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



February 2016

Download PDF Here


Feedback sought on health insurance mergers by Feb. 12

Aetna has reached a $37 billion deal to purchase Humana, and Anthem has agreed to purchase Cigna for $48.4 billion. Regulators want to know the prospective effects of these possible mergers on your practice and patient care. The survey should take about 8-9 minutes to complete. Please take the survey by Friday, Feb. 12. Click here to take the survey.

Help needed to collect signatures for Tobacco Tax initiative

SCMA is helping CMA collect signatures to qualify an initiative for the Nov. 8 ballot. The initiative, "California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016," will increase California's cigarette tax (one of the lowest in the nation) by $2.00. To help collect signatures:

  1. Email your name and mailing address to, and we'll mail you a petition and instructions.
  2. Collect the signatures of eight registered Sonoma County voters.
  3. By March 31, mail your completed petition(s) to California Medical Association Attn: Molly Weedn, 1201 J Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95816.

The initiative will help to reduce smoking, save lives, and fund critical health care programs in California. For more information, visit

Health officer provides Zika virus resources

Information and guidance regarding Zika virus disease continues to evolve. Recently, the Sonoma County Health Officer, Dr. Karen Milman, shared with practicing physicians the Jan. 19, 2016, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Zika Virus Health Advisory. An updated Health Advisory from CDPH was issued on Feb. 8, 2016, and is posted along with additional materials on the CDPH website. A Sonoma County-specific Health Advisory will be issued by Dr. Milman soon. It will be posted on the Health Department's Health Alerts webpage.

Save the date: Wine & Cheese Reception May 19 at Orpheus Wines

Mark your calendar for the annual SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception, to be held at Orpheus Wines in Kenwood on Thursday evening, May 19. This popular event, hosted by owners Dr. Rachel Friedman and her husband, runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and features collegial conversation and a sampling of fine wines and cheeses. The event is absolutely free for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. Cost for nonmembers is $55 per person.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375. For more information about the winery, visit

Sign up now for April 13 Legislative Advocacy Day at the Capitol

Want to make your voice heard in state government? If so, you're invited to attend CMA's free Legislative Leadership Conference in Sacramento on Tuesday, April 13. Hundreds of physicians from all over California attend this annual event, which includes speeches from key legislative leaders and meetings with local legislators on health care issues. Speakers haven't been confirmed, but last year Gov. Brown addressed the conference. To RSVP for the conference, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or Click here for more information.

Sonoma Medicine now online

The winter 2016 issue focuses on mental health, featuring articles by local experts that cover mental illness and mass shootings, integrated behavioral health care, advances in child and adolescent psychiatry, and mental health services at the county jail. The magazine was mailed in January and is now available online at

Call for artists: SCMA Alliance Hidden Talents Art Show

The SCMA Alliance Foundation is seeking talented artists in the medical community for the 2016 Hidden Talents Art Show. All Sonoma County physicians and their spouses or partners are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of media. Celebrate the creativity that often goes unseen in our community and experience a casual evening featuring the best Sonoma County has to offer: from artistic talent and wine to good food and camaraderie. Savor the spectacular views from Paradise Ridge Winery while enjoying the artwork on display. Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 5, and watch for forthcoming invitations. This is an event not to be missed!

For additional information and entry forms with guidelines, contact Cecile Keefe at or 707-849-4882. All entry forms must be received by March 1, 2016, and artwork must be received by April 28, 2016.

Win an iPad through SCMA's "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.

For each participation point, your name is entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad. The winner will be drawn at SCMA's Wine & Cheese Reception in May 2016. Last year's iPad winner was Dr. Jeff Sugarman.


Welcome, new SCMA/CMA members!

David Kitts, MD, Surgery*, 652 Petaluma Ave. #D, Sebastopol, Med Coll Wisconsin 1985

TPMG - 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa
Armand Braun, MD,
Psychiatry*, Carol Davila Univ 1982
Hali Sherman, MD, Pediatrics*, UC Los Angeles 2003
Yevgeniy (Gene) Veltman, MD, Urology*, Univ Miami 2008

Annadel Medical Group
Amy Shaw, MD, Family Medicine*,121 Sotoyome St., Santa Rosa, UC Davis 1989

* Board certified

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Drs. Susan Buren, Don Carlos, Carol Castillo, Gary Coomber, and Parker Duncan are winners of the five $20 VISA gift cards for completing the recent SCMA strategic planning survey, which received a 10 percent response rate. Survey results will help guide SCMA board members as they consider updating SCMA's strategic plan for 2016 and beyond.

Sebastopol urologist Dr. Peter Bretan led one of the largest medical missions ever to the Philippine Islands Jan. 17-22. This annual mission, organized by the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California, brought together 50 physicians (including GYN, urology, plastic surgery, general surgery, ENT, ophthalmology, optometry, dermatology, dentistry, pediatrics, internal medicine, anesthesiology, and pharmacy), 125 support staff, and 25 pre-med students from all over the United States. The mission saw 7,500 patients, distributed thousands of prescription eyeglasses, and performed 1,200 surgeries (including hysterectomies; thyroidectomies; tumor, cataract and glaucoma surgeries; incarcerated hernia repairs; and more). Dr. Bretan also practices in Marin (Novato) and Mendocino (Willits) counties. He is serving his first term as PMSNC president, and his fourth term as Marin Medical Society president.

Drs. Jason Pope, John Hau, and Michael Yang, featured in the Feb. 9 Press Democrat, are offering a new treatment for chronic pain utilizing a battery-powered device that uses electrical pulses to block pain signals. Click here to read the full story.

A front-page profile of Dr. Harry Richardson and his wife Dee in the Jan. 29 Press Democrat described their decades-long philanthropic spirit. Click here to read "For them, it's all about community."

Dr. Tetsuro Fujii, who practiced family medicine in Sebastopol for over 40 years, died in January at the age of 90. Born in Fresno, he graduated from UC Berkeley Medical School. After completing residency, he served in post-war Korea as a Captain in the Army Medical Corp. Upon his return to Sebastopol, he set up a private practice from which he retired in 1998. He and his wife Rose enjoyed traveling and watching their children and grandchildren's many activities.

Longtime Sonoma County physician, Dr. Laurel Warner, died Jan. 1. Growing up in the Midwest, she traveled abroad as an AFS International Exchange student during high school, graduated from Allegheny College, and earned her MD and PhD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious disease at Harvard, becoming board certified in both specialties. She headed the Infectious Disease Clinic at the VA Hospital in San Francisco, practiced infectious disease and internal medicine in Sonoma County, and was married to Dr. Charles Elboim. The Sonoma County Medical Association presented Dr. Warner with the Outstanding Contribution to Sonoma County Medicine award in 2015.

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Scope for Hope Fun Run & Walk April 9

Sutter Health's second annual Scope for Hope 5K/10K Fun Run & Walk will be held April 9 at Julliard Park in downtown Santa Rosa. Scope for Hope encourages teams and family-friendly underwear costumes, and holds a hilarious underwear costume contest. Proceeds from this event will fund colonoscopies for uninsured people in our county. For more information, or to register for the event, go to

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KP supporting Petaluma Health Center expansion

As part of its continuing Community Benefit program, Kaiser Permanente is supporting Petaluma Health Center's (PHC) expansion at its Rohnert Park site with a $250,000 grant. Kaiser Permanente grants support local efforts to improve access to health care coverage and services, mental health, oral health, and promote healthy eating and active living.

PFMC grant proposals due April 2

Nonprofit health organizations in Sonoma County are encouraged to apply for Community Grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care. The grants, generally in the $10,000 range, are awarded twice a year by the nonprofit foundation to support local projects that enhance health services. The application deadline for the next round of grants is April 2. For application materials, contact Kathy Pass at 707-525-4281 or For more information, visit

Annual HIV/AIDS Review April 30

This year's annual HIV/AIDS Review will take place on Saturday, April 30 at Finley Community Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event features an educational seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HV and AIDS. Click here for more information.


CMA endorses marijuana ballot initiative to regulate and monitor substance
The California Medical Association has formally endorsed the ballot measure known as the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Click here for details.

CMA publishes the biweekly e-newsletter, CMA Alert, to keep its members up-to-date on critical issues affecting the practice of medicine in California. Click here to view the current issue.


IMQ surveyors needed

Are you looking for a new activity? The Institute for Medical Quality is looking for physicians who may be interested in becoming surveyors for the Ambulatory Care, Corrections, or CME Review programs. The Ambulatory Program accredits surgery centers, offices, and medical groups in California. The Corrections Program reviews the health care in jails and juvenile facilities, and the CME Program reviews providers of CME. Click here for more information or contact Jill Silverman at 415-882-5151 or, or visit


Zika virus resources

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End of Life Option Act
On Oct. 5, 2015, California became the fifth state in the nation to allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill patients medication to end their lives. Click here to access CMA's ON-CALL document #3459 "California End of Life Option Act." This document discusses the requirements of the End of Life Option Act.

POLST in 2016
NPs and PAs are now allowed to sign Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) forms and make them actionable medical orders. Visit the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California website for more information for health care providers, for patients and loved ones, for 24/7 online POLST training, and to download POLST forms.

CMA Webinars (Click here for full list)
Feb. 24 - HIPAA Compliance: Key Risks All Physicians Should Know. 12:15 p.m.
March 9 - Closing a Medical Practice. 12:15 p.m.

Archived webinars are free to SCMA-CMA members and staff. Non-member fee: $99. For more information, contact CMA's member-help center, 800-786-4262 or

Western Health Care Leadership Academy May 13-15, 2016
Save the date for the 2016 Western Health Care Leadership Academy, which will be held at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square from Friday, May 13, through Sunday, May 15.

Wednesdays at Hospice House
""Folktales of Ever-Lasting Love: Storytelling & Healing Sound." Hear traditional folktales and myths about all kinds of love that warm the heart and nourish the soul. Feb. 17 at Memorial Hospice, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For details, visit

Free online CME: Child Abuse Prevention, Recognition, and Reporting
When is a child's bruise from an accident or something more? Do you know what, when, and how to report? Take this complimentary course to learn essential signs that should be reported. Free CMEs available. Pre-register for this free course on the IMQ website.


For sale: well-established medical weight loss practice in Marin County, CA
Fall in love with practicing medicine again. Create work-life balance and achieve financial freedom. Work with highly motivated, capable people, excelling in many facets of their lives, who have struggled with their weight and know clearly that they cannot do it alone.

This all-cash practice offers a flexible schedule and provides other income streams besides doctor visits. A motivated doctor can take advantage of a significant opportunity to continue to grow this referral-based practice. This is and will continue to be an active, ongoing practice. The seller will enable a smooth transition. Email now

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.

© 2016 SCMA, 2312 Bethards Dr. #6, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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