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

Sponsor Message:  


Preferred Vendors

Project Access


WCMS Interpreter Network


Boards of Directors

Join Our Mailing List
Like on Facebook

January 7, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA
In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics- Sponsor Message (Left)
Women in Medicine Affinity Group
Annual Celebration
Vote for Your 2015 Board Slate!
2015 Strategic Plan
Expanding Medicaid Would Bring Millions to WNC
ACOs Moving Ahead
Mountain Xpress Physician Survey
WCMS Psychiatrists and WNC Legislators Meet to Discuss Mental Health
December Emeritus Luncheon
New WCMS Member Benefit
Finding Joy in Medicine- 40 Tips from 40 Docs
Job Board & Classified Ads
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.
Annual Celebration  (1/25)
RSVP now to attend 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)

RSVP Here.

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)
2015 Strategic Plan 
WCMS has finalized our Strategic Plan for 2015.  Thanks to so many of you for being a part of our collaborative strategic planning process which we embark on every year to best fill your aspirations.

The 2015 Strategic Plan highlights issues of physician burnout, physician leadership and legislative advocacy.  Click here to view the 2015 Strategic Plan.
Expanding Medicaid Would Bring Millions to WNC  
A new study released in December highlights the economic and employment costs of not expanding Medicaid in counties across North Carolina.  Western North Carolina stands to lose big. From 2016 to 2020, the cumulative business activity lost In Buncombe County totals $745 million; it reaches 54.5 million in Haywood, another 168.1 million in Henderson, 54.1 million in McDowell, and 21.7 million in Mitchell County.

Read article.
ACOs Moving Ahead 
"Mission Health Partners has been selected as one of 89 new Medicare Shared Savings Program Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), providing approximately 1.6 million additional Medicare beneficiaries with access to high-quality, coordinated care across the United States."

Mountain Xpress Physician Survey 
The Mountain Xpress is gathering information about the state of integrative and mind/body medicine in the Asheville area.  They would like to get as many physician responses as possible in order to gain an accurate picture.  Results will be reported in their wellness issues on Jan. 28 and Feb. 4. 

The survey is anonymous, although you'll need to register your name and email address to access the survey.  Email addresses remain confidential.

Take physician survey.  
WCMS  Psychiatrists and WNC Legislators Meet to Discuss Mental Health  
On Monday, January 5th, WCMS coordinated a meeting between psychiatrists and WNC legislators to discuss some of the biggest issues facing our area in the mental health arena and possible legislative solutions.

NC Senators Jim Davis (R) and Terry Van Duyn (D) along with NC Representatives John Ager (D) and Michele Presnell (R) attended to hear from Drs. Steve Buie, Craig Martin, and Britt Peterson, as well as WCMS staff.

Some of the issues covered included a chronology of mental health changes in WNC over the past decades, the overcrowding of ED beds by mental health/substance abuse patients waiting to be admitted or referred elsewhere and the importance of integrating mental health care into the primary care setting (and changing reimbursement models to compensate for such care).

The legislators asked great questions and we felt like they left understanding better the importance of an integrative/collaborative care solution (such as an ACO).  We look forward to engaging with these and other issues more once the NC Legislature begins session next week. 
December Emeritus Luncheon 
The WCMS Emeritus Affinity Group gathered for a delicious meal at the Asheville Country Club and learned about innovations in the field of enhanced breast imaging technology from Dr. Emilie Ralston, a specialist on the subject from Asheville Radiology. Drs. Denny Crews & Joel Rosenberg cofaciliated the December lunch with over 30 retired physicians in attendance.  Plans are underway for the first quarterly meeting of 2015. Stay tuned for a date and venue!
New WCMS Member Benefit 
Open Enrollment Two (OE2) for the Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM) began November 15th and will close on February 15th, 2015. WCMS has a limited number of days on which member physicians can host at their practices one of our Health Access Counselors between now and Friday, February 13, 2015 to help your patients enroll in either the HIM, Medicaid, Medicare or Project Access® as eligible.

Alternately, you can download, print and post an informative flyer about OE2 in your waiting- and exam rooms which encourages your patients to call and make an appointment with one of our Health Access Counselors here at WCMS.

Click here to download flyer and/or informational video. 

To contact WCMS staff about getting help for your uninsured patients, call 828-274-6989 or email cac@mywcms.org
Finding Joy in Medicine 
40 Tips from 40 Docs

Now not all advice is good, even when dispensed by smart, well-meaning people. On important matters there is often merit in seeking advice from multiple sources.  I received advice from clinicians, teachers, administrators and researchers of varying ages and backgrounds, including general practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, critical care, nephrology, cardiology, infectious disease, clinical pharmacology and rheumatology. What follows is a distillation of the advice and wisdom they shared.

Read article.
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
WCMS Association: WCMSA is the physicians' voice advocating for the health of the physician, the patient, and the community, through strengthening the physician-patient relationship.

WCMS Foundation: WCMSF is the physician and community-led charitable arm of the medical society improving access to quality healthcare, decreasing disparities in health, and promoting health & wellness.   

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