Last March, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to plague the United States, Dr. Amy Fogelman ’97 became engrossed in the country’s lack of understanding about the virus, and even more so in the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.
“At certain hospitals in Massachusetts masks were required, but in others, physicians were told that they were not allowed to wear masks, even if they personally supplied them, because administrators were afraid that the masks would ‘scare’ the patients,” Fogelman recalls. “I watched as my colleagues on social media shared their fears for their lives, and their patients’ lives, but many did not feel empowered to speak up and feared for their jobs if they did.”
As the owner of her own medico-legal consulting firm, Fogelman felt an obligation to speak up for colleagues who couldn’t. So she joined the grassroots, non-partisan, physician-led advocacy group COVID-19 Action Coalition (COVAC-MA) to help advocate for public health measures that will reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. COVAC-MA, a 501c4 nonprofit entity, is comprised of Massachusetts physicians from diverse specialties and employment settings, students, and civic, community, and business leaders working to advocate for urgent government, business, and community actions.