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 2010

Honor your colleagues at SCMA Awards Dinner on Dec. 1

Right now is a great time to RSVP for the SCMA Awards Dinner on Wednesday evening, Dec. 1. Tickets are absolutely FREE for SCMA members and $50 each for spouses, guests and nonmembers. The event—held at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barnes Road, Santa Rosa—begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and the awards presentations at 7 p.m.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375 and indicate your dinner choice. Choices include a “duet” of fresh fish and beef tenderloin; fresh fish only; beef tenderloin only; or vegetarian.

Awards will be presented to the following physicians:

·       Dr. Leonard Klay: CMA Frederick Plessner Memorial Award

·       Dr. Stacey Kerr: Outstanding Contribution to the Community

·       Dr. Bo Greaves: Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine

·       Dr. Richard Andolsen: Outstanding Contribution to SCMA

·       Dr. Matt Joseph: Article of the Year Award, for “Why Poetry?” in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine

For more information, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

Time to update your listing in the 2011 Sonoma County Physician Directory

SCMA has begun preparing the 2011 Sonoma County Physician Directory, a standard reference guide used at medical offices throughout the county. The directory features photographs and detailed listings for all SCMA members, including their specialty(s), special medical interest and medical training. Basic information for nonmember physicians is included as well.

Directory verification forms were mailed to all local physicians in October and should be returned by Nov. 15. Physicians can use the form to update or approve their current listing. If you need a copy of the form, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

Along with their verification forms, SCMA members received dues invoices for next year. Members who pay their dues by Jan. 15, 2011, qualify for a 5% discount. Payments need to be at SCMA by Jan. 15; there is no grace period. Installment payments can be arranged.

Nonmember physicians can complete a simple online membership application at

Nonprofit health information exchange seeks more physician members

Redwood MedNet, a nonprofit health information exchange (HIE) located in Ukiah, is accepting inquiries from physicians and health facilities interested in using its services.

The HIE currently delivers electronic lab results from Quest Diagnostics, Hunter Laboratory, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Healdsburg District Hospital and Mendocino Coast District Hospital to about 50 providers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, and will soon be certified to deliver results from LabCorp as well. Practices receive the results via the Redwood MedNet portal, or directly into their electronic health records.

Cost of the HIE service is $240 per provider per year, plus a small installation fee. Redwood MedNet hopes to receive a grant from Cal eConnect in early 2011 that will pay most of the costs for adding interfaces and HIE services for about 200 new physician participants in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties.

For more information, or to send a letter of inquiry, contact Tanya Laino at 707-462-6369 or

Volunteers and donations needed for SCMA medical scholarship program

SCMA is seeking two physicians to serve on its Health Careers Scholarship Committee, which gives scholarships to local students pursuing medical careers. The committee meets just twice a year at lunchtime. Earlier this year, the committee awarded a record $24,000 in scholarships to a dozen high school and college students from Sonoma County. An article about the program appears in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine.

Physicians interested in serving on the scholarship committee should contact Cynthia Melody at or 707-525-4375.

Even if you can’t serve on the committee, you can still donate to the program via the SCMA Alliance. Just visit and click the “Donate” button. For more information, contact Gina Merwin at

New state law mandates Tdap booster for students in grades 7-12

In response to the pertussis epidemic, Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed a law that makes a pertussis booster (Tdap) mandatory for all students in grades 7-12, starting in fall 2011. State public health officials are also recommending that seniors and women in their childbearing years receive the booster shot.

Because pertussis immunity from previous infection or vaccination wanes over time, even fully immunized children become susceptible to pertussis by adolescence. Unfortunately, immunization rates are low for the recommended Tdap booster vaccine, which has been available since 2005. The most recent CDC survey data indicates that 44 percent of adolescents in California and only 6 percent of adults nationwide had received a Tdap booster shot by 2008.

Public health officials are urging physicians to offer Tdap booster shots to all adolescents (10 years and older) and adults who haven't yet received it. Give Tdap now to your unimmunized adolescent patients to protect them against the current threat and to meet the forthcoming school requirement.

As a reminder, the new Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) standard requires all health care entities, including medical offices, to offer Tdap vaccines to their employees. For more information on the ATD standard, see CMA On-Call document #1842, “Protecting Employees from ATDs in the Health Care Workplace.” On-Call documents are free to CMA members on the Member Login tab at Nonmembers can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page in the CMA bookstore.

CMA is also hosting a webinar on the ATD standard on Nov. 10 from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. To register, visit

Impending 30% cut in Medicare rates by January 1

Payment rates for Medicare services will be reduced 30% by Jan. 1 unless Congress acts when it reconvenes on Nov. 15 for its brief “lame duck” session. These cuts are once again triggered by Medicare’s unfair payment formula, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR).

AMA and CMA are lobbying Congress vigorously to take action during its brief session in November, but continued debate over Federal expenditures and competing political issues make this an uphill battle. SCMA is also communicating and meeting with our Congressional representatives to express grave concerns about the impact these cuts may have on access to care for Medicare patients.

SCMA members are encouraged to contact their Congressional representatives to inform them of the impact that a 30% cut will have on their medical practices. Call 800-833-6354 and enter your zip code to be connected to your Representative. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer can also be contacted through this number.

Additionally, SCMA has prepared the following draft letter you may wish to send to your Medicare patients to solicit their assistance in urging Congress to act. You can also download this sample letter from


[Physician Letterhead]

Dear Patient:

As your physician, I value my relationship with you and consider your health and well-being my top priority. Unfortunately, I feel it necessary to inform you that a 30% cut in Medicare payments scheduled to take effect by January 1 may jeopardize my ability to provide care to you and other Medicare patients unless Congress takes action when it reconvenes in mid-November. Congress acknowledges that this payment cut is unfair and that payment levels are virtually unchanged for a decade, but they have not fixed the problem. If nothing is done, these cuts will remain in effect at least into the month of February.

To prevent this massive cut in payment for Medicare services from happening, I ask for your assistance by urging your Congressional representatives to address this crisis when they return to Washington in mid-November. Please let them know that a 30% cut in Medicare payments may jeopardize my ability to provide care to Medicare beneficiaries unless Congress acts before the end of this year. You may contact your Representative through a toll-free number, 800-833-6354. Enter your zip code and you will be connected to your Congressional Representative. Please use this number to also contact Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.

Again, I value my relationship with you and reluctantly ask for your assistance to avert this crisis. It is my hope that your help will prompt Congress to take action to properly fund the cost of medical care for seniors. I will inform you of any action I am forced to take if Congress allows the 30% cut to take effect.



SCMA will keep you informed of further developments. Please feel free to contact SCMA at 707-525-4375 or with any questions.

Resolutions by North Bay physicians adopted by CMA House

Several resolutions authored or co-authored by North Bay physicians were adopted by the CMA House of Delegates during its annual meeting in October. The resolutions asked CMA to:

·       Urge component medical and specialty societies to encourage more women physicians to participate in leadership and consider holding a periodic Women in Medicine conference (Dr. Catherine Gutfreund).

·       Strengthen the alignment between CMA and component medical societies to ensure mutual effectiveness (Dr. Peter Bretan).

·       Convene a Technical Advisory Committee to recommend policy on marijuana legalization (Drs. Larry Bedard and Gerald Rogan).

·       Urge that marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug be reviewed to facilitate clinical research (Drs. Bedard and Rogan).

A complete summary of House of Delegates actions is available on the “members only” section at

Special rate for SCMA members at health care conference in Santa Rosa

SCMA members can get a 25% discount on tickets to the North Bay Business Journal’s annual Health Care Conference, to be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa on Thursday morning, Nov. 18. Speakers include former SCMA President Dr. Kirk Pappas, along with health care executives Mike Purvis (Sutter Medical Center), Kevin Klockenga (St. Joseph Health), Wayne Fairchild (Redwood Regional Medical Group) and Lee Domanico (Marin General Hospital).

Tickets are just $35 for SCMA members. To register for the conference, contact Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264 or by Nov. 12, and indicate that you are an SCMA member.

The keynote speaker for the conference, which runs from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., is John Kabateck, the top California official for the National Federation of Independent Business. He will discuss the impact of health care reform on small business. The other speakers will address the impacts on local hospitals, as well as the status of hospital construction projects.

For more information, contact Linda Perkins at 707-521-5264 or

Doctors invited to Nov. 18 event honoring physician volunteers

Operation Access and the Specialty Access Coalitions of Marin and Sonoma counties invite local physicians to a festive Celebration of Medical Volunteerism featuring live Brazilian music and chair massages, along with complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The event, to be held in Novato on Nov. 18, will honor Santa Rosa gastroenterologist Dr. Sumit Kohli, Petaluma surgeon Dr. Michael Bozuk, and two Marin physicians for their work with uninsured patients.

The Celebration runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Homeward Bound of Marin, 1385 N. Hamilton Parkway, Novato. RSVP by Nov. 10 to or to Daniel Rabkin at 415-733-0004.

Give a gift to a foster child

The Give-a-Gift program, cosponsored by the SCMA Alliance, 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. To donate, visit and click the “Donate” button. For more information, contact Lindsay Mazur at 707-799-6846 or or Shawn Devlin at 707-538-3448.

Members invited to SCMA Alliance holiday cocktail party on Nov. 20

SCMA members and their spouses are invited to a holiday cocktail party at a private home on Saturday evening, Nov. 20. Guests are invited to welcome the holiday season with friends old and new, with cocktails, appetizers, good wine and good cheer. Festivities run from 6 to 9 p.m. To RSVP and receive the location, contact Christine Beakes at 707-799-0125 or or Charlene Staples at 707-526-7877 or Please RSVP by Nov. 15.


Dr. Shelley Palfy, a pediatrician, and Dr. Kyla Rice, an ob/gyn, have joined the staff of Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, which now includes more than 30 physicians.

Dr. Kari Teran, a family physician, Dr. Todd Hofeling, a rheumatologist, and Dr. Rita Wang, an ob/gyn, have joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. All three doctors will practice in Santa Rosa.

“To Your Heath,” a live medical show on the Internet hosted by Santa Rosa family physician Dr. Dave Schneider, is now airing from 12:30 to 1 p.m. every Friday on Archived shows are also available at the same URL.


Palm Drive Hospital has hired Richard Polheber as its new chief executive officer. He was previously CEO of the Arizona Association of Community Health Centers and of Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Palm Drive has also hired Diane Emler as its physician liaison. She formerly directed specialty referral services for Marin Community Clinics.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital won a “Consumer Choice” award in a recent survey conducted by the National Research Corporation. The hospital was one of 269 nationwide to receive the award, which is based on a multiple-category national survey of more than 250,000 households. The hospital scored particularly well on the “best doctor,” “best nurses,” “best overall quality” and “best image and reputation” categories.

The new Windsor Urgent Care Clinic will be holding an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20. The facility, operated by St. Joseph Health System, is located in the Shiloh Center at 6580 Hembree Lane. About a dozen physicians, nurses and other providers will work at the clinic, scheduled to open later this year. The outpatient blood draw station on Brooks Road will be relocated to the clinic after it opens.


The latest issue of CMA Practice Resources is now available online at This free bulletin is full of tips and tools to help physicians and their office staff improve practice efficiency and viability. Topics in the current issue include unfair payment practices, consult code reimbursement policies, and health plan requests for medical records.

CMA will be hosting three free webinars during November: Introduction to “just culture” for physicians (Nov. 4); Compliance with the Aerosol Transmissible Disease standard (Nov. 10); and Document, document, document (Nov. 17). Each seminar is scheduled for 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. To register, visit

The CMA Foundation has published an Antibiotic Awareness Toolkit for physicians and other clinicians. The toolkit contains an array of clinical resources and patient education materials to help reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. For a free copy, visit

Enrollment in the MarshAffinity group dental plan sponsored by SCMA is open until Dec. 31. The plan offers annual benefits of $2,000 per person for dental care (using network providers), $50 per person calendar year deductible ($100 for families), and no deductible on oral exams, x-rays and routine cleanings. For more information, call MarshAffinity at 800-842-3761 or visit


Jean Lim, MD, Dermatology*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4070,, Harvard Med Sch 2004

Prashanth Navaran, MD, Surgery*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4090 Fax 393-4557,, Indiana Univ 1997

Brenna Yard, MD, Pediatrics*, 1165 Montgomery Dr., Santa Rosa 95405, 546-3210, Fax 544-6090, Wake Forest Univ 2006

* board certified


Medical office space
Medical office building for lease. 5,370 sq ft or divisible. Brand new, upscale and located directly across from the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. Please visit or call Mark at 707-290-0636 for more information.

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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