Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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May 20, 2015
WCMS Circle of Friends: Van Winkle Law Firm & Johnson Prics Sprinkle, PA

In This Issue:
Quest Diagnostics - Sponsor Message (Left)
MAHEC CME (May and June)
13th Annual Heartstrings Fundraiser at Mountain Sports Festival: Bring the Family!
Save the Date - Emeritus Luncheon June 24
5/14/15 WCMS' Current Legislative Priorities
WCMS Bids Farewell to Sharon Lewis
WCMS at White Coat Wednesday
Project PROMISE Engages Rural Students in Medicine
Increase in Early Syphilis Infections
Attention PCPs: Mission Health Partners Announces "Open Enrollment" to join ACO
From CMS: Your Practice's ICD-10 Transition
Patient Centered Medical Homes Create Healthier Communities
Member Announcement- Scott T. Howell, MD Joins AllCare Clinical Associates
Job Board & Classified Ads
MAHEC CME (May and June)
MAHEC regularly provides courses for CME credit.
Check out our website calendar to see upcoming opportunities. Here are the next few events:

13th Annual Heartstrings Fundraiser at Mountain Sports Festival: Bring the Family


Click here to read more about the event. 

Register Now for the Second Quarterly Emeritus Luncheon - June 24

The upcoming Emeritus luncheon will feature guest speaker Dr. David Mouw on "Advanced Directives: Them and Us."

The luncheon will be held at the Asheville Country Club. Formal invitations are in the mail, or you can RSVP here.


5.14.15 WCMS' Current Legislative Priorities

Based on multiple discussions with NCMS, meetings with legislators, and Board review, WCMS is currently focusing on these legislative priorities, which may change in the ensuing weeks as these issues are moving targets. Please contact Miriam Schwarz if you have questions or if you would like to get involved in advocacy.
Click here to review our legislative priorities.

WCMS Bids Farewell to Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis, Project Leader and Strategic Advisor, has resigned from the Western Carolina Medical Society.  During her 3 year tenure, Sharon greatly improved WCMS' internal operations and strategic planning processes. Sharon plans to re-launch her organization and leadership development consulting business, Cold Mountain Consulting. Please join us in wishing her all the best in the future.

WCMS at White Coat Wednesday 5.13.15
On May 13, 2015, WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, along with Drs. Britt Peterson, Margaret Burke, and WCMS Board President Robert Henderson attended WCMS' second 2015 visit to Raleigh for White Coat Wednesday. In order to meet with as many legislators possible, they divided into two teams and met with three state senators and five house representatives. The teams presented WCMS' current legislative priorities including provider-led Medicaid reform and scope of practice issues such as the APRN bills which would expand nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, and CRNAs freedom to practice without consultative physician supervision and oversight. 

These trips to Raleigh are one of our best ways to inform legislators about these critical issues affecting the practice of medicine. Equally important are visits to WNC legislators in between sessions here in the mountains. We will be planning these local visits as the session winds down at the end of the summer/fall. Join us! 

Project PROMISE Engages Rural Students in Medicine

Ten high school students from Yancey and Mitchell counties celebrate successful completion of the year-long Project PROMISE curriculum. Project PROMISE stands for "Providing Rural Opportunities in Medicine through Inspiring Service and Education" and was started by UNC-CH 3rd year medical students Brittany Papworth (4th in from left) and Rivers Woodward (last on right) with the support of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. The program is committed to addressing educational disparities in rural areas that contribute to the shortage of local students entering the healthcare field. Project PROMISE engages students through mentorship, community service, and internships. The program is currently in the process of creating an internship component whereby outstanding high school seniors will be placed in 1-5 day rotations with local healthcare providers. If you are a practitioner in Yancey or Mitchell county and interested in hosting a student, please contact Rivers Woodward.

Increase in Early Syphilis Infections

North Carolina continues to experience an increase in early syphilis infections across the state therefore the Communicable Disease Branch is asking all medical providers to enhance sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention services to all your patients. Please see the attached Public Health Advisory for updated epidemiologic information as well as detailed screening, reporting and treatment recommendations.


Please help us increase awareness among your patients of this serious statewide rise in early syphilis infections and what they can do to prevent infection. We appreciate your commitment to maintaining and promoting the health of all North Carolinians.  

Click here to read more. 


Attention PCPs: Mission Health Partners Announces "Open Enrollment" to join ACO

Mission HP announces its PCP Open Enrollment period, now through June 30th . MHP will be accepting non-binding Letters of Intent from interested practices. To find out more about this opportunity, you may participate in the following information sessions. 

Click here to read more.

From CMS: Your Practice's ICD-10 Transition 

It's official: October 1, 2015 is the new ICD-10 compliance date.To help your practice with this transition, we are introducing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) new Road to 10 Program.

Developed in collaboration with small practice physicians from a variety of specialties, Road to 10 provides free and actionable tools, information, and training to support your ICD-10 transition.To learn more about ICD-10 and the Road to 10 Program, please view this brief video introduction.

Get Started Today!

The resources available through Road to 10 will help you:

  • Understand the basics of ICD-10, the differences between ICD-9 and ICD-10, and the opportunities associated with ICD-10
  • Explore common codes, primers for clinical documentation, clinical scenarios and physician perspectives, all broken out by specialty
  • Create a customized action plan, personalized by specialty and practice details
As part of the Road to 10 Program, CMS has also launched webcasts and training designed to support your ICD-10 transition. On the left-hand navigation menu of the Road to 10 homepage, click the "Webcasts" tab to view the latest on-demand sessions, or click the "Events" tab for more information about in-person training opportunities.

Patient Centered Medical Homes Create Healthier Communities

May 18, 2015, submitted by CCWNC
Patient Centered Medical Homes Create Healthier Communities.
Is your practice recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home?

Asheville - The Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is an innovative model for population health management that is improving the way that providers and primary care practices care for patients. In this model, providers expand access to patients and support them in achieving mutually agreed upon health goals. Patients have the opportunity to become more engaged in their own care and are empowered to work to improve unhealthy behaviors.
Click here to read more. 

Member Announcement - Scott T. Howell, MD Joins AllCare Clinical Associates 

Scott T. Howell, MD, has joined AllCare Clinical Associates, PA. Dr. Howell graduated summa cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia with Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and received his Medical Degree from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Howell completed his residency training in anesthesiology at Duke University Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident for the Department of Anesthesiology. Prior to joining AllCare Clinical Associates, Dr. Howell was employed by Central Brevard Anesthesiologists, PA, in Rockledge, Florida.

Dr. Howell is certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

AllCare Clinical Associates,www.allcareclinical.com, is one of the largest private physician-owned anesthesia practices serving North Carolina and provides anesthesia services and perioperative care for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers of all sizes. 

Job Board & Classified Ads
Job Board: 
Medical Interpreter  (WCMS)
To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad Click here.

WCMS is a thriving 700+ 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