Archive | January 2010

The Medical Society of New Jersey Lauds Governor Christie’s Selection for Health Commissioner

The Medical Society of New Jersey today commended Governor Chris Christie’s selection of Poonam L. Alaigh, MD to head NJ’s Department of Health and Senior Services.  Dr. Alaigh is a member of MSNJ.

The following is a statement by Dr. Joseph H. Reichman, MD, the 217th president of the Medical Society of New Jersey.

“Our organization is delighted to learn that Dr. Alaigh, a physician, was named to the commissioner’s post.  New Jersey, along with the rest of the country, is facing its fair share of public health dilemmas and it is comforting to know that we will have a medical doctor in charge — someone who is well-versed in vaccine-preventable diseases, disease management and understands the issues relating to healthcare in the Garden State.”

MSNJ looks forward to working with Dr. Alaigh and the DHSS in our shared mission to improve and protect the health of our citizens.

“We thank the governor for entrusting a seat in his cabinet to one of our own,” said Dr. Reichman.

List of Antibiotics, Supplies Needed and Recommendations for Medical Teams


IV antibiotics: Penicillin G, Ceftriaxone, Gentamycin, Vancomycin, Unasyn, Cefazolin, Cefepime, Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole, Azactam

PO Antibiotics: Bactrim (double strength tab), Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole, Ceftin, Keflex, Doxycycline, Clindamycin, Augmentin,  Dicloxacillin

Topical Antibiotics: Bactroban ointment, Bacitracin, Neosporin

Wound Care:

Tetanus Immunoglobulin and tetanus toxoid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine solution, Sterile Water, Sodium Chloride for Irrigation, Gloves sterile and non sterile (size: small, medium and large), Alcohol, Silvadene cream

Penrose, Foley catheter

Analgesic and Anesthesia:

Motrim, Tylenol, Topical lidocaine,  Bupivacaine, Demerol, Diclofenac

Diprivan, Atropine, Ephedrine, Narcan, Fentanyl, Pentotal, Succinil Choline, Reglan, Diazepam, Oxygen Tank, Epidural Kit

Anti Allergic:

Benadryl iv, Solumedrol iv and prednisone po, Albuterol

IV Fluids:

Lactate Ringer, Normal Saline, D5W, D5NS, Dextran

Surgical Material:

Vicril (0  1  2/0 3/0  4/0), Silk  (000 3-0 / 2-0/  0  1), Chromic (1  0  2/0), Scalpels and Operative Knives, Scissors, Applying Forceps and Suture instruments, Casting supplies, Traction equipments, Splints (all kinds), Foley catheters, Straight cath catheters, Tourniquet, Suture Kit, Minor surgery instruments, Crutches, ACE bandages (3” 4” 6”), Kerlex bandage, Sterile gauze 4×4, Iodoform gauze, Steristrips, ABD pads, Tape, Metallic boxes for instruments, Surgical masks, Gigli saw, Bone rongeur, Sling, Needles, Angiocath, Urinary bags, Irrigation syringes, Sterile draping for surgery, Vaseline gauze

Other supplies needed:

Crash cart items, oxygen tanks and nebulizer machines

Recommendations for medical teams:

1. The following specialties are the most needed: orthopedists, general surgeons, anesthesiologists, family physicians and ID specialists, counselors for emotional support, trauma and emergency care nurses, infection control nurses.

2. Small and well balanced teams of physicians (3) and nurses (3) adjusted to the level of care of the setting, can provide efficient care, if supplies and proper logistics are available. It’s good to have some information on where the teams are going and tailor the teams based on needs.

3. Some temporary hospitals will keep operating for months. After the acute phase, there will be a need for other specialists (internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatrists, and rehab specialists) to provide treatment for common illnesses, follow up for post op patients and attend to the needs of the amputees.

4. Port au Prince, Delmas, Leogane and Jacmel are places to consider. It’s possible to piggy back on existing units of care to enhance their ability.

Please visit the website for more information on how you can help.

Donate supplies through NJ4HAITI

The Association Des Medecins Haitiens a L’etranger (AMHE), the Haitian physician society and most humanitarian non-profit organizations have consolidated our forces to now provide assistance with the Haiti Earthquake Disaster.  We are working with  They have several warehouses throughout New Jersey.

The main coordinator/facilitator of this symbiotic aid activity is Mr. Stan Neron.  The donate supplies is contact: Ms. Katia Theodore 908-922-1228. The individual in charge of picking up and warehousing the supplies is Hiver Ambrose.  He may be reached at Jefferson Park Ministries, our coalition partner.  Thus far, the AMHE has sent all hospital donated supplies to the warehouses of NJ4HAITI.  I would encourage you to contact them and they would instruct you as to delivery or pick up.

In the meantime, we are in the process of streamlining the humanitarian assistance process.  We are working with various humanitarian, political, and governmental agencies to organize regular flights to Haiti.  MSNJ will keep you informed as soon as this is set up; we presume in the following one to three weeks.  Thus, anyone that may be interested in participating in the relief effort would be able to go to Haiti and help.

Special thanks to Yvan Ducheine, MD for continuously updating the Medical Society of New Jersey

Update on the situation in Haiti

Haiti was stricken by a catastrophic earthquake of 7.0 magnitude.  The main city of Port-au-Prince close to the epicenter was severely damaged. Others cities like Leogane and Jacmel are also hit. An estimation of 100,000 lives lost has been recorded. This unfolding tragedy in front of our own eyes has reached historical proportion.

The AMHE Relief Mission of the Haitian Physicians Abroad is monitoring the situation very closely. The New York Chapter disaster relief has sent a note asking physicians to volunteers and the line up is good. 60 physicians are already signed up, ready to go. We encourage emergency physicians, nurses, dialysis technicians to be in line. However we have to insure a long term commitment since everyone can not go at once.

Contacts have been made with other organizations US agency for international development (www. and for logistics. Other organizations AAP, (Dr Danielle Laraque), MSSM We are in contact with Haiti through our Relief member Dr Aldy Castor who is helping us in assessing the situation, the president of AMH (Association Medical Haitienne), Dr Claude Surena. Information gathered so far indicates that aftershocks of Richter scale magnitude of 4 to 5 are still occurring.

Major problems facing the citizens of Haiti remain

  • dehydration
  • bleeding
  • crush injuries
  • eye injuries
  • fractures and dislocations
  • respiratory ailments
  • risks for infection (diarrheas)
  • acute depression

As soon as the logistical problems are solved, the AMHE Relief Mission will develop a bridge with permanent rotations of Haitian Physicians between US Canada (different chapters) and Haiti like we did in 2004.

The organization is looking for IV fluids, Medicines including antibiotics and anti-diarrheal, peritoneal and hemodialysis materials to be shipped immediately.

Because of complications of crush injuries, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are needed. The University hospital of Haiti (HUEH) has a four machine hemodialysis unit not very functional in normal time (our own assessment from December 2009). Therefore supplies would be essential for allowing a smooth operation Point of care testing for creatinine, potassium, sodium, and glucose would also be needed We are in contact with American Society of Nephrology (ASN).

Contact for the Relief Mission

Paul Nacier MD
Eric L. Jerome, MD FACP

Assignment of Benefits Bill Signed into Law

MSNJ has learned that Acting Governor Stephen M. Sweeney signed S114 into law this past Saturday. The law will take effect in 12 months.

Under the new law, when a patient assigns their benefits under a health insurance policy to a healthcare provider, their insurer must honor that request.  The insurer may opt to issue a check jointly payable to the healthcare provider and patient, however the check must physically be sent to the provider of services.

This law remedies years of frustration where a provider of medical services who is out of network with a patient’s insurance company would see payments go directly to patient, leaving the provider to collect the fee.   The cost to collect would reduce the provider’s income and in some instances the provider would never be paid.

The Medical Society of New Jersey partnered with many medical specialty societies to move this bill through the Legislature.  This bill represents two years of advocacy on behalf of physicians.

54 AMHE Physicians, Surgeons, Orthopedists, Nurses on the way in Haiti

A message from the President of the Association of Haitian Physicians

Dear Friends,

The Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad with the acronym AMHE with chapters along the east coast and Montreal representing 10% of all black physicians in the US again expresses to all its deepest sorrow for this unparalleled tragedy that has afflicted our country.

For the past five years, we have worked with the Minister of Health in Haiti to address a few challenges and we stand ready to roll our sleeves, help again with a short term and a long term plan.

On day one, we have activated our AMHE Medical Relief mission Task force to inquire, assess the needs through a member of the mission in the field Dr Aldy Castor and Dr Claude Surena AMH (Association Medical Haitienne) President, our sister organization in Haiti.

On Thursday the 14th January 2010, a group of ten of our members were sent to Port-au-prince via Miami, Florida. One Report from Haiti outlined:

“The biggest challenge is to perform surgeries on site. Ninety percent of patients are in dire need of surgery. Great need for Tetanus vaccines, antibiotics (IV and PO) IV fluids, disinfectants, autoclaves to sterilize material, sheets, scrubs, etc. We need volunteers with clipboards and paper to document the care to create a database of the patients. Creole speaking staff needed. Communication makes a big difference.”

Therefore, today AMHE dispatched a group of 54 physicians, orthopedists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses.

We plan to send close to 200 physicians and nurses by the end of next week.

We will work with other groups to maintain a smooth operation. We have touched base with Dr Alix Lassegue Medical director of the state university hospital and Dr William Pape of Gheskio with “slightly injured knee due to fallen concrete”.

The Ultimate goal is to alleviate pain and suffering of the proud people of Haiti struggling with the aftermath of a monstrous earthquake.

To register, Volunteers will call 718 2451015 or go to the our web site

Make your checks to AMHE Foundation.

We want to thank the United States President Barrack Obama and his administration, the United Nations and the all international community for a quick response to the disaster in Haiti.


Christian Lauriston, MD

President AMHE

Information on How Physicians in New Jersey Can Assist with the Crisis in Haiti

From Yvan Ducheine, MD — Executive Member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Haitian Physicians Association (Association Des Medecins Haitiens a L’etranger) and member of MSNJ

The AMHE Central Executive Committee, Mission Relief Task Force had a teleconference on the night of 1-15-10.  It addressed many issues having to do with the disaster in Haiti.  One of which has to do with the volunteers who want to go to Haiti to provide assistance.

There are flights scheduled to go to Haiti on 1-16-2010 (Catholic Charities), 1-18-2010 (JetBlue), and 1-23-2010.  These flights are leaving from JFK, interested volunteers are encouraged to contact Dr. Paul Nacier via email @, or may text him @ 917-748-1326.  He will put you on the list.

The transportation logistics, once arrived in Port-au-Prince or via Dominican Republic, have been taken care of in terms of transportation from the airport to the area of service, or assistance.  Prior to traveling, you are encouraged to bring dry foods for 3 days, a sleeping bag, change of clothes.  You will most likely be sleeping in large communal tents, eating food rations, etc.  The rotations are for 3 to 5 days.  It is a long term endeavor, if you cannot go this week, you can go the following week.

Interested volunteers are also encouraged to go to the website for further information,,  Please pay attention to the CDC travel recommendation that are linked to the Haiti earthquake link, while at the website.


Dr. Marie Evelyne Moise, member of AMHE has just returned from a two-day trip to Haiti and has filed the following report:

  • The UM/Medishare effort is very appreciated, their logistic for moving personnel is commendable.
  • The biggest challenge is to perform surgeries on site. Ninety percent of patients are in dire need of surgery. Many local Haitian resources are helping out (Surgeons, Nurses), but they are not informed on when and how the rescue teams are arriving.
  • Great need for Tetanus vaccines, antibiotics (IV and PO), gauze bandages, IV fluids, disinfectants, autoclaves to sterilize material, sheets, scrubs, gloves, and suture kits.
  • Urgent need for nurses, which will alleviate physicians’ tasks. Example: IV dressing, etc.
  • Documentation issues: we need volunteers with clipboards and paper to document the care to create a database of the patients.
  • Creole speaking staff needed. Communication makes a big difference.
  • Volunteers need to know that there are no sleeping accommodations, not much time to take a break, there are sleeping bags available for 1-2 hour naps as needed. The only thing that is provided is drinking water, so bring sustenance for 2-3 days (protein bars, crackers, etc.). Ideal length of stay under these circumstances should be 2-3 days at a time.

Assignment of Benefits Bill Passes the Legislature

MSNJ urges Governor to sign A-132

Legislation requiring health insurers to remit a patient’s reimbursement directly to an out-of-network provider has passed the Senate, just days after passing the Assembly and a week after clearing its biggest hurdle before the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

This legislation, which has been one of the most hotly debated healthcare issues in the concluding weeks of the 2008-2009 legislative session, would require insurers to honor a patient’s “assignment of benefits” to an out-of-network provider by sending payment directly to physicians.  Currently, honoring assignment is optional, and many payers continue to send checks to consumers leaving the opportunity for the check to not reach the physician.

The bill, which had sailed through the Senate in 2008, stalled in Assembly committee as policy makers debated the appropriateness of insurers using the “assignment issue” as a tool to encourage network participation.  The Assembly eventually settled on a compromise which mandates direct payment while giving insurers the option of requiring two signatures—the provider’s and the patient’s—on the check.  The compromise preserved some difference in payment between participating and out-of-network providers, while assuring that physicians have better control over their billings.

In it’s final form, A-132, the “Assignment of Benefits” bill:

  1. Guarantees that insurance payments will be mailed directly to physicians regardless of their network participation;
  2. Assures checks from health insurers can only be used to pay healthcare providers; and,
  3. Puts doctors in the driver’s seat by assuring that they are aware of when checks are cut, mailed, and signed by the appropriate party.

MSNJ joins the Hospital Association and countless other medical specialty societies in celebration of this tremendous success, and thanks all of our coalition partners for their hard work.

Assignment of Benefits Legislation Passes NJ Assembly

Senate bill 114 (Assignment of Benefits) passed in the Assembly today with 63 votes in favor, six votes opposed and six abstentions.  The legislation compels health insurers to remit payments directly to healthcare providers where a patient executes a valid assignment of their health insurance benefit.

The bill will require approval of certain amendments by the Senate before it can move to the Governor’s Office for signature.  Please check here regularly for updates as the 212th legislative session draws to a close.

Assignment of Benefits Bill Advances

The Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee released A132 (Assignment of Benefits) today.  In a unanimous vote, the committee approved the legislation and adopted amendments to the bill where insurers may issue checks jointly payable to the insured and the healthcare provider.  The checks will be physically issued to the healthcare provider.

The other amendment lengthened the effective date of the legislation from three months to one year.

The bill is scheduled for a vote by the full Assembly on Thursday.  The Senate will need to adopt the Assembly amendments before the bill moves to the Governor’s Office.