POFPS Policy and Positions

  • The POFPS Public Policy Committee recently recommended a position statement on COVID-19 for the organization.  The position was adopted by the POFPS Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020.  Please review below.

POFPS Policy Statement on COVID-19
Adopted on May 6, 2020
POFPS Board of Trustees

POFPS Statement on COVID-19 and Protecting Our Patients, Communities, our Family Medicine Practices, Health Care Workforce, and Student & Residents

We all depend on physicians and other healthcare workers to provide safe and compassionate care. Hundreds of thousands of physicians at every level of training and experience have partnered with countless nurses, respiratory therapists and other health care workers to care for patients. This includes medical students, resident physicians and practicing physicians; some of these physicians have already retired, or have been inactive, and are volunteering to reenter the workforce. Our Osteopathic Family Medicine practices and Family Physicians, among them many POFPS members, are working to serve our patients in ambulatory and hospital care settings daily. It is critical during this national emergency that the public be provided with the best care possible by qualified health care workers who are all themselves adequately protected.

Under the ethical tenets of their profession, physicians routinely care for others despite personal risk. Without safeguards such as proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and adequate testing, they are putting the health of their patients, as well as their own health and that of their families, at risk. The POFPS recognizes that supplies of PPE at this time are inadequate and supports continued studies to examine the safety of reuse and sterilization of PPE as options during this shortage. We recognize and appreciate that considerable efforts and substantial resources from the federal government, state government, and other authorities and health care entities and organizations have demonstrated a commitment to this, and we support the continuance of this coordinated activity.

Health care workers are professionally bound to identify inadequate resources that impact their ability to safely treat patients and/or keep themselves safe. They must not suffer retribution or retaliation for calling attention to unsafe systemic conditions for patients or caregivers. Conditions for physicians and health care workers on the frontlines of direct patient care must be safe.

It is vital in these uncertain times that our elected leaders and officials be guided by science and evidence-based principles when making decisions on behalf of the entire population to combat the virus causing COVID-19. The American public and the health care workers who care for them in this time of great need, including the Osteopathic Family Physicians in Pennsylvania, are making enormous sacrifices to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus. It is essential that our leaders provide them with resources they need and guidance that is both factual and transparent.
POFPS recognizes the extreme disruption that has occurred because of the pandemic in many facets of physician education, training, licensing, and credentialing. The POFPS supports efforts to quickly and carefully review these facets and address the safety of our students, residents, and practicing physicians during these challenging times