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

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July 2016

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Zika virus testing: a message from our health officers

Many aspects of our understanding and response to Zika virus disease are evolving, including testing for Zika virus infections. The tests used to diagnose Zika virus infection have expanded (e.g., RT-PCR, IgM serology, plaque reduction neutralization test) as have the specimens for testing (e.g., serum, urine) and the windows for testing. Also, commercial labs like LabCorps and Quest are pursuing Zika virus testing capabilities that may soon be available to providers in California.

To understand the limitations of the currently available tests, when to use the tests, interpretation of the tests and appropriate next steps, click here for the recently developed CDPH Zika Virus Testing FAQs for Healthcare Providers. For information from the Sonoma County Department of Health Services about Zika virus infection and guidance for clinicians, click here.

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Ensure your payor physician directory information is accurate

A new law (SB 137) went into effect July 1 requiring plans to ensure that their physician directories are accurate and up-to-date. To help physicians understand their obligations under this new law, CMA has published On-Call document #7163, "Provider Directories." CMA On-Call documents are available free to members in CMA's online health law library at Nonmembers can purchase On-Call documents for $2 per page.

Lunch & Learn seminar launches new Practice Managers Forum

SCMA is proud to offer a Practice Managers Forum designed to enhance the health care environment with professional development opportunities, while providing solutions to some of the challenges that come from managing a practice. The forum's launch features a series of free Lunch & Learn seminars beginning with Contract Negotiations: How To Get Past "NO" With a Payor on Thursday, Sept. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. See flier for more information.

Nominations needed for SCMA awards

SCMA is seeking nominations for its Outstanding Contribution and Achievement Awards, to be presented at the annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6. Nominations are needed by Aug. 31 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.

To nominate one of your colleagues, please send his or her name and a brief description of accomplishments to Cynthia Melody at or via fax to 707-525-4328. Click here for a historical summary of past awards.

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Dr. Regina Sullivan begins term as SCMA president

Regina Sullivan, MD, an ob-gyn at Kaiser Santa Rosa, began her one-year term as president of SCMA on July 1. Born in Africa, and spending much of her youth in Zurich, Switzerland, she received her MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey Medical School, in 1994. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology in 1998 at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. She was in private practice in the Lehigh Valley, served as president of the Warren County Medical Society, and earned her MBA from the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a CPE (certified physician executive) from the American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Sullivan joined Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center in 2008.

A wide-ranging interview with Dr. Sullivan appears in the summer issue of Sonoma Medicine magazine, now available in print and online.

Summer issue of Sonoma Medicine focuses on opioids

Feature articles highlight concerns and local efforts in response to the opioid epidemic. Topics range from a detailed report by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services; managing pain safely; and strategies for reducing opioid use to substance abuse in pregnancy; and an open letter regarding the possible negative consequences of reducing opioid medications.

Departments include the president's interview, Hidden Talents art showcase, legal help for disabled veterans, mystery case, book review of Lab Girl, and SCMA's 2016-19 Strategic Plan.

SCMA applicants

Welcome, new SCMA/CMA members!
David Southwick, MD,
Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine, Wound Care, 2832 Bardy Rd., Santa Rosa, Univ Health Sci Coll Osteo Med 1981

TPMG - 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa
Eiman Jahangir, MD, Cardiovascular Disease*, Univ Tennessee 2005

*Board certified
Italics = medical interest


Dr. Brad Drexler and his son Nicolas, an acupuncturist in Dr. Drexler's Healdsburg and Santa Rosa offices, won the 4-mile men's double kayak division in the Great Russian River Race on June 4. Again. This was their fourth time racing and winning together following 2011, 2012 and 2014 victories. In 2015, Dr. Drexler won 4th place in the singles division.

Dr. Cuyler Goodwin, MPH, a recent graduate from UCSF psychiatry residency program, opened a new psychiatry practice in Santa Rosa. Sequoia Mind Health treats adult clients and offers Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for depression. For more information visit or call 707-529-9573.

Dr. Vishal Patel has been named Director of the Vein Clinic at Northern California Medical Associates, which provides treatment without hospitalization or surgery. Dr. Patel is board certified in interventional cardiology, cardiovascular disease and endovascular medicine.


Sonoma West Medical Foundation Research Institute is now a registered dementia specialist site in the $100 million Imaging Dementia Evidence for Amyloid Scanning (IDEAS) Study ( Dr. Bernstein is enrolling eligible Medicare patients in the trial to determine the clinical usefulness of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of brain amyloid deposits in the diagnosis of patients who are being evaluated for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


Practice Management Tip of the Month: July
The new provider directory accuracy law took effect July 1. Make sure your practice isn't penalized! Click here to access CMA's Tip of the Month.

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July 22 seminar: Improve oral health care for pregnant women and infants
Sonoma County medical and dental professionals are invited to attend a no-cost educational seminar and workshop focused on oral health care for pregnant women and infants from 8:30 a.m. to Noon on July 22. Emcee: Dr. Jayanth Kumar, DDS, MPH, California State Dental Director. Click here for seminar details.


Northern California, Napa
Independent Medical Group is seeking qualified candidates to staff its minor emergency department. Candidates include: near retirement Emergency Physicians, Family Practice Physicians, Urgent Care Physicians or Emergency Department Nurse Practitioners. If interested, forward CV to Tony Mottalei, MD.

Medical weight loss practice / retirement sale
Proven, highly recognized and profitable, established weight loss practice in beautiful Marin County. Current multiple 6 figures, room for expansion. Work-life balance, time freedom, financial security, relationship-driven practice.

I am 100% committed to assisting the new owner with all the support necessary to ensure a smooth transition. Please contact me for more information or to schedule a visit. Gail Altschuler, MD, 415-309-6258 or

Free classifieds for SCMA members!
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 Susan Gumucio at or 707-525-0102.


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.

© 2016 SCMA, 2312 Bethards Dr. #6, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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