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American Board of Physician Specialties & Leading Organizations Call for an Essential Workers Bill of Rights

TAMPA, FL  – The American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS), the American Association of Physician Specialists, the American Academy of Disaster Medicine (AAODM), the American Board of Disaster Medicine (ABODM) along with the High Alert Institute call for an Essential Workers Bill of Rights.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented pressures to bear upon the essential emergency support functions of our country – revealing serious gaps that need to be addressed,” stated Jeffery Morris JD, Executive Director, ABPS. “These essential emergency support functions facilitate the activities of our daily lives even under stay-at-home orders and quarantines. It is imperative to the care of our citizens that all Essential Workers, First Responders, Healthcare Workers and their Families be protected and supported at work and at home.”

All of the above organizations came together to help draft and define a much-needed Essential Workers Bill of Rights. All are in full support of the inclusion of: Emergency Management Professionals; First Responders including 911 Operators; Dispatchers; Firefighters; Law Enforcement; Nurses, Therapists, Physicians, Dental Professionals, Allied Providers and Healthcare Workers across a broad spectrum of professions.

The same considerations that are enumerated in the Essential Workers Bill of Rights should be given to the broader spectrum of essential workers, inclusive of those in food services, farming, sanitation, transportation, trucking, utilities and communications.

The ABPS, AAPS, ABODM, AAODM and the High Alert Institute firmly believe that the early learnings of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown those working in emergency management the numerous cracks within our healthcare system. These will need to be addressed and resolved over the next few years. The most important being the need to properly protect the safety, security, dignity and autonomy of our country’s essential workers.

Click here to view the Essential Workers Bill of Rights Position Statement.

Established in 1952, the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) is the official certifying body of the American Association of Physician Specialists Inc. (AAPS) a 501(c)6 organization headquartered in Tampa, FL. The ABPS certifies qualified physicians, both allopathic and osteopathic, in 20 specialties. ABPS sets rigorous standards of physician board certification and recertification, validating physicians’ skills, knowledge and commitment. To learn more about ABPS Member Boards visit

Established in the wake of 9/11, the High Alert Institute, Inc. became a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charitable research organization in 2011. Headquartered in Lake Wales, Florida, the High Alert Institute is dedicated to educating disaster healthcare and emergency management professionals through research and education across the disaster lifecycle. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Alert Institute, Inc. undertook a review of over 87,000 COVID-19 related articles from the peer reviewed scientific literature towards identifying a benchmark against which to compare antiviral treatments to combat the coronavirus.