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



April 2012

CMA needs survey responses by April 6 for urgent legislative issue

CMA is in the midst of a legislative struggle with representatives of Blue Cross and Blue Shield about what criteria physicians consider before signing a contract to be in a payor's network. The plan representatives are successfully asserting a false claim about what drives physicians to contract. CMA needs your help to refute this false claim. Please share your contracting experience by responding to a brief, 3-question survey at The survey results will be crucial in helping CMA pass legislation to protect physician and patient interests.


It is critical that you respond no later than Friday, April 6. For questions, contact CMA’s reimbursement help line at 888-401-5911 or

Register now for April 25 practice management seminar

Right now is a great time to sign up for an important practice management seminar on Wednesday, April 25. Cosponsored by the California and Sonoma County medical associations, the 5-hour seminar consists of two parts: "Know Your Rights" and "Medicare 2012 & Beyond." Topics include appeal rights, Medicare audits and preparing for ICD-10.


Presented by the CMA Center for Economic Services, the seminar will be held at the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa. Lunch will be provided. Cost is $55 for SCMA members and $105 for nonmembers.


To register, fax the flyer below to SCMA at 707-525-4328 or contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or


April 25 Medicare seminar flyer

SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception set for May 30

The annual SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception will be held at the William Selyem Winery in Healdsburg on Wednesday evening, May 30. All Sonoma County physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend. The reception, now in its 12th year, has become increasingly popular because of its relaxed, collegial atmosphere.


Please join your colleagues for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines. There’s no charge for SCMA members and their spouse or guest, but RSVPs are required--the winery has a gated entrance. 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. See the flyer below for more details.


Wine & Cheese flyer

Dr. Stephen Steady nominated as SCMA President-Elect

SCMA’s president, Dr. Jeff Sugarman, and the incoming president, Dr. Walt Mills, announce that Dr. Stephen Steady, a Petaluma gastroenterologist, has been nominated as SCMA President-Elect. Others nominated to the SCMA Board of Directors are Drs. Ed Chang (treasurer), Francesca Manfredi (secretary), Rachel Mayorga (North County district), Peter Brett and Phyllis “Jackie” Senter (Santa Rosa district), Ed Chang (The Permanente Medical Group), and three nominees for the CMA delegation: Drs. Leonard Klay, Catherine Gutfreund, and Phyllis “Jackie” Senter.


SCMA members will receive ballots in May via postal mail. For more information, contact Cynthia Melody at or 525-4375.

Get your Sonoma County Physician Directory today!

The 2012 Sonoma County Physician Directory is now available for sale. This exhaustive reference book gives contact and specialty information for almost every doctor currently practicing in Sonoma County, along with detailed photographic listings for SCMA members and a useful listing of medical resources. The familiar spiral-bound book, which features a colorful cover by local artist Barbara Greensweig, is heavily used by local medical offices.


Each SCMA member receives one free copy of the directory. Extra copies cost $30 for SCMA members, $40 for nonmember physicians and health care facilities, and $55 for the general public. To order by phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375 or You can also purchase online at, or you can fax or mail the order form below.


Sonoma County Physician Directory order form

Gov. Brown to speak at CMA Legislative Day on April 17

Gov. Jerry Brown will be the keynote speaker for CMA’s annual Legislative Leadership Conference, to be held in Sacramento on April 17. Hundreds of physicians from around the state are expected to attend the free all-day conference. The morning session includes speeches from Brown and other key legislative leaders. In the afternoon, attendees will go to the Capitol to meet with legislators on health care issues.


Physicians interested in attending the conference should contact Cynthia Melody at 707-525-4375 or


Dueling surveys give high marks to Sonoma County

Two recent surveys give high but variant grades to the health system in Sonoma County. A survey published in March by the Commonwealth Fund ranked the county sixth out of more than 300 systems nationwide. The county got high marks for low infant mortality rates, preventive care and percent of residents with insurance. It was one of only three communities in the survey to have less than four deaths per 1,000 live births. The report, available at, compares key statistics from representative communities across the nation.


In contrast, a report published in early April by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Sonoma 12th out of 56 counties evaluated in California. The county got high marks for longevity and quality of life but was downgraded for high rates of smoking and drinking. The report is available at One of the more interesting findings is that 38% of the restaurants in Sonoma County are fast-food establishments, less than the 49% state average.


Local health leaders attributed the county’s high rankings to the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and the countywide network of health centers, along with other factors that promote primary and preventive care.


DocBookMD expands to other North Bay medical societies

SCMA members can now use the DocBookMD mobile app to send HIPAA-compliant messages to their colleagues throughout the North Bay. The new, regional version includes medical society members in Marin, Napa, Solano, Mendocino and Lake counties.


Getting started with DocBookMD is simplicity itself. Just follow the instructions below.

1. Download the free DocBookMD app from the iTunes App Store or Android Market to your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android phone.

2. Click on Register.

3. Enter your email address.

4. Enter your state (CA) and county (Sonoma).

5. Enter your CMA/SCMA ID number. (Call 707-525-4375 if you need your number.)

6. Create a password.

7. Answer sponsor questions.

8. Complete the HIPAA compliance agreement.


That’s it! Once you’re registered, you can send messages, images and more to your medical society colleagues throughout the North Bay. For more details, visit DocBookMD is supplied at no charge to SCMA members thanks to the sponsorship of NORCAL Mutual.

Dinner and auction to benefit the Jewish Community Free Clinic

Local physicians and guests are invited to attend the Spirit of Hippocrates Dinner and Auction, which will benefit the Jewish Community Free Clinic. Set for Sunday afternoon, June 10, at the French Garden Restaurant in Sebastopol, the dinner features a sumptuous three-course meal and an array of local wines. The silent auction includes offerings from some of Sonoma County’s finest restaurants, wineries and spas. The event is being held in memory of Dr. John Shearer, a former medical director of the clinic who passed away in 2009.


Tickets are $100 per person. To purchase, contact the clinic at or 707-585-7780.

Sonoma Medicine is finalist for prestigious award

Sonoma Medicine is a finalist for a Maggie award from the Western Publishing Association. This annual competition draws entries from all over the western United States, including many well-known magazines, from Motor Trend to Mother Jones. Sonoma Medicine is one of six finalists in the “quarterly magazines under 50,000 circulation” category. The winner will be announced on April 27.


Dr. Lynn Silver Chalfin, a director in the New York City Department of Health, is the new Public Health Officer for Sonoma County. In her previous position, she led several well-publicized policy initiatives, such as the city’s trans-fat ban, the nation’s first calorie labeling law, and the National Salt Reduction Initiative. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara and Johns Hopkins University, Silver Chalfin is married to another physician, Dr. Donald Silver Chalfin. She will begin working part-time for Sonoma County in April and is scheduled to begin full-time work in August. The interim Public Health Officer, Dr. Mark Netherda, will resume his previous position of Deputy Health Officer.


Dr. Catherine Gutfreund, a past president of SCMA, has received the Sonoma Family Physician of the Year award from the California Academy of Family Physicians. The award was presented in March at the Excellence in Primary Care conference in Santa Rosa. Gutfreund is a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, where she serves as chief of integrative medicine. Her award was presented by the guest speaker, Dr. Ted Epperly, a past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.


Dr. Misty Zelk, a pediatrician and internist, has joined the Palm Drive Hospital Medical Group in Sebastopol.


Several CMA webinars, many for CEU credit, are scheduled for 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on select dates in April. To register, visit The webinars are free for CMA members; cost for nonmembers is $99. The schedule appears below.

* Managing upset and/or difficult patients - April 4

* Medicare: Top 10 claim and documentation errors - April 11

* Best practices for managing your accounts receivable - April 18

* California’s public health insurance programs - April 23

* 2012 legislative update - April 25


In recognition of the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, CMA has launched Reform Essentials, a regular newsletter designed to provide readers with the latest developments in California’s implementation of federal health care reform. The publication is available at Future installments of the newsletter will include updates from California's Health Benefit Exchange Board, information on essential health benefits, and other topics related to the Affordable Care Act.


Jack Nadler, MD, Family Medicine*, 3900 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma 94954, 765-3960, Fax 765-3507,, Univ Southern California 1996


* board certified


Office space

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


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 Erika Goodwin at or 707-548-6491.


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.


© 2012 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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