Keeping You Connected

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


May 2012

Physicians invited to interview congressional candidates on health policy

North Bay physicians will have a chance to pose health policy questions to candidates for the reconfigured 2nd Congressional District at a May 17 candidate interview sponsored by the Marin Medical Society. A dozen candidates are running for the seat currently occupied by Rep. Lynn Woolsey, who is retiring next year after two decades in Congress.


The candidate interview will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Wesserman Room at Novato Community Hospital.


Because of redistricting, Woolsey’s old congressional district, which was confined to Marin and Sonoma counties, will soon extend all the way up to Oregon, with the important exceptions of Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park. Those towns will shift to the 5th District, where incumbent Rep. Mike Thompson is running without significant opposition.


The leading candidates for Woolsey’s seat include Assemblyman Jared Huffman, activist Norman Solomon and businesswoman Stacey Lawson. Because of the new Open Primary Act, all candidates--Democratic, Republican and other--compete in the June primary. The two who receive the most votes move to the November election, regardless of party affiliation.


The May 17 candidate interview is intended for physicians, who are invited to submit health policy questions beforehand by sending an email by May 14 to Cynthia Melody at The format will be a panel interview, with each candidate answering each question in turn. Dr. Peter Bretan, president of the Marin Medical Society, will moderate the interview.

Take the Garden Tour to benefit local health programs

Local physicians and their families and friends are encouraged to take the annual SCMA Alliance Foundation Garden Tour, which will benefit almost a dozen health programs throughout Sonoma County. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12, features self-guided tours of seven beautiful private gardens in Santa Rosa. Local artist Richard McDaniel will be painting in one of the gardens, and various art and wine & dine raffles will be offered as well.


Tickets are just $45 per person for this festive event, which is cosponsored by SCMA, Kaiser Permanente, Northern California Medical Associates and the Press Democrat. To purchase tickets, call 707-578-4537 or visit Proceeds will benefit Give-a-Gift, Safe Schools, Health Awareness, YWCA, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, Drug Abuse Alternatives Center, LifeWorks, CPI, NAMI Sonoma County, Hope Counseling Services and the Family Service Agency.

RSVP now for May 30 Wine & Cheese Reception

Acronym alert! RSVP ASAP for SCMA WCR (wine & cheese reception). This fun-filled annual event 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 and cheeses. No other food will be served. 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

SCMA wage/benefit surveys and election ballots due May 31

SCMA election ballots will be mailed to all members during the first week of May and are due back by May 31. Non-Kaiser members will also be receiving a staff wage and benefit survey. Physicians can use the results of this confidential survey to help manage their practice. Results will be sent by first-class mail, marked “confidential,” only to physicians who complete the survey. In other words, if you want to see the results, you must complete the survey.


On the election ballot, 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) and Ed Chang (The Permanente Medical Group). There are also three nominees for the CMA delegation: Drs. Leonard Klay, Catherine Gutfreund, and Phyllis “Jackie” Senter.


Board nominees join the current board of directors, which includes Drs. Brad Drexler, Catherine Gutfreund, Rebecca Katz,  Leonard Klay, Marshall Kubota, Clinton Lane, Anthony Lim, Mary Maddux-González, Walt Mills, Mark Netherda, Robert Nied, Richard Powers, Jan Sonander, Jeff Sugarman, Peter Sybert and Francisco Trilla.


For more information, contact Cynthia Melody at or 707-525-4375.


Get your 2012 Sonoma County Physician Directory before they sell out!

One of the many benefits of SCMA membership is a free copy of the annual Sonoma County Physician Directory. Extra copies are a hot commodity, however, and right now is the best time to buy yours before they’re all gone. Last year’s edition sold out--don’t let this happen to you!


Each SCMA member has already received one free copy of the 2012 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

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.


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


* Urgent survey response requested: State releases plan to move all Medicare/Medi-Cal patients into managed care plans


* Attorney General speaks to CMA physicians about advocating for CURES

and ACA


* Governor Brown asks California physicians to support his tax measure on

the fall ballot


* Panel sets stage for "year of chaos" in California politics


* CMA vaccination bill clears committee


SCMA member Dr. Lyman “Bo” Greaves has been named Family Physician of the Year by the California Academy of Family Physicians. “CAFP presents this annual award to an individual who exhibits the finest qualities of a family physician and goes above and beyond in service to patients and community,” said CAFP President Dr. Steven Green. A graduate of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, Greaves is well known in Sonoma County for his work with Sonoma Health Action and the Patient-Centered Medical Home Learning Collaborative. He is currently medical director of the Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa.


An article about a fruit-and-vegetable study by Dr. Wendy Kohatsu, Dr. Rachel Friedman and Alisha Prystowsky appeared in the April 16 issue of CMA Alert, the biweekly newsletter of the California Medical Association. The ongoing study, originally described in Sonoma Medicine, examines the effects of giving fruit-and-vegetable vouchers for the Santa Rosa farmers market to low-income women at risk for gestational diabetes. About 100 women have enrolled in the study, which is scheduled to conclude later this year. All three researchers are affiliated with the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency.


Dr. Peter Bretan, a Novato urologist with an office in Sebastopol, has joined the medical staff of Healdsburg District Hospital. Bretan, who specializes in transplantation and laparoscopic oncologic surgery, is president of the Marin Medical Society.


Former SCMA President Dr. Brad Drexler is featured in the annual report for Operation Access, a nonprofit organization that provides surgery and specialty care for uninsured and underinsured patients. Drexler has performed monthly ob-gyn surgeries for the organization since 2010. Last month, the founders of Operation Access--Drs. Douglas Grey, William Schechter and Paul Hoffman--received a Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. This annual nationwide award is presented to individuals who have significantly improved health in their local communities. For more information on Operation Access, or to volunteer, visit


Dr. Jay Joseph, a Ukiah radiation oncologist who is an affiliate member of SCMA, will become president of the Mendocino-Lake County Medical Society in July.


Dr. Irina deFischer, a Petaluma family physician who is an affiliate member of SCMA, will become president of the Marin Medical Society in July.


Peter Rumble has been named division director of health policy, planning and evaluation for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services. Rumble, who has extensive experience at all levels of government, will lead efforts to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities in Sonoma County.


The 2012 Allie Awards Luncheon sponsored by the SCMA Alliance will be held at the Fountaingrove Golf Club in Santa Rosa from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 29. Awards will be presented to Tricia Hunstock for her contribution to the Alliance, and to Shawn Devlin and Lindsay Mazur for their contributions to the community. Tickets are $27 per person. To purchase tickets, contact Victoria Shieh by May 18 at 707-526-7992 or


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


Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation plans to lease an additional 19,000 square feet at the Landmark Executive Center on Airway Drive in Santa Rosa, where the foundation is already leasing 46,000 square feet. Some services located at Sutter’s Warrack campus in southeast Santa Rosa and at the Women’s Health Center on Steele Lane will be moved to the new facility.


Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital is scheduled to begin a $15 million expansion of its emergency department, pending final state approval. Plans call for adding 50% more square footage to the department, which will end up with 26 patient rooms and a new triage room. The project is a scaled-down version of a longstanding $68 million plan that was derailed by the 2008 downturn and Sutter’s decision to build a new hospital, among other factors. Completion is expected by 2014.


The Santa Rosa Head & Neck Surgical Group, which is part of Northern California Medical Associates, has received a three-year accreditation in sinus and temporal bone computed tomography from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission. IAC grants accreditation only to facilities that are found to provide quality patient care in compliance with national standards.


In partnership with the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, the Alexander Valley Health Center is now offering mental health and substance abuse services through the Path2Health program. The program is geared toward uninsured residents with limited access to health care services.


Santa Rosa Community Health Centers has joined several other plaintiffs in suing the state of California over a plan to cut reimbursements for adult day services roughly in half. If the new rates are implemented, the health centers would lose about $650,000 per year from providing the services. The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order on the rate reductions.


There will be eight CMA webinars during May, including four for CEU credit. All webinars begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or 1:45. To register, visit Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person. Here’s the lineup for May:

* Medicare audits (May 2; includes CEU)

* Marketing 101 (May 9; includes CEU)

* Telephone etiquette for medical personnel (May 16; includes CEU)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 1 (May 17)

* Strategic planning for solo and group practices (May 23; includes CEU)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 2 (May 24)

* California’s changing insurance marketplace (May 30)

* California workers’ comp eBill--part 3 (May 31)


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.


Need help improving practice efficiency and viability? Try a free subscription to CMA Practice Resources (CPR), a monthly bulletin full of tips and tools for physicians and their office staff. To subscribe, visit The current issue includes articles on HIPAA 5010 enforcement, CPT codes, electronic prescribing, and much more.


Jasmine Hudnall

Third-year medical student

Touro University



Adam Krouse

Fourth-year medical student

Touro University



Assunta Ritieni

Third-year medical student

Touro University



Room for rent

One bedroom w/private bath & storage for rent in 2-bedroom house in beautiful Bennett Valley. $800/month + security deposit. Contact Gwyn at or 415-306-9814.


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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