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 2012

• RSVP now for Dec. 6 SCMA Awards Dinner

• Sonoma doctors invited to a free Operation Access celebration on Dec. 11

• Time to update or verify your Physician Directory listing

• Nov. 10 conference to focus on opioid prescriptions

• Flu shots required for staff in high-risk settings

• SCMA members invited to holiday cocktail party on Dec. 1

• Donations needed for SCMA health careers scholarships

• CMA opposes Proposition 32

• Top stories from CMA Alert







RSVP now for Dec. 6 SCMA Awards Dinner

Who can turn down a free dinner, particular when it’s with your friends and colleagues? Right now is the best time to RSVP for the Dec. 6 SCMA Awards Dinner, which is free for SCMA members. Spouses, guests and nonmembers are $50 each.

To RSVP, or to purchase tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or Mail orders can be sent to SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Please indicate dinner choice: either “duet” (prawns and steak) or vegetable lasagna.

The dinner runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Vintner’s Inn, 4350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa. The festivities begin with a social hour at 6, followed by dinner and the awards presentations. Award winners include:

• Dr. Sanjay Dhar, a Santa Rosa cardiologist, for Article of the Year (“You Will Be Assimilated,” Sonoma Medicine, Winter 2012).

• Dr. Jeff Haney, program director of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, for Outstanding Contribution to the Community.

• Dr. Mark Netherda, former deputy public health officer, for Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine.

• Dr. Catherine Gutfreund, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, for Outstanding Contribution to SCMA.

• Dr. John Dervin, a longtime Santa Rosa family physician, for Lifetime Achievement.

• Redwood Community Health Coalition, for Recognition of Achievement.

For a flyer about the dinner, click on the link below. See you there!

SCMA Awards Dinner flyer

Sonoma docs invited to FREE Operation Access celebration on Dec. 11

Operation Access, which coordinates donated surgical and specialty care for uninsured and underserved patients, will co-host a Celebration of Medical Volunteerism with SCMA and the Marin Medical Society on Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This informal free event will be held at the Lagunitas Brewery, 1280 N. McDowelll Blvd., Petaluma.

All local doctors and their spouses or significant others are invited to attend and are asked to bring an unwrapped holiday gift for a foster child. Beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres and wood-fired oven pizza will be offered, along with live music from Under the Radar (folk, blues, bluegrass) and the Petaluma High School Jazz Combo. The evening also includes a brief program honoring community volunteers, with special recognition for Dr. Julie Clark, Dr. Anne Delaney, Dr. David Galland, and Gale O’Connor, CRNA.

To RSVP, contact Daniel Rabkin at or 415-733-0004. The event is cosponsored by the Meritage Medical Network, Kaiser Permanente, Marin General Hospital, Sutter Health and St. Joseph Health.

Time to update or verify your Physician Directory listing

Verification forms for the 2013 Sonoma County Physician Directory have been mailed to all local physicians and are now due back at SCMA. The form allows doctors to update or verify their listing in the Directory, a standard reference guide used at medical offices throughout the county. If you haven’t returned your form yet, please do so ASAP. If you need a copy of the form, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

Because the Directory is sold to the public and posted on the Internet, please do not list your personal phone number, home address or personal email address. SCMA strongly recommends that you only list your office phone, office address and office email.

The Physician Directory, now in its 55th year, features photographs and detailed listings for all SCMA members, including their specialty(s), special medical interest and medical training. Specialty, city and phone for nonmember physicians are included as well. If you’re a nonmember and want a more detailed listing, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375 about joining SCMA. You can also join online at

Nov. 10 conference to focus on opioid prescriptions

A timely conference titled “Starting Opioid Prescriptions: Pearls & Pitfalls to Preventing Misuse and Dependency” will be held at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa (SMCSR) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10. Public Health Officer Dr. Lynn Silver-Chalfin will introduce the keynote speaker, Dr. Scott Fishman, chief of pain medicine at UC Davis and author of “Responsible Opioid Prescribing: A Clinician’s Guide.”

The presentation and breakout sessions will address the epidemiology of prescription drug abuse; identify key steps for reducing the risk of dependency; and recognize prescriber practices that contribute to misuse. The conference, to be held in the Vesalius Room at SMCSR, is accredited for 3.25 hours of Category 1 CME and costs just $30, which includes lunch. (Cost for family medicine residents is $15.)

To register online, visit or contact Rebecca Munger at 707-565-4553 or The conference is cosponsored by the Department of Health Services, Partnership HealthPlan, Community Prevention Initiative and Santa Rosa Community Health Centers.

Flu shots required for staff in high-risk settings

Sonoma County has joined a growing list of California counties that require staff in hospitals, nursing facilities and other high-risk settings to get an annual flu shot each fall. The order, issued by Public Health Officer Dr. Lynn Silver-Chalfin in mid-October, takes effect Dec. 15. Anyone who declines the order will be required to wear a surgical mask. The order does not apply to clinics and other low-risk settings, but it does recommend that staff in those facilities get a flu shot as well.

SCMA members invited to holiday cocktail party on Dec. 1

The SCMA Alliance is hosting a free holiday cocktail party for SCMA members and their spouses or significant others on Saturday evening, Dec. 1. The event, to be held at a private home in Santa Rosa, includes heavy appetizers, beer, wine, and plenty of holiday cheer. To RSVP, contact Lynn Rambach at or 707-523-4250.

Donations needed for SCMA health careers scholarships

Physicians and their families are asked to give generously to this year’s Holiday Greeting Card project. The proceeds help fund scholarships for deserving students who are Sonoma County residents and are currently enrolled or intending to enroll in a medically related field of study. Last year’s effort helped raise $31,000 in scholarship money--a record amount--for a dozen students in medical, nursing and allied health programs.

SCMA members will soon be receiving a letter from the SCMA Alliance Foundation asking for donations to next year’s scholarship fund. Donors who contribute by Dec. 6 will be acknowledged in the Holiday Greeting Card. The greeting card, which will feature a photograph by Santa Rosa pediatrician Dr. Leland Davis, will then be sent to physicians throughout the county.

Donations can be made by mail or by visiting the SCMA Alliance website at The program has given scholarships to local students since the 1960s, and several former recipients are currently practicing medicine in Sonoma County.

CMA opposes Proposition 32

The board of trustees of the California Medical Association has voted to oppose Proposition 32, which would ban corporate and labor union contributions to political candidates. The proposition would also prohibit government contractors from contributing money to government officials and would forbid the use of payroll-deducted funds for “political purposes.”

CMA believes that Prop. 32 would impact the ability of CMA’s political action committee to receive contributions from members who use a corporate entity to pay CMA dues. The proposition would also impact doctors or local medical societies who hold government contracts.

Consumer, education, environmental and health care groups throughout California--including Californians Allied for Patient Protection, which protects MICRA--are opposing Prop. 32. In addition, nearly every major newspaper in the state has editorialized against the proposition.

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

* CMA tells Senate committees that elimination of Healthy Families is irresponsible

* CMA, AMA and others developing alternative Medicare payment system to replace SGR

* Unsure whether you should sign the new Blue Shield agreement?

* Recovery Audit Contractor overpayments: Pulmonary diagnostic testing and E/M services

* CMA opposes lifetime ban on blood donations from gay men


Longtime Santa Rosa gastroenterologists Drs. Richard Auld, Paul Hornberger, R. Logan Faust and Sumit Kohli have joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation. They will remain in their office at 1210 Sonoma Ave. Also joining Sutter is Dr. Helena Longin, a board-certified dermatologist, who will practice at 3883 Airway Dr., also in Santa Rosa.

Drs. Loie Sauer, Francesca Manfredi and Dennis McDonald were quoted at length in a recent Press Democrat article on mammogram screening guidelines. Both Dr. Sauer, a surgeon at Kaiser Santa Rosa, and Dr. McDonald, a radiologist at the Sutter Women’s Health Center, recently wrote articles on mammograms for Sonoma Medicine. Dr. Manfredi serves on the SCMA board of directors.


Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa recently received 5-star ratings from HealthGrades in almost a dozen different categories of care, from heart attack and hip replacement to pneumonia and sepsis. The hospital was also recognized for its women’s health programs. HealthGrades rates about 5,000 hospitals across the United States based on clinical performance in 28 categories. Grades range from one star (below average) to five stars (highest quality). Healdsburg District Hospital also received a 5-star rating for its hip fracture treatment program.

West County Health Centers has been selected to participate in the Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (LEAP) study being conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study is trying to determine the most effective health care delivery models in light of the physician shortage and the pending implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The West County centers--which have implemented electronic medical records and established a wellness program--are one of just 30 primary care practices nationwide to be included in the study.

The Petaluma Healthcare District has begun the formal process of re-evaluating its agreement with St. Joseph Health System to manage Petaluma Valley Hospital. The agreement doesn’t expire until 2017, and St. Joseph’s has indicated it would like to continue managing the hospital, but the board of the public district is nonetheless exploring its options, which may include soliciting proposals from other potential managers.

Add Roseland Pediatrics to the growing number of clinics affiliated with Santa Rosa Community Health Centers. The newest addition--nearly 4,000 square feet in a southwest Santa Rosa shopping center--began in a crowded mobile trailer at Roseland Elementary School, a space it has long since outgrown. The new site, directed by pediatrician Dr. Meredith Kieschnick, has 10 exam rooms and is staffed by three pediatricians, three medical assistants and a nurse. The clinic, which opened in October, will serve about 3,000 children.

For the 16th time in 17 years, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has won a Consumer Choice award from the Modern Healthcare journal. The result is based on a nationwide survey of consumers conducted by the National Research Corporation. The hospital was among 297 nationwide to achieve the distinction.


The following CMA webinars are scheduled for November. Webinars 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.

* Understanding ARC and CARC revenue codes (Nov. 7)

* 2013 updates to meaningful use (Nov. 8)

* State disability insurance online (Nov. 14)

* Successful Medi-Cal provider enrollment (Nov. 15)

* Understanding the CBAS transition for dual eligibles (Nov. 28)

* California: A physician melting pot (Nov. 29)

CMA members can get a $200 discount on ICD-10-CM training sessions offered by AAPC, the nation’s largest coding organization. Available in either classroom or online webinar, this 3-part series gives your staff a high-level overview and fundamental knowledge of ICD-10. You’ll learn documentation challenges, the differences with ICD-9, and how ICD-10 will affect each business area of your practice. The webinars run from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. or 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The next series begins on Nov. 29, with additional webinars on Dec. 6 and 13. To learn more, go to and log in to receive the discounted member price.


Family medicine positions available

Family medicine positions available with Annadel Medical Group in Sonoma County. Contact

Office space needed, Petaluma

Medical office space needed in Petaluma near Petaluma Valley Hospital for physician to see patients, no staff needed. Need one day a week, Monday or Thursday. Contact Tammy at 707-252-8407 or

Office space available, Santa Rosa

Small suite for lease. 800 sf. Reception, business office, 3 rooms, Summerfield Rd. on Sutter/Warrack campus. Contact Connie, 707-525-0211.

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 Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491.


Note: Because of Internet privacy concerns, News Briefs no longer lists phone numbers, fax numbers or email addresses in the Applicants section. Instead, that information will be listed in the next print edition of the Sonoma County Physician Directory.

Rachel Friedman, MD, Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa, Yale Univ 2008

Lynn Silver-Chalfin, MD, Pediatrics*, Public Health & Preventive Medicine, 3313 Chanate Rd., Santa Rosa, Johns Hopkins Univ 1983

* = 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.

© 2012 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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