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Progress Notes features doctors and medical students across the country on the frontlines of our health care system. Our views and experiences are diverse, but we share common goals and values. We speak up to move toward a future where everyone can have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Please share our posts, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

DFA Round Up - July 15, 2018

Our National Leadership Conference in Baltimore convened dozens of speakers on gun violence prevention, prescription drug pricing, the future of health care, substance use disorder, and others. Featured is our medical students who were recipients of our scholarship fund.
DFA physicians and medical students joined the Poor People's Campaign on Capitol Hill urging Congress to take action on several issues that affect the health and wellbeing of our patients
DFA members stood in solidarity with Congressman Dr Raul Ruiz and House Minority Leadership urging legislation to prevent the separation of children from their parents at the border and for immediate reunification. 
DFA intern Divya Desale met with her Congressmember and spoke to him about the importance Medicaid and gun violence has on her community
Dr Sanjeev Sriram spoke on a panel called “Tackling Health Trauma of Natural Disasters” hosted by the House Committee on Homeland Security
Dr Sanjeev Sriram went to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators and urge them to take swift action to reunite families at the border and speaking of the health damages children and families suffer through separation
Dr Parveen Parmar attended a rally in Los Angeles with other physicians calling for the reunification of children and parents at the border.
Dr Sanjeev Sririam a pediatrician flew to an Irvine detention facility calling for swift and immediate action to reunite children and families at the border
Dr Donald Nguyen attended at 4th of July parade highlighting the importance Medicaid has on curbing the opioid epidemic
Dr Donald Nguyen spoke to a crowd of dozens of the importance of maintaining a strong social safety net with adequate funding for Medicaid programs
DFA Board Members Dr Meghana Rao and medical student Justin Lowenthal along with Maryland DFA members, joined hundreds in Baltimore demanding action be taken to stop the separation of families at the border and called for reunification.


DFA's Gun Violence Prevention working group leader Dr Nina Agrawal gave a presentation at the NYDOCS Policy Summit Gun Violence Is A Health Crisis




Dr Bewtra attended a rally continuing to urge for swift reunification of children and families at the border



Dr Hussain Lalani penned an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News of the importance of physicians to be aware of the cost of the drugs they are prescribing and the impact this can have on the overall cost this can have on patients


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DFA Round Up - May 13, 2018




Medical student Christine Petrin joined the national Board of Directors of Doctors for America. To learn more about Christine, visit our website.

Board member Dr Lori Heim and guest Dr Luke Lindley led a webinar on Adolescent Substance Use Prevention. To view a recording of the webinar click the image below. 

Board member Dr Krishnan Narasimhan moderated the panel at the 6th annual W Montague Cobb Lecture in Health Policy at Howard University. The event was titled "The Continuing Struggle for Health Equity: Health Reforms and the Political Determinants of Health." The discussions focused on the history of health equity in the US leading up to the ACA and the impact of the ACA on health equity today.

DFA member Dr Bewtra joined hundreds for the March for Science.

DFA member Dr Bewtra met with Pennsylvania US Senator Bob Casey thanking him for his co-sponsorship of HR 2077 (Restoring the Patient's Voice Act of 2017.

DFA member Dr Chomilo met with Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota in Washington, DC urging action on gun violence prevention.

Board member Dr Krishnan Narasimhan was interviewed in Healthline about the new ACA exemptions including those allowing junk insurance plans.

Board member Don Mathis was interviewed by David Elliot of CHN regarding the effect of work requirements on Medicaid and substance use disorder treatment.

Board member Don Mathis penned an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun on the hope there is to help curb the epidemic of substance use disorder.

Medical student Francis Gill recorded the first episode of DFA's new podcast series, "Progress Notes". Visit our page to hear her interview with DFA member Dr Chomilo.


Drs Parven Parmar & Kyle Ragins, SCoPHE, along with State Senator Kevin de Leon led a bus tour targeting Congressional members who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and urged them to protect patients. Read this Los Angeles Times.


DFA member Dr Arkaprava Deb organized a a meeting titled "Fitting in Advocacy! How do you make the time?".

DFA-NY was a cosponsor, with our coalition, of the NYC 8th birthday party for the Affordable Care Act.


DFA members in Washington helped host a forum in the eastern Washington town of Wenatchee to celebrate the candidacies of 3 physicians stepping up to run for public office, the forum was entitled, "Doctors Stepping Up!".

Gun Violence Prevention Campaign

Campaign leader Dr Nina Agrawal joined AAP to meet with US Senator Gillibrand and requesting she help take action to pursue legislation to fund gun violence prevention research.

Dr Nina Agrawal spoke at a Medtalk event at the New York Medical College on the issue of gun violence prevention.



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DFA Round Up - April 14, 2018


DFA's 2018 National Leadership Conference

This energy and commitment to our patients will culminate at DFA's National Leadership Conference that begins on June 1st.

JOIN DFA's Expert Webinar on Adolescent Substance Use Prevention: 

Thursday April 19th, 5pm EST

Hosted by DFA Board Member Dr Lori Heim and featuring Dr Luke J. Lindley

Click here to register for our expert webinar 

Substance use disorders affect all communities and all socioeconomic groups.  Learn about the particular aspects relating to adolescents, how to screen & resources available.  Even if you are not treating adolescents, you can be part of your community, state and national response to this crisis.

DFA Round Up - April 14, 2018 



Doctors for America is proud to announce the addition of medical student Christine Petrin to the national Board of Directors. Click here to learn more about Christine.

Dr Sanjeev Sriram joined House Minority Leader Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. 


Gun Violence Prevention Campaign

Our team led by Nina Agrawal MD, David Berman MD, Justin Lowenthal, Sanjeev Sriram MD supported thousands of students calling for gun violence prevention legislation on National School Walkout Day March 14th.

DFA held an expert call with guests Jeffrey Swanson PhD, Amy Barnhorst MD, and our Senior Advisor Harold Pollack PhD to discuss the role physicians can play in gun violence prevention. 



CA State Director Dr Parveen Parmar joined physician advocates during the March For Our Lives event in Los Angeles.



Dr Nathan Chomilo penned an op-ed in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press on the effects that work-requirements will have on his patients. 

Dr Nathan Chomilo highlighted early childhood intervention as the best way to address Minnesota's opportunity gaps in the state Capitol.

Dr Nathan Chomilo along with AAP led legislative visits with Minnesota Congressional representatives.



Dr Umbreen Nehal was recognized as one of Linkedin's top 15 women. 



Drs Donald Nguyen & Matthew Noordsij-Jones joined the March For Our Lives event urging Congress to address gun violence.



Dr Katherine Scheirman marched with hundreds of citizens demanding action from Congress to address gun violence prevention for the March For Our Lives events across the country. 



DFA-NY joined Senate Minority Leader Schumer along with thousands of protesters demanding action on gun violence prevention. 

Dr Nina Agrawal lead the DFA-NYC House Party focused on engaging physicians to advocate for gun violence prevention.



Dr Lisa Plymate attended the "Neighborhood Conversation to Combat Youth Violence" in Seattle representing DFA-WA. Click here to read more about the conversation.

Medical student Kaia Barth stood in solidarity with millions across the country demanding action to address the public health crisis of gun violence.


Drug Pricing, Value, and Affordability Campaign: 

DFA's prescription drug team joined dozens of organizations in support of Maryland's HB 1194.

Tell us about what you are up to! Email your updates and photos to


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8th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act


THEN: After years of pursuing health care reform, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010. The ACA cut the uninsured rate in half by expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income individuals and by providing Cost Sharing Reductions to those in the individual health insurance market.  It provided consumer protections by eliminating pre-existing conditions as a barrier to obtaining health insurance and required insurers to cover preventative care services. Doctors for America was one of the leading physician organizations supporting the passage of this monumental health care reform. On the morning of October 5th 2009, DFA doctors, myself included, stood together in the Rose Garden representing the voices of our patients in our home states who desperately needed access to high quality, affordable health care.  Below is a picture of our DFA leaders in 2010.

NOW: The election of 2010 brought in new Congressional leadership and in 2016 a new Administration. Our work towards health reform did not end with the passage of the ACA.  We now have to defend our progress. Thanks to YOU we successfully pushed back repeal efforts and have continued to fight against the undermining of the ACA through Medicaid work requirements and the elimination of vital consumer protections. DFA will continue to defend the ACA state by state and federally. Below is a photo from a Capitol Hill press conference yesterday where DFA member Dr. Sanjeev Sriram spoke on the 8th anniversary of the ACA.

ACA Defense:  Contact your U.S. Representative
  • CALL: Capitol switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your elected Congressperson.  
  • MESSAGE: "Happy 8th ACA Anniversary - the ACA is here to stay!"


In addition to our on-going defense of the the ACA, DFA is committed to addressing the issue of gun violence prevention. Join our expert call with Doctors Jeffrey Swanson and Amy Barnhorst along with DFA Senior Advisor Harold Pollack next Monday March 26th at 9pm EST. These experts will discuss the epidemiology of mental health and gun violence, and dilemmas facing front-line medical and mental health providers seeking to prevent suicides and homicides. Panelists will also discuss prominent proposals such as gun violence restraining orders. Click here to RSVP.


Finally, I would like to cordially invite you to join DFA's continued work in defending the ACA, designing the next generation of health care reform, gun violence prevention and our other initiatives by attending our 2018 National Leadership Conference June 1 - 3 at Johns Hopkins University. Click the button below to register.

In Solidarity,
Scott Poppen, MD MPA
Board Chair


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National School Walkout - March 14th

I'm a pediatrician in Washington DC.  Please join me in supporting thousands of students taking part in the National School Walkout on March 14th  to protest the failure of Congress to confront the public health crisis of gun violence. Students across the country - from high schools to medical schools - are demanding Congress pass gun safety legislation now.
You can support students by giving a Doctors For America "DOCTOR'S NOTE" (see below) to excuse students who participate in the NationalSchool Walkout.
To make our solidarity with students more visible, take a picture of yourself (wear your white coat!) with your student and the doctor's note. If you can, WEAR ORANGE (clothing, a ribbon on your white coat, pin, etc.) in solidarity with the students in Parkland. Everyone can post it on their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms with the hashtag #DocsForGunSafety.  Send DFA a picture too, using this link: 
Hoping to plan your own action on March 14th or thereafter? Hoping to encourage medical students and residents at your institutions to organize? See our action guide toolkit for a wealth of organizing strategies, messaging advice, and resources, updated in real time as there are new developments and strategies. 
We are also making DFA doctor's notes available to our partner organizations! Students, parents, and teachers can download a blank form and ask supportive health care providers for signatures and pictures. 
Feel free to modify the above instructions and the doctor's note to your community. View our White Coat Action Guide to find out more ways to become involved in DFA's efforts. To find a walk-out near you, go to
In solidarity,
The DFA Gun Violence Prevention Task Force


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DFA Round Up - March 9, 2018




Dr Rich Joseph penned an op-ed published in the New York Times, directed towards innovating physician training.

DFA board member Dr Krishnan Narasimhan was interviewed by Healthline about the increasing popularity of the ACA. 

Doctors for America is pleased to announce the addition of medical student Justin Lowenthal to the Board of Directors. Justin is a MD/PhD student at Johns Hopkins University and also serves as the Maryland State Director. Learn more about Justin by visiting our leadership page.


DFA - Hopkins co-hosted an event with the Johns Hopkins Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health titled “Advocacy: The right prescription for tough times” featuring former US Senator Barbara Mikulski and DFA member Dr Richard Bruno. The event was aimed at encouraging health professional and students to become advocates for their patients and ensure that their care is at the forefront of the health reform conversations in Washington, DC, as well as in state-wide and local policymaking.

Along with medical students from the University of Maryland, DFA - Hopkins attended a press conference at the City Hall to support a bill that would make healthy drinking options (water, milk, 100% fruit juice) the default choice for children in Baltimore. DFA - Maryland State Director and board member Justin Lowenthal spoke at the event. The bill brought to the floor following the press conference and passed unanimously Baltimore City is now the largest city on the East Coast to have such a law in place.


DFA California State Director Dr Parveen Parmar was interviewed by Healthline about the potential decrease in ACA marketplace enrollment in 2019.


Medical students and physicians are continuing to push for gun violence to be addressed as a public health issue.

Gun Violence Prevention Campaign 

411 individuals and organizations signed onto DFA's statement on gun violence prevention. 

Prescription Drug Value, Pricing, and Affordability Campaign

Yale medical student Eamon Duffy helped organize and publicize a well-attended event at the Yale law school on cancer policy, "The Policy, Politics, and Law of Cancer"

Medical students Justin Lowenthal and Hussain Lalani submitted written testimony on behalf of Doctors for America - Maryland and the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network Baltimore Chapter in support 2 bills the Maryland General Assembly is considering related to prescription drug pricing policy this year:

  • Oregon passed a bill on Drug Price Transparency that goes to the governor for signature. Under the Oregon bill, manufacturers would have to compile a report on each prescription drug if: The price was $100 or more for a one-month supply or for a course of treatment lasting less than one month, and there was a net price increase of 10% or more. For such drugs, companies would have to supply a lot of information to the state, including : “factors that contributed to the price increase,” research and development costs, direct costs incurred to manufacture, market and distribute the drug, as well as the “10 highest prices paid for the prescription drug during the previous calendar year in any country other than the United States.”
  • Jill Zorn Universal Health Care Foundation CT has asked campaign members to provide written or in person testimony on drug affordability bills
  • In Minnesota, a legislative aide has contacted campaign members about drug affordability legislation being proposed in that state. 


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DFA Round Up - February 7, 2018


DFA Round Up - February 7, 2018

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 1- 3rd - DFA's National Leadership Conference

WHERE:  Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, Maryland

NEXT STEPS:  We will be emailing out address information next week:  How to register, hotel discounts, agenda and more.  Join hundreds of docs as we expand our White Coats ACTION Network, assess the healthcare landscape, learn additional advocacy techniques, and most importantly meet our friends again.  



Dr Sanjeev Sriram spoke against the tax reform bill in the US Senate in Washington, DC. He stood with patients and families, urging members to vote against the bill because of the effects it would have on future Medicaid and Medicare funding. 

Meet Doctors for America's new Executive Director Jim Duffett. Jim brings nearly 30 years and has been a leader in the healthcare social justice fight for affordable, accessible, and quality care for ALL.

Also happening nationally:

  • DFA's executive director voiced our support for providing a solution to DACA recipients in Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders' blog.
  • DFA signed onto multiple letters led by coalition members including topics such as: Demanding Congress reauthorize CHIP funding, protect DACA beneficiaries, provide adequate relief to those affected by natural disasters, and in opposition to the tax cut bill.


Dr Mona Mangat authored an article urging her US Senator to vote to reauthorize CHIP funding, highlighting the millions of Floridian children who depend on the program. 


Dr Manisha Sharma was interviewed by local Memphis news about the care she provide care to patients most in need. 


Drs Bruce Rector and Katherine Sheirman along with the DFA-NY team joined US Representatives raising awareness of Giving Tuesday for organizations working to protect the care of their patients.

DFA-NY held a house party in New York City on January 29th. Contact us if you are interested in hosting your own state house party.


DFA medical students at the University of Chicago helped organize a rally and march demanding Congress reauthorize CHIP funding in Downtown Chicago. The rally was featured in the Chicago Tribune. 

Drs Ram Krishnamoorthi and Philip A. Verhoef penned an op-ed in highlighting the need to reauthorize CHIP funding.


Eamon Duffy, MD/MBA candidate at Yale University organized a medical student phone bank in support of reauthorizing CHIP funding.

Gun Violence Prevention Campaign 

Campaign leader Dr Nina Agrawal received an award for her work on gun violence prevention from the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. View their press release.

Prescription Drug Value, Pricing, and Affordability Campaign 

The DVPAC team endorsed a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug pricing introduced by US Senator Sanders. View press release showing DFA's support for the bill.

Dr Bruce Rector and medical student Justin Lowenthal led an roundtable discussion on value-based prescription drug pricing with experts and the Center for American Progress.

Drs Bruce Rector and Ram Krishnamoorthi along with Rena Conti led a lecture on prescription drug pricing at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Tell us about what you are up to! Email your updates and photos to


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Med student opening on DFA Board


We are happy to announce an opening for an available spot on the Doctors for America Board of Directors for a medical student representative. This term will begin on March 1, 2018 and is a one-year role that is renewable for two additional years as long as the person is a medical student. 

The board is the legal governing body of the organization. Primary responsibilities include strategic planning, fundraising, financial/legal oversight, and oversight of the Executive Director. Of these, fundraising will be a major component for the foreseeable future. 

Roles and responsibilities can be viewed here

Application: Apply to be on the DFA Board (Deadline: January 31, 2018)

 If you are a medical student, please consider applying for this board position and/or encouraging others to apply as well.  If you have any questions, please contact our executive director, Jim Duffett at

Thank you for being a valuable part of the DFA movement!


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Big Pharma Exec to lead HHS


Doctors and medical students are deeply troubled about the President’s nomination of Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive, to serve as the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We believe Mr. Azar is the wrong choice to lead HHS given his deep ties to the pharmaceutical industry, support for decreasing funding to Medicaid, and his opposition providing health coverage to millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act. Former Trump HHS Secretary Tom Price had already started destroying the public health fabric of our country, Mr. Azar will finalize the job by rewarding his corporate friends. 

At a time when millions of Americans are benefiting from the lifesaving coverage and protections provided by the ACA and when drug prices are rising out of reach for many of our patients, we need a leader who will safeguard coverage and take on the drug corporations. Mr. Azar will not be that leader. We urge the Senate to put patients over politics and oppose this nomination.

We are 38 percent away from our fundraising goal. We need your help to raise these crucial funds before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st so we can continue to fight for patients in 2018. It's clear the year ahead will bring more of the same attacks on patients and their access to care. 

Dr. Mona Mangat of Florida has pledged to match contributions with an additional $1,000, making your generous donation go even further towards providing physician advocates the resources they need in 2018.

Will you donate $50, $100 or $1,000 right now to help us fight back against a big pharma exec leading HHS?


Joe Kanter, MD, MPH* 

Krishnan Narasimhan, MD*

Board Members

*Dr. Kanter currently resides in New Orleans, LA and serves as the Director of the New Orleans Health Department.

* Dr. Narasimhan resides in Arlington, VA and serves as an academic family medicine physician and an Associate Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Howard University.



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Stop the tax bill


Our patients need us to be their voice right now. Congress is on the verge of cutting health care for 13 million people to pay for tax cuts for the rich. 

This dangerous tax cut bill, which includes the repeal of the individual mandate, is expected to go to a vote this week. There is major public pressure on members of Congress to oppose this bad bill. And, if we have learned anything in the last year, it is that when we fight for our patients we can make a tremendous impact on the final vote. Doctors and medical students are on the Hill today to make their voices heard. Can we count on you to keep up the pressure until the vote is over?

Take action now:

  1. CALLS: Contact your member of Congress using the capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121. Find the list of targets by clicking here.
    • Tell them to put patients over politics and oppose the tax bill which cuts health care for millions to give tax cuts to the rich. 
  1. DONATE: Give to Doctors for America to ensure we have the resources we need to continue to mobilize our 18,000 membership at this critical time. Millions of patients are counting on us to fight against attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA in the year ahead. Help us enter 2018 strong.

Before you head out for the holidays, please take a minute to make a call to your member of Congress and a year-end tax deductible donation.


Yours in service,

Jim Duffett

Executive Director 


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