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The SMLMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events


2024 Physician Wellness Leadership awards announced

Nominations and award recipients were announced at the Physician Wellness EXPO and Dinner on April 26, 2024, in Petaluma. Awards were presented to physicians in six categories of wellness leadership achievement. Click here or the icon below for the full dinner program, which includes photographs and statements from each of the nominees. Additional details and list of awardees may be viewed in May 2024 News Briefs.

2024 Physician Wellness Expo & Dinner



October 2010

Drs. Klay, Kerr, Greaves and Andolsen to receive awards at SCMA dinner

Drs. Leonard Klay, Stacey Kerr, Bo Greaves and Richard Andolsen will be honored during the annual SCMA Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1. Tickets for the dinner—to be held at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa—are FREE for SCMA members and $50 each for spouses, guests and nonmembers. To RSVP or to order tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

Dr. Klay will receive the Frederick Plessner Memorial Award from the California Medical Association for his four decades of medical practice, community work and political activism in Sonoma County. The awards presentation will include a video produced by CMA in honor of Klay’s many accomplishments.

SCMA will present its Outstanding Contribution to the Community Award to Dr. Kerr for her medical writing, including her monthly health column for the Press Democrat, her articles for Sonoma Medicine, and her recent book, “Homebirth in the Hospital.”

The Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine Award will go to Dr. Greaves for his work with Health Action, which promotes patient-centered medical homes and the iWALK and iGROW programs.

Dr. Andolsen will receive the Outstanding Contribution to SCMA Award in honor of his decades of service to the medical association, including his chairmanship of the Medical Review Advisory Committee and his tenure as president.

The evening will also include presentation of the Article of the Year Award. The winner of that award, for the year’s best article in Sonoma Medicine, will be announced later this month.

The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. Dinner choices include a “duet” of fresh fish and beef tenderloin; fresh fish only; beef tenderloin only; or vegetarian. Please indicate dinner choice when purchasing tickets or sending RSVPs. For more information, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

You’re invited to the SCMA Open House on Oct. 27

Members, their families and other friends of SCMA are invited to an Open House at the medical association’s new office from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Wine and appetizers will be served. The new digs are located in Suite 202 in the Mansi Professional Building, 2901 Cleveland Ave., Santa Rosa, just a half-block south of SCMA’s old office.

The Open House is a great opportunity to meet SCMA staff and learn more about the medical association’s many projects and publications. Staff members include:

·       Cynthia Melody, Executive Director, 707-525-4375,

·       Rachel Pandolfi, Executive Assistant, 707-525-4375,

·       Steve Osborn, Communications Director, 707-525-0101,

·       Erika Goodwin, Advertising Representative, 707-548-6491,

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

Former Surgeon General to speak in Belvedere on Oct. 28

Physicians in Sonoma County are invited to attend the Oct. 28 Marin Medical Society membership dinner, which will include an address by former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona. Dr. Carmona, a UCSF graduate, trauma surgeon and public health expert, is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona with appointments in public health, surgery and pharmacy practice. He will speak about the role of state and local medical societies in disaster preparedness from his experience as Surgeon General.

The event, to be held at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, begins with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7. Dinner choices include pork loin, sea bass or a vegetarian entree. Tickets are $45 per person. To RSVP and identify your dinner choice, contact Jessica Strasheim at or 415-924-3891.

SCMA Alliance hosts family picnic in Rincon Valley on Oct. 24

The SCMA Alliance invites SCMA members and their families to a picnic in Rincon Valley Park on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 24. The gathering will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and will feature grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and other traditional picnic fare, along with Halloween activities and a Jumpy for children. Cost is just $10 per family. The park is located at 5108 Badger Rd. in Santa Rosa. To RSVP, contact Christin Hubner-Beakes at

CMA: Leveraging our strength in numbers

By CMA President J. Brennan Cassidy, MD

The challenges facing California physicians today have never been greater. Doctors face a veritable obstacle course of legislative, regulatory, legal, financial, and technological hurdles in their practices and more will come as a result of passage of the health reform law. At the California Medical Association, our mission is to provide our members with an impressive range of benefits and solutions to help doctors meet these challenges, so they can focus their efforts on caring for patients.

We realize that most of you belong to CMA for our legislative advocacy. Representing 35,000 physicians allows us to leverage our strength in numbers to exert a great deal of influence with government agencies and elected officials. Our lobbying efforts are effective in fighting off onerous regulations and in crafting physician-friendly language in major bills, at both the state and national levels. We’ve also waged a continuous battle on behalf of our members, to maximize reimbursements in programs like Medi-Cal and Medicare. As we all witnessed during the health care reform debates, medicine is coming under ever-growing legislative scrutiny, which makes the representation of our members, and our profession, absolutely imperative.

Perhaps a lesser known benefit is the legal support we provide to CMA members. We commonly file amicus curiae, or “friend of the court” briefs in health care-related suits and hearings, which often play a crucial role in the final outcomes. On a less frequent basis we file lawsuits against parties such as insurance companies, or even the state of California, in order to protect the best interests of our physicians. Besides active legal representation, we also provide all of our members with access to an extensive online library of medical-legal documents that discuss court cases, laws and regulations as they apply to the practice of medicine in California. And our health law information specialists provide individual assistance to members with human resource, medical, regulatory or legal questions. This assistance is free of charge to all members.

Many members find our financial and economic services an invaluable benefit of membership. Our dedicated Economic Services team act on members’ behalf in three key areas: (1) working with public and private payors to eliminate inequitable provisions from contracts; (2) providing members with tools to evaluate and negotiate payor contracts; and (3) assisting physicians with payment disputes with private and public payors.

Members are also eligible to receive a wide range of group discounts on products and programs used across most practices, including: insurance, practice financing, payment systems and office supplies. But the benefits don’t stop with just financial or general administrative services. CMA recognizes the challenges doctors face in managing practices, especially in solo or small group settings. To help, we’ve published a Best Practices manual, which provides information and tools to help improve the efficiency and quality of practices. We’ve also created the Red Flags Rule Toolkit, along with a series of webinars, to help physicians understand and comply with the latest identity theft regulations enforced by the FTC. CMA is also developing educational materials and guiding principles for our members interested in forming Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).

As health care is going through an unprecedented revolution in electronic data, and as the costs and liabilities are too great for physicians to approach information technology decisions without weighing all of their options very carefully, CMA has been proactive in providing programs that cover health information technology solutions. From practice management systems, to clinical reference software for handheld devices, CMA is exploring solutions to assist members in choosing an effective electronic health record (EHR) system that will meet the government’s meaningful use requirements.

Running a successful medical practice grows more challenging every year. It is more important than ever to have a partner in your corner that can provide you with all of the necessary tools to protect your practice and allow you to focus on what’s really important: your patients.

As your organization, CMA’s goal is to help you take charge of your own destiny. We want to ensure that medical decisions remain in your hands, so that you can serve your patients. We welcome your input and look forward to working with you.


Santa Rosa Surgical Associates, which includes Drs. Allen Cortez, Abdul Harris, Brian Schmidt and Robert Woodbury, has received the Agilent Community Challenge Award for their work with Operation Access, a nonprofit that provides surgeries to uninsured patients.

Dr. Jeff Miller, a pediatrician, and Dr. Joe Clendenin, a family physician, have received Celebration of Dreams awards from the Center for Well-Being for their efforts to promote health and wellness in Sonoma County.

Dr. Peter Bretan, a urologist with offices in Sebastopol and Novato, recently received a Commendation from the City of Novato for his work with LifePlant International and his efforts to improve disaster preparedness in Northern California.

Dr. Don Carlos Steele, a family physician, has been appointed medical director of Sonoma County Indian Health.

Dr. Rachel Mayorga, an internist and geriatrician, has joined Healdsburg Primary Care.

Dr. Mike Brown, an orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr. Scott Perryman, a general surgeon, have joined the Prima Medical Group and are on staff at Sonoma Valley Hospital.

Dr. Paul Doemeny, a diagnostic radiologist, has joined the Redwood Regional Medical Group. In addition to a residency in diagnostic radiology at UC Irvine, he completed a fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at USC.


The clinic to be opened later this year in Fountaingrove by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers will be called the Vista Family Health Center. The 42,500 square foot building at 3569 Round Barn Circle will house both the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and the Chanate Family Practice Center. It is expected to serve up to 10,000 patients during the next few years.

The healthcare districts representing Healdsburg and Palm Drive hospitals, joined by the California Nurses Association and an environmental group, have filed suit against the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors for their approval of the new Sutter Hospital currently under construction in Santa Rosa. The suit alleges that the board approved the new hospital despite shortcomings in the Environmental Impact Report and without considering the potential effects on district hospitals.

Kaiser Santa Rosa is slated to open a new wing and five-story tower at its Bicentennial Way medical center later this month. The 146,600 square foot expansion will double the number of beds in the emergency department and the intensive care unit, increasing the total licensed beds in the hospital to 167.

The Sonoma County Jail has received a full two-year accreditation from the Institute for Medical Quality in recognition of its efforts to improve the quality of care delivered to incarcerated patients.


Eki Edwards, MD, Internal Medicine, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #303, Santa Rosa 95405, 303-8300, Fax 303-8301,, Mt. Sinai Med Sch 2006

Brian Freeto, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, 3273 Claremont Way #100, Napa 94558, 254-7117, Fax 265-6435, Wayne State Univ 2003

Alexander Iezza, MD, Orthopaedic Surgery*, 208 Concourse Blvd., Santa Rosa 95403, 544-3400, Fax 544-0137,, Chicago Med Sch 2004

Heather Iezza, MD, Pediatrics*, 500 Doyle Park Dr. #100, Santa Rosa 95405, 544-6090, Fax 544-2389,, Chicago Med Sch 2004

Devin Lonergan, MD, Otolaryngology, 1701 Fourth St. #120, 523-7025, Fax 523-3024,, Univ Texas 2005

* board certified


Office space
Small suite available for reasonable rent. Reception and three rooms, southeast Santa Rosa. Call Connie, 707-525-0211.

Volunteers Needed
The Jewish Community Free Clinic, free to all faiths, could use a little help. One volunteer shift every other month is not too little. Specialist consults in your office for uninsured patients are always helpful. Volunteers are needed for the family clinic on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30, and for the pediatrics clinic on Tuesday afternoons, 2:30 to 5. For questions, call Dr. Jerry Connell at 707-527-7754. To sign up for a shift, contact Deborah Roberts at or 707-664-2945.

How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for SCMA News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491. The cost is one dollar per word.


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.

© SCMA 2010
2901 Cleveland Ave. #202
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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