Keeping You Connected

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



November 2009

RSVP now for SCMA Awards Dinner on Dec. 2

Right now, this very minute, is the best time to RSVP forthe SCMA Awards Dinner at the Vintner’s Inn on Wednesday evening, Dec. 2.Tickets are free for SCMA members,but RSVPs are required. Tickets for spouses, guests and nonmembers are $50each. To RSVP and/or purchase tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or

When obtaining tickets, please indicate your dinnerchoice(s) from the following options: “duet” (chicken breast and porktenderloin), chicken breast only, pork tenderloin only, or vegetarian.

The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed bydinner and the awards presentations. Outstanding Contribution awards will begiven to Drs. Walt Mills, Jeff Sugarman and Brad Drexler. In addition, Dr. MarkNetherda will receive the Article of the Year award for “Sonoma County’sLagging Immunization Rates,” which appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of Sonoma Medicine.Finally, the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Consortium will receive aspecial award for recognition of achievement.

The Awards Dinner is SCMA’s most popular event, with upwardsof 200 people attending each year. It’s a great way to get together withfriends and honor your colleagues. All you have to do is RSVP to Rachel at525-4375 or See youthere!


Reminder: Directory Verification forms due Nov. 2

All local physicians are reminded to return their 2010Sonoma County Physician Directory verification forms by Monday, Nov. 2. Theforms were mailed in September. If you need a copy, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 525-4375.

Along with their verification forms, SCMA members receiveddues invoices for next year. Members who pay their dues by Dec. 31 qualify fora 5% discount. Payments need to be at SCMA by Dec. 31; there is no grace period. Installment payments can be arranged.

Nonmember physicians can complete a simple onlineapplication for SCMA and CMA at


CMA working with Congress to shape health reform bills

House Democratic leaders have unveiled their latest versionof health reform in HR 3962, “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009”and HR 3961, “Medicare Physician Payment Reform Act of 2009.” A summary andtimeline for HR 3962, along with an update by CMA Vice President ElizabethMcNeil, have been posted at

In her update, McNeil states: “CMA is still reviewing thebills, but will likely continue to support some provisions and oppose others.CMA is continuously working to improve the bill and indeed, several improvementswere made to HR 3962. However, there are two enormously important reforms thatare vital to physicians and their patients. Those reforms include 1) the SGRrepeal and the $400 billion in Medicare and Medicaid physician payment fixes;and 2) the insurance industry reforms and a repeal of health plan anti-trustexemptions.”

“The CMA will continue to fight,” writes McNeil. “Mostpredictions are that health reform will happen this year. Therefore, physiciansmust work now to improve the bills. We must let Members of Congress and thepublic know that the coverage expansions are an empty promise unless patientscan find a doctor.”


CMA survey: Do you need HIT assistance?

CMA has developed a statewide coalition seeking federalfunds to create a Regional Extension Center (REC) to provide technicalassistance to physicians and other providers in their transition to electronichealth records (EHR).

The California REC will offer technical assistance andservices to help the state’s physicians overcome the challenges of selecting,implementing, and becoming “meaningful users” of health information technology(HIT).

To assist CMA in its federal grant application, visit and downloadthe CMA HIT survey, which takes just a minute to complete. Then fax the surveyto CMA at 916-551-2036. Questions should be directed to 800-786-4262 or


Alliance Medical Center receives $385,000 for e-prescribing system

The Alliance Medical Center in Healdsburg has received a$385,000 grant from UnitedHealth Group to implement an electronic prescribingand medication management system. About 50 physicians and other safety netproviders will participate in the system, which includes a handhelde-prescribing device, drug lookup and dosage support, and prescriptiontransmission to pharmacies.

“Our community medication management model will providedecision support at the point of care, and will drive adherence alerts andreminders across a coordinated and connected rural health care community,” saidDr. Jeff Meckler, the medical director for Alliance, which serves a primarilyHispanic patient population. The system is expected to begin operating in 2011.


Four District 10 resolutions adopted at CMA House

Four resolutions from District 10, which includes SonomaCounty, were adopted at the CMA House of Delegates in October. The resolutionswill be used to set CMA policy and priorities for 2010. Summaries and authorsof the resolutions appear below.

·      Cigarettefilters (Klay and Goodwin) would impose a fee on each cigarette filter tomitigate the environmental and public health risks from discarded filters.

·      Healthpolicy and practice management (Goodwin and Bretan) would encourage theinclusion of health policy and practice management courses in the standardmedical school curriculum.

·      Criminalizationof marijuana (Bedard) asks CMA to regard the criminalization of marijuanaas a failed public health policy and encourages CMA to participate in thedebate about changing current policy.

·      End-of-lifecare (Bedard) asks CMA to petition Congress to hold public hearings onend-of-life care.

All SCMA members are invited to submit resolutions forconsideration at next year’s House of Delegates. For details, contact CynthiaMelody at or 525-4359.


Orange County physician named CMA president

Orange County physician Dr. Brennan Cassidy is the newpresident of CMA. “It’s our mission to restore the health of our patients,” hesaid in an address to nearly 1,000 physicians at last month’s CMA House ofDelegates. “As the national debate on health care reform moves forward, it’scrucial that physicians communicate clearly and loudly about what we need to doour jobs and provide the high quality of care that is today’s standard.”

Delegates also chose Bay Area trauma surgeon Dr. JamesHinsdale as CMA president-elect. Hinsdale is director of trauma at MarinGeneral Hospital and executive director of trauma at Regional Medical Center inSan Jose. 


CMA sues state to end medical board furloughs

CMA filed a lawsuit last month seeking to end furloughs forthe staff of the Medical Board of California, which is backlogged withphysician license applications and other important administrative workaffecting the quality and accessibility of medical care.

Because the governor has furloughed state employees threedays per month, the medical board can no longer maintain adequate staffing,resulting in an unprecedented buildup of license applications and disciplinaryinvestigations and enforcements. Qualified physicians who are unlicensed butready and able to practice medicine must sit idle.

“There is already a physician shortage in California,” saidDr. Dev GnanaDev, past president of CMA. “Because the medical board cannot keepup with current licensing demand, communities lacking access to health carewill have to wait even longer to attract new physicians.”

The lawsuit says the furlough order is illegal because themedical board is funded by physician fees. CMA is also objecting to theredirection of $6 million of medical board contingency funds into the state’sgeneral fund. 


Possible data breach for Anthem and Blue Shield physicians

More than 10,000 California doctors contracted with AnthemBlue Cross and Blue Shield of California are being notified that their personalinformation, including Social Security, taxpayer ID, and NPI numbers, may havebeen compromised when a laptop containing sensitive data was stolen. Whilethere have been no reported misuses of this information, physicians are urgedto take steps to protect themselves from identity theft.

The theft occurred in late August in the Chicago area when aBlue Cross-Blue Shield Association employee’s laptop was stolen from a car. Thebreach involved a data set containing information on as many as 800,000physicians, including names, addresses, tax ID numbers, and NPI numbers.Physicians who use their Social Security numbers as their taxpayer ID numbersshould have received a letter notifying them of the data breach, urging them totake advantage of the free credit monitoring services being offered to affectedphysicians by the insurers.

Questions about the data breach should be directed to BlueShield at 800-258-3091 or Anthem at 800-933-6633.


Webinar on Medicare RAC audits on Nov. 19

The Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA) issponsoring a webinar on Medicare RAC audits from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 19.The 2009 audits are underway, and Medicare expects to recover $18 billion inpayments from physicians and other Medicare providers. The webinar willhighlight the items RAC auditors are looking for and the compliance stepsphysicians can take to minimize the amounts recovered. Cost is $20 for CMAmembers or $75 for nonmembers. To register, visit and downloadthe Medicare RAC Audit Webinar registration form. Then complete and fax theform to ACCMA at 510-654-8959. You will be sent further registrationinstruction by fax or e-mail.


SCMA Alliance seeks help for foster children and medical scholarships

With the holidays fast approaching, the SCMA Alliance and Foundation would like to remind local physicians about two longstanding charitable projects.

The Give-a-Gift program, now in its 56th year, allows community members to purchase a holiday gift for a foster child who may not otherwise receive a present. The program, which directly benefits more than 250 children, also provides computers to youth leaving the foster system and entering college. Cosponsors include the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home, the Sonoma County Human Services Department, and the SCMA Alliance Foundation. For more information, contact Ann Hurd at 537-1031 or

The Holiday Greeting Card, now in its 47th year, raises scholarship money for local students wishing to pursue medical careers. The 2009 card will feature the work of local artist Louisa King Fraser. The scholarships, which are awarded by the SCMA and SCMA Alliance Health Careers Scholarship Committee, provide critical financial assistance at a time when community resources are fast depleting. Since the project began in 1962, scholarships have been awarded to more than 700 local students, including several who went on to become practicing physicians in Sonoma County. Donations can be made online at


Funds needed for ultrasound machine in Tanzania

The nonprofit Foundation for African Medicine &Education (FAME) needs $12,000 to help pay for an ultrasound machine at itsclinic in rural Tanzania. The machine, delivered to the clinic in October, hasalready saved lives and is in constant use as a diagnostic tool.

Dr. Loie Sauer and her daughter Emily Goldfield, who visitedthe clinic earlier this year, are leading local fundraising efforts for FAME.“They are making a big impact in an area where health care needs are massiveand good health care is hard to come by,” said Sauer.

Details about the clinic are available online at Donations can be madevia the FAME website or by contacting Dr. Sauer at or 484-6090. Allcontributions are fully tax-deductible.


Nov. 22 run on Mare Island to benefit local nonprofits

Touro University Medical School and several otherorganizations are cosponsoring a 5K charity run on Mare Island on Nov. 22 tobenefit local nonprofits. Registration is $30 for adults and $15 for students.To register, visit


Dr. James Campisano dies at 59

Longtime SCMA member Dr. James Campisano died in October atage 59, of pancreatic cancer. An obstetrician-gynecologist, he moved to SonomaCounty in 1981 to work for the fledgling Kaiser Santa Rosa, where he spent therest of his career, serving as chief of his department from 1995 to 2004. Amonghis many accolades, he received a Physician Hero award for his work with thePermanente Medical Group and a Sydney Garfield award for being the mostoutstanding doctor at Kaiser Santa Rosa.

Born in Ohio in 1950, Campisano received his MD from theUniversity of Arizona and completed his ob-gyn residency at Valley MedicalCenter in Fresno. He served in the U.S. Army for two years before moving toSanta Rosa. He was well known for his athletic, artistic and epicureanpursuits. Memorial donations may be made to the James D. Campisano PancreaticCancer Fund, c/o Community Foundation Sonoma County, 250 D St. #205, Santa Rosa95404.



Renee Armstrong, MD, FamilyMedicine*, 510 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 526-1800, Fax 526-9352, UC SanFrancisco 1994

Navneet Attri, MD, InternalMedicine, 3883 Airway Dr. #201, Santa Rosa 95403, 521-8900, Fax 523-1309,Punjab Univ 2000

Laurie Cederberg, MD,Family Medicine*, 510 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 526-1800, Fax526-9352, UC San Francisco 1988

Indranushi Chaliha,MD, Pediatrics, 255 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa 95405, 545-2255, Fax 545-0456,, Gauhati Univ 1997

Jenny Fish, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,, UnivMinnesota 2009

Ellen Green, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,, UnivMassachusetts 2009

Kari Harris, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,, UC SanDiego 2009

Wendy Kohatsu, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3324 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 576-4070, Fax 576-4087, UC LosAngeles 1994

Kenneth Lamb, MD, CriticalCare Medicine, 3325 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 576-4000, Fax 573-5126, UnivUtah 1973

Naomi McAuliffe, DO, FamilyMedicine*, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, 510 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa95405, 526-1800, Fax 526-9352, Univ New England 2001

Gary McLeod, MD, FamilyMedicine, 510 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 526-1800, Fax 526-9352,, UC SanFrancisco 1987

Katie Noyes, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,, DartmouthMed Sch 2009

Daniel Parker, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,, TuftsUniv 2008

Lawrence Slater, MD, FamilyMedicine*, 510 Doyle Park Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 526-1800, Fax 526-9352, UnivSouthern California 1976

Behram Soonawala, MD,Internal Medicine*, 3325 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 576-4000, Fax573-5126, Bombay Univ 1990

Anthony Stavros, MD, DiagnosticRadiology*, 625 Steele Lane , Santa Rosa 95403, 576-4800, Fax 576-4825,

Kamin Van Guilder, MD,Family Medicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax303-3318,

Jimmy Wu, MD, FamilyMedicine, 3320 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa 95404, 547-2220, Fax 303-3318,

Uzay Yasar, MD, Urology*,3883 Airway Dr. #203, Santa Rosa 95403, 521-8900, Fax 523-4638, SUNY Brooklyn1996

* board certified



Exceptional New Sebastopol Medical Offices for Rent
Light-filled medical/healing spaces available in Lyding Commons (780 sq ft). In the center of town, each space views a beautifully landscaped courtyard. Fully ADA accessible and suited to a wide variety of specialties.

* Prime location in center of town: On Healdsburg Ave/Hwy 116
* Interior partitions and lighting tailored to individual tenant needs
* Passive ventilation/cooling and radiant heat
* Sustainable, healthy materials used throughout

Call 824-1514 or


How to submit a classified ad
To submit a classified ad for SCMA News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine, contact NanPerrott at nperrott@rhscommunications.comor 707-525-4226. The cost is one dollar per word.



The Sonoma County Medical Association, a 501(c)(6) nonprofitassociation, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the healthof the community. Founded in 1858, SCMA is affiliated with the CaliforniaMedical Association and the American Medical Association.

© SCMA 2009
3033 Cleveland Ave. #104
Santa Rosa, CA 95403



You are receiving SCMA News Briefs because you are aphysician or an affiliated medical professional in Sonoma County. If you wishto unsubscribe, contact Steve Osborn at sosborn@scma.orgor 707-525-4325.


Your Ad Here! Call (707) 525-0102

Featured Posts

Read More »