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



June 2011

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, download the SCMA Wine & Cheese 2011 flyer at

SCMA members get 15% ad discount and free classifieds

SCMA members who place display ads in Sonoma Medicine or the Sonoma County Physician Directory can now get a 15% discount, thanks to a new policy approved by the board of directors. Members can also place free classified ads in News Briefs or Sonoma Medicine.


To qualify for the discount or the free rate, the ad must be placed by an individual SCMA member or by a group that has 100% SCMA membership. Groups with less than 100% membership are not eligible for the discount.


The ad rate sheet for Sonoma Medicine is posted at The rate sheet for the 2012 Physician Directory will be posted later this summer. To place an ad, contact Erika Goodwin at 548-6491 or

CMA offers free EHR Desk Reference to all physicians

The 2009 federal economic stimulus package provided funding for physicians to purchase and use electronic health records (EHR) systems. Qualifying Medicare providers stand to receive up to $44,000, and Medi-Cal providers stand to receive as much as $63,750.


The promise of the federal EHR incentives is causing a wide range of reactions among California physicians. There is excitement about the financial benefits, but there is also confusion about issues such as how to get started, how to select the right system, and what does “meaningful use” mean?


To help physicians through this process, CMA and the CMA Foundation have published a comprehensive guide called the EHR Desk Reference. The reference was funded by a generous contribution from the Physicians Foundation and is available free-of-charge to any physician.


The EHR Desk Reference brings together information, tools, and resources from many sources into one comprehensive guide to help physicians and their practices make the transition to EHR. It can help both specialists and primary care physicians in all modes of practice and at any stage of the EHR implementation process. Some of the topics covered in the guide include:

• Understanding the federal incentive programs

• Selecting the right EHR for your practice

• Talking to your patients about your EHR

• HIPAA compliance

• Meaningful use


In conjunction with the release of the Desk Reference, CMA staff and physicians will be traveling the state distributing copies and speaking about EHR adoption. If you would like to schedule a speaker at your hospital medical staff meeting, medical group, or other gathering, contact the CMA member helpline at 800-786-4262.


To download your free copy of the EHR Desk Reference, visit

Health Information conference set for Santa Rosa

The fifth annual “Connecting California to Improve Patient Care” conference will be held at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel in Santa Rosa on July 14 and 15. The conference, which is organized by the nonprofit Redwood MedNet and cosponsored by SCMA, covers the latest developments in health information policy, clinical informatics and health information exchanges. Presenters include physicians and other experts in medical information technology.


The conference begins with a workshop on privacy and security on the afternoon of July 14, followed by a full day of presentations on July 15. Cost is $200 before July 1 and $250 thereafter. To register, and for more details, visit

Reminder: Medicare electronic prescribing deadline is June 30

Physicians who don’t implement and employ a qualified electronic prescribing (eRx) system by June 30 will face a 1% penalty from Medicare 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.


For more information, get the CMA document “Medicare electronic prescribing overview: Payment incentives and payment reductions” at or visit the Medicare website at

Cast your vote in the annual SCMA election by June 30

Now is the time for SCMA members to cast their votes for SCMA officers and board representatives, and for representatives to the CMA House of Delegates. Please indicate your approval or disapproval of the candidates listed below. You can vote by either:


• Sending an email with your preferences to or


• Downloading the SCMA Ballot at and returning to SCMA by fax or mail.


SCMA President-Elect: Walt Mills, MD: Yes___ No___


SCMA Treasurer: Ed Chang, MD: Yes___ No___


SCMA Secretary: Stephen Steady, MD: Yes___ No___


SCMA Board, Petaluma: Stephen Steady, MD: Yes___ No___


SCMA Board, Santa Rosa: Jeff Sugarman, MD: Yes___ No___


SCMA Board, TPMG: Robert Neid, MD: Yes___ No___


CMA Delegates (vote for two)


• Brad Drexler, MD: Yes___ No___


• Jan Sonander, MD: Yes___ No___

Sonoma County Physician Directory available for sale

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 Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency has selected eight women and four men from more than 500 applicants for its three-year residency program. The new resident physicians are top graduates from medical schools in California, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine, Arizona and Washington, DC. Residency program director Dr. Jeff Haney noted, “We have emphasized the development of leadership skills and innovation in the course of residency training and have actively recruited students who want to lead in creating new models of primary care that make patient-centered medical homes a reality across the socioeconomic spectrum. From our recruiting results this year, we believe we have been very successful.”


Dr. Misty Zelk, a board-certified internist and pediatrician, has joined the Palm Drive Medical Center in Sebastopol. A graduate of the University of Arkansas, she served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard.


Sonoma Valley Hospital and the Marin Healthcare District, which operates Marin General Hospital, have signed a formal agreement that will allow the healthcare district to provide both management and medical services to Sonoma Valley. The agreement will give Sonoma patients access to specialty services at Marin General. “The synergies between the Marin and Sonoma communities make this an ideal partnership to benefit Bay Area residents,” said cardiologist Dr. Joel Sklar, chief medical officer at Marin General.


Healdsburg District Hospital is among the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for joint replacement care, according to a study by HealthGrades. The study, which analyzed millions of Medicare hospitalization records from 2007 to 2009, also found that Healdsburg was the top hospital in Sonoma County for joint replacement and total hip replacement. CEO Evan Rayner noted, “We are proud of this team accomplishment and plan to build and enhance the program with additional orthopedists, equipment and facility modifications.”


CMA is offering two one-hour coding webinars during June. The first, which begins at 12:15 p.m. on June 1, covers ICD-10 coding. The second, beginning at 6:15 p.m. on June 8, covers E&M coding. For more details or to register, visit Webinars are free for SCMA members and their staff.


Marsh, the insurance carrier sponsored by SCMA and CMA, is offering members a new long-term care insurance program through Long Term Care Resources. For details specific to SCMA members, visit the LTCR website at


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 the 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


The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium is sponsoring a two-day Critical Care Program at Sutter Santa Rosa on June 30 and July 1. While the program is designed for nurses, physicians are welcome to attend. Registration is by mail only. For more details, download the ELNEC Critical Care Program Brochure at


Can you donate a stethoscope or make a $10 donation to WorldScopes? This global philanthropic initiative collects and distributes stethoscopes to doctors around the world who do not have ready access to this basic medical instrument. To date, almost 9,000 stethoscopes have been collected and distributed in more than 50 countries. All shipping costs are paid by the American Medical Association, which sponsors the program. For instructions on how to ship a stethoscope or make a financial donation, visit the WorldScopes website at



On-site guaranteed service. Office console provided. Stay compliant. Free consultation. Contact Marie Anderson at 707-829-8668 or


Office space

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

Medical volunteers needed

Local physicians are invited to join the “refill of the month club” by volunteering one day a month at the Jewish Community Free Clinic in Rohnert Park. You can refill your soul monthly by helping those that most need your services. Volunteers are needed for the family clinic on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30, and for the pediatrics clinic on Tuesday afternoons, 2:30 to 5. Specialist consults in your office for uninsured patients are also helpful. For questions, call Dr. Jerry Connell at 707-527-7754. To sign up for a shift, contact Deborah Roberts at or 707-664-2945.


SCMA members get free classified ads!

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.


© 2011 SCMA, 2901 Cleveland Ave. #202, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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