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



September 2011

DocBookMD smartphone app is newest SCMA member benefit

SCMA has just added another benefit for its members: DocBookMD, a smartphone application that offers on-demand messaging, multi-media collaboration and fast look-up of your colleagues. The application, designed by physicians for physicians, will help you save time and prevent delays at point of care.


DocBookMD is a secure, HIPAA-compliant app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device. It is being offered without charge to SCMA members thanks to funding from Norcal Mutual Insurance. For details on downloading your free copy, visit


One of the key features of DocBookMD is the ability to send and receive high-resolution images, including X-rays, EKGs, or photos of wounds. All messaging is secure and fully HIPAA compliant.


Not a member? The SCMA website at has details on DocBookMD and other member benefits, as well as an online application form.

California urges feds to increase physician supply

The California Assembly and Senate have passed a joint resolution urging President Obama and Congress to improve access to care in underserved areas by increasing the state’s supply of physicians. The resolution also recommends increasing the number of residency positions to keep pace with the growing need for physicians.


In a statement, CMA President Dr. James Hinsdale noted, “With the baby boomers beginning to retire, national health care reform expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured citizens, obesity rates hitting epidemic levels, and the repercussions of the national recession and California’s own severe budget deficit still playing out, it is more important than ever that we continue to assess, address and reform the obstacles facing California’s health care system. The most important of these obstacles, and one that is projected to grow substantially in the coming years, is ensuring sufficient and timely physician access for every Californian in need of a physician’s care.”


The Council on Graduate Medical Education recommends that a state have 60-80 primary care physicians per 100,000 people. California has an average of 63 per 100,000, but 42 of the state’s 58 counties fall below COGME’s minimum recommendations. Sonoma County, however, has 69 primary care physicians per 100,000 people, well above the state average.

Pertussis immunization deadline extended

A recent amendment to California’s pertussis immunization law gives schools the option to extend the deadline for students to show proof of vaccination for up to 30 days beyond the first day of school. Depending on the school district, students may continue to present for Tdap boosters until mid-September.


Pertussis continues to be widespread in California, with seasonal incidence highest during summer and fall. Physicians are urged to be prepared for a rush of last-minute Tdap appointments and to provide clear documentation of Tdap immunization that students can bring to school.


For additional information and resources about the new Tdap law, visit


Nominate your colleagues for SCMA awards

There’s still time to nominate your colleagues for SCMA’s Outstanding Contribution and Recognition of Achievement awards, to be presented at the annual awards dinner on Dec. 1. Nominations are needed by Sept. 15 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, send the nominee’s name and a brief description of his or her accomplishments to Cynthia Melody at or via fax to 707-525-4328.

Registration opens for Latino Health Forum

Registration for the annual Latino Health Forum, to be held at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa on Oct. 13, is now open. This year’s forum, titled “Raising Healthy Children,” features keynote speeches by the president of the California Primary Care Association and the director of the childhood weight assessment program at UCSF. Workshop topics include childhood mental health, cultural sensitivity, diabetes and oral health.


Registration before Sept. 16 is $75; thereafter, it’s $100. To register, visit

SCMA physicians invited to Oktoberfest on Oct. 22

SCMA physicians and their spouse or guest are invited to an Oktoberfest welcome party for new members on Saturday evening, Oct. 22, and the Wild Oak Saddle Club in Santa Rosa. The event, sponsored by the SCMA Alliance, features authentic German beer, food and music, extending even to dancing. Cost is just $55 per person. To purchase tickets, visit or contact Christine Beakes at or 799-0125. Zum wohl!

Practice management workshop in Santa Rosa on Nov. 2

SCMA and the California Medical Association are cosponsoring “What Every Physician Needs To Know About Their Practice,” a two-hour workshop for physicians, administrators and office managers. The workshop--which runs from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Fountaingrove Inn in Santa Rosa--will be conducted by Frank Navarro, the associate director of the CMA Center for Economic Services. Topics include finding and keeping qualified staff, controlling costs, and understanding your revenue stream.


The cost is just $45 for SCMA members; nonmembers pay $95. To register, print the form attached below and fax to SCMA at 707-525-4328. You can also register by phone with a credit card by calling Rachel Pandolfi at 707-525-4375. Registration deadline is Oct. 28.


Practice Management Workshop registration form


Dr. Joshua Weil, who has served as chief of the emergency department at Kaiser Santa Rosa for more than a decade, has been appointed assistant physician-in-chief for hospital operations. He has participated in disaster relief efforts around the globe and is active in local efforts to improve emergency medical services. A past member of the SCMA board of directors, he recently published an article on earthquake preparedness in Sonoma Medicine.


Former SCMA President Dr. Jan Sonander, a Santa Rosa family physician, has been appointed to the Rules Committee for the 2011 CMA House of Delegates. He is one of just five physicians selected statewide for the committee, which reviews the rules for the annual meeting, resolves disputes and enforces the conflict-of-interest policy.


The longstanding dispute between Sutter Health and the hospital districts representing Healdsburg Hospital and Sebastopol’s Palm Drive Hospital continues to simmer, even as construction of the new Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa proceeds apace. In late August, the hospital districts appealed a court ruling that had allowed construction of the Sutter facility to begin. The appeal objects to the size and environmental impacts of the new hospital, but it also includes an offer to negotiate a settlement that would address payment for uncompensated care and several other medical and financial issues. Sutter said it would respond to the settlement offer at a later date.


In addition to contending with Sutter (see above), Palm Drive Hospital has sent “requests for information” to potential partners, including the Marin Healthcare District, the St. Joseph Health System and five other state- and nationwide entities. The requests seek to determine how the potential partners might be able to help the hospital, which emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year.


Money seems to be flowing at Healdsburg Hospital, which installed a $1.6 million CT scanner in August. The 64-slice scanner is part of a $6 million upgrade to the hospital’s imaging center that will eventually include new x-ray, fluoroscopy and ultrasound equipment.


The St. Joseph Health System Foundation has granted more than $300,000 to five local nonprofit agencies for programs that improve health and quality of life. Recipients include the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the PDI Oral Surgery Center in Windsor, the Drug Abuse Alternatives Center, House Calls, and the St. Joseph Dental Clinics.


The Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Project, which combats obesity in low-income areas of Santa Rosa, has received a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente. The funds will be used to promote healthful choices and to prevent diabetes, hypertension and other obesity-related diseases. The HEAL Project is described in detail in a recent Sonoma Medicine article by Kaiser pediatrician Dr. Ari Hauptman.


Community health centers throughout Sonoma County had a particularly active month in August. The Petaluma Health Center moved to a newly constructed 53,000 square foot facility, nearly triple the size of its old digs. A league or so away, the West County Health Centers opened a new Wellness Center in Forestville that will focus on preventive services. Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa Community Health Centers received a $650,000 federal grant to increase its services to homeless residents.


Three hour-long CMA webinars will be held during September. All three begin at 12:15 p.m. “How to grow your practice” (Sept. 7) examines methods for increasing referral volumes and retaining current patients. “Medical billing standards for workers comp” (Sept. 15) gives an update on the newly adopted standards, which go into effect in October. “How to identify and stop unfair payment practices” (Sept. 21) covers claim submission deadlines, appeal rights and other factors affecting payment. All three webinars are free for CMA members; nonmembers pay $99. To register, visit


A short course on elder mediation will be held at Sonoma State University on Sept. 10 and 17. The course, which offers 14 hours of CEU credit, trains physicians, lawyers and other professionals to mediate decision making and resolve conflicts with elders and their families. The class is taught by Jane Iddings, a Petaluma lawyer and elder mediator. Cost is $154. To register, call SSU Extended Education at 707-664-2394 or visit


Medicare is sponsoring a free ACO learning session in San Francisco on Sept. 15 and 16. The session will feature national experts on accountable care organizations and will focus on developing core competencies necessary for ACO success. For more details, and to register, visit


Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler is the featured speaker at an all-day Childhood Obesity Conference at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Sept. 24. The conference, sponsored by Slow Food San Francisco, features presentations by physicians, nutritionists and chefs on solutions to the childhood obesity epidemic. Cost is $100. To register, visit


A free webinar on insulin management in type 2 diabetes will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Sept. 27. Presenter is Dr. Kimberly Buss, medical director of diabetes education for the Sutter Medical Foundation. To register, visit


The Coastal Dermatology Symposium will be held at the Silverado Resort in Napa from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1. The event offers up to 12.25 hours of Category 1 credit. Presenters from across the country will provide updates on the diagnosis and treatment of various skin diseases. Cost is $350. To register, visit or call 502-569-1356.


Doctors and nurses interested in a holistic approach to medicine and healing are invited to attend the second annual Healing, Mindfulness & Compassion Retreat at the Ratna Ling Center in northern Sonoma County from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. The retreat will explore integrating Western medical perspectives with traditional Tibetan practices. Cost is $375 and up, depending on lodging. To register, visit


A free cardiovascular health symposium will be held at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 22. The event begins at 1 p.m. with four hours of presentations (and CME credits) on cardiovascular issues, followed by a complimentary dinner from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by Oct. 14 to Kathy Ficco at or 707-547-4652.


Jessica Bruso, DO, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 3975 Old Redwood Hwy. #152, Santa Rosa 95403, 566-5807, Fax 566-5517,, Univ Texas Osteo Med Sch 2007


Jennifer Fresco, MD, Internal Medicine*, Pulmonary Disease*, Critical Care Medicine, 401 Bicentennial Way, MOBE #190, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-2690, Fax 393-2046,, Stanford Univ 2005


Jarrod Holmes, MD, Medical Oncology*, Hematology*, Internal Medicine*, 3555 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95403, 528-1050, Fax 525-3874,, Duke Univ 2000


Sarah Murphy, MD, Family Medicine, 3569 Round Barn Cir., Santa Rosa 95404, 303-3600, Fax 303-3611, Univ Washington 2010


Donald Pyskaty, MD, Pediatrics*, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-2052,, Columbia Univ 1993


Bradley Restel, MD, Diagnostic Radiology*, 121 Sotoyome St., Santa Rosa 95405, 546-4062, Fax 525-4097,, Univ Texas 2005


Richard Turley, MD, Otolaryngology, 401 Bicentennial Way, Santa Rosa 95403, 393-4064,, Univ Michigan 2006


* board certified


Medical director/staff physician wanted

Sonoma Valley Community Health Center is seeking a family practice physician for the Medical Director/Staff Physician position. This position provides medical supervision and direction to the Health Center’s clinical services, as well as direct patient care. Must work collaboratively and be willing to support and back-up the mid-level clinicians, and provide call coverage through group call services for peds and family practice. We are looking for an innovator, a change manager and a demonstrated leader. Must have a current CA physician’s license. Call 707-939-6075 to learn more about the position. Website:



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.


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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