Keeping You Connected

The SMLMA keeps you up to date on the latest news,
policy developments, and events


March 2013

• SCMA weighs in on fluoride debate

• Nominations needed for SCMA election

• Dr. Wayne Jonas to speak in Santa Rosa on April 3

• Report from the CMA board of trustees

• Save the date: Legislative Leadership Conference on April 16

• The iWALK Challenge is back!

• RSVP now for May 9 membership dinner

• Reminder: PFMC grant proposals due April 2

• Top stories from CMA Alert







SCMA weighs in on fluoride debate

SCMA is supporting a measure requiring fluoridation of the water supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency and other local water systems. In a Feb. 20 letter to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and members of several local city councils and water districts, SCMA President Dr. Walt Mills noted that, “This measure will have a significant impact on reducing health disparities and improving the oral health of our children and of Sonoma County residents of all ages.”

The letter was submitted prior to a contentious Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 26, during which both advocates and opponents of fluoridation spoke at length. Among the speakers was Health Officer Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin, who noted that on a typical day about a dozen local children need general anesthesia for treatment of severe dental disease. She also described a CDC study finding that every dollar spent on fluoridation results in $38 in savings on dental care.

At the end of the meeting, the supervisors voted unanimously to authorize a financial analysis and engineering studies on the fluoridation measure. The process of making a final decision on fluoridation is expected to take about a year. During that time, SCMA members are encouraged to contact their county supervisor or city council members to discuss the fluoridation proposal. As Dr. Mills observed in a separate letter to local physicians, “Fluoridation in Sonoma County will not happen without the active support of the local health care community.”

Nominations needed for SCMA election

In preparation for the upcoming SCMA election, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 15. Nominees must be SCMA members in good standing. Nominations are requested for the following positions:

• SCMA executive team (3): president-elect, treasurer, and secretary

• SCMA board representatives from West County (1), and Santa Rosa (2)

• CMA delegates (3)

• CMA alternate delegates (5)

All positions require a three-year commitment, beginning July 1. Nominations can be emailed to, faxed to 707-525-4328, 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 707-525-4375.

Dr. Wayne Jonas to speak in Santa Rosa on April 3

Wayne Jonas, MD, one of the nation’s leading family physicians, will speak at the Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa on Wednesday evening, April 3. Currently president and CEO of the Samueli Institute, a nonprofit research organization, Dr. Jonas previously headed the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health. He teaches at Georgetown University and the Uniformed Services University and is a widely published researcher.

For his Santa Rosa appearance, Jonas will discuss “Creating optimal healing environments in Sonoma County.” All local physicians are invited to attend this free event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and is sponsored by the North Bay chapters of the California Academy of Family Physicians. Space is limited, however, so RSVPs are required. Light refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, contact Erika Goodwin by March 29 at For more details, visit

Report from the CMA board of trustees

Mark Davis, MD, and Peter Bretan, MD

Dr. Davis (Crescent City) and Dr. Bretan (Novato) are the District X trustees on the CMA board of trustees.

Your District X trustees attended the Jan. 24-25 meeting of the CMA board of trustees (BOT) in San Diego. Most of the meeting was conducted without much debate and included correspondence and business of the Institute for Medical Quality, the CALPAC board of directors, and the Medical Education Debt technical advisory committee. Informational reports were presented from the AMA delegation, the CMA Foundation, and the CMA Alliance. The BOT also heard reports from the Council on Legislation regarding proposed legislation for 2013. CMA’s president, executive committee and CEO reported on membership (we now represent more than 37,000 physicians in California), the California Health Benefit Exchange, CMA’s economic services, the Policy Center, federal issues, and on CMA’s strategic plan, budget and legal issues.

The biggest discussion was about supporting the Medicare geographic adjustment factor (GAF) for implementing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid increase for primary care. The GAF will in part use the flawed calculations similar to the GPCI adjustments we are all so familiar with in District X. We realized that not to accept the Medicare GAF would be accepting much less increase for our primary care members, so we adopted this compromise. This action will ultimately bring a lot more reimbursement to CMA’s primary care members.

At a board retreat immediately following the BOT meeting, USC Economics Professor Dave Logan--co-author of “Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization”--led a discussion about how the CMA board can foster a culture of cooperation without forsaking individual consciences. Afterward, CMA Chief Executive Dustin Corcoran gave a presentation on “Activity Based Costing (ABC) System for CMA.” He explained that the ABC system will provide a high level of accuracy about the real costs of products and services. CMA will be moving to this system to get a better method for analyzing the real costs of each part of CMA. The system will allow CMA to best utilize its limited resources and plan better for the future of the organization.

Dr. Bretan learned a lot about the BOT in his first meeting as a District X delegate. He realized that the BOT is composed of incredibly talented physicians working together in a culture of teamwork and respect, with a commitment to recognizing the smallest voice. He is optimistic and looks forward to working with so many committed colleagues on the board. We both agree that together we can help bring CMA to a bright future.

Save the date: Legislative Leadership Conference on April 16

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 16--one day after income taxes are due. Hundreds of physicians from all over California attend this annual event.

The morning includes speeches from key legislative leaders. Speakers for 2013 haven’t been confirmed yet, but last year Gov. Brown addressed the conference. In the afternoon, attendees go to the Capitol to meet with their legislators on health care issues.

To RSVP for the conference, contact Cynthia Melody at or 707-525-4375. She will arrange for transportation to Sacramento.

The iWALK Challenge is back!

Due to popular demand, the iWALK Challenge is back! This popular springtime activity is part of a broad-based effort to make Sonoma County the healthiest county in California.

The iWALK Challenge is simply a commitment to exercise. Over a 10-week period, individuals commit to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. That breaks down to just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Any type of exercise counts, including swimming, biking, running, walking, hiking or dancing.

This year’s iWALK Challenge runs from March 4 to May 11, ending on the day of the Human Race. Participants can use the iWALK Challenge to train for that popular event. Registration for the iWALK Challenge is completely free and helps support the countywide movement to reduce obesity through exercise. To register, visit and click on the iWALK Challenge button. For more details, contact Becky Lunders at or 707-793-0933.

All local physicians invited to May 9 wine-and-cheese reception

All local physicians and their spouses or guests are invited to SCMA’s annual wine-and-cheese reception, scheduled for Thursday evening, May 9. This popular event--which features collegial conversation and a sampling of fine wines and cheeses--is absolutely free for both SCMA members and nonmembers.

CMA President Dr. Paul Phinney, a Sacramento pediatrician, will give an informal “president’s message” touching on what CMA is doing for you, current issues, and opportunities to get involved in CMA, followed by a question-and-answer period.

The location is still to be determined, but the date has been confirmed. To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 707-525-4375.

Reminder: 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

Leadership Academy heads to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

The annual California Health Care Leadership Academy will be held May 31 through June 2 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Presented by CMA, the California Medical Group Management Association and the CMA Foundation, “Increasing the Odds of Success” will cover a variety of issues to help physicians succeed in the rapidly changing health care landscape.

Hear from the experts and leaders of change and attend a comprehensive slate of practice management seminars and workshops to position your practice for success. For details, contact Roger Purdy at or 916-444-5532.

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

Get your staff prepared for ICD-10 implementation: Three-part webinar begins March 7

Medicare reimbursement for physicians may be cut by 2%

DHCS vendor works to solve Medi-Cal EHR incentive program payment issues

CMA grows by 4% in 2012

Covered California launches consumer website


Dr. David Lightfoot, a Santa Rosa ophthalmologist, is the lucky winner of a new iPad for completing the recent SCMA strategic planning survey. More than 180 local physicians participated in the survey, which included questions about SCMA’s role in enhancing community health. Survey results will be used by the SCMA board of directors to develop a strategic plan for 2013 and beyond.

Dr. Milton Antipa, who practiced urology in Santa Rosa for nearly 50 years, died in February at the age of 91. Born to Greek-American restaurateurs in San Francisco, he graduated from medical school at UC Berkeley and completed a urology residency at Stanford. He served on an army hospital ship during World War II and then opened a practice in San Francisco. He and his wife, Billie, moved to Santa Rosa in 1954. In addition to his thriving practice, Antipa managed his family’s 70-acre ranch on Wallace Road and was also a skilled sailor.


Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has opened an Outpatient Diagnostic Cardiology Clinic in partnership with eight local cardiologists, including Drs. John Hunter, John Reed, Patrick Devlin, Tomas Vasiliauskas, Emily Conway, Joel Erickson, Jose Ballesteros and William Bowden. The clinic offers echocardiograms, nuclear stress tests and stress echocardiograms. “We have sought to create a patient-centered environment,” said Dr. Hunter, “where those who are tested can benefit from the same sophisticated imaging they’d receive in the hospital, but with easier, quicker access and more affordable pricing.” The new clinic comes on the heels of the hospital’s majority purchase of the Advanced Surgery Institute, an ambulatory surgery center just east of downtown Santa Rosa. The hospital will co-own the facility with 19 physician investors and Regent Surgical Health, a surgery management company.

Sutter Health’s Breast Center, located for several years on Steele Lane in Santa Rosa, has moved north to the Sutter Health Plaza at 3883 Airway Drive. The new facility is adjacent to Sutter’s Advanced Imaging Center, which opened in January. The Breast Center features a state-of-the-art wide-bore MRI scanner and a stereotactic system that can be used for both standard mammography and prone stereotactic biopsies.

The Annadel Medical Group has opened an after-hours primary care clinic at 52 Mission Circle, near the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Highway 12 in Santa Rosa. The clinic is open from 5 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Drs. Herb Brosbe, Marisha Lockwood-Chilcott and Jenny Sullivan will staff the clinic, which will offer same-day and walk-in appointments for non-emergency conditions. “Medicine needs to be more customer-oriented,” said Dr. Lockwood-Chilcott. “This type of expansion and shift in medicine is absolutely required if we are to more fully meet patients’ needs.”


The following CMA webinars are scheduled for March. 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.

• Fraud and abuse: dangers and defenses (March 6)

• Essentials for ICD-10-CM: Part 1 (March 7)

• Utilizing the new SDI online system (March 13)

• Essentials for ICD-10-CM: Part 2 (March 14)

• EHR selection: Top 10 tips for success (March 20)

• Essentials for ICD-10-CM: Part 3 (March 21)

• Successful Medi-Cal provider enrollment (March 27)

The 20th annual HIV/AIDS Review will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the Hilton Hotel in Santa Rosa. Speakers includes Drs. Marshall Kubota, Danny Toub and Andy Desruisseau. For information and reservations, call the North Coast AIDS Center at 707-303-8904.


Family physicians needed

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

Physician wanted

Physicians: Retired w/license? Want to cut back to one or two days a week? Rewarding alternative care office in Marin County looking for California licensed MD for consultative work. Part time, excellent compensation. Contact James Gould at 760-703-3767 or

Medical office space for lease, Santa Rosa

Newly remodeled medical office with exam rooms available for clinician to see patients. Located on N. Dutton Ave. near West College. Parking, reception area, utilities included. For details, visit Contact Len at 707-529-8081 or

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 Linda McLaughlin at or 707-525-4359.


Jose-Mario Fontanilla, MD, Internal Medicine*, Infectious Disease*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, Univ Philippines 2001

Kristin Murray, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, Univ Minnesota 1998

* = 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.

© 2013 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Ro

Your Ad Here! Call (707) 525-0102

Featured Posts

Read More »