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



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

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