The Harrisburg JCC leaned heavily on its newly established Medical Advisory Team while reopening various programming and setting safety standards throughout the pandemic. The Team, comprised of Drs. Michael Katzman, Sarah Kawasaki, Bryan Reid, and Brandon Smith, has provided interpretations of CDC guidelines, suggestions on how to apply guidelines, and advice on how to handle situations that arise throughout the health crisis.
“I felt an immediate obligation to accept the request from the JCC to participate on the Medical Advisory Team,” said Dr. Katzman, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Penn State Health, who also served Chisuk Emuna Congregation in a similar role. “Participating in these discussions has made me think about questions that have complemented and influenced the decisions I make in my professional role.”
The doctors, who each brought a unique medical experience and perspective, worked together to guide JCC leadership in making impactful decisions.
“We had a good team,” said Dr. Bryan Reid, a family doctor with UPMC Carlisle. “We were very cooperative with each other despite not always having the exact same opinion – we had productive, constructive, and respectful discussions, ranging anywhere from early learning center issues to senior citizens, so the broach perspective was useful.”
The team’s work has not ended, as they are still called on for guidance periodically. Dr. Brandon Smith, Medical Director of the Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit at Penn State Health’s Children’s Hospital, has a piece of advice for all in the community.
“All the physicians on the team strongly encourage anyone who is not yet vaccinated to get vaccinated,” he says.