BY ANDREAS RUNGGATSCHER
The first virtual luncheon of the Rotary Club of New York in 2020 took place on Zoom on April 9, 2020.
A pair of health professionals spoke about the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and how the Rotary Club could play a part in navigating these troubled times.
The first guest speaker was Ruanne Barnabas, Associate Professor in Global Health and Medicine at the University of Washington, one of the leading university health systems looking to address the COVID-19. Dr. Barnabas shed light on the challenges of the coronavirus and the research work that is being done to identify preventative measures for it.
Dr. Baranabas spoke specifically about the research that is being conducted on the COVID-19 PEP Study.
A groundbreaking effort from top research teams at the University of Washington and New York University, this is a carefully controlled study aims to provide the global medical community with evidence of the effectiveness of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent COVID-19.
She reinforced that the doctor-patient relationship is a critical factor to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) admission for patients in hospital.
The second speaker was Joseph R Masci, MD, Chairman of the Department of Global Health at Elmhurst Hospital Center, who spoke about the challenges of maintaining social distancing to “flatten” the curve for COVID-19. It remains to be seen what level of protection is required for healthcare workers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as opposed to previous viruses such as Ebola.
The presentation ended with Dr. Masci speaking about the nuances of the virus with Italian doctors in attendance. He emphasized his desire for a platform for doctors to communicate insights on treatments internationally through organizations such as Rotary.