 4 months.

Mask wearing has become politically polarizing: Some people regard it as a silly constraint on their freedom. Studies show that mask use reduces transmission of respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, by about 40%. In the U.S., only about 50% of people are wearing masks in public in November 2020. In countries with much higher rates of mask use — such as South Korea and New Zealand — sustained reductions in cases of COVID-19 have been achieved, and their economies are rebounding.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle has collected data from all states since the onset of the pandemic. Their models estimate that universal mask use (defined as 95% mask use in public) could save 130,000 lives between September 22, 2020, and February 28, 2021. (NEJM Journal Watch, Nov.5)

Disease modeling is sometimes disparaged as “just a model, not reality.” That surely is true, but future reality can only be estimated by models. The IHME projections about the future of this pandemic have been used extensively by the U.S. government’s COVID-19 task force and have proven to be quite accurate. Thus, the IHME estimate, that 130,000 lives could be saved in the U.S. in just the next 4 months by universal mask wearing, should be taken seriously — and it likely would help keep the economy open, too. These points are worth discussing with patients.

MSSNY’s Peer to Peer (P2P) Program
The Medical Society of the State of New York now offers to physicians, residents, and medical students an opportunity to talk with a peer about some of life stressors. MSSNY’s Physician Wellness and Resiliency Committee launched a Peer 2 Peer (P2P) program to assist their colleagues who are need of help in dealing with work and family stressors. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the emotional issues related to this event, may also be troubling for our colleagues.

If you or a physician colleague is struggling with everyday life stressors, reach out to the P2P program to be connected with a peer supporter to help!

Email: and request that you be connected with a peer supporter

Phone: 1-844-P2P-PEER (1-844-727-7337) and request that you be connected with a peer supporter.

MSSNY is seeking volunteer peer supporters!

A peer supporter is an individual who has shared experiences, listens without judgement, can validate feelings, and provide SUPPORT, EMPATHY AND PERSPECTIVE. This is someone who also provides supports to systems and practices and encourages the use of positive coping skills. They also help connect the individual with needed treatment.

Physicians, residents, or medical students who are members of MSSNY can become volunteer peer supporters.

Upcoming Peer to Peer training

MSSNY is offering free training to volunteer peers. There is a required total of 3 ½ hours of training needed to be a peer supporter with MSSNY.

The 2-hour “How to be a Peer” taught by Dr. Jo Shapiro, will be offered November 18th from 5-7PM.

A 1 ½ hour Psychological First Aid and Administrative Overview of the P2P Program, taught by Dr. Craig Katz and Pat Clancy, Sr. Vice President/Managing Director of Public Health & Education, will be offered in the near future.

There will also be other on-line course work that a peer can avail themselves of through MSSNY’s CME website.

If you are interested in participating in the upcoming training to become a peer supporter with MSSNY, please contact Cayla Lauder at or call (518) 465-8085.

MSSNY in the News

Crain’s Health Pulse – 10/28/20
State taps 25 health leaders to help reduce administrative costs
(MSSNY Senior Vice President and Chief Legislative Counsel, Moe Auster mentioned)

Democrat & Chronicle – 10/30/20
Buckle up: New York to mandate safety belt use in rear seats Sunday
(Pat Clancy, MSSNY Sr. Vice President/Managing Director
Public Health and Education in video clip)

Press Republican – 10/31/20
Docs say legal weed would be bad medicine for New York’s fiscal ailments
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Also ran in Niagara Gazette
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online
Daily Star
Orleans Daily Herald

Crain’s Health Pulse – 11/02/20
Medical societies urge states to weigh negative effects of legalizing recreational marijuana
(MSSNY mentioned)

Marijuana Moment
State Medical Societies Team Up To Condemn Marijuana Legalization Efforts Amid COVID
(MSSNY mentioned)

Crain’s Health Pulse – 11/05/20
As NJ voters say yes on recreational marijuana, health experts remain cautious
(MSSNY President Dr. Bonnie Litvack quoted)

Registration Now Open for: COVID-19: Stories from the Frontline
November 18, 2020 @ 7:30am Medical Matters CME Webinar

On Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7:30 a.m Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM vice chair of MSSNY Committee to Eliminate Healthcare Disparities and a member of the Emergency Preparedness and Disaster/Terrorism Response Committee will serve as faculty for this program. Registration is now open for this webinar here.

Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, MMM, an emergency department physician at Mt. Sinai Downtown, will share his experience from the first days of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Educational objectives are:

  • Examine the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Discuss best practices and need vs. supply for personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Outline adaptive measures taken to remedy shortfalls in staffing and equipment

Additional information or assistance with registration may be obtained by contacting Melissa Hoffman at

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans Webinar
The Medical Society of the State of New York is hosting a CME live webinar entitled Veterans Matters: Suicide in Veterans on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am.

Click HERE to view the flyer and register for the program!

When:    November 23, 2020 at 7:30 am
Faculty: Jack McIntyre, MD

Educational Objectives:

  • Address the causes and warning signs of suicide and suicidal behavior among veterans
  • Explore evidence-based diagnostic, intervention, and treatment options
  • Identify barriers to identification and treatment in military culture and methods to overcome them

For more information, contact Jangmu Sherpa at or call (518) 465-8085

The Medical Society of the State of New York is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Medical Society of the State of New York designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Abenity Banner

AMA: The Year Ahead: Exclusive Interview with Dr. Fauci and AMA Reaction Panel
When: Saturday, Nov. 7, 9-10:30 a.m.
Join us for a discussion with Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and James Madara, MD, AMA CEO and EVP, as they explore COVID-19 and what lies ahead for physicians and medical students. Following the interview, a panel of experts will discuss the AMA’s ongoing work in the areas of health equity, physician wellness and practice sustainability, medical education, advocacy and more.

You must be an AMA member to register. Registration Now Open




Elegant, Custom Built Home with Unparalleled Craftsmanship – Rhinebeck, NY
Set on 10.6 acres in one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Rhinebeck, this stunning home borders Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill (a conservation land and the highest point in Rhinebeck). Features beautifully landscaped gardens with sweeping hilltop views and a well established vegetable garden and barn. This handsome home is generously proportioned throughout, with an inviting foyer entry with tastefully designed staircase, millwork, high ceilings, cherry wood floors and custom windows.Rhinebeck Estate for Sale A world class kitchen with a marble counter-topped island, enjoys both a cozy fireside seating area perfect for winter evenings, and glass doors in the hexagonal eat-in-kitchen opening onto the expansive stone terrace for three season enjoyment and entertaining.A luxurious Master suite, with high vaulted ceiling design, his and hers walk-in closets and a gorgeous master bath with cast iron clawfoot tub. The second floor also includes two spacious bedrooms with generous closets and 2 full bathrooms, An additional large sitting room/office could easily make a lovely fourth bedroom. Lower level features a media room, exercise room, bar, wine cellar and full bathroom. Additionally there is a two story barn equipped with water and electricity.
The house is located 7 minutes to the charming center of Rhinebeck village with its many superb restaurants, boutiques & shops. The highly rated Northern Dutchess Hospital, the excellent Rhinebeck schools and the County Fairgrounds, a most desirable venue destination throughout the year, are all nearby. Rhinecliff train station is a mile beyond with Amtrak service south to NYC(1hour 40 minutes) and north to Hudson, Albany, Niagara Falls and Montreal. View full listing Contact Nader Kayal, MD, 845-518-7780 / or Joshua M. Briggs at Heather Croner RE-Sotheby’s 917 213-9042 /

UES Park Avenue Medical Office Space for Rent – One or Two Days a Week
Elegant office space on UES, in Park Avenue doorman building.  Enormous furnished windowed consult room, large exam room and private secretarial area.  Private elevator to office, huge waiting room and all shared office space. One – two days available; ideal for low volume Practitioner of any specialty. Please contact office manager Theresa – 212-288-2171 or via email at

Upper East Side Office for Rent


Dermatology Practice for Sale – Staten Island, NY
Building includes 3 exam rooms, waiting area. Please respond by calling 718-987-3300 or email

OBGYN Physician for Our Upper East Side Practice
Gynecology office setting only – No Obstetrics. Please contact the office at 212-772-3722 Email: Office Location: VCARE OBGYN 328 East 75th St. Suite 4 New York NY 10021 REQUIREMENTS: Doctor of Medicine degree. New York Medical License. DEA Board Certified OBGYN