Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 

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October 29, 2014
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
The Buyers Agent- Sponsor Message (Left)
WCMS Fall Conference
Independent Physicians Affinity Group
Join WCMS' Table at MLK, Jr. Breakfast
New Members to WCMS
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
2014 Candidate Forum
Get Your Uninsured Patients Insured via WCMS During Next Open Enrollment Period
Asheville Physician Receives 2014 Harris Award
Alert from BCDH: Ebola Guidance for Non-Hospital Settings
A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life
In Memory- Dr. Fred Berger
Jason Cook, MD joins The Family Health Centers
Job Board & Classified Ads
WCMS Fall Conference  (11/20)
"Risky Business:
Managing Risk in Today's Medical Practice"

Join WCMS for our 16th Fall Conference presented by PNC Bank.  The conference theme this year follows one of the main trends currently in healthcare: RISK.  This event is perfect for practice administrators, independent physicians, and other allied health providers wanting to stay up on important topics in healthcare.

When: Thursday, November 20th from 8:00am - 4:00pm
Where: MAHEC Education Building in Asheville, NC  (121 Hendersonville Rd)

Click here for the agenda, topics, speakers and to register. 
Independent Physicians Affinity Group  (12/2)
Join the first meeting of our newest Affinity Group: Independent Physicians.  This is a great time to meet and mingle with other physicians who work in a similar setting, as well as hear some helpful content.

Speakers: Carolyn Coward (Van Winkle Law Firm) and Mary Williams Matthews (Johnson Price Sprinkle PA)

When: Tuesday, December 2nd 6:30pm - 8pm

Where: Lulu's On Main in Sylva, NC  (612 West Main St)

RSVP to attend  (Please RSVP as space is limited and we need an accurate head count)
Join WCMS' Table at MLK, Jr. Breakfast  (1/17)
On Saturday, January 17, 2015 residents of Asheville and Buncombe County will celebrate our community's 34th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King.

Join Us!
WCMS has purchased a limited number of tickets (10) at our own table for this engaging event, which we are offering to physician members (and one guest) as a gift on a first-come-first-served basis. Join your local elected officials, physician colleagues, and fellow community leaders at the MLK Prayer Breakfast (the largest such gathering in the country.)
Saturday, January 17, 2015
8:30-10:30 a.m.
(Doors Open 8:00 am)
Crowne Plaza Resort on Resort Drive (West Asheville)

Keynote speaker: Rodney Johnson, Executive Director of the Office of Parent Services at George Washington University
Reserve your ticket(s) by December 19th by contacting Kelly Kurdyukova (kelly@mywcms.org or 274-2267, ext 1301).
New Members to WCMS 
View the newest physicians to join WCMS. 
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)  
The 2014-2015 "Blue Book" is ready for ordering!  This is a comprehensive directory of physicians, produced by WCMS that:
  • Includes physicians and practices from all 16 WNC counties
  • Is pocket size for easy access
  • Has a discounted price for practices with 100% members of WCMS! 
Practice and physician information changes frequently, so this directory has hundreds of updates from when the last book was published. 

To place an order, go to www.mywcms.org/BlueBook and pay online or download an order form.

Have questions or need to know if you're part of a 100% member practice? Email us at membership@mywcms.org.
2014 Candidate Forum 
WCMS wants to help physicians, their staff, families and patients make the most informed decisions on election day.  So we conducted a "virtual" candidate forum.  We sent e-mails to each candidate running for NC State House and NC State Senate with five key questions on important healthcare topics.

Click here to view the 2014 Forum and candidates' responses.

Here are the 5 questions we asked the candidates:
  1. What are your recommendations for reforming Medicaid in North Carolina?  Specifically, do you support private Managed Care Companies, physician-led Accountable Care Organizations or another solution, and why?
  2. What is your stance on expanding Medicaid eligibility to all persons under 138% FPL in the state of NC, and why?
  3. What are your solutions for addressing the mental health crisis facing Western North Carolina?
  4. Do you support mid-level practitioners having privileges to practice medicine without physician supervision?  Why?
  5. What actions would you take to strengthen, maintain or weaken tort reform in NC?

Remember to vote on November 4th!  If you want more information on early voting, absentee ballots and more, go to the Board of Elections website.  

Get Your Uninsured Patients Insured via WCMS During Next Open Enrollment Period (Nov. 15-Feb 15)
WCMS has a cadre of fully trained Health Access Counselors (HAC) ready to enroll as many uninsured people as possible into the marketplace starting on November 15th.

See what this means for our physician members.
FYI, In November and December, WCMS will collaborate with OnTrack Financial to provide health literacy classes designed to help the newly insured understand their insurance plans and how to budget for them.

We are proud to be able to offer free, in-person assistance that is objective and unbiased. It is in our best efforts to help patients/consumers understand the full range of their health coverage options, allowing those patients and consumers to make more informed decisions about their health.
Asheville Physician Receives 2014 Harris Award
Alan S. Baumgarten, MPH, MD, a family physician in Asheville, received the distinguished T. Reginald Harris Memorial Award October 24 during the North Carolina Medical Society's fall meeting in Greensboro. The award is given annually by The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence to honor the life and memory of T. Reginald Harris, MD, one of its founding members.

Read full announcement
Alert from BCDH: Ebola Guidance for Non-Hospital Settings 
Please see general guidance to North Carolina health care providers in non-hospital facilities regarding assessment for Ebola virus disease (EVD) and initial management of suspected cases.

You can also download this fact sheet to share with patients regarding Ebola.  It includes topics like:
  • What is Ebola?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How does it spread?
  • Ways you CAN'T Get Ebola
  • Protect yourself from Ebola and Other Illnesses
  • If you have symptoms
A Bad Translation Can Destroy A Life
"Translating from one language to another is a tricky business, and when it comes to interpreting between a doctor and patient, the stakes are even higher.  Consider the story of 18-year-old baseball player Willie Ramirez..."

Continue reading
In Memory- Dr. Fred Berger 
"We are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Fred Berger of Franklin NC on Sat 10/18/14. He was the first pediatrician in Macon County, and founded Pediatric Associates of Franklin. His obituary can be found here."

Says Dr. Kevin Foley, pediatrician in Franklin, NC, "He recruited me here to Franklin 4 1/2 yrs ago.  Incredible man... Taught me a lot about small town pediatrics and the office would not have been a success without him.  Whole town will miss him!"
Member Announcement- Jason Cook, MD joins The Family Health Centers 
The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley, PA welcomes Dr. Jason Cook to the practice. Dr. Cook is accepting new patients, both adults and children, at our Arden location at 2161 Hendersonville Road.

Prior to joining The Family Health Centers, Dr. Cook served as a General Practice Doctor at Mars Hill Medical Center in Madison County, NC. He graduated magna cum laude from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He attended The University of Alabama School of Medicine, and went on to complete his residency with the MAHEC Family Medicine Program in 2010.  Dr. Cook is a community faculty member for both MAHEC and the UNC School of Medicine.
The Family Health Centers of Asheville, Arden & Hominy Valley is the largest independent family practice in Western North Carolina, with 22 providers and more than 70 clinical, management and administrative staff. The practice has delivered quality care to Asheville-area families for more than 35 years. The Family Health Centers offers a range of in-house services including lab testing, pharmacotherapy, diagnostic radiology and nutrition counseling services. Find us online at www.fhconline.com.
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Orthopedic-Joint Replacement Surgeon  (Pardee Hospital)
Physician III-A  (Buncombe County Health & Human Services)
Health Access Counselor  (WCMS)
Family Physician  (Family Care of Fairview)
Medical Interpreter  (WCMS)

To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

WCMS is a thriving 750 member professional association of the physicians of western North Carolina and a chartered component medical society of the NC Medical Society and the AMA. The WCMS is an organization run by physicians for physicians.

Our Mission
The WCMS is the physicians' voice advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of the community.  

Our Vision
To be a dynamic physician community dedicated to a healthy, vibrant Western North Carolina.

About WCMS
The purpose of WCMS is: 

  • To strengthen the voice of WNC physicians in advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of our region
  • To inform, educate and prepare physicians for rapidly occurring changes in health care at national, state, and local levels
  • To share legislative and policy information and advocate on behalf of physicians in areas of mutual interest
  • To share available resources in areas of mutual interest
  • To promote physician-to-physician communication and dialogue in an open, honest and safe environment

We hope you enjoy our weekly e-newsletter. If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to contact me.  


Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director