Current Bulletin

  • John L. Reynolds, MD, Sworn In As NCMS’ 164th President

    Dr. Reynolds (l) is sworn in by Dr. Cunningham.

    Dr. Reynolds (l) is sworn in by Dr. Cunningham.

    John L. Reynolds, MD, an anesthesiologist from Shelby, was sworn in as the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) 164th president on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Society’s Annual Business meeting in Raleigh. Dr. Reynolds is a longtime NCMS member who has served on numerous committees and task forces, the NCMS Foundation’s Board of Trustees and led the NCMS’ Legislative Cabinet through some contentious issues over the past six years.

    “Dr. Reynolds is a true advocate for organized medicine, being active in not only the NCMS, but also the Cleveland County Medical Society and his specialty society,” said Paul R. G. Cunningham, MD, the outgoing NCMS President before swearing in Dr. Reynolds. “His good humor and sense of fun belie a deep understanding of the issues.”

    Dr. Reynolds with was one of the founding partners of Shelby Anesthesia Associates in 1986. That group is now part of Mednax – Southeastern Anesthesiology. He also currently serves as clinical director of the Ambulatory Surgical Center and staff anesthesiologist at CMS – Cleveland Regional Hospital.

    Dr. Reynolds received his undergraduate degree from Temple University and his medical degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. He completed a surgical residency at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Pennsylvania and his anesthesiology residency at the Medical College of Georgia.

    In his remarks, Dr. Reynolds told several humorous stories to illustrate the importance of the sense of community within medicine. He described the three pillars of the NCMS as being advocating for doctors; advocacy for access to care for all and cultivating the leadership role that physicians need to play in their communities and the state.

    Welcome, Dr. Reynolds!

    The final slate of officers and directors for 2018 have been posted on the NCMS website. As last year, voting on this slate will take place online. The ‘polls’ will open on Oct. 10, 2017 and will remain open until midnight on Oct. 23, 2017. Paper ballots will be available to those who need them. Watch the Bulletin and your email for more information on the voting process.

  • NCMS Expresses Deep Concern Over Latest ACA Repeal Proposal

    capitol-buildingNorth Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) CEO Robert W. Seligson has been in regular contact with both of our US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis on the latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Cassidy-Graham-Heller-Johnson Amendment to H.R. 1628, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Monday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m.

    The latest proposal would repeal the ACA’s premium tax credits, cost-sharing reductions, small business tax credit and Medicaid expansion, and would provide temporary block grant funds through 2026 in lieu of the ACA’s spending on marketplace subsidies and the Medicaid expansion.

    Seligson has expressed deep concerns to Sens. Burr and Tillis about the negative impact this legislation would have on North Carolina’s Medicaid program and its most vulnerable citizens.

    The AMA has also sent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) a letter outlining its opposition to the amended bill. Read the letter.

  • Heard Around The M3 – Food for Thought From Various M3 Speakers

    M3 was a chance to discuss issues with colleagues.

    M3 was a chance to discuss issues with colleagues.

    The M3—Merging Medicine and Management – Conference last weekend in Raleigh brought together 280 North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and North Carolina Medical Group Management Association members, as well as more than 50 exhibitors along with invited guests.

    Beyond the opportunity to socialize with colleagues, many attendees praised the opportunity to hear from prominent state and national speakers on the issues facing the medical profession and what is being done to meet the challenges. A theme running throughout the conference centered on addressing the social determinants of health as a way to curb health care costs as well as better manage population health. Other sessions focused on innovative payment and care management initiatives; physician wellness and organizational and leadership dynamics.

    Below are a few provocative facts and statements gleaned from M3 educational sessions. See the slides from each presentation to learn more.

    From 2011-2014 the percent of physicians reporting burnout grew from 45 percent to 54 percent. The average for all US workers is holding steady at 28 percent over that time period.

    Mingling at the M3.

    Mingling at the M3.

    Paul DeChant, MD MBA, Deptuty Chief Health Officer, IBM Watson Health, on “High Engagement and Low Burnout: Solutions for Your Workplace.”

    50 percent of medical students today are on anti-depressants.

    Paul DeChant, MD MBA, Deptuty Chief Health Officer, IBM Watson Health, on “High Engagement and Low Burnout: Solutions for Your Workplace.”

    400 physicians a year commit suicide in this country.

     Paul DeChant, MD MBA, Deptuty Chief Health Officer, IBM Watson Health, on “High Engagement and Low Burnout: Solutions for Your Workplace.”

    “These are difficult times.”

    Robert Laszewski, President, Health Care Policy & Strategy Associates, on “U.S. Health Policy in the Trump Era.”

    “Obamacare is a tale of two cities. For the poorest folks, it’s good. It’s the middle class that is suffering.”

    Robert Laszewski, President, Health Care Policy & Strategy Associates, on “U.S. Health Policy in the Trump Era.”

    “’It’s the prices, stupid.’ We have to bring costs under control. There is an analogy between the rise in college tuition and health care costs. We’ve built up this huge infrastructure. We need to control the money that goes into the system. We need to put the system on a diet.”

    Robert Laszewski, President, Health Care Policy & Strategy Associates, on “U.S. Health Policy in the Trump Era.”

    “Keep an open mind about change and don’t try to hold on to the past.”

    Robert Laszewski, President, Health Care Policy & Strategy Associates, on “U.S. Health Policy in the Trump Era.”

    July 2019 would be the earliest ‘go-live’ date for the state’s Medicaid managed care reforms.

    NC DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, on “How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?”

    “Clay County in North Carolina has a 24 percent infant mortality rate. That’s on par with Mongolia.”

    NC DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, on “How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?”

    Weekly ‘tuck-in’ is the Thursday call to high-risk patients to make sure all their needs are met. If not, they can be seen in the clinic on Friday.

    Mark Gwynne, DO, Senior Medical Director, UNC Health Alliance/UNC Senior Alliance on “ACO Innovations: Redesigning Care Delivery to Meet Population Needs.”

    Surgeons tend to be Republican. Psychiatrists tend to be Democrats.

    NC Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, on “Your Physician in the General Assembly.”

    There has been a 55 to 65 percent reduction in malpractice cases since the NCMS was successful in helping to get tort reform passed in the legislature in 2011.

    NC Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, on “Your Physician in the General Assembly.”

    “Physicians have been following a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy when dealing with patients’ unmet social needs.”

    Rebecca Onie, JD, CEO, Health Leads on “Tackling Social Determinants: The Key to Bending the Cost Curve.”

    “Value-based health care means values based leadership.”

    Rebecca Onie, JD, CEO, Health Leads on “Tackling Social Determinants: The Key to Bending the Cost Curve.”

    Social determinants of health are not just a Medicaid thing. If social needs are met, it has an economic impact on the practice.

    Rebecca Onie, JD, CEO, Health Leads on “Tackling Social Determinants: The Key to Bending the Cost Curve.”

    If you went to M3, please share your thoughts on some of the presentations that you attended.

  • NC Rep. Greg Murphy, MD Addresses Colleagues at NCMS 2017 Annual Business Meeting

    dr. greg murphyRep. Greg Murphy, MD, a practicing urologist from Greenville, an NCMS member and the only physician member of the North Carolina General Assembly, spoke to his fellow North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) members at the Society’s Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 16.

    He gave a brief refresher on the legislative process; offered a summary of key recent legislation that impacts medical practice in the state, including the STOP Act to help stem the opioid abuse crisis, scope of practice and insurance regulatory issues; and reminded his colleagues of the importance of building a relationship with their elected officials.

    He also spoke about the insights he has gained since becoming an elected official having never been involved in politics before.

    “Lobbyists are like drug reps on steroids,” he said, noting that while the lobbyists offer education on issues, he has a rule that if they “lie to me once, [they]’re not allowed back in my office.” Dr. Murphy encouraged his fellow physicians to establish rapport with their legislators so when complicated health care policies are being debated, the legislator has someone to call to get a physician’s perspective.

    Also at the Business Meeting, NCMS Secretary-Treasurer Timothy Reeder, MD, presented the Board’s report to members. The documents are posted on the NCMS website for all members to review and include the audited financials, the strategic plan and the dates and locations for the 2018 Board of Directors Meetings.

  • Regina Moody Awarded 2017 John Huske Anderson Award

    Regina-MoodyThis year’s coveted John Huske Anderson Award was presented at the NCMS Annual Business Meeting to Regina Moody, the President and CEO of Holy Angels, a residential campus and nonprofit in Belmont, NC. The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) awards the John Huske Anderson Award to a layperson whose contributions have had a positive impact on the medical profession and the public health. The award honors John Huske Anderson’s service to medicine and the Society, having served as its legal counsel from 1937 until his retirement in 1983. Nominations are made by an NCMS member.

    Holy Angels is known for its compassionate care for ‘differently able’ and medically fragile individuals. Moody has devoted 35 years to Holy Angels and has been the visionary force guiding the organization through its continued growth and development. In her role as president and CEO, Moody leads a staff of 350 employees and oversees an annual budget of $15 million. Holy Angels’ campus includes residential group homes for 88 residents who require around-the-clock care. Holy Angels also serves approximately 50 other adults who are differently able and participate in LifeChoices, a day activity program.

    “Those who know Regina praise her leadership, her business acumen, her sense of community and especially her caring and compassion,” said 2017 NCMS President Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, in presenting the award. “As the staff at Holy Angels summed up: “Regina Moody’s accomplishments are discovered daily in the joyful, empowered faces of the differently able individuals served by Holy Angels.”

    Moody was not able to be present for the award ceremony, so NCMS Immediate Past President Docia Hickey, MD, accepted the award on her behalf. Dr. Hickey has known Regina for years, serves on the Holy Angels Board of Directors and is a longtime admirer of Regina Moody’s work.

    Congratulations to Regina Moody!

  • Leadership College Class of 2017 Graduates Honored

    Leadership College 2017-750px

    The Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership (KIPL) 2017 class of Leadership College scholars received their certificates for completing the year-long program at the Friday evening dinner and reception at the M3 Conference last weekend in Raleigh. Earlier in the day, each scholar presented a brief “MedTalk” describing their project for the course. Topics included everything from ‘Barriers to Effective Prescriber Use of the North Carolina Controlled Substance Reporting System’ to ‘Weight Bias in Health Care.’ Watch the Bulletin for videos of the presentations.

    The Leadership College was established in 2003 to build and enhance physician and physician assistant leadership skills. The program equips graduates to become more influential in motivating and inspiring their peers to be leaders in their medical settings and their communities. Today there are hundreds of Leadership College alumni throughout the state who are making a positive difference for patients and our health care system. Learn more about Leadership College and other KIPL programs.

    Congratulations to the following 2017 Leadership College scholars:

    • Richard A. Bunio, MD
    • John K. Campbell, MD
    • Anne Cotter, MD
    • Jason N. Crawford, MD
    • William F. Ingram, III, MD
    • Michael J. Lalor, MD
    • Daniel McKearney, PA-C
    • Connette P. McMahon, MD
    • Ravin J. Mehta, PA-C
    • Susan A. Melin, MD
    • Cormac A. O’Donovan, MD
    • Kristen R. Page, MD
    • Michael Patton, MD
    • Andrew T. Pickens, IV, MD
    • Trina D. Prather, MD
    • Richard O. Salmony, PA-C
    • Miriam Schwarz
    • Margaret L. Silkstone, MD
    • Michael D. Spirotos, MD
    • George Stamataros, DO
    • Richard D. Ulstad, PA-C
    • MaryShell B. Zaffino, MD
  • Congratulations to the Winners of the NCMS Poster Competition

    2017 poster session winnersOnce again the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) held a poster competition for residents and students at the M3 Conference last weekend. Thank you to all the judges and the competition’s coordinator, Eileen Raynor, MD.

    The winners of the gift card awards totaling $1300 are:


    • 1st place, vignette: George Waits, IV, MD, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, ‘An Irregular Pulse: Cardiac Sarcoidosis Presenting as Progressive Heart Block.’
    • 2nd place, vignette: Nathan Boswell, MD, Cone Health, ‘The Uncommon Case of Orthostatic Hypotension.’
    • 1st place, research: Jerome Cephas, MD, East Carolina, ‘Prescription of EpiPens and Allergist Referrals from the ED at a Level 1 Trauma Center’
    • 2nd place research: Akash Patel, MD, Vidant Medical Center, ‘Follow-Up Compliance of Patients Assigned an Appointment After ED Evaluation.’


    • 1st place vignette: Joanna Schneider, UNC School of Medicine, ‘Incidental Finding of Leprosy in a 13-year-old with Splenomegaly and Gastric Volvulus.’
    • 2nd place, vignette: Priya Shah, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, ‘Primary Invasive Malignant Melanoma of the Small Bowel.’
    • 3rd place, vignette: Taylor Renbarger, Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, ‘Concurrent Ipsilateral Renal Cell Carcinoma and Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma in an Individual with End Stage Renal Disease.’
    • 1st place, research: Austin Colquitt, Brody School of Medicine, ‘The Effectiveness of Opioids for Analgesia in the ED Patients Is Dependent on the Pathophysiology of the Pain Condition.’
    • 2nd place, research: Samantha Forlenza, Brody School of Medicine, ‘Excessive Beverage Consumption Reveals Shocking Financial Burden: A Quantitative Study.’
    • 3rd place, research: Joanna Schneider, UNC School of Medicine, ‘Bridge to Care: How a Free Student Run Clinic Provides Care to Patients With Chronic Disease.’
  • Dr. Heather Leigh Davis Receives 2017 T. Reginald Harris Award

    Dr. Heather Davis and Dr. John Mangum

    Dr. Heather Davis and Dr. John Mangum

    Heather Leigh Davis, DO, a family physician in Wilmington and Surf City, is the recipient of the distinguished 2017 T. Reginald Harris, MD Memorial Award. The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) presents this annual award to physicians with outstanding achievements in health care quality and service to the medical community.

    The award was presented by John Mangum, MD, North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) past president and immediate past president of CCME’s board of directors, during the NCMS Annual Business Meeting held on Sept. 16 in Raleigh.

    “We are very pleased to present this award to Dr. Davis in recognition of her outstanding service to the Southeastern North Carolina medical community, tireless advocacy for the underserved community in rural areas, and her commitment to patient-centered care. She exemplifies the values that Dr. Harris brought to health care and CCME,” said Dr. Mangum.

    Dr. Davis maintains private practices in both Wilmington and Surf City; is an adjunct associate professor of UNC School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine; and serves as the chief medical officer and chief of medical staff at Pender Memorial Hospital in Burgaw, where her leadership has helped improve the quality of care significantly. In addition to those many roles, she also works with the health departments in New Hanover and Pender counties to secure medical residents to work at the clinics run on migrant farms in Pender County; serves as a physician and clinical instructor with Coastal Family Medicine; and is a representative on the Quality-Safety and Strategy Committees of the Board of Trustees at both Pender Memorial Hospital and New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

    Dr. Davis obtained her degree in medicine in 2005 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Following medical school, she completed her family medicine residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington.

    For more information about the Harris Memorial Award and past recipients, please visit:

  • NC Population Health Collaborative Focuses on Social Determinants of Health

    More than 150 population health stakeholders gathered just before the start of the M3 Conference last Thursday, Sept. 14, in Raleigh to hear a variety of perspectives on the theme of the social determinants of health.

    Amy Messier, MD, and Lydia Newman, from Physician Quality Partners in Wilmington, profiled their organization and its efforts to address their patients’ unmet social needs in order to help ensure outstanding health for the larger community, improve the patients’ experience and be more cost efficient in care delivery.

    Among other initiatives, they described their emergency department Patient Assistance Center at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. They found patients are more receptive to and likely to access necessary services when they are in acute need. Newman also noted that going into someone’s home is the best way to find out the actual needs of a patient – something that is difficult to do over the phone or in a brief office visit.

    Blair Barton-Percival, the Area Agency on Aging Director for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council, acknowledged the dire need for services to the aging population, which includes anyone over age 60. He stressed that it’s necessary for health care organizations to work with agencies like his to meet the daunting needs.

    “It’s not about competing; it’s about complementary services,” he said.

    Rick Bunio, MD, from Cherokee Indian Hospital (and a 2017 Leadership College graduate) provided the hospital’s perspective and described the unique situation and approach followed by his organization, stressing the importance placed on everyone’s story and building a trust relationship with the community.

    Karen Smith, MD, a family medicine physician in Raeford, NC, offered the physician’s perspective on social determinants and noted the role unconscious biases, racism and sexism can play.

    NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, spoke about her efforts to knit together addressing the social determinants of health throughout the Medicaid reforms being undertaken by the state.

  • NCMS and Others Respond to Medicaid Reform Proposal

    The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and other medical organizations filed formal comments on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ (NCDHHS) latest Medicaid reform proposal by the Sept. 8 deadline.This proposal includes some of the input NC DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, received on her statewide listening tour last May. Read NCDHHS’ proposal.

    The NCMS has worked closely with the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) since the Medicaid reform discussion began in 2012 to help ensure the reforms best serve clinicians and their patients. This partnership has continued and is most recently reflected in the joint letter from the NCMS and NCHA to NCDHHS outlining our common ground on the latest reform proposal. Read the NCMS/NCHA joint letter.

    The NCMS and NCHA also recently brought together a diverse group of stakeholders representing a broad cross section of our health care community to discuss concerns and the outcomes we would all like to see as the Medicaid reform process moves ahead.

    Read the NCMS’ official comments on the Medicaid reform proposal.

    “All of the [NCMS’] recommendations are predicated on success, and as a result incorporate principles and elements that are embedded in what has been called the ‘quadruple aim.’ We have adapted them for the specific benefit of the citizens of North Carolina. We expect the strategies we have defined will create a system of care that will “enhance patient experience, improve population health, reduce costs, and improve the work life of health care providers, including clinicians and staff.”

    Paul R.G. Cunningham, MD, Immediate Past President, NCMS

    Read the NC Hospital Association’s comments.

    Read the NC Pediatric Society’s comments.

    “Since 70 percent of the population affected by the Medicaid waiver are children, it is critical to look at the impact of proposed changes on kids. We applaud the Department’s thoughtful approach on many key factors, but remain concerned about payment levels, especially in context increased administrative burden inherent with multiple new providers, measurement challenges and possible changes to Chapter 58 protections. We are particularly mindful of the need for network adequacy, especially as it pertains to availability of pediatric sub-specialists and rural access.”

    Scott St. Clair, MD, FAAP, President, NC Pediatric Society President

    Read the NC Academy of Family Physicians comments.

    “First and foremost, we must preserve access to care for our state’s Medicaid recipients.  In order to do so, we must minimize the administrative burdens that Medicaid managed care will bring and preserve the practice supports that help primary care physicians serve as the medical home for a complicated and vulnerable population.  Our comments on the Medicaid implementation plan emphasize these two important areas.”

    Charles Rhodes, MD, President, NC Academy of Family Physicians

    Read the NC Community Health Centers Association’s comments.

    “The NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Medicaid managed care program design proposal shows the state following through on its intention to put patients and providers at the center of Medicaid transformation by providing whole person care. Medicaid beneficiaries will benefit from Advanced Medical Homes, such as community health centers, which offer face to face care management and focus on identifying and addressing social determinants of health to improve care quality.”

    E. Benjamin Money, MPH, President and CEO, NC Community Health Center Association

    Read the NC Ob/Gyn Society’s comments.