Recently, the DC Mayor laid out a plan to place a new 136 bed hospital in St. Elizabeth's East in Ward 8, to be managed by Universal Health Services (a George Washington Hospital management affiliate). The current United Medical Center facility was originally licensed for 330 beds, so a hospital of 136 beds would be woefully inadequate in addressing the healthcare disparities in Wards 7 and 8, and surrounding communities. Dr. Mic is a physician associated with United Medical Center, so he knows first-hand the importance of meeting the healthcare needs of all citizens, especially those who live east of the Anacostia River. There is currently no Level Trauma Center in Wards 7 or 8, even though the majority of traumatic events per capita occur in Wards 7 and 8. The District's current solution is to helicopter (Med Evac) all trauma victims from United Medical Center to hospitals in the NW quadrant of the city. The most adequate remedy in this regard, to address health care disparities in Wards 7 and 8, would be to build a 300 bed state-of-art facility at the current location of United Medical Center, with a Level 1 Trauma Center. with access points from both Southern Avenue SE and Mississippi Avenue SE.
Currently, United Medical Center does not provide a full complement of services in areas east of the Anacostia river. This means most medical specialties such as a Dentistry, ENT services, OB/GYN services, and Dermatology services, are not readily available or accessible by District residents east of the Anacostia River. In addition, those specialties that are present in Wards 7 and 8, have a small quantity of providers that could not possibly meet the full need of more than 140,000 citizens east of the Anacostia River. Morever, citizens in the Northeast quadrant of the city have less access to specialty services in a hospital setting since Providence Hospital closed several years ago. Dr. Mic would work to mandate the provision of resources for DC citizens to receive full complement of services in the places where they live, both in hospital settings and ambulatory care facilities.
Pregnant mothers cannot have their babies at United Medical Center in SE Washington as the Labor and Delivery Unit was closed 3 years ago. Not only was the Labor and Delivery unit, the Nursery, and the Neonatal Unit closed, but young mothers were also discouraged from receiving prenatal care in the Obstretrics department. No immediate plan was put in place to reopen Obstetric services in Wards 7 and 8, or to offer a real alternative to pregnant mothers, many of whom will experience high risk pregnancies. As a result, pregnant mothers who live in Wards 7 and 8 are currently forced to receive prenatal care and deliver their babies at hospitals in NW DC, Maryland, and Virginia; hospitals not close to where they live.
Currently, the response to trauma in SE Washington DC (Wards 7 and 8) is to Med-Evac via helicopter trauma victims from United Medical Center over to NW DC for care, with no study or forecast for how many trauma victims die in-flight. As a healthcare practitioner, Dr. Mic understands that with trauma, minutes are like hours, and the time it takes to stabliize one's injury can be the difference between life and death. The development of a Level 1 Trauma Center in Wards 7 and 8 is essential and non-negotiable.
As we have experienced COVID-19, we have seen an uptick in cases that require psychological services. From the beginning of this pandemic many DC citizens have experienced PTSD and depression from the loss of loved ones. I will work to mandate increased resources, including funding. for our mental health programs, not just in the wake of COVID-19, but for all of our mental health issues.
It is true that " an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Dr. Mic will work to ensure that the City is doing more to focus on disease prevention by bolstering our clinical treatment delivery with health education and the increased development of programs such as nutrition, smoking cessation, etc. and medical areas such as diabetes maintenance and prevention, heart and circulation health, cancer prevention, respiratory illness prevention, and glaucoma prevention, which leads patient's to better health and lowers chances of premature deaths.
Dr. Mich would work with DC Department of Healthcare Finance to ensure that more residents are made eligible to receive DC Medicaid so that citizens have more access to the care that is needed, especially during a time when many DC citizens are out of work and do not have medical insurance.
As a physician, Dr. Mic knows all too well how many times a patient is punted from "straight" DC Medicaid to a Medicaid alternate, such as Carefirst Blue Cross/ Blue Shield Community Health Plan (formerly Trusted Health Plan), Amerihealth Caritas, and Medstar Family Choice. Many citizens express their displeasure that these "alternate" insurances do not provide the same coverage as DC Medicaid, and relate the difficulties they have in finding medical providers who actually take those other insurances. Dr. Mic will work to ensure that these other insurances will provide services to both members and providers that are on par with DC Medicaid. In addition, Dr. Mic will ensure that patients aren't just punted from DC Medicaid onto whatever alternate insurance is chosen for them, but will be able to choose the best insurance for them, that provides the services they need, and still allows them to see their current physicians if they so choose. We need to ensure that DC Medicaid works for the people and not deprive the citizens of adequate healthcare at any time, but especially in a pandemic.