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



March 2011

Famed family medicine researcher to speak in Santa Rosa

Dr. William Miller, a well-known researcher and consulting editor for the Annals of Family Medicine, will speak at the new Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa on Wednesday evening, March 23. He will discuss current research on practice development and patient centered medical homes.


The event, which begins at 6 p.m., will also include presentation of the Sonoma Family Physician of the Year award. The winner will be announced at the meeting. Light refreshments will be served, and guests are welcome to attend. There is no charge. To RSVP, contact the California Academy of Family Physicians at or 415-345-8667. The health center is located at 3569 Round Barn Circle in northeast Santa Rosa.

Physicians invited to Smartphone Salon

Local physicians interested in improving their use of smartphones in clinical practice are invited to an informal Smartphone Salon in Santa Rosa on Thursday evening, March 24. The salon runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and participants are free to come late or leave early. Topics include best new medical apps for specialty care and HIPAA-compliant communication among physicians via smartphone. A “beginner’s corner” for doctors new to smartphones will also be available.


To RSVP and receive the location, contact Dr. Rachel Friedman at

SCMA cosponsoring Medicare coding course

In partnership with the Practice Management Institute, SCMA is cosponsoring “Coding and Medicare Updates 2011,” a three-hour course that focuses on sweeping changes affecting your 2011 Medicare reimbursements. Participants will review major changes for 2011 coding, learn how to improve claim accuracy, and maximize reimbursement opportunities with Medicare incentive programs.


The course will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 15, at the Fountaingrove Inn, 101 Fountaingrove Parkway, Santa Rosa. Cost is $105 for SCMA members and their staff and $165 for nonmembers. To purchase tickets, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or

Nominations needed for SCMA election

In preparation for the upcoming SCMA election, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 18. Nominees must be SCMA members in good standing. Nominations are requested for the following positions:

• SCMA president-elect

• Individual SCMA board representatives from Petaluma, Sonoma Valley and Santa Rosa

• Two CMA delegates

• Two CMA alternate delegates


All positions require a three-year commitment, beginning July 1. Nominations can be e-mailed to, faxed to 525-4328, or mailed to SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Each nomination should include a brief statement about the nominee’s qualifications.


For more details, contact Cynthia Melody at or 525-4375.

Act now to prepare for new Tdap booster law

Under a new law, all California students in grades 7-12 will need proof of a Tdap booster shot before starting school next fall. Act now to ensure your adolescent patients are protected against the ongoing threat of pertussis by taking the following steps:


View the free one-hour CME webcast, “Shots For School: Clinicians’ Role in California’s New Tdap Requirement,” available at


Send reminder and recall phone calls and notices to your patients who have not yet received a Tdap booster, including those who have received a dose of Td but not Tdap.


Order enough Tdap vaccine to immunize your patients affected by the new law. Before ordering, ensure you have adequate storage in your vaccine refrigerator for your orders. In many clinics, multiple orders will be indicated.


Immunize with Tdap now at every opportunity, including sports physicals and visits for mild illness or injury, and give other recommended immunizations: meningococcal conjugate, HPV, influenza, and any catch-up doses of varicella, MMR, and hepatitis B.


Provide clear and accurate documentation about Tdap immunization for your patients and their schools. Vaccines have similar names and abbreviations, e.g., Tdap, Td, DTaP, DT—which can be confusing to school staff who will be keeping records for the new law. If you use the California Immunization Registry, consider printing out a copy of the Blue Card after Tdap has been given for the student to take to school.


Have parents check with their child’s school about how they should provide the Tdap documentation.


Post downloadable electronic banners on your practice’s website and in electronic newsletters to help notify your patients.


For additional information on the new Tdap school requirement, visit

RSVPs needed for Legislative Day in Sacramento

Local physicians interested in attending CMA’s free Legislative Leadership Conference in Sacramento on April 5 should RSVP by March 31. SCMA will be renting a van to travel to Sacramento, so reservations are requested.


The annual conference, which last year drew more than 400 physicians and CMA Alliance members, allows doctors to meet with legislators and express their views on pending health legislation. The conference also includes a morning session featuring speakers from across the political spectrum.


To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or

Physicians invited to dinner with CMA president

All North Bay physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to the Marin Medical Society’s spring membership dinner on April 12, featuring CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale, a Marin County trauma surgeon. The dinner, to be held at the Servino Ristorante in Tiburon, begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7. Tickets are just $45 per person. Dinner choices include petrale sole, flank steak and vegetarian pasta. To purchase tickets and indicate your dinner choice, contact Ashleigh Strasheim at 415-924-3891 or


Dr. Roger Barron, an allergist in Sonoma County for more than 30 years, has retired. His longtime partner, Dr. Michael Martin, will continue to see their patients. Reflecting on his long career, Barron noted that his favorite part was “Having the opportunity to take care of so many wonderful patients and work with terrific colleagues.” He devoted much of his career to teaching patients and their families how to understand, manage and control asthma. In addition to founding the Redwood Empire Chapter of the Allergy & Asthma Foundation of America, he was president of the California Society of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. He and his wife, Peggy, will continue to live in Santa Rosa and to volunteer for Global Partners, a nonprofit organization based in Rohnert Park that funds medical, agricultural and scholastic projects in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.


In late February, Santa Rosa cardiologist Dr. Sanjay Dhar performed a coronary angiogram by threading a cardiac catheter through the radial artery in a patient’s wrist—the first time such a procedure has been used in Sonoma County. The traditional approach is via the femoral artery, accessed through the groin. Dhar said the new procedure is widely used in Europe and Asia but has yet to catch on in the United States. Advantages include faster recovery, less bleeding and more patient comfort. “The convenience for patients is awesome,” observed Dhar. “Recovery is very rapid with this new approach.”


Dr. Arnold Honick, a board-certified radiologist and family physician, has joined the staff at Sutter Pacific Women’s Health Center in Santa Rosa. He specializes in breast imaging and will provide a range of screening procedures. Honick was previously director of breast imaging at Inland Imaging in Seattle. He holds an MD from Georgetown University.


Dr. Michael Star, a Santa Rosa orthopaedic surgeon, has been named director of the new Back and Neck Care Program at Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. The programs features a team approach to the prevention and treatment of back and neck problems.


The 18th annual HIV/AIDS Review runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 12 at the Hilton Hotel, 3555 Round Barn Blvd., in Santa Rosa. This educational seminar, sponsored by the North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center, includes breakfast, lunch and 6 units of AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Cost is just $45. To register, call 527-6223.


Palm Drive Hospital has begun offering weekly CME grand rounds with local pulmonologist Dr. James Gude. The rounds, valid for one hour of Category 1 credit, are presented every Wednesday morning from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Solomon Telemedicine Hub at the hospital, located at 501 Petaluma Ave. in Sebastopol. Cases from rural ICUs in Northern California are presented via robotic telemedicine. For more information, contact Jeff Dunbar at 326-5855 or


Physicians considering switching to electronic medical records can estimate savings and return on investment (ROI) by using the ROI Calculator, a new resource from CMA. To use the free calculator, visit and answer a few basic questions about your practice. You will then be able to estimate your administrative savings, how much you qualify for in federal incentive payments, and what the overall ROI would be for converting to electronic health records.


A complete schedule of CMA webinars for 2011 is available at These popular bimonthly programs cover all aspects of medical practice and are free to SCMA members. The webinars usually run from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., but some feature evening sessions from 6 to 7 p.m. Upcoming topics include:

• March 16: Key financial ratios to increase profitability

• April 6: Coding for medical necessity and quality care

To register, visit or call 800-786-4262.


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 525-4281 or For more information, visit


Seena Davies, MD, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4104, Fax 393-4146,, Michigan State Univ 2003


Sahar Ghassemi, MD, Gastroenterology*, Internal Medicine*, Endoscopic Ultrasound, 1210 Sonoma Ave. #B, Santa Rosa 95405, 544-5093, Fax 528-8444,, Rush Med Coll 2001


* board certified


Physician wanted

Physician wanted for ethical medical weight control. Part time. Pleasant conditions. No billing, no on-call. Short shifts. Perfect for semi-retired or someone looking for a little extra work. Locations in Vallejo and San Francisco. Please call 415-447-4200 or email


Office space

Small suite for lease. Reception, 3 rooms, Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa. Contact Connie, 707-525-0211.


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.


© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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