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

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December 17, 2014
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
There will be no issues of Vital Signs the next two weeks (12/24 and 12/31)

Enjoy this holiday season and we'll be back on January 7th!  

In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics- Sponsor Message (Left)
Narrative Medicine Session
Women in Medicine Affinity Group
Save the Date- Annual Celebration
Vote for Your 2015 Board Slate!
Physicians Meet with Rep. John Ager
Physicians Enjoy Early Career Affinity Group
Bednarek to Serve as McDowell Hospital's Interim President
WCMS Partners with Haywood Regional Medical Center on Free Health Carnival
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book)
This Holiday Season Give the Gift of Access to Health Care
NCGA Committee Action Threatens Medicaid Reforms
'It Made Me Smile' Submission from Mark Jaben
Op-Ed: "What do People Really Want? - Dr. Graeme Potter
Job Board & Classified Ads
Narrative Medicine Session (1/8)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has invited Lenoir-Rhyne University's Narrative Medicine Program director Laura Hope-Gill to participate in a conversation on Narrative in Healthcare in February in Providence, RI. Hope-Gill founded the Narrative Medicine Certificate Program at Lenoir-Rhyne this past Fall, offering three courses.

Members of WCMS are invited to participate in a Narrative Session on Thursday January 8, facilitated by Dr. Claire Hicks MD and Hope-Gill, both of whom have received NM training at Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine. Email laura.hopegill@lr.edu for details on both the Certificate Program and the Narrative Session. Participation and follow-up will inform Hope-Gill's conversation with RWJF and aid in the development of Narrative Medicine in WNC.
Women in Medicine Affinity Group (1/15)
The WCMS Women In Medicine Affinity Group will be meeting on Thursday, January 15th at 6:00pm.  Dr. Rebecca Bernstein, with Asheville Hospitalist Group, will be hosting this affinity group at her home in North Asheville.

The topic for this Affinity Group will be Women in Leadership.  Come join a discussion on this important topic with other female physicians, many of whom hold leadership positions in healthcare. 

Light hors d'ouevres and beverages will be provided.

Space is limited, so please register now.
Save the Date- Annual Celebration  (1/25)
Please mark your calendar for an evening of food, music and camaraderie with fellow physicians, and a chance to meet your new WCMS Board leaders.

Sunday, January 25th
6pm - 9pm
Highland Brewing Company in Asheville
Entertainment provided by Blues Crew (Dr. Andrew Hart's blues band)

Look for your official invitation in January!

Thanks to our Sponsors:

Vote for Your 2015 Board Slate!
According to WCMS Association bylaws, "ten percent of the eligible voting members of the Association, whether represented in person or by proxy (including email), shall constitute a quorum." A quorum is necessary to elect the new Boards of Directors for the Association and Foundation for 2014. We would like your vote NOW. 

Please review both slates and cast your votes.  (click on link below)

We need to hear from you by January 9, 2015. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact WCMS' CEO, Miriam Schwarz, at 274-2267 ext. 1312 or by email at ceo@mywcms.org.

We are also asking you to fill out a few survey questions so that we can continue to improve the value of our services to WCMS members.

Vote Now  (physician members only eligible to vote)
WCMS  Physicians Meet with Rep. John Ager 
On Thursday Dec. 11th, CEO Miriam Schwarz, Member Services Coordinator Kristina Isenhour and medical student Rivers Woodwards met with Rep. Ager at his Fairview farm.

We covered the big ticket items important to WCMS: Mental Health, Medicaid reform, Medicaid expansion, scope of practice, and tort reform.

We hope to meet with Rep. Ager (and potentially other legislators) again in early January to specifically delve into some of the mental health challenges facing WNC. 
Physicians Enjoy Early Career Affinity Group 
The Early Career Affinity Group had a great time at their Dec. 10th meet-up at Blue Kudzu in Asheville's River Arts District. Ten of WCMS's youngest members and medical students gathered over sake and sandwiches to chit chat about their places of employment, their families, and their interests outside of work.

The Early Career group continues to enjoy these quarterly gatherings and we hope to see you at the next meeting in March 2015!
Bednarek to Serve as McDowell Hospital's Interim President
"Bednarek will assume this interim role upon the departure of Lynn Boggs, who has been President and CEO at McDowell since 2012."

Read more.
WCMS Partners with Haywood Regional Medical Center on Free Health Carnival 
WCMS is partnering with Haywood Regional Medical Center for a health insurance marketplace counseling event. This event will feature information and assistance in signing up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Click here for more information.
The WCMS Physician Directory (Blue Book) 
The 2014-2015 "Blue Book" is available for your practice!  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.
This Holiday Season Give the Gift of Access to Health Care
"I support WCMS because of Project Access®. Project Access® provides healthcare to individuals in our community who do not otherwise qualify for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Through Project Access®, WCMS helps save lives."
-Melissa Pennscott
Director of Marketing at Johnson Price Sprinkle
Member of the WCMS Foundation Development Council

See the impact your donation made last year
NCGA Committee Action Threatens Medicaid Reforms
"Disagreement between House and Senate remains; DHHS wants more time.

As a result of the committee's actions, the two chambers of the General Assembly are likely to spend the long session rehashing earlier debates over the direction of Medicaid provision. Meantime, Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos says the Medicaid's fiscal health is improving, suggesting that sweeping reforms her department once supported may not be necessary."

Read article.
'It Made Me Smile' Submission from Mark Jaben 
"I was at work in a small rural hospital a few weeks ago. The local urgent care had sent over a 9 y/o boy with wheezing and a low oxygen saturation. I saw him walk in and he did not look too ill. I went into the room and introduced myself. The father looked at me and said: 'yes, we know you.' Cringing, I asked from when.

Turns out they had been visiting family in this town 6 years before when the boy was 3. He had fallen and cut his upper eyelid. Seems I had suggested it would heal well without stitches, which had been a huge relief to them. In fact, his eyelid had healed well, and they were glad to have spared their child the trauma of that procedure. They were pleasantly surprised to again find I was the doctor in the ED on this day.

After a few nebulizer treatments and an unremarkable chest xray, he was smiling and feeling a lot better. We finished up and as I was leaving the room, he called out: 'see you 2020' -another 6 years from now. It made me smile..."

- Dr. Mark Jaben
Op-Ed: "What do People Really Want? - Dr. Graeme Potter 
"When hospitals succumb to the corporation, the corporation becomes the focus, not the patient. Sadly, this has become more about corporate competition, more about corporate money than providing quality care. Within several years, the less effective providers will be called on the carpet when they cannot pull the impossible numbers that will be expected of them. Then there will be provider upheaval all over again."

Read op-ed piece.
Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board:
Chief Medical Officer  (Blue Ridge Community Health Services)
Physician Extender  (Henderson County Dept. of Public Health)
Bilingual Nurse or Certified MA  (French Broad Pediatrics)
Orthopedic-Joint Replacement Surgeon  (Pardee Hospital)
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