VITAL SIGNS
 Weekly e-News of the Western Carolina Medical Society 
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May 24, 2017
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In This Issue:
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Take WCMS' Opioid Prescribing/Pain Management Survey
Register Now: WCMS Emeritus Luncheon 6/7/17
Register Now: WCMS Hosts Legislative Update Featuring Chip Baggett from NCMS in Asheville 6/15/17
Save the Date: Newcomers Picnic 9/24/17
Franklin Asks for Face Time with Mission
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Emergency Department
Erlanger in Talks to Take Over North Carolina Hospital
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Could be Latest Victim of Maternity Services Cutbacks
Bowtie Briefing with NCMS' Chip Baggett 5/19/17
Medical Research, Health Care Face Deep Cuts In Trump Budget
Healthy Healer
WCMS Job Board
Take WCMS' Opioid Prescribing/Pain Management Survey 

Miriam Schwarz, along with medical student Anne Cotter and Drs. Richard Bunio (Cherokee Indian Hospital) and MaryShell Zaffino (Blue Ridge Community Health Services), are participating in the 2017 NCMS Leadership College. The NCMS Leadership College Program "builds and enhances physician and PA leadership skills and equips graduates to become more influential in motivating and inspiring their peers to be leaders in their medical settings and their communities." Dr. Bunio, Anne and Miriam are carrying out their 2017 leadership project as a team. Their project involves collecting data about physician attitudes and practices related to opioid prescribing and pain management. 

Please fill out this quick survey (less than 10 minutes) so that we have a robust data set to analyze and share with you. 
UPCOMING EVENTS 
 
Register Now: WCMS Emeritus Luncheon 6/7/17
Join us for the second quarterly luncheon of the WCMS Emertitus group. Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, Medical Director of Buncombe County Health Department, will present on current public health topics facing western North Carolina.

Register Now: WCMS Hosts Legislative Update Featuring Chip Baggett from NCMS in Asheville 6/15/17 
NCMS Lobbyist Chip Baggett will be in Asheville Thursday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. to report current legislative activity in Raleigh and do a Q & A for WCMS members. 
Save the Date: Newcomers Picnic 9/24/17

Please mark your calendars for the 2017 Newcomers Picnic at Yesterday Spaces! Always a great time for the family! September 24 at 4 p.m.
LOCAL NEWS
 
Franklin Asks for Face Time with Mission

It's been more than two weeks since Mission Health announced Angel Medical Center would stop delivering babies as of July 14, but the Franklin community still has many unanswered questions and concerns.

Mission made the announcement April 25 by sending out a press release and held a press conference in Asheville April 28 to discuss the decision, but Mission representatives have yet to address the backlash coming out of Macon County.
Click here to continue reading. 
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Emergency Department
Mission Health and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital held a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for the hospital's new Emergency Department on Friday, May 12.  The $6.7 million project supporting a major expansion and enhancement, represents an important investment in the future healthcare needs of Macon and Jackson Counties.  It is also a component of Mission Health's Future Ready initiative, an unprecedented plan for the future of healthcare across western North Carolina that exceeds half a billion dollars in investments.
Click here to continue reading. 
Erlanger in Talks to Take Over North Carolina Hospital
With a growing presence in Southeast Tennessee, Erlanger Health Systems also is looking at expanding into North Carolina.

Erlanger is in talks to possibly buy, lease or manage the nonprofit Murphy Medical Center, comprising a 25-bed hospital, a nursing home, an athletic rehabilitation center and other facilities that serves about 44,000 people in western North Carolina.
Click here to continue reading. 
Blue Ridge Regional Hospital Could be Latest Victim of Maternity Services Cutbacks

Another rural mountain hospital could lose its labor and maternity services.

Mission Health CEO Ron Paulus confirmed the company is looking at ending some ob/gyn services at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, shifting them to McDowell Hospital about 35 minutes away.

Paulus said the hospitals had the third- and fifth-lowest birth totals in the state: 173 births at Blue Ridge last year and 187 at McDowell.
Click here to continue reading. 
STATE NEWS
 
Bowtie Briefing with NCMS' Chip Baggett 5/19/17

NCMS Lobbyist Chip Baggett will be in Asheville Thursday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. to report current legislative activity in Raleigh and do a Q & A for WCMS members. Click here to register. 
NATIONAL NEWS
 
Medical Research, Health Care Face Deep Cuts In Trump Budget
Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Monday that the goal is to cut back on public assistance and instead put people back to work. "We are going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs and get back in charge of their own lives."
Click here to continue reading. 
ITEMS OF INTEREST
 
Healthy Healer
I had depression, and my fellow doctors treated me horribly...

Excerpt: "It astounds me to this day how the pervasive issue of depression and suicide in the medical community is swept under the rug. How uncomfortable it makes people when it is a simple disease process that frankly, we've all learned before. How medical professionals are discouraged from seeking treatment for mental illness due to stigma. Doctors are expected to maintain a facade of being superhuman when we are all just imperfect people. The reason I am sharing this is that, although I am obviously biased, I want to petition that we, as physicians, start treating each other how we treat our patients. We can give kindness and empathy to our colleagues as well. I know that we all have it in us."
Click here to read full post on KevinMD.com
WCMS Job Board
WCMS is a thriving 650+ member professional association of the physicians of Western North Carolina, and a chartered component medical society of the NC Medical Society and the AMA. WCMS is an organization run by physicians, for physicians. In 2017, WCMS opened membership to physician assistants.

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.  
Sincerely,
Photo: Miriam Schwarz, WCMS CEO
Miriam Schwarz

 
Miriam Schwarz signature



 
Miriam Schwarz, MPA
WCMS CEO/Executive Director