AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement after joining other hospital leaders for a meeting at the White House on coronavirus:
“Today’s meeting of hospital leaders at the White House was an important step toward addressing the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Since the crisis began, the AAMC has been in frequent communication with the administration and leaders of our member medical schools and teaching hospitals. We appreciated today’s opportunity to discuss the critical role these institutions play in responding to the crisis and to offer recommendations to accelerate efforts to contain and treat the pandemic. These recommendations, sent in a letter to the vice president and congressional leadership today, include:
- Increasing the availability and capacity of testing.
- Ensuring adequate supplies and stewardship of personal protective equipment.
- Holding patients harmless for the cost of testing and treatment.
- Increasing the availability and use of telehealth.
- Supporting hospitals’ efforts to expand capacity to meet surging needs.
America’s academic medical centers are committed to mounting a vigorous response to contain and mitigate COVID-19 and to providing quality care to any patient affected by this public health emergency, including the under- and uninsured.
Because of their expert faculty physicians, highly trained health care teams, and cutting-edge medical technology, major teaching hospitals consistently maintain a heightened level of preparedness to respond rapidly to any major event at any time. AAMC-member teaching hospitals also provide care for complex patients, receive patients for whom other hospitals cannot care, and are home to significant percentages of the nation’s critical care capacity, including 25% of the nation’s medical and surgical intensive care beds, 36% of its cardiac intensive care beds, 61% of its pediatric intensive care beds, and 68% of all Level 1 trauma centers. Scientists at these institutions also are actively working on the research to develop vaccines and antiviral therapies that will help combat the virus. In partnership with their colleagues at state and local health departments, emergency medical personnel, and other health professionals, these scientists and physicians are on the front lines of the country’s response to this global emergency.
We look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders, including policymakers, to address this growing public health crisis and ensure the best possible outcomes for all.”
The AAMC is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their 173,000 faculty members, 89,000 medical students, 129,000 resident physicians, and more than 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.