April 9, 2020 – Calls from medical practices to the Palm Beach County Medical Society (PBCMS) have increased so much in the last two months that the organization has decided to create a new information portal for its members as well as the community at large called the COVID-19 Resource Center. Although PBCMS has always offered a wide range of support services to member physicians, this crisis, explains the Society’s President Larry M. Bush, MD, FACP, affiliate professor of clinical medicine at the FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, has demonstrated a clear need for a central repository of timely and useful information and resources directed specifically at all physicians and health care professionals in Palm Beach County. 
“We’ve always been a trusted resource for our members,” he said, “but this crisis has revealed a more immediate need for relevant, comprehensive and timely support for physicians and health care professionals in our local community.”
The new COVID-19 Resource Center for physicians and health care professionals is an online centralized source of support and information to address their unique needs. Detailed information on the program can be found at www.pbcms.org or by calling 561-433-3940.  Services include: 
Practice management resources and guidance related to all aspects of a physician practice, including access to advanced payments or emergency loans (e.g. CMS Accelerated Advance Payment Program or SBA funds), financial advice, legal support, compliance guidance, IT, personnel, even insurance issues.
A daily synopsis of critical COVID-19 news related specifically to physicians and health care professionals
Support for quickly and cost-effectively setting up new services, such as telemedicine
Timely updates on access to critical supplies, such as personal protective equipment
Updates on availability of testing sites and screening protocols
Wellness education resources for handling anxiety or other mental health issues
A list of local and national educational resources for physicians and health care professionals
Calendar of PBCMS educational events, such as audio townhalls or Webinars, as well as relevant virtual events sponsored by others
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Resource Center will be available to all physicians and health care professionals who wish to access it, as well as the community at large.
“The Palm Beach County Medical Society is committed to be a valued resource for the physicians and health care professionals in in our community throughout the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as during any future challenges we may face,” added PBCMS CEO Tenna Wiles. 
Dr. Bush, who is an infectious disease expert, provides videotaped messages, participates in town hall updates and works closely with the Florida Department of Health. His goal is to ensure that the organization has the most reliable and up-to-date information to provide to physicians and health care professionals. The new Resource Center also will include an opportunity to email medical questions related to COVID-19 directly to him 24/7.
“The amount of information and misinformation flooding the inboxes of physicians and health care professionals can be overwhelming,” said Dr. Bush. “We can best serve these critical individuals by synthesizing the information and providing clear and easy access to valuable resources.”
According to Wiles, the resource center was made possible through a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties (https://www.yourcommunityfoundation.org/). 
The Society has a long history of providing disaster support to the health care community. The Health Care Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) was formed in 2001, following 9/11 and the anthrax scare in Palm Beach County.  The HERC network, which was formed with support from the Palm Healthcare Foundation, includes acute and sub-acute care hospitals, county emergency response agencies, long term care, public health, law enforcement and other community disaster partners. PBCMS manages the network and ensures fulfillment of its mission to “develop and promote the healthcare emergency preparedness, response and recovery capabilities of Palm Beach County.” PBCMS also coordinates the Palm Beach Medical Reserve Corp, which includes 1,400 volunteer physicians and health care professionals who remain prepared to serve the community during all disasters.
For more information about the COVID-19 Resource Center, go to www.pbcms.org or talk to a live operator during business hours at 561-433-3940.  Voicemail will be available 24/7 at the same number.