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



May 2011

Dr. Mark Netherda appointed interim Public Health Officer

Dr. Mark Netherda, a Santa Rosa family physician and SCMA member, has been appointed interim Public Health Officer for Sonoma County. He replaces Dr. Mary Maddux-González, who retired in early April. Netherda will hold the top post pending recruitment of both a new Health Officer and a new Public Health Division Director.


Prior to becoming Deputy Health Officer in 2008, Netherda served as medical director of the Sonoma County HIV Center. He also worked for the CDC and helped develop a national program for treating HIV in Namibia. In an April email to county staff announcing the change, Health Services Director Rita Scardaci noted that, “Dr. Netherda is highly respected in Public Health and by the medical community.”


Maddux-González had been Public Health Officer since 2000. During her more than a decade at the helm, she took a leadership role in numerous public health initiatives, including the Healthy Kids and Families First programs, the Asthma Coalition, Medi-Cal Managed Care, and this year’s Primary Care Capacity Report. She was a tireless promoter of preventive medicine, particularly in connection with the Healthy Kids program. In a recent Press Democrat editorial, she wrote, “Healthy Kids is a win-win solution--giving every child in Sonoma County an equal chance to reach their health potential and succeed in school and in life, while reducing the health care costs associated with preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

Dr. Kirk Pappas named physician-in-chief at Kaiser Santa Rosa

Former SCMA President Dr. Kirk Pappas is the new physician-in-chief at Kaiser Santa Rosa, succeeding another former SCMA president, Dr. Bob Schultz. Pappas, a physiatrist specializing in nonsurgical rehabilitation of the spine, was previously assistant physician-in-chief for health promotion at Kaiser.


A graduate of UC Berkeley, Pappas received his MD from Wayne State University and served his residency in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Rush Presbyterian in Chicago. He was in private practice for two years before joining Kaiser Santa Rosa in 1993. As president of SCMA from 2008 to 2009, he spoke repeatedly in the community about the health value of exercise. An avid runner and baseball fan, he has completed more than 30 marathons. He lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, Maria, and their three children.

Dr. Walt Mills nominated as president-elect of SCMA

Dr. Walt Mills, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, has been nominated as president-elect of SCMA. He is well known in the community for his work with the Center for Well-Being, the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers and the Family Medicine Residency. Other Executive Committee nominees for the SCMA election, which will be conducted in June, are Dr. Ed Chang (treasurer) and Dr. Stephen Steady (secretary). The ballot will also include nominees for the SCMA board of directors and the CMA delegation.

All local physicians invited to SCMA Wine & Cheese Reception

Local physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to attend SCMA’s 11th annual Wine & Cheese Reception on Tuesday evening, June 14. The reception, to be held at the Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood, is a great place to gather with your colleagues in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. Please join us for informal conversation and a sampling of fine wines, cheeses and hors d’oeuvres.


Tickets are free for SCMA members and their spouse or guest. For nonmembers, tickets are $35 per person. To RSVP, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375 or For directions and more details, see the attached flyer.


SCMA Wine & Cheese flyer

Annadel Medical Group joins Marin-Sonoma IPA

The Annadel Medical Group, consisting of 28 physicians affiliated with Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, has joined the rapidly growing Marin-Sonoma IPA, which now includes more than 400 physicians in Marin and Sonoma counties. In addition to the Annadel group, physicians affiliated with Sonoma Valley and Healdsburg hospitals have signed contracts with the IPA in recent months, and Palm Drive physicians are in discussions. The group also includes physicians linked to Marin General and Novato Community hospitals.


“We believe partnering with the IPA will ensure that comprehensive care remains available to our Sonoma County patients,” said Annadel President Dr. David Smith, a Santa Rosa pediatrician. “We prefer and intend to continue referring to local specialists.”


Joel Criste, chief executive of the Marin-Sonoma IPA, noted that expansion will help physicians in private practice continue to practice independently while giving patients access to a larger physician network. He expects the total number of physicians in the IPA to reach 500 within the next year.

Doctors who don’t use electronic prescribing face Medicare penalty

Medicare recently announced that physicians who do not implement and employ a qualified electronic prescribing (eRx) system by June 30 will face a 1% penalty in 2012. The penalties increase to 1.5% in 2013 and a 2% in 2014.


Medicare has excluded physicians who have fewer than 100 cases in the first half of 2011 containing an eligible ambulatory care visit code. Physicians may also be exempt if fewer than 10% of total allowed Part B charges are comprised of these codes.


Covered physicians who wish to avoid the 1% penalty in 2012 must report via claims their use of an eRx system for at least 10 patient visits before June 30. New and repeat patient visits qualify for the program. A patient visit in which the patient is given several prescriptions counts as one eRx.


SCMA has posted an E-Prescribing Fact Sheet at For more information, visit the Medicare website at

Primary care physician needed to serve on First 5 Commission

The Sonoma County First 5 Commission, which directs nearly $4 million in annual funding to benefit local children from birth to age 5, is seeking a pediatrician, family physician or obstetrician to replace commissioner Dr. Kathy Foster, a pediatrician who is retiring. The candidate should be able to represent the medical association or a specialty society in supporting and promoting optimal early childhood health.


Estimated time commitment is six to eight hours per month, including afternoon meetings on the fourth Monday of each month. Commissioners receive per diem compensation and reimbursement of selected expenses. For more information or an application form, visit or call 565-6612. Application deadline is June 1.


Still time to register for May 7 ACO conference

Sonoma County physicians are invited to a conference on Accountable Care Organizations, to be held in Oakland from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. The conference, which is free for SCMA members, will convene at the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association (ACCMA), 6230 Claremont Ave., in Oakland. Cost for nonmembers is $75 per person.


Registration is required. To register, visit and print the 5/7/11 ACO Seminar flyer. Then fax to ACCMA at 510-654-8959.

SCMA Alliance Garden Tour features McDonald Mansion in Santa Rosa

The historic McDonald Mansion in Santa Rosa is the centerpiece of this year’s SCMA Alliance Garden Tour, scheduled for May 13 and 14. The annual event, now in its 20th year, raises money for local nonprofits that work to improve access to healthy foods and to reverse obesity trends.


In addition to navigating the celebrated labyrinth and rose garden at the McDonald Mansion, participants can take self-guided tours of six other Santa Rosa gardens, from Fountaingrove and Montecito Heights to downtown and the west side. Other attractions include performances and presentations by master gardeners, musicians, writers and a painter, along with a Wine & Dine Raffle for dinners at dozens of local restaurants.


Tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for groups of 10 or more, and $10 for children 5 and over. To purchase, visit the SCMA Alliance website at or call Janet at 578-4537.


Dr. Andrew Knight, a radiation oncologist, has joined the Petaluma office of the Redwood Regional Medical Group. He specializes in the use of stereotactic radiosurgery to treat lung, spine, liver, prostate and pancreatic tumors. He is also the inventor of a device used in minimally invasive cardiac bypass surgery.


Dr. Lillian Lao, a hospitalist, has joined the Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation and will provide inpatient care at Sutter Santa Rosa. She received her MD from St. Louis University and completed a residency in internal medicine at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.


Ruth Skidmore, CEO of Northern California Medical Associates, has received a Patriot Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. The award recognizes her support for employee participation in the Guard and Reserve. She was nominated by Dr. Bradley Clair, a NCMA cardiologist who has been deployed three times in the past decade and is scheduled to command the U.S. Army Hospital in Phoenix. “A soldier should be so lucky to work for a company who backs me as they do,” said Clair.


The 2011 edition of the Sonoma County Physician Directory, which was distributed free to SCMA members in March, is now available for sale to nonmember physicians and the general public. The directory offers alphabetical and specialty listings for all Sonoma County physicians, along with detailed entries for SCMA members. Cost is $40 for nonmember physicians, or $35 each when ordering five or more copies. Members can purchase additional copies for just $30. To order over the phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 525-4375, or order online at


The next Smartphone Salon is scheduled for Thursday evening, May 19, at a location in Santa Rosa. The salon runs from 6 to 8 p.m., and participants are free to come late or leave early. Topics include favorite medical apps and time/project management. To RSVP and receive the location, contact Dr. Rachel Friedman at Smartphone enthusiasts are also encouraged to visit, a local website devoted to smartphone apps for physicians.


The new CMA website is loaded with a suite of digital tools that will help you get the most from your membership. All members will need to activate their new web account in order to access the full suite of members-only tools and resources. Existing passwords from the old website were not carried over for security reasons. The process of activating your account is quick and easy. Simply:
1. Click on "activate web account" at the top of the page.
2. Enter your first and last name to locate your record in our database. Click on your name.
3. Verify your date of birth, enter your email address (this will be your username), and then select and verify your password (passwords must be at least 6 digits long).
If you have any questions, contact CMA's member help center at 800-786-4262 or


CMA has revised its Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Kit to incorporate a new official California POLST form and additional information approved by the California POLST Task Force. The POLST form, used for patients with a serious illness or whose life expectancy is a year or less, outlines a plan of care in actionable physician orders that reflect the patient's wishes concerning medical treatment and interventions at life's end. CMA's POLST Kit includes legal forms and wallet identification cards, and answers frequently asked questions about end-of-life issues. Revised POLST Kits can be purchased from Single copies are $5 for members and $6 for nonmembers. Significant discounts are available on bulk purchases. For phone orders, call 800-882-1262.


A new CMA medical-legal document, Responding to Requests for Non-Beneficial Treatment Decisions (#0403), discusses the legal immunities, principles of medical ethics and CMA policy that supports physician and medical institution decisions to decline non-beneficial treatment requests from patients or their health care decision-makers. The documents is available free to members at Nonmembers can purchase medical-legal documents for $2 per page.


A free, nationwide service has been launched to help physicians identify and advise substance-abusing patients. Physician Clinical Support System for Primary Care (PCSS-P) offers peer-to-peer mentorship and resources on incorporating screening and follow-up into regular patient care. Doctors register with PCSS-P and receive the contact information of a mentor who specializes in screening, brief intervention, treatment and referral for patients with substance abuse problems. Mentors can then be contacted, via phone or email, with specific questions about clinical situations involving alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. To register, visit or call 877-630-8812.


Andrew Knight, MD, Radiation Oncology*, 110 Lynch Creek Way #A, Petaluma 94954, 763-0600, Fax 765-1757,, UC San Francisco 2003


* board certified


Employment wanted

Experienced Mendocino-Lake County Medical Society member, board certified in internal medicine and allergy, available for an immediate position. Please email for a copy of CV to or call 510-314-6707.


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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