Western Carolina Medical Society: The Physicians' Voice for a Health Community
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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July 6, 2016

In This Issue:
New Blue Book Directories will be Available in October
Register Now: Independent Physicians Affinity Group 7/25/16
MAHEC Diversity Summit 8/19/16
Save the Date: Newcomers Picnic 9/18/16
WCMS Issues Statement on Gun Violence
Celebrate 20 Years of Project Access® and Donate to the Annual Campaign
NC State Budget Will Provide Funding for a UNC Academic Health Center in WNC at MAHEC
Bowtie Briefing for 7/1/16
HHS Announces New Actions to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Job Board & Classified Ads
Register Now: Independent Physicians Affinity Group - Marketing Your Practice Webinar with White Coat Solutions 7/25/16 (for Practice Mangers, too!)
Want to attract more patients to your practice?
In this webinar, you'll learn 7 proven marketing strategies to help you stand out from the competition and position your practice as the local leader in your specialty. From online marketing to increasing referrals, this webinar will give you plenty of ideas on how to step up your practice's marketing game. There will also be time at the end of the webinar for questions. 

Click here to register.

MAHEC Diversity Summit 8/19/16
On August 19, MAHEC is offering a diversity and health equity summit. This is a day long conference offering discussion around a variety of topics including the promotion of health equity, diversifying the workplace, and addressing unconscious bias. See attached flyer. Continuing medical education credits will be available for health professionals. 
Click here for more information. 
Save the Date: Newcomers Picnic 9/18/16      
The picnic will again be held at Yesterday Spaces in Leicester. We're looking forward to welcoming physicians who are new to the area and meeting Physician Assistants who will be eligible for membership in 2017!        
WCMS Issues Statement on Gun Violence
On 7/4/16, the WCMS Association's Executive Committee of the Board issued the following statement regarding gun violence:

The Western Carolina Medical Society agrees with the AMA's assertion that gun violence is a public health crisis. We endorse the AMA's call to Congress to fund research on gun violence and overturn legislation that blocks the CDC from conducting research on gun violence to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries. We believe that requiring background checks for all handgun purchasers and stricter enforcement of existing federal and state gun safety legislation is necessary. Finally, we believe that it is every physician's responsibility to ask and educate patients about gun safety when clinically appropriate.
Click here to view on our website.
Celebrate 20 Years of Project Access® and Donate to the Annual Campaign
This year the WCMS Foundation is celebrating the 20th birthday of Project Access®.  Project Access® is a volunteer physician program that has provided free healthcare to over 200,000 people in Buncombe County over the past two decades.  Please donate today to ensure that this life-giving program remains in our community for decades to come. 

Your donation to Project Access® will improve the life of someone in need. Mavis, suffered incredible pain for 8 years. Young and uninsured, she had nowhere to turn. She enrolled in Project Access® and within a month she was able to get the surgery she needed. After a second month she was literally up and running. Her life was so changed that she ran a marathon in honor of Project Access® and raised over $1,000 in funds for the program. Your donation has the power to give someone back their health. Please consider donating to the WCMS Foundation Annual Campaign today.

NC State Budget Will Provide Funding for a UNC
Academic Health Center in WNC at MAHEC
Source: MAHEC Update from Jeff Heck, MD, dated July 1, 2016

The announcement of $3M recurring and $8M in capital funding in the state budget will provide planning monies to establish a full UNC academic health center in Western North Carolina, thereby increasing the number of physicians and other healthcare professionals trained in the region.

Eight million dollars will fund the construction of a new building on the MAHEC Biltmore Campus to house an expanded UNC School of Medicine presence in WNC, ultimately increasing the class size up to 44 students in both the third and fourth year of medical school. Some students will receive the bulk of their education in rural areas, outside of Buncombe County, enhancing their exposure to rural practice and thereby increasing the chances they will return to a rural area to practice medicine.

In addition, the new building will provide space for a new School of Public Health Campus of the UNC Gillings School of Public Health. The School of Public Health will be an academic program of UNCA in collaboration with UNC, MAHEC, and Mission and will enroll students seeking a Masters in Public Health degree and all the instruction will occur locally.

The monies will also allow collaboration with Western Carolina University for more outpatient clinical training opportunities for nurse practitioner students through MAHEC. In addition, MAHEC and Mission Hospital will explore expanded training opportunities for medical and surgical fellows in hospital based technical specialties through collaboration with UNC School of Medicine Departments. It is hoped that some of these physicians will help supply the needs of Mission's specialty services in critical shortage specialties.

This new funding, like last year's $8M recurring state dollars for the creation of Surgery and Psychiatry residency programs at MAHEC, has been championed by Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County. The academic health center will build on past and current successes and will have major health and economic benefits for WNC and the state as a whole for years to come.
Bowtie Briefing for 7/1/16

Click image to watch the video!
HHS Announces New Actions to Combat Opioid Epidemic
U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced several new actions the department is taking to combat the nation's opioid epidemic.

The actions include expanding access to buprenorphine, a medication to treat opioid use disorder, a proposal to eliminate any potential financial incentive for doctors to prescribe opioids based on patient experience survey questions, and a requirement for Indian Health Service prescribers and pharmacists to check state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) databases before prescribing or dispensing opioids for pain. In addition, the department is launching more than a dozen new scientific studies on opioid misuse and pain treatment and soliciting feedback to improve and expand prescriber education and training programs.
Click here to continue reading. 
Preventing Burnout: Finding Joy in Medicine
Commentary: Physician burnout in America-a roadmap for restoring joy and purpose in medicine - By Dr. William Maples, Dr. Bridget Duffy, Tom Cosgrove and Dr. Ronald Paulus  | June 22, 2016
An alarming 50% of American physicians and caregivers experience burnout-and that number is growing. Burnout produces dissatisfied and unfulfilled patients, families and care teams while also compromising care quality, including increased medication errors and hospital-associated infections.
Click here to continue reading. 
Job Board & Classified Ads

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