Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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April 20, 2016

In This Issue:
Sponsor Message: JPS (left)
Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic Set to Serve Hundreds...This Friday and Saturday...4/22 & 4/23
Early Career Affinity Group 4/27/16
"Heart of the Healer" Retreat a Resounding Success
WCMS Member Dr. Scott Donaldson in the News: Pain Management Getting an Overhaul
Screenings to Unlock Channels of Care for Underserved in Henderson County
Bowtie Briefing for 4/15/16
UnitedHealth to Stop Selling ACA plans in NC and Most other States
New Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing from the CDC
Happy Anniversary to the Americans with Disabilities Act
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Message from Rob Fields, MD about the NCMS Leadership College
Job Board & Classified Ads
Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic Set to Serve Hundreds
This Friday and Saturday 4/22 & 4/23
Many in need of dental care in our community who find it just out of reach will be able to get much of the treatment they need this coming Friday April 22nd and Saturday April 23rd on in the main campus of Biltmore Baptist Church on Clayton Road in south Asheville.

The two day dental clinic provided by the North Carolina Dental Society, Buncombe County Dental Society, Buncombe County, Eblen Charities, ABCCM, and other partners is once again bringing together the dental community and scores of volunteers to provide free dental care to hundreds of families in our area that otherwise may not be able to afford it.

The clinic will begin at 7:00 AM both days and patients will be seen on a first come first serve basis. Services will include dental x-rays, extractions, fillings, restorative care, and a limited number of removable dental prostheses.

"This is again a wonderful opportunity for our community and for our area dentists who show their care and concern for those who are underserved. The Missions of Mercy Project not only brings attention to the access to care issue but also provides actual care to so many in need. Once again we are looking to provide upwards of a half million dollars in free dental care thanks to everyone involved," adds Bill Murdock, executive director of Eblen Charities.

The North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) portable free dental clinics are an outreach program of the North Carolina Dental Society.

For more information or to volunteer for the Asheville Missions of Mercy outreach at Biltmore Baptist Church, please call Susan Riddle at 828-255-3066 ext 21 or via email at sriddle@eblencharities.org, visit www.ncmom.com or to volunteer please email Mary Ann McMinn at mcminn@eblencharities.org.

Early Career Affinity Group 4/27/16
WCMS is hosting an Early Career Affinity Group on Wednesday, April 27th. This will be a casual mix and mingle event that provides early career physicians an opportunity to connect with each other. The event will be held at the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company in North Asheville from 5:30-7:30pm. Beer and appetizers are on us. Staff members from Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA, a WCMS Circle of Friends member, will also be joining us for this event. If you'd like to attend, please register here.
"Heart of the Healer" Retreat a Resounding Success

On April 16th, WCMS hosted its second Burnout Prevention Retreat at Montreat College. Over 100 physicians from North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida attended the event. Renowned speaker Dr. Dike Drummond joined us again this year and spoke about several topics that teach physicians tools and strategies to help address stress, leadership in the workplace, work life balance, and how to become "burnout proof." The retreat also had two special breakout sessions for physician spouses which were facilitated by Alex Diez and Wendy Cuellar. Stay tuned for upcoming WCMS events and programs that will continue to address the issue of physician burnout, and thank you to all who attended last weekend!
WCMS Member Dr. Scott Donaldson in the News: Pain Management Getting an Overhaul
With misuse of opioid pain medication rampant, local doctors and health care institutions are reviewing prescribing practices as well as looking for fresh avenues to manage chronic pain for patients.

The recently released Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) addresses a rising epidemic that is prevalent both nationally and throughout Western North Carolina.
Click here to continue reading.
Screenings to Unlock Channels of Care for Underserved in Henderson County
Pardee Hospital, Blue Ridge Community Health Services and the YMCA of Western North Carolina are teaming up to tackle diabetes in Henderson County.
Click here to continue reading.
Bowtie Briefing for 4/15/16

NCMS Director of Legislative Relations, Chip Baggett, focuses on five important developments in this week's legislative briefing: Medicaid audit results, LME-MCO consolidation, Medicaid reform public hearings, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse recommendations at the General Assembly, and grassroots communication with legislators.
Click here to watch the video. 
UnitedHealth to Stop Selling ACA plans in NC and Most other States          
UnitedHealth, the nation's biggest health insurer, will shrink its participation in Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges to only a handful of states next year after expanding to nearly three dozen states this year.
CEO Stephen Hemsley said Tuesday that the company expects losses from its exchange business nationwide to total more than $1 billion for this year and last. He added that the company cannot continue to sell Affordable Care Act policies due partly to the higher financial risk that comes with those customers.
Click here to continue reading.
New Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing from the CDC
Improving the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines can ensure patients have access to safer, more effective chronic pain treatment while reducing the number of people who misuse, abuse, or overdose from these drugs.

CDC developed and published the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain to provide recommendations for the prescribing of opioid pain medication for patients 18 and older in primary care settings. Recommendations focus on the use of opioids in treating chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 3 months or past the time of normal tissue healing) outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care.
Click here to continue reading.
Happy Anniversary to the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Primer on Working with Patients who have Hearing Impairments
The Americans with Disabilities Act turned 25 in 2015! This landmark bill has helped an untold number of permanently and temporarily disabled people participate in and benefit from services and employment opportunities. Most medical providers are well aware of what accommodations to make to ensure equal access to people with mobility impairments, but less certain about what accommodations to make for people with hearing impairments. So let's take the 25th anniversary of this historic bill to talk about it! 
Here are the four steps that will help you make the most of accommodations for hearing impaired people. 
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Surgeon General Concerned About Physician Burnout


"The suicide and burnout rate is very high, and this is concerning to me because we're at a point in our country where we need more physicians, not fewer; we need more people entering our profession, not fewer," he said. "If we have people burning out, it really goes against our needs."
Click here to continue reading. 
Message from Rob Fields, MD about the NCMS Leadership College
For many providers, the changes in healthcare are overwhelming and occurring at a pace that creates a great deal of uncertainty. Now more than ever, we need physicians to be the drivers of change. By virtue of your membership in WCMS, you are already supporting some of the work needed to make sure the voice of physicians is heard loud and clear. Many of you are wondering how to take a more active role in this change. The skills required are often not covered in medical school and are not emphasized in our training programs. The NCMS Foundation has created Leadership College to meet the training needs of emerging physician leaders in hopes of developing the those skills so we can be leaders of change not just passive followers.

I am a graduate of the program and developed ongoing friendships and peer interactions that continue to help further my learning and development years after the official course was completed. The curriculum itself covers topics such as leading effective change in organizations, healthcare policy and politics, healthcare economics, dealing with the press and a whole host of other useful topics.

Currently I serve as the Co-Chair of Leadership College with a former classmate, Dr. Gerri Mattson. If you have any questions about the course or how you can get involved, please contact me.

Thank you for the work you all do every day to advance the care of our patients.


Rob W. Fields, MD
Medical Director
Mission Health Partners
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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