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Vol. XLVI, Issue 11

November 20, 2020

President's Perspective Gene Battistella

by: Gene M. Battistella, DO

Giving Thanks….

Typically, at Thanksgiving, we reflect on what we are most thankful for. Despite all the challenges of this past year, the COVID-19 pandemic and all that has encompassed it, the impact that has resulted physically in the morbidity and mortality as well as emotionally with isolation from others because of social distancing and virtual interaction, to the social unrest we have seen across our nation, the misrepresentation of Osteopathic Medicine and Physicians by the media and most recently the divide with our recent elections, there is still much for us to be thankful.

First and foremost, I am thankful for Family!  I am thankful for my wife, Michelle, and especially this year all that she has done to allow me to be POMA President, devoting much time away from our family for the POMA, even in this virtual world we now live.  I am thankful for Domenic, our son who continues to grow into a fine young man and is the focus of all of our love and dedication that we as parents strive to raise him with character and faith during this unprecedented time.  My parents, to whom I could never thank enough for all that they have done for me throughout my life as well as my in-laws, siblings and extended family, who all mean so much to me and are an important part of my life, I too am thankful.

Professionally, I am grateful as well for my POMA Family!  Diana Ewert, our POMA CSO, and leader of our amazing and dedicated POMA Staff, with what they have done for all of us as POMA Members this past year is nothing short of remarkable…. Thank You ALL!  I am thankful for our POMA Elected Leaders, our Board and Committee and Task Force Members, our Past Presidents and others who have, and continue, to work diligently for the Osteopathic profession here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  I am thankful as well for my POMA District 8 leaders and members for supporting me throughout my career and especially this year with my additional duties as POMA President. Despite obstacles presented by our virtual world, POMA has continued moving forward on matters of Education, Advocacy, Communication and Community within our strategic plan. I am also thankful for ALL of our POMA Members in what they do day in and day out caring for patients under the most difficult of circumstances during this pandemic!  Thank You!  POMA is here for our members and we have tried to provide information and resources to help our members in any capacity to help them be successful.

We now look to the future of POMA.  Beginning in January, we will be having elections of our own for the POMA District Leaders, the POMA House of Delegates and the AOA House of Delegates.  Now is a good time for us all to reflect on what we may be thankful for, especially in this context professionally.  Reach out to your district leaders and colleagues and consider becoming more involved.  Any level of participation is welcome.  Do you have a mentor that you are thankful for that fostered your interest in becoming an Osteopathic Physician?  Maybe consider being part of POMA's new Mentor Program for students and physicians across the entire spectrum of their career.  POMA President-elect Joseph Zawisza, DO will be asking for members to participate in the various POMA Committees and Task Forces for the upcoming year.  Please consider participating when the “Call for Volunteers” is announced.  These are just a small sampling of the possibilities available for you to share your unique talents, gifts and passion that could benefit the entirety of POMA.  If you are interested, please reach out to your District leadership.  You can also easily access information via the POMA app which is available for all smartphones, the POMA website, Facebook and other social media platforms, or by just calling POMA at 1-800-544-POMA.

Thank You ALL again for all that you DO and have a Safe and Peaceful Thanksgiving with Family!

Executive Opinion

by: Diana Ewert

"Here's to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you're not
Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we've been through…"
- Maroon 5

Thanksgiving is next week. In the best interest of our family, friends, and those we love, we will be hunkering down. Staying within our households and giving thanks via Zoom or FaceTime or any number of applications that are anything but face-to-face. We do so not out of fear, but love.

I recall early on, spending some time with close friends at a restaurant while passing through Chicago at the beginning of the year. My friend, Mark, said that based on his research, we will all personally know someone who has recovered from COVID and someone who has died from COVID with the degree of separation closer than anyone will want. This was back in early February. I respect this person. He was right. I was diagnosed in March and was lucky having a few days of mild symptoms with general exhaustion. My daughter, a nurse in Missouri, was not as lucky. She spent 7 days in the hospital. She is recovering, continues to have issues, but is back at work taking care of all types of patients and, yes, some who have COVID.

So, what do we have to be thankful for this year? You. The physicians on the frontline, continuing to care at your personal peril. And not only you, but your family. What we can do in turn to support you is mask up when we absolutely must go out, stay home, and minimize the risk down the line. Vaccines are on the way – something else to be thankful for. Treatments are showing promise and are working – yes, there are things to be thankful for this year.  

Here's to you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything you DO!

Policy Points


Final Hours of State Legislative Session

This morning and throughout the day, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is expected to finalize the state’s budget package of bills.  Two issues being sent to the Governor for consideration are a mixed bag for POMA members. 

First, the good news.  The Senate amended a bill last night that includes COVID-19 related immunity for all healthcare providers. This immunity protects Osteopathic physicians if a patient treated during the pandemic sues for being exposed to COVID-19 in the course of treatment or testing.  The protections cover if there was a shortage of equipment, supplies or personnel; was beyond the reasonable control of the provider; or the number of patients were excess capacity. This afternoon, House Bill 1737 was approved by the House on concurrence and sent to the Governor's desk.  It is unclear if the Governor will sign or veto the bill.

Now the bad news. House Bill 770 was initially intended to establish the pharmacy technician position working under the direct supervision of the pharmacist.  This legislation was around for years and over 40 other states have already enacted similar legislation.  However, the Senate amended the legislation to include a provision that pharmacists and pharmacies could order and perform diagnostic testing for influenza, COVID-19 and strep infections as long as they, the pharmacy, is certified to perform this testing under CDC guidelines or approved by the USDA.  The bill is supported by the chain pharmacies.  POMA strenuously opposes this bill as expressed in its letter sent to all members of the House of Representatives. The bill now goes to the Governor’s desk and POMA is likely to request a veto.  If unsuccessful, POMA will work to ensure the regulations promulgated to administer the law address the many questions POMA has on the vague legislative language.

Stay tuned for a full legislative session wrap-up after the final votes have been taken as there are many more healthcare bills to report. 


Welcome to Team POMA

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new Education Program Manager, Margaret Clanagan. Margaret will be supporting POMA’s educational programs and activities. She will also support new and innovative educational initiatives for POMA. Prior to POMA, Margaret worked for 12 years at the Penn State College of Medicine, and most recently for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition

Get to Know Margaret

What is your favorite food? Anything Italian
Do you prefer coffee or tea? Coffee
What's your favorite movie? Lord of the Rings Trilogy
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Speak to the dead
What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy doing outside of work? I love to salsa dance!
What about this job has you most excited? Excited to work with clinicians
What do you want our members to know about you or what do you hope to be able to accomplish? I am a highly motivated and versatile continuing medical education coordinator with experience in managing accredited programs for healthcare professionals.

Registration Open for the District VIII Winter Seminar!

Mark your calendars and join us for POMA District VIII's first virtual winter seminar!

With concern for the safety of our attendees, faculty, families and patients, the District VIII leadership has made the difficult decision to transition the in-person conference to a virtual event.  The POMA District VIII 34th Annual Educational Winter Seminar will be held VIRTUALLY over the same dates - January 28-31, 2021.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!  Online registration is preferred.  Click here to register online or call (717) 939-9318 x170 to register over the phone.  A form can be downloaded and returned via fax to 717-939-7255.

This year's seminar offers up to 24 Category 1A AOA CME credits and 24 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.  Click here for the current conference schedule.  Please note, the schedule is subject to change.

If you have any questions, please contact Deb Cargill-Roan, membership specialist, at (717) 939-9318 ext 170 or e-mail [email protected].

 District Dish
Districts Go Digital Series

Coaching During a Pandemic - Hosted by Districts 6 & 11

Coaching district event

Sports during COVID lends itself to a naturally strong discussion. POMA members gathered to learn about youth sports and COVID on Thursday, October 29th as a part of the POMA Districts Go Digital series. The CME lecture, hosted by POMA District 6 and 11, featured Jessica L. Masser, DO, a coach of various youth sports. The discussion covered the many changes implemented in youth sports which enables sports to continue.

Upon conclusion, Joseph Zawisza, DO, Interim POMA President-elect, updated membership on legislations, the AOA, and POMA governance.

Coping with COVID - Hosted by Districts 7 & 12

 Coping with COVID district event

Physicians don’t only treat their patients; they need to treat themselves. On Nov. 5, POMA members from across the state gathered virtually to learn and discuss ways of helping themselves, and each other, through challenging times. The one hour, 1-A AOA credit eligible, virtual event, hosted by Districts 7 & 12, featured Elizabeth Ramsey, DO. She provided tools and techniques to handle the stress and isolation caused by the pandemic and world events.

We hope all our physicians are able to prioritize their wellness.

Doctors in the Kitchen - Hosted by District 9

 Cooking District event

Several POMA physicians participated in the virtual, Doctors in the Kitchen event on Thursday, November 19th.  Some attendees were brave enough to share their screen while cooking, while others cooked behind the scenes. The interactive cooking and nutritional education experience, hosted by District 9, was led by Michelle Thompson, DO. The participants cooked a winter salad and sesame tofu and broccoli with brown rice. While enjoying their meals, the group discussed how dietary changes can improve patients suffering from various ailments. You can view the recipes that were demonstrated on our website.

The Doctors in the Kitchen event was part of the Districts Go Digital Series. The next event will be the first-ever Holiday Hoopla on Wednesday, December 9th.  The social gathering will feature trivia, cooking and drink making demonstrations, contests, and prizes. Please join your DO colleagues for a few hours of fun.

How Are You DOing

by Lisa Witherite-Rieg, DO

shed with brush

Have you ever found yourself faced with a task so daunting and seemingly insurmountable that you procrastinate to the point where the task keeps mounting? Maybe it's a garage that needs cleaned out, a checkbook that needs reconciled, a mountain of incomplete medical records waiting for your finishing touch, a stack of CME articles that need to be read, a case review that needs written for submission for publication, a shelf exam requiring dedicated study? Me too.

Where do you begin? You KNOW you have to get it done. You know there will be ramifications if you do not complete the chore. Sometimes there is a deadline involved (which may give you some motivation), but often, with no deadline, the longer time goes, the greater the task and less likely you will be enthusiastic to start.


View the
newsletter online! 

 Happy thanksgiving turkey

From your POMA family, we wish you a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving.


POMA continues to monitor the rapidly changing information surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Please visit for all of our updates, as well as resources we are finding to be most useful and accurate at this time.

Table of Contents...

  1. President's Perspective
  2. Executive Opinion
  3. Policy Points
  4. POMA ISMIE Affinity Program
  5. Welcome to #TeamPOMA
  6. Registration Open for the District VIII Winter Seminar
  7. District Dish
  8. How Are You DOing?
  9. COVID-19 Updates
  10. Upcoming District Events
  11. Upcoming PGYP Meetings
  12. Under the DOme
  13. Classified Ads Information
  14. Follow POMA on Social Media
  15. POMPAC
  16. Download the POMA App
  17. Resident Wellness Grants
  18. POMAF Scholarships
  19. Calling All Writers
  20. APOMA News
  21. SoFi

Upcoming District Events - Districts Go Digital Series 

Holiday Hoopla
Wednesday, December 9
7:30 - 8:45 PM
Hosted by POMA and POFPS

 Upcoming PGYP Meetings

East Region
Thursday, December 3
7:00 PM

Central Region
Tuesday, December 15
6:00 PM

West Region
Tuesday, December 15
7:00 PM

Under the DOme


Did you catch POMA's new advocacy newsletter, Under the DOme?

Under the DOme is a new member benefit providing you with an update of the advocacy work POMA is engaged and/or monitoring to ensure DOs and their patients have the best possible opportunity for strong physician-patient relationships and care. POMA is THE organization that represents you as a DO in the state in all areas of advocacy.

We hope you find Under the DOme to be a valuable advocacy tool. Send your feedback to [email protected]


PRN Medical Space – ready exam rooms for Drs on the go! Five locations in Philadelphia and Bristol. Call 215-669-4001.

Retiring physicians, part-time or full-time practices, call 215-669-4001.

— Per insertion —

Member Ads*: $10 for the first 20 words, $.25 for each additional word. $2 each for special services: box letter, all caps or all bold type, boxing an ad in.

Non-member Ads: (Payment must be received in advance.) $50 for the first 20 words, .50 each additional word. $5 for each special service (listed above).

*Please Note: Member ad rate to be used only by POMA members and only for their medicine- or practice-related ads. Charges for other types of members’ ads will be calculated using the non-member ad rate.

POMA does not take a position of endorsing any organizations, individuals or services whose classified advertisements appear in this publication. The POMA Newsletter reserves the right to select and edit all advertisements submitted.

Follow POMA on social media for all the latest news!

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POMPAC is the collective
voice of the osteopathic profession in Pennsylvania.

Send your personal check to POMPAC c/o POMA, 1330 Eisenhower Boulevard, Harrisburg, PA 17111, or charge your contribution to your credit card!

PAC contributions are not tax-deductible.

Download POMA’s Mobile App Today!


POMA’s free mobile app can be used all year long to find information on advocacy, education, association events, member benefits and more!

  • Be in the know
  • Get engaged
  • Stay connected
  • And many more valuable resources

Search POMA in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store to download the free app today!

Attention Residents - Apply Now for Wellness Event Grants!

The POMA Committee on Physician Wellness is pleased to announce that applications for Resident Wellness Events are being accepted for the 2020-2021 academic year. POMA’s Committee on Physician Wellness is committed to encouraging osteopathic family mental health/well-being through focused activities sponsored and supported by POMA and the POMA Foundation. Our goal is to start the conversation and open dialogue regarding personal well-being in all levels of the osteopathic profession from students to attending physicians.

Click here to complete the online application - the deadline for submission is November 30, 2020. Click here to view past projects

POMAF Scholarships

The Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association Foundation (POMAF) is pleased to announce several scholarships are now open for application. Pennsylvania students who are enrolled as an OMS II, OMS III, or OMS IV and residents are eligible to apply as long as they meet the criteria. The scholarships and applications are accessible online. Scholarship amounts will be determined by the Foundation board. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2020. The Foundation board will review all applications and awards will be made in March 2021.

We would greatly appreciate your help in circulating this among your student and resident contacts. Feel free to share the information and link in social media, newsletters, etc. Make sure to use the hashtag #POMAF21 and tag us on Twitter @POMA_DOs and Facebook, @POMADOs.

Calling All Writers!


POMA is seeking writers for both the Journal of the POMA and the blog, "How Are You DOing?"

The Journal of the POMA is published four times a year and the blog is published each month in our newsletter.

If you are interested in submitting an article either now or in the future, please contact Brenda Dill at [email protected]


APOMA logo

The Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association held their annual House of Delegates meeting virtually on October 18, 2020.  At that time, APOMA members Caryn Tabby, Lori Hildebrand, and Kristina Eisenhardt were installed as the 2020-2021 AAOA President, Vice President, and a Director, respectively. Congratulations to our APOMA members.

APOMA held a virtual meeting on Sunday November 8, 2020.  At that time, we approved bylaw changes we have been working on for the past year.  In attendance were Lori Hildebrand, Sally Ann Rex, DO, Kristina Eisenhardt, Caryn Tabby, Lorna Tabby, Linda Schecter, and Diana Ewert. Our next meeting will be held February 7, 2021.


Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association | 1330 Eisenhower Blvd., Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 939-9318 |