The Sonoma County Medical Association, a component medical society of the California Medical Association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. In addition to its community health initiatives, SCMA offers a wide array of legal, collegial and advocacy benefits to its members. The medical association also publishes several helpful periodicals and sponsors various committees that safeguard the profession of medicine.
Founded in 1858, SCMA is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association governed by a board of directors composed of local physicians. SCMA welcomes all physicians, respects diverse interests and acts as a unifying force in the community. Interested physicians with MD or DO degrees can join both SCMA and CMA by completing a simple, one-page application form.
Community Health Initiatives
SCMA enhances the health of the community by helping local residents gain the knowledge, motivations and opportunities needed to make informed decisions about their health. The medical association supports local, state and national efforts to promote healthy behaviors, create healthy environments and increase access to high-quality health care. Current SCMA health initiatives include:
- Sonoma Specialty Access. This initiative seeks to improve access to specialty care for uninsured and underinsured patients in Sonoma County. Working in collaboration with physicians, safety net providers, community organizations and regional hospital systems, the goal is to create a specialty referral system for uninsured and underinsured patients throughout the county.
- Primary Care Workforce. Recognizing that primary care is the foundation of an effective health care delivery system, SCMA supports efforts to strengthen the local primary care workforce. The medical association is a strong proponent of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program and of the Health Action Primary Care Workforce plan, which seeks to ensure that every local resident has access to a patient-centered medical home.
- Nonprofit Leadership. SCMA members serve in leadership positions for many nonprofit health organizations, including Health Action and its iWALK and Primary Care Collaborative, the Specialty Access Task Force, the Children’s Health Initiative, the Sonoma Health Alliance, the Perinatal Substance Abuse Council, the Residency Program Collaborative, the Oral Health Planning Group, and Partnership HealthPlan.
Free medical-legal information. SCMA/CMA members can contact attorney Larry McLaughlin for free legal advice on contracts and agreements, subpoenas, employer/employee relations, collections, confidentiality, and records retention. Members can also call the CMA Member Help Center for assistance with general, legal and reimbursement issues. In addition, members can access the CMA Medical-Legal Library, an online resource containing over 3,000 pages of medical-legal, regulatory and reimbursement information. These documents are free to members; nonmembers pay $2 per page.
Collegial Events. SCMA encourages physician collegiality in Sonoma County by sponsoring two annual events. During the popular Awards Dinner, held in the fall, the medical association presents Outstanding Achievement awards to local physicians and community members. The informal Wine & Cheese Reception, held at a different winery each spring, allows physicians to interact with their colleagues in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
CMA Meetings. SCMA/CMA members regularly participate in meetings sponsored by the California Medical Association. Each fall, delegates from SCMA attend the House of Delegates, which establishes the policies that guide CMA. During the spring, SCMA/CMA members enroll in the CMA Leadership Academy, which helps physicians understand the latest trends in health care and develop leadership skills.
Legislative Advocacy. Physicians consistently indicate that influencing public policy is a top priority. SCMA/CMA members regularly meet with local representatives and with candidates for public office. Members are also invited to participate in the annual Legislative Day, when physicians from around the state convene in Sacramento to meet with legislators and other government officials.
Members who are interested in influencing public policy, upholding professional standards or reviewing publications can participate in SCMA committees, including: