Keeping You Connected

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


July 2012

Dr. Walt Mills is new president of SCMA

Walt Mills, MD, deputy director of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and assistant chief of family medicine services at Kaiser Santa Rosa, is the new president of SCMA. He will serve through June 2013. In a wide-ranging interview in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine, Dr. Mills discusses his plans for SCMA and describes the new Kaiser Family Medicine Residency, for which he will serve as program director.

The other new members of the SCMA executive team are Drs. Stephen Steady (president-elect), Jeff Sugarman (past president) and Francesca Manfredi (secretary). They are joined on the SCMA board of directors by Drs. Peter Brett, Brad Drexler, Catherine Gutfreund, Rebecca Katz, Leonard Klay, Marshall Kubota, Clinton Lane, Anthony Lim, Mary Maddux-González, Rachel Mayorga, Mark Netherda, Robert Nied, Richard Powers, Phyllis Senter, Lynn Silver-Chalfin, Jan Sonander, Peter Sybert and Francisco Trilla, as well as two medical students: Jasmine Hudnall and Assunta Ritieni.

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SCMA donates book proceeds to residency program

SCMA has donated more than $1,000 in proceeds from sales of “The Santa Rosa Reader” to the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency. The book, an anthology of essays and articles by longtime residency faculty member Dr. Rick Flinders, was published by SCMA in May and is now available in both paperback and eBook formats.

“The selection of writings for this book spans over 40 years,” writes Flinders in the introduction. “While the book traces the local story of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, it also tells the larger story of family medicine. … [The] essays, editorials and reviews … provide temporal landmarks in the history of our specialty. Mostly they offer glimpses into the extraordinary process of training, teaching and becoming family physicians.”

A review of the book by residency graduate Dr. Scott Eberle can be found in the current issue of Sonoma Medicine. To purchase the $9.95 paperback edition, visit your local bookstore or order directly from SCMA by clicking the link below. Paperback and eBook editions are also available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers. All proceeds from book sales are donated to the family medicine residency.

Santa Rosa Reader order form

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Nominations needed for SCMA awards

SCMA is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Contribution and Recognition of Achievement awards, to be presented at the medical association’s annual dinner this fall. Nominations are needed by Sept. 17 for all four awards listed below:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Presented to an SCMA member whose work has benefited the community.
  • Outstanding Contribution to Local Medicine. Presented to an SCMA member who has improved local medical care.
  • Outstanding Contribution to SCMA. Presented to an SCMA member who has served the medical association beyond the call of duty.
  • Recognition of Achievement. Presented to a nonphysician who has helped advance local medicine.

For a list of past award recipients and a nomination form, click on the link below. Nominations can be submitted to SCMA by fax, email or regular mail.

SCMA Awards nomination form

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SCMA and Alliance award $31,000 in medical scholarships to local students

A dozen local students have received a total of $31,000 in scholarships from SCMA and the SCMA Alliance joint Health Careers Scholarship Committee to study medicine at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The recipients include two high school students and 10 students who are already enrolled in undergraduate or graduate medical programs. The awards range from $1,000 each for the high school students to $5,000 for students enrolled in graduate programs.

In addition to proceeds from the SCMA Alliance annual holiday greeting card, the scholarship fund has received generous grants from the Pacific Foundation for Medical Care for the past three years but is no longer eligible to apply. If you know of any other grant opportunities, please contact Virginia Merwin at The scholarship fund has been in existence since 1971 and has awarded scholarships to more than 750 students, several of whom are now practicing medicine in Sonoma County.

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Sonoma Medicine wins international award

Sonoma Medicine has won an Excellence award in an international publications competition sponsored by the Society for Technical Communication, the world’s largest organization of technical writers. The magazine was entered into the international competition after winning top honors in the Northern California region.

Only two dozen publications from around the world earned an Excellence award, the competition’s second-highest honor. Sonoma Medicine was the only medical magazine to receive the award. Other honorees included publications by NASA, Microsoft and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Redwood Regional

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Health Information Exchange conference set for Rohnert Park

The annual Health Information Exchange (HIE) conference cosponsored by SCMA will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park on July 19 and 20. Titled “Connecting California to Improve Patient Care,” the conference will focus on practical solutions for securely sharing electronic clinical information between unaffiliated health care facilities, such as outpatient practices, hospitals, laboratories, imaging centers, long-term care, home health and public health. Conference attendees will learn best practices in clinical informatics, quality analytics and HIE services.

To register, visit Attendees can register for either one or two days. A separate Interoperability Exhibition will be held in conjunction with the conference.

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Spine Symposium 2012

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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

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Former SCMA President Dr. Catherine Gutfreund, a family physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa, has been elected to the board of trustees for the California Medical Association. She will serve a three-year term as a representative of the Very Large Group Practice Forum.

Shawn Devlin and Lindsay Mazur have received awards from the SCMA Alliance for their work with the Give a Gift program, which provides Christmas presents to foster children. The two have raised more than $150,000 for the program since 2003. The gifts provided range from toys for younger children to laptop computers for teenagers who are bound to college.

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The American College of Radiology has designated Kaiser Santa Rosa as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. The designation means that the Center has achieved high practice standards in image quality, personnel qualifications, facility equipment, quality control and quality assurance.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital ranks third best in the United States for treating heart attack patients and reducing readmissions, according to data compiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and published in Becker’s Hospital Review. In addition, the hospital was recently named one of the safest in the nation by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

A dozen top medical school graduates have been accepted into the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency class of 2015. The new residents, nine women and three men drawn from a field of more than 600 applicants, come from premier medical schools, including the University of Chicago, Columbia, Yale and UCSF. They are all distinguished by academic achievement and community service.

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A CMA webinar on preparing for a Medicare and/or Medi-Cal audit runs from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on July 18. To register, visit The seminar is free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person.

CalHIPSO, a nonprofit that provides assistance with electronic medical records, is offering $150 or $250 stipends to physicians or office managers who attend one of its data analytics focus groups. The goal of the focus groups is to gain an understanding of the challenges clinical and operational leaders face in making timely, accurate operations and business decisions. The focus groups include an in-person session in Oakland on July 31 ($250 stipend), as well as webinars on July 31 and Aug. 2 ($150 stipend). To register, visit

SCMA members can use the free 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. For more details, visit DocBookMD is offered at no charge to SCMA members thanks to the sponsorship of NORCAL Mutual.

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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.

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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.

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