Keeping You Connected

The SCMA and MLCMS keep you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events


Vaccines are Safe and Effective - MD's invited to weigh in here.

The physicians and health care professionals of Sonoma County, agree that vaccines are not only safe and effective, but critical to protecting individuals and our community from serious life-threatening infectious diseases.  When a large majority of the population is vaccinated, the resulting herd immunity prevents the spread of disease and protects those who cannot be vaccinated - infants, children and people with compriomised immune systems.  These groups are especially vulnerable to complications from vaccine preventable diseases.  The best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community is to get vaccinated.

Please use the comments section below to weigh in on this issue.

Are vaccines safe and effective? Weigh in here.

Please add your name as a comment to show our community that physicians overwhelmingly believe that vaccines are safe and effective. When we have enough names, we'll ask the Press Democrat to publish the above statement with all our names in support as a public statement.

June 2015

Download PDF Here


Upcoming ICD-10 training opportunities

  1. SCMA hosts ICD-10 training July 13 & 14
    Learn to code for ICD-10-Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) and prepare for the ICD-10 Proficiency Assessment. Conducted over two days, July 13 & 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., attendees will receive 16 hours of intensive general ICD-10 code set training along with hands-on coding exercises focused on ICD-10 format and structure, guidelines, and coding tips. Pricing varies: $399 for SCMA-CMA members (a $200 savings), $499 for CA-MGMA members, and $599 for nonmembers. To register, call CMA at 800-786-4262 or view info and register online (Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino-Lake counties). Click here to download informational flier.
  2. CMA offers online physician ICD-10 documentation training
    Earn 3 CMEs online for ICD-10 Documentation Training for Physicians. These 3-hour courses are offered by medical specialty and teach ICD-10-CM documentation requirements for physicians to maintain reimbursement once the ICD-10 transition occurs. To register, call CMA at 800-786-4262 or view info and register online.

iPad presented at June 10 wine & cheese reception

The 15th annual Wine & Cheese Reception at Dutton-Goldfield Winery June 10 honored outgoing SCMA president Dr. Rob Nied for his years of service to the medical community. Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzalez, who becomes 2015-16 president July 1, accepted the gavel.

From a drawing of more than 360 qualifying "Passport to Points" raffle tickets, Dr. Jeff Sugarman was declared winner of the iPad prize. SCMA members earned points/raffle tickets for activities supporting a healthier community and SCMA and CMA activities, including volunteering on community boards and committees; visiting or communicating with local legislators; voting in SCMA's election, and participating in the CMA delegation, among other activities.

Photos from the reception will be published in the summer issue of Sonoma Medicine and soon posted on the SCMA website

Dr. Regina Sullivan is new SCMA president-elect

The SCMA election results are in, and Dr. Regina Sullivan, a Santa Rosa OB-GYN, has been confirmed as 2015-16 SCMA president-elect. She will become president in July 2016. The current president-elect, Dr. Mary Maddux-Gonzalez, will serve as president from July 2015 through June 2016.

Others elected to the SCMA board of directors include Drs. Peter Sybert (treasurer), Rachel Mayorga (North County district), and Stephen Steady (Petaluma). Three members of the CMA delegation confirmed in the election include Drs. Regina Sullivan (delegate), Tricia May (delegate) and Leonard Klay (alternate delegate). A complete list of new SCMA officers and board members will be posted at in July.

Get your 2015 Sonoma County Physician Directory

The 2015 Sonoma County Physician Directory is now available for sale. This indispensable reference book gives contact and specialty information for most doctors currently practicing in Sonoma County, along with detailed photographic listings for SCMA members. It also includes a useful compendium of medical resources. The familiar spiral-bound book is widely used by local medical offices.

Each SCMA member receives one free copy of the directory. Extra copies cost $30 for SCMA members or $40 for nonmember physicians, health care facilities, and the general public. To order by phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or  You can also download the order form and fax it to Rachel at 525-4328 or mail it to SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403.

Nominations needed for SCMA awards

SCMA is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Contribution and Recognition of Achievement awards, to be presented at the Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 2, 2015. Nominations are needed by Aug. 21 for the four awards listed below:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Presented to an SCMA member whose work has benefited the community.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Local Medicine. Presented to an SCMA member who has improved local medical care.
  • Outstanding Contribution to SCMA. Presented to an SCMA member who has served SCMA beyond the call of duty.
  • Recognition of Achievement. Presented to a nonphysician who has helped advance local medicine.

For a list of past award recipients and a nomination form, click here. Nominations can be submitted to SCMA by fax, email or regular mail.

Call for nominations to CMA councils and committees by June 22

CMA's Nominations Committee is currently accepting nominations for 2016 councils and subcommittees including: Council on Science and Public Health; Medical Services; Ethical, Legal and Judicial Affairs; Health Professions and Quality of Care; Membership, Governance and Bylaws; and Council on Legislation. Subcommittees include Medicare, Medi-Cal, Workers' Compensation, Health Information Technology, Professional Liability, and Continuing Medical Education. Click here for informational flier. For assistance with your application or nomination, please contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

"Mastering the Art of Disclosing an Unexpected Outcome"

MIEC (Medical Insurance Exchange of California) has created an interactive workshop that examines the elements of providing a timely and effective disclosure when an unexpected outcome occurs. The workshop will be held on Wednesday evening, July 22 at the Hilltop 1892 in Novato. Scheduled from 5:30-9 p.m., the program includes dinner. Cost is free to SCMA and MMS members, and $45 for all others. Save the date! Click for registration form.


Sarah Chan, MD, Diagnostic Radiology*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa, 95403, Univ Wisconsin 2003

Scott Glickman, DO, Neurological Surgery*, 4690 Hoen Ave., Santa Rosa, 95405, Midwestern Univ 2002

Uyen Ly, MD, Family Medicine*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa, 95403, Univ Washington 2000

* = board certified

Featured member benefit: ICD-10 training

The California Medical Association has partnered with the largest and most respected coding organization, AAPC, to provide CMA members with a complete suite of ICD-10 solutions at steeply discounted rates. Learn about on-site classes in Santa Rosa here, other on-site classes in California here, and online courses for physicians here.


Representing solo and small group practice physicians in CMA's Tenth District (which includes Sonoma, Marin, and counties north to the Oregon border) Richard Powers, MD, has been elected to CMA's Solo and Small Group Practice Forum. The Forum's next meeting will be at the 2015 House of Delegates session scheduled for Friday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 18 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

Top stories from CMA ALERT

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association.

TOP STORY from June 15 issue:

Vaccination bill clears Assembly Health Committee after nearly five hours of discussion, testimony

Senate Bill 277, which would bar parents from skipping school vaccination requirements due to personal philosophies, passed its first test in the state Assembly last Tuesday. Policymakers in the Assembly Health Committee approved the bill on a 12-6 vote.

Also in this issue:


Is your office working on ICD-10 compliance? Click here to see a number of members-only resources, including CMA's ICD-10 Transition Guide for Physicians. Download flier for info about ICD-10 training July 13 & 14, hosted by SCMA.


Share beautiful medical suite in Novato
Share on Wednesday and Thursday only. ALL YOURS other weekdays and Saturday!
Lovely reception area, furnished patient rooms, plenty of parking, and utilities included.
Call 415-897-9800.

SCMA members get free classifieds!
SCMA members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Susan Gumucio at or 707-525-0102.

About SCMA

The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

December 2014

Download PDF Here

Holiday Greeting Card: Be part of a medical tradition

The 2014 SCMA Alliance & Foundation's annual Holiday Greeting Card fundraiser is drawing to a close. This 49th edition features the stunning artwork of Dr. Kate Black. To ensure that your name is included on the holiday card, make your donation by Dec. 7. Not only do you send Season's Greetings to your fellows in the medical community, but you also join in the season of giving by supporting the Health Careers Scholarship Fund, which benefits local students pursuing a health care career. Extend your good wishes to that special person in your life by making your donation "in honor of" or "in memory of" and it will be so noted on the card.

Complete your donation by mail or visit our website,, and designate the Holiday Greeting Card as the recipient of your generosity. If you have questions, please contact the Holiday Greeting Card Chair, Barbara Ramsey, at or 707-953-5603.

Awards Dinner Dec. 2: SOLD OUT

Outstanding Contribution awards for 2014 will be presented to Dr. Joe Clendenin, a retired family physician, Dr. Laurel Warner, an infectious disease physician, and Dr. Charles Elboim, a surgeon with a special interest in breast diseases. The Article of the Year Award will be given to Dr. Robert Woodbury for "Emerging Concepts of Obesity," which appeared in the spring 2014 issue of Sonoma Medicine. Finally, a special Recognition of Achievement will be presented to Ritch Addison, PhD. For details, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or

Dr. Peter Bretan honored with AMA award

Peter N. Bretan, Jr., MD, FACS, a urological and transplant surgeon practicing in Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties, received the Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service from the American Medical Association (AMA). The award recognizes physicians who have performed beyond expectations and made extraordinary public service contributions. Dr. Bretan received the award during the opening session of the 2014 AMA interim meeting in Dallas, TX, on Nov. 8. It was presented by AMA President Robert M. Wah, MD.

The AMA honors Dr. Bretan for his innovative work as a renal transplant surgeon and urologist as well as his participation in global disaster relief efforts. He is the founder of Life Plant International, a charitable organization that promotes disaster preparedness, organ donation, and early disease screening worldwide. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA, in 2005, Dr. Bretan provided free medical care as part of "Team Orleans." Since 2002, he also has made nearly 20 medical mission trips to the Philippines to perform and teach local physicians about kidney transplant and laparoscopic kidney removal operations. More recently, he served as part of a medical mission to the Philippines to provide care to victims of Typhoon Halyan.

View the AMA press release announcing the award to Dr. Bretan.

Operation Access celebrates medical volunteers Dec. 9

Come enjoy craft beer, oysters, artisan pizza, and live music (Bootleg Honeys) at Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma Tuesday, Dec. 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Please join us as we celebrate the contributions of Operation Access medical volunteers who donate their skills to Bay Area residents without access to specialty care.

This year's awards and honorees include: All Hands On Deck Award: Kaiser Permanente San Rafael/Petaluma Gastroenterology Team, including Drs. Jeff Fox, Jennifer Hewett, Brock MacDonald, James Martin, Jeffrey Rothman, and Andrew Spears; Legacy Award: Abdul Harris, MD; Champion Award: Laura Pak, MD; Unsung Hero Award: Daniel Solomon, MD, and Spirit Award: Mary Rogers, RN.

Click here to buy tickets ($25). Proceeds support the Operation Access program in the North Bay.

Win an iPad through Passport to Participation

To encourage physician collegiality and the advancement of community health, PASSPORT TO PARTICIPATION acknowledges Sonoma County physicians' active engagement with SCMA, CMA and community activities by awarding points for participation. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year.

Download PDF flier.


Giac Consiglieri, MD, Neurological Surgery, 525 Doyle Park Dr. #102, Santa Rosa 95405, Univ Southern
California 2005
Ramzi Deeik, MD, Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery*, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #G05, Santa Rosa 95405, Creighton Univ
Constance Dougherty, MD, Emegency Medicine, PO Box 2064, Santa Rosa 95405, Med Coll Pennsylvania 1975
Rasha Germain, MD, Neurological Surgery, 525 Doyle Park Dr. #102, Santa Rosa 95405, Univ Southern California 2005
Karen Milman, MD, Public Health & General Preventive Medicine*, 490 Mendocino Ave. #205, Santa Rosa 95403, Univ Maryland 2003
Jaime Molden, MD, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology*, 3536 Mendocino Ave. #200, Santa Rosa 95403, Univ Chicago 2002

* = board certified; italics = special medical interest


Vote No on 46: VICTORY!!
On Nov. 4, the voters of California spoke loudly and definitively, sending the trial lawyers' Proposition 46 to defeat by a vote of 67 to 33 percent. The message is clear--Californians simply don't want to increase health care costs and reduce health care access so trial attorneys can file more lawsuits.

The efforts of CMA and the county medical associations across the state are a tremendous showing of what we can do for the future of health care, the quality of medicine and the dedication to patients everywhere. Working together to spread the truth about Prop. 46, building coalitions across communities, and standing strong as one united voice are what helped carry us to victory.

This was one of the most contentious and high-stakes ballot fights in California history, and we rose to the occasion. We must use this unity moving forward and showcase to our colleagues the value the California Medical Association brings to our great profession--staying united for whatever comes our way next.

Humboldt physician installed as CMA's 147th president

The California Medical Association (CMA) has installed Humboldt County physician Luther Cobb, MD, as its 147th president. He takes office on the heels of the momentous defeat of Proposition 46, a campaign in which doctors and health care providers across California rallied together to oppose the measure that ultimately failed 33 to 67 percent.

After attending Stanford Medical School, Dr. Cobb went on to his residency at Stanford and did a two-year fellowship to study pancreatic islet transplantation for diabetes. He later joined the Stanford faculty and worked at the affiliated county hospital in Santa Clara County, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Dr. Cobb is a former chair of the CMA Council on Legislation and has served on the organization's executive committee since 2006. He is also past president of the Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society. Dr. Cobb's term as CMA president will run from November 2014 through October 2015.

CMA needs your feedback by Dec. 4 on how workers' comp reform is working

CMA is asking for physician feedback through a survey on how the workers' compensation reforms implemented last year have impacted their practices.

The reforms were implemented in phases beginning on Jan. 1, 2013, and have incorporated changes to the workers' compensation program, including implementation of an independent medical review process to resolve disputes about the medical treatment of injured employees, an independent bill review process to resolve disputes regarding provider payment issues and a fee schedule based on a resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) similar to Medicare's. CMA's survey is focused on these key areas.

Feedback from physician members thus far indicates potential problems with workers' compensation reform. CMA is asking physicians to share their experience by responding to a brief survey. The results of the survey will help CMA assess areas of reform that working and those that need improvement so we can focus our efforts accordingly.

Are you interested in joining Anthem's Medi-Cal managed care network?

In an effort to expand its Medi-Cal managed care provider network across the state, Anthem Blue Cross is reaching out to CMA member physicians who are interested in joining the insurer's network. Physicians who would like to learn more about this opportunity are asked to provide CMA with some basic information by filling out this brief form. Anthem will follow up with additional details.


Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa welcomes new physician in elder care & palliative care

Kaiser Permanente (KP) Santa Rosa Medical Center welcomes Kumari "Maya" Jayawardena, MD to the SNF/Palliative Care department responsible for managing KP members in contracted Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). Dr. Jayawardena transferred to KP Santa Rosa with significant training and experience in Palliative Care after three years at KP Oakland. Dr. Jayawardena is a graduate of University of Colombo Faculty of Medicine in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She completed her residency at St. Joseph Health Care Centers and Hospital in Chicago, IL, and her Fellowship at UC Irvine Medical Center.


CPR is a free monthly e-bulletin from CMA's practice management experts that focuses on critical payor and health care industry changes and how they directly impact the business of a physician practice. Each issue includes tips on reimbursement and contracting-related issues along with information on the latest practice management news. The November issue includes:

  • Blue Shield announces changes to 2015 exchange/mirror products
  • Are you interested in joining Anthem's Medi-Cal managed care network?
  • Health Net modifying exchange/mirror products
  • Voters resoundingly defeat Proposition 46
  • Anthem to require NDC on claims for certain physician-administered drugs
  • CMA publishes duals project FAQ
  • Don't miss out on increased Medi-Cal payments! Deadline to attest is Dec. 31
  • Blue Shield makes positive changes to reimbursement policy for physicians treating out-of-network exchange PPO patients
  • United issues new Premium Designation physician results
  • United Healthcare to host webinars about its Premium Designation Program for contracted physicians
  • CMA wants to hear from practices experiencing problems with the new prescription drug prior authorization form
  • Counting down to ICD-10 implementation
  • State issues report cards for HMOs, PPOs and large medical groups
  • Ask the Expert: Do I enter a qualifier in box 14 of the claim form if the patient has Medicare prime and a secondary insurance?
    • Meet your CMA Affinity Partner: Union Bank
  • The Coding Corner: Modifier 59 and beyond
  • Workshop for Physician Health Committees

Workshop for Physician Health Committees
California Public Protection & Physician Health (CPPPH) is offering a free workshop on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to noon in Oakland for those who serve on physician health committees of hospital medical staffs, medical groups, and specialty societies and to those with credentialing and privileging responsibilities. No CME. Advance registration required. Contact Tina Hsu at


Seeking sublet to rent
Seeking medical office for sublet in Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, or Petaluma.
Please contact or call 415-839-8399.

SCMA members get free classifieds!
SCMA members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Susan Gumucio at or 707-525-0102.


The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2014 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

February 2014

MICRA talking points to use with your patients

Richard Thorp, MD
[Dr. Thorp, a Paradise internist, is president of the California Medical Association. The following article is adapted from a letter he recently sent to California physicians.]

By now, you and your fellow California physicians likely understand the full measure of what’s at stake in the fight to protect the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). We now know that the trial attorneys’ proposed ballot language has received approval from the Secretary of State’s Office, and that MICRA opponents have begun collecting signatures in an attempt to place that language on the November 2014 ballot. We also know that these well-funded opponents have poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaign to undo MICRA.

In other words, the threat against MICRA is more serious now than it has ever been.

There’s no doubt that you and your colleagues understand the potentially catastrophic results that would come from MICRA’S cap being lifted to roughly fourfold; yet unfortunately physicians’ understanding of the issue will not be enough to stop this initiative.

To win this fight, voters--our patients, those we interact with every day in our practices--must understand that protecting MICRA goes hand-in-hand with protecting access to quality health care in California.

To that end, a set of talking points appears below, to ensure that any conversation regarding MICRA, no matter how brief, will ultimately be of value to both the physician and the patient.

Introduce the talking points with, “Right now, there’s a good deal of misinformation being used to support an initiative that will potentially close doctors’ office and make health care more expensive for all Californians. California trial lawyers are pushing an initiative that would allow lawyers to collect more money from medical malpractice suits, but they’re running it alongside a host of other provisions that makes it look like the initiative’s focus is patient safety. The physician community is always looking for ways to improve patient safety and reduce the number of medical errors--but that isn’t what this ballot measure is about. This measure is about making more money for trial lawyers.”

  • This measure will raise costs for millions of health consumers and taxpayers. More lawsuits mean higher health care costs for patients and providers--everyone will pay more.
  • This measure is about making more money for trial lawyers. This measure is being funded by trial lawyers and their allies so they can make more money suing health care professionals--period.
  • This measure will reduce access to health care services. This measure will lead to reduced access to our health care professionals--and fewer options for affordable, quality health care--especially in rural and underserved communities.
  • Californians do not want to weaken MICRA. The public supports MICRA. According to a recent poll conducted by Patients Allied for Patient Protection, nearly two-thirds of voters support the law.

Again, I cannot stress enough how important the next few months will be to the future of our profession. We will win this fight, but we cannot do so alone. Thank you in advance for standing with me in defense of MICRA.

[For the latest MICRA news, visit]

CMA develops simple tool to ID physician participation status in exchange plans

On Jan. 1, Covered California began providing health coverage to more than 500,000 patients statewide. With that figure expected to grow by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period, it is critical that physicians and their staff have a clear understanding of their exchange plan participation status so they can communicate this information to patients before scheduling. It’s equally as important that practices understand the reimbursement rates and other terms associated with the plans with which they are contracted.

Even if you did not intentionally contract with any exchange plans, the California Medical Association (CMA) urges you to check your participation status. It’s very possible that you may have been unknowingly opted into an exchange plan network due to the way that major insurance plans have structured their provider agreements.

If you've attempted to look up your exchange plan participation status on the Covered California website, you know that it's not a straightforward process. Because it is critical that physicians know what plans they are contracted with, CMA has created a quick and easy tool to look up your exchange plan participation status in just a few clicks.

The tool, available to members only, requires simply your first and last name and middle initial. Then it will tell you which plans list you as a contracting physician (as of September 2013, the most recent data released by Covered California). To access the tool, visit

Please note: You will be required to login with a member account. If you have not already activated your web account, visit If you need assistance activating your account, contact CMA's member service center at (800) 786-4262 or

For more information on Covered California, visit CMA’s exchange resource center at Physician members and their staff also have free access to CMA’s practice management experts at 888-401-5911 or .

AAssembly candidate Dr. Jim Wood to speak at SCMA on Feb. 25

Physicians in the 2nd Assembly District are invited to a meet-and-greet with Assembly candidate Dr. Jim Wood from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The event will be held at SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave., Suite 202, Santa Rosa. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Dr. Wood, a family dentist, is mayor of Healdsburg. He has served on the Healdsburg City Council since 2006 and also chairs the board of directors of the Sonoma County Waste Management Agency.

The 2nd Assembly District includes the northern half of Santa Rosa and northern and western Sonoma County, except for Sebastopol. It also encompasses Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity counties. The district is currently represented by Wes Chesbro, an Arcata Democrat.

There is no charge for the event, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or For more details, see the attached flyer.

Sonoma County seeking new Health Officer

Sonoma County has begun accepting applications for a new Health Officer to replace Dr. Lynn Silver-Chalfin, who resigned in December to work for the Public Health Institute in Oakland. Dr. Karen Holbrook is currently serving as Interim Health Officer.

The position pays $13,888 to $16,879 per month. A complete job description and application procedures can be found in the Classifieds section at the end of this newsletter. Applications are due on Feb. 28.

Housing needed for families attending motor-disability camp this summer

Boost Camp, which provides conductive education for children with motor disabilities, needs housing for out-of-town parents and children attending the camp from June 28 to August 2. The camp, sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay, teaches children motor skills and trains parents and their families to work hands-on with the children. The results of the camp are as individual as the children participating: taking several steps without a walker, using canes instead of a wheelchair, being able to catch a ball for the first time.

Ideal accommodations would be guest houses or vacation homes at ground level. They should include a queen or double-size bed, full bathroom, kitchen with refrigerator and stove, and washer and dryer. Other types of housing could work as well.

To offer housing, contact Katie Lightfoot, Boost Camp director, at  or 707-569-4412. For more information, see the attached flyer.

Sonoma Medicine wins first place in publications competition

Sonoma Medicine magazine took top honors in a recent publications competition sponsored by the Northern California chapters of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), the world’s largest organization of technical writers and designers. The first-place win qualifies Sonoma Medicine for the international competition, to be held later this spring.

Competition judges wrote, “This is a very professional publication, with high quality materials and articles. Covers are engaging and set the tone for the theme of the issue. … The layout is consistent, attractive and effective. … The writing is easy to understand--a pleasing and educational read for any audience.”

Physicians interested in submitting article proposals for the magazine should contact the editor, Steve Osborn, at or 707-525-0101. All article proposals are reviewed by the SCMA Editorial Board.

Benefit change: Free SCMA legal services switching to CMA

SCMA will be switching its free legal services from local attorney Larry McLaughlin to the CMA Center for Legal Affairs effective March 1. Mr. McLaughlin will continue to offer legal referrals to physicians and office staff until Sept. 1. He can be reached at his current number: 707-823-2134. The forwarding on his old number (579-4523) expires on Feb.1.

The CMA Center for Legal Affairs provides members with information and resources about laws and regulations that impact the practice of medicine. While CMA staff cannot provide physicians with individual legal advice, their health law information specialists, with the support of CMA legal counsel, will help you find legal information and resources on a multitude of health-law related issues, ranging from OSHA requirements to the retention of medical records. This service is free to CMA members (not available to nonmembers). For assistance, contact CMA’s member help center at 800-786-4262 or

CMA’s health law library is the most comprehensive health law and medical practice resource for California physicians. The library contains over 4,500 pages of up-to-date information on a variety of subjects of everyday importance to practicing physicians. The library includes the California Physician's Legal Handbook, as well as more specialized information on peer review, payor contracting and other topics.

ON-CALL documents from the health law library are free to CMA members ($2 per page for nonmembers) and are available online in the resource library or by calling CMA’s member help center at 800-786-4262.

Hillary Clinton headlines 2014 Health Care Leadership Academy

Former Secretary of State and potential presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the annual Western Health Care Leadership Academy in San Diego on April 11-13. Top thinkers from around the country will share strategies and resources for accelerating the shift to a more integrated, high performing, and sustainable health care system.

The conference will examine the most significant challenges facing health care today and present proven models and innovative approaches to transform your organization’s care delivery and business practices. Topics will include leadership development, ACA implementation, practice management and the ICD-10 transition.

To register, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or

Legislative Leadership Conference set for April 22 in Sacramento

All SCMA members are invited to CMA’s 40th annual Legislative Leadership Conference on Tuesday, April 22, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. This free event begins with morning speeches by political leaders, followed by afternoon sessions with local legislators. Several hundred physicians from around the state are expected to attend.

For more information, visit  or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375

Top stories from CMA Alert

Here are the top stories from the latest CMA Alert, the California Medical Association’s biweekly email newsletter. For a free subscription, visit

  •  Senate pro tem considering MICRA legislation
  • Federal budget spares most health programs
  • Budget instructs CMS to reform RAC audits that have been troubling physicians
  • HHS to release Medicare physician payment data
  • CMS to conduct ICD-10 testing in March

Top stories from CMA Alert



The January 2014 issue of Family Medicine, a national journal, includes a highly favorable review of “The Santa Rosa Reader,” a book by Dr. Rick Flinders published by SCMA in 2012. The reviewer, Baltimore physician Dr. Alida Gertz, writes, “Reading this book, I was inspired to be a better doctor. Clearly an excellent teacher who can simplify complex concepts and ideas, Dr Flinders espouses the importance of lifelong learning and dedicates several chapters to detailing his own enduring pursuit of knowledge, including one on returning to medical school.” All proceeds from the book benefit the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. To order, visit or any online bookseller.


An evening conference on opioid prescribing will be held at the Redwood Food Bank in Santa Rosa on Feb. 12. The conference, which focuses on tapering opioid medications, runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and offer 1.5 hours of CME credit. The cost, including dinner and CME credits, is $30. To register, visit

The third annual Childhood Obesity Conference will be held at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 22. The featured speaker is acclaimed pediatrician Dr. Robert Lustig, who will discuss his research on sugar consumption as the underlying cause of obesity. Five other speakers are scheduled as well, along with breakout sessions, breakfast and lunch, and a networking reception. Cost is $80. To register, visit

The 21st annual HIV/AIDS Review is set for Saturday, April 5, at the Finley Community Center in Santa Rosa. Intended for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS, the review features sessions on advances in HIV testing, hepatitis C treatment and new HIV medications. Cost is $45, which includes breakfast, lunch and 5 hours of CME. For the conference flyer, click here. To register, click here or call 707-303-8904.

Nonprofit health organizations in Sonoma County are encouraged to apply for community grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care. The application deadline is April 2. The grants, generally in the $10,000 range, are awarded twice a year by the nonprofit foundation to support local projects that enhance health services. For application materials, visit or contact Kathy Pass at 707-525-4281 or

The following CMA webinars are scheduled for February. Webinars, which are typically worth one CEU credit, begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or later. To register, visit Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person.

  •  Managing Medicare in 2014: New Rules and Tools (Feb. 5)
  • Retiring, Selling or Buying a Practice (Feb. 19)
  • Personal Belief Exemptions to Required Immunizations (Feb. 24)
  • Fraud and Abuse: Dangers and Defenses (Feb. 26)


  • Salary info: $13,888 to $16,879/month
  • Description: Sonoma County is seeking a skilled and dynamic physician who is passionate about community health improvement as its next Health Officer. Recognized for its commitment to innovation and collaboration, the County of Sonoma strives to be the healthiest county in California. The Health Officer plays a key leadership role in bringing this vision to reality. The Health Officer is a County Officer appointed by the Board of Supervisors and reports to the Director of Health Services for administrative direction.
  • Qualifications: Education & Experience: Graduation from an accredited medical school with a Doctor of Medicine degree and a minimum of three years of responsible work in a public health service that included both clinical and managerial experience. Training in Family Practice, Pediatrics or Internal Medicine is desirable. Additionally, possession of a Master’s Degree in Public Health from an accredited school must be achieved within three years of appointment. License/Certification: Possession of a valid Physician’s and Surgeon’s Certificate issued by the State of California.
  •  How to apply: Visit to view the complete position details and to apply online, or call Human Resources at 707-565-2331. EOE.
  • Final filing date: Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.


SCMA members can place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine. Cost for nonmember physicians and the general public is $1 per word. To place a classified ad, contact Linda McLaughlin at or 707-525-4359.

Daniel Ahn, DO, Ophthalmology*, 181 Andrieux St., Sonoma 95476, New York Med Coll 2008

William McClure, MD, Plastic Surgery*, 596 First St. East, Sonoma 95476, UC San Diego 1978

Julie Philp, MD, Dermatology*, Pediatrics*, 990 Sonoma Ave. #2, Sonoma 95476, Stanford Univ 2005

* = board certified; italics = special medical interest


The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.

© 2014 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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