Stephen Parodi, MD, discusses moving beyond pandemic at AMA Thought Leadership webinar

The American Medical Association recently invited Stephen Parodi, MD, associate executive director of The Permanente Medical Group, to share his insights on how to move beyond the pandemic and how physicians can prepare for what lies ahead.

Dr. Stephen Parodi
Stephen Parodi, MD

Dr. Parodi, who also serves as a national infectious disease leader for Kaiser Permanente, spoke with host and AMA President Gerald Harmon, MD, about the need for people to come together, how health systems can address long COVID, and how health care professionals and patients can prepare for future pandemics. He was joined by physician leaders Céline Gounder, MD, clinical associate professor, Medicine and Infectious Diseases, New York University; and Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director, American Public Health Association.

Dr. Parodi explained that “multiple levels of communication need to be happening … as we move into hopefully a more sustainable phase” of the pandemic.

First, physicians can lay the groundwork to help the public better understand variants and immunity. Second, public health messaging should be synced with health system messaging at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that the public is hearing the same thing within their communities, in media, and from clinicians they trust, including doctors and nurses.

In terms of pandemic preparedness, Dr. Parodi said that “public health infrastructure is not where it needs to be.” Funding that had been earmarked toward public health is currently held up at the federal level but needs to be shored up to fund areas such as COVID-19 testing and surveillance.

Dr. Parodi would like to see an infrastructure built “where there is actual health information exchange occurring between public health: a health system like [Kaiser Permanente] or physician offices and community clinics.” To allow for that to occur at national and state levels would build upon some of the learnings that we got from this whole pandemic effort, he said.

Related coverage: “3 healthcare leaders discuss moving out of the pandemic”

Note: Watch the full interview on the AMA website.