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 2015

Download PDF Here


Sonoma Medicine mystery case solved

Dr. Andrew Wagner, a Sebastopol hospice and palliative medicine physician, has solved the "mystery case" presented by Dr. Allan Bernstein in the winter issue of Sonoma Medicine. In the case, a 90-year-old patient presents with an acute onset of episodic right-sided noises, unsteadiness and ear fullness. The correct diagnosis is seizure phenomena. As Dr. Bernstein notes, "Partial simple seizures may present with stereotypic symptoms, often in a crescendo pattern with no loss of consciousness and no focal finding during or between events." The complete diagnosis will be published in the spring issue of Sonoma Medicine.

SCMA wine & cheese reception set for June 10

The annual SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception will be held at the Dutton-Goldfield Winery in Sebastopol on Wednesday evening, June 10. All Sonoma County physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend. The reception, now in its 15th year, has become increasingly popular because of its relaxed, collegial atmosphere.

Please join your colleagues for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines with our hosts Dan Goldfield and Dr. Loie Sauer. There's no charge for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. The charge for nonmembers is $55 per person.

To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or Visit for directions and information about their wines. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase the wines being poured. Download flier for more details.

Nominations needed for SCMA election

In preparation for the upcoming SCMA election in May, all members are urged to submit nominations for leadership positions by March 31. 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 North County (1), Petaluma (1), TPMG (1), and Santa Rosa (2)
  • CMA delegates (1)
  • CMA alternate delegates (3)

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.

ICD-10 training. Are you interested?

SCMA, in partnership with CMA and the California Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), will offer a two-day ICD-10 code set seminar this summer in Santa Rosa if there is enough interest. Contact Rachel Pandolfi at or 535-4375 if you are interested.

The training is designed specifically for coding staff and intended to give attendees a comprehensive understanding of guidelines and conventions of ICD-10, as well as fundamental knowledge of how to decipher, understand and accurately apply codes in ICD-10. Usually $799, CMA negotiated $399 for SCMA-CMA members, $499 for California MGMA members, and $599 for nonmembers. Training will be in a classroom setting conducted over two consecutive days, including 16 hours of intensive general ICD-10 code set training (16 CEUs) and hands-on coding exercises.

Discuss legislative issues affecting health care with legislators April 14

SCMA members are invited to CMA's annual Legislative Advocacy Day on Tuesday, April 14, at the Sheraton Grand in Sacramento. Attended by several hundred physicians, this conference provides an opportunity to meet with local legislators regarding pressing health care issues after morning speeches by CMA's president, Dr. Luther Cobb, and Dustin Corcoran, CMA CEO. This year's keynote speaker is expected to be Governor Jerry Brown, followed by a political panel discussion and afternoon sessions with local legislators in their offices. For more information, visit or contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or

We think we've earned your membership

  • Prop. 46 was defeated (NO: 67% YES: 33%). CMA-SCMA spent $8 million of CMA reserves and raised $52 million to protect MICRA.
  • Culminating an 11-year CMA-SCMA effort, the GPCI inequity for Sonoma County has been permanently solved. (See story above.)
  • CMA held off a 10% Medi-Cal cut for three years, ensuring the cut would not have to be repaid.
  • Among many other examples, legislative advocacy kept optometrists from practicing ophthalmology.

Call Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 if you need a copy of your dues invoice. She can answer your questions or handle payment over the phone. Click here to renew your 2015 membership online.

SCMAA&F Garden Tour May 15 & 16

Mark your calendars for the SCMA Alliance & Foundation's 24th annual Garden Tour on May 15 and 16, 2015. Over the past decade, this beloved event has raised more than $500,000 to benefit our local youth, adults and families. Join us by becoming a sponsor, and investing in the well-being and future of our community! This year our beneficiaries include West County Health Center's Forestville Wellness Center and SCMA Alliance Foundation's Foster Children's Give-a-Gift program, Safe Schools program, Health Promotions as well as the SCMA & SCMAA Health Careers Scholarship program. To learn more, visit

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. In addition to recognition for exemplary involvement, an iPad will be awarded to the winner at the end of the fiscal year. Click here to learn more.


Richard Powers, MD, will be chief of staff for the Sonoma West Medical Center when it opens April 27. The opening was moved from April 6 to follow its accreditation survey April 22.


Andrea Bialek, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology*, 4983 Sonoma Hwy. #S, Santa Rosa 95409, UC San Diego 1985

Jo Dean Nicolette, MD, Family Medicine*, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, Stanford Univ 1996

Maria Petrick, MD, Allergy & Immunology*, 2461 Summerfield Rd., Santa Rosa 95405, Univ Tennessee 1998

* = board certified


New HMO health plan: Sutter Health Plus

After receiving final approval from the Department of Managed Health, Sutter Health announced the availability of Sutter Health Plus, an HMO health plan that will provide individuals and employer groups with affordably priced health plans in Sonoma County. The Sutter Health network launched its own health plan as a way to partner directly with patients to manage their total health needs, including quality and cost of care.

In Sonoma County, Sutter Health Plus' network includes the new $284 million state-of-the-art Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital; Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation with care centers in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol and Healdsburg; Sutter Medical Group of the Redwoods; and Novato Community Hospital in Marin County. For more information visit

SRO opens new satellite office

Santa Rosa Orthopaedics (SRO) opens its new satellite medical office and Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center on April 1, 2015, located at 34 Mark West Springs Road, Suite 300, in Santa Rosa. SRO's Stony Point office closes at that time, and the main office on Montgomery Drive remains open.

REACH completes 100,000 patient transports

REACH Air Medical Services announced the completion of more than 100,000 successful patient transports. REACH has grown from one air ambulance base in Santa Rosa, California in 1987 to more than 20 bases of operation providing air and ground ambulance services in California, Oregon and Texas. According to Sean Russell, REACH president, "Based on our annual transport volume, if we were still a one-base company it would have taken us about 200 years to make 100,000 flights."



  • "We Care for California" coalition introduces legislation to increase Medi-Cal rates to Medicare levels:
    Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez and Assembly Health Committee Chair Rob Bonta joined health care providers, medical students, patients and advocates on the steps of the Capitol last week to introduce AB 366 and SB 243, legislation that would not only restore a 10 percent cut to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates, but would also place reimbursement on par with Medicare, increasing payments rates for inpatient hospital services and most outpatient services. (Read more)

Other stories:

CMA Alert is a biweekly newsletter for members of the California Medical Association.


April 2: PFMC grant proposals due

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

CME April 25: HIV/AIDS review

The 22nd Annual HIV/AIDS Review, an educational CME seminar and luncheon for physicians, mid-levels and pharmacists who provide care to people with HIV/AIDS will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa. This year's program will include: an HIV and HCV Update; HIV Prevention; Substance Use and Harm Reduction; Interdisciplinary Case Management; and Medication Errors in HIV Care. Speakers include: Kirsten Balano, PharmD; Drs. Marshall Kubota, Ele Lozares-Lewis and Danny Toub; and Meghan Murphy, MSW. For more information, call The North Coast Area AIDS Education & Training Center at 707-303-8904.

CME May 1: Innovation 2015, San Mateo

"The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age" and "The Future of Health & Medicine: Where Can Technology Take Us?" will be featured at the Innovation Symposium 2015 on May 1 in San Mateo. Physicians, CFOs, COOs, nurses, HR executives, and pharmacists are invited. CMEs will be available. Download flier or register online today.

CME online: Medical cannabis courses

This new online series of 12 courses, offered by the Medical Cannabis Institute, includes: the history of cannabis as medicine; the endocannabinoid system; cannabis-the plant; the pharmacology and its physiologic effects; delivery and dosage; clinical practice; and clinical case study reviews. 12 CMEs available (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Find out more at

Cycling CME: July 21-25 (Vail) & Sept 22-27 (Grand Junction)

Two CME conferences in Vail and Grand Junction, Colorado will emphasize exercise as medicine, common musculoskeletal problems, and nutrition. Conference groups are small, creating an atmosphere conducive to interactive "hands-on" learning, featuring challenging road bike rides daily. The event is sponsored by St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center. 15 CMEs pending (AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™). Click here for details.


Shared medical suite available
Lovely reception area, patient rooms and furnished office. Beautiful Novato location, plenty of parking, utilities included. Please inquire at 415-897-9800.

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.

© 2015 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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