Current Bulletin

  • Position Available for NC PHP Board of Directors

    The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) appoints five physicians to the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Physicians Health Program (PHP). There currently is one vacancy on the PHP Board to be filled by an appointee of the NCMS. The NCMS is currently accepting applications from physicians interested in serving on the PHP Board of Directors.

    To learn more about the important work of this organization, visit the PHP website.

    Interested physicians should complete the application form and return it to Evan Simmons, (preferred), or by US Mail to PHP Board Applications, North Carolina Medical Society, Post Office Box 27167, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27611 by August 31st.

  • Don’t Forget to Mark Your Calendar for Oct. 18-19

    Planning is underway to bring you compelling speakers, CME and plenty of fun at this year’s LEAD Health Care Conference to be held Oct. 18-19 in Raleigh. A few highlights:

    • Our opening keynote speaker, Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine, will share her insights as a strong leader, educator and patient advocate.
    • This year’s class of Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership scholars will offer the results of their yearlong Leadership College projects during their MedTalks reports. Throughout the two days of the conference these TEDTalk-style presentations will give you a brief overview of a wide array of important and timely issues affecting your practice and your patients.
    • A fun – and delicious — evening at the Angus Barn’s beautiful lakeside pavilion is planned for Thursday. The conference culminates with a gala dinner and inspiring recognition of distinguished colleagues.
    • Plenty is happening in Raleigh that weekend – the North Carolina State Fair will be in full swing; grab a stein of beer at Triangle Octoberfest; take in a Hurricanes game or an exhibit at one of the many triangle area galleries or museums. Bring the family and make a fall weekend of it!

    Watch the LEAD Conference website and this Bulletin for more details and the opening of registration.

  • Nominate An Outstanding Physician for the 2018 Harris Award – Deadline This Friday!

    The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) currently is accepting nominations for the 2018 Harris Memorial Award in honor of the life and memory of one of its founding members, T. Reginald Harris, MD.

    Presented annually in conjunction with the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) LEAD Conference, a plaque is given to a North Carolina physician for outstanding achievements in the areas of health care quality and service to the medical community.

    “In memory of Dr. Harris, we continue to honor a deserving physician who has made a significant contribution to the practice of medicine and outstanding patient care,” said John B. Smith, MD, board chairman of CCME. “Dr. Harris devoted his career to improving the quality of health care for patients in North Carolina. He provided decades of service to the medical community through the North Carolina Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and many other professional, civic, and community activities.”

    Download the Harris Award nomination form. Submission deadline is Friday, July 20, 2018. For more information, contact Celeste A. Gore at or
    800-682-2650, ext. 5684.

  • Increase in Legionnaire’s Disease Prompts Call for Vigilance

    The incidence of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States increased more than 4‐fold between 2000 and 2016. The reported incidence in North Carolina is similar to the national incidence and has followed a similar trend during this period, increasing from 0.65 to 2.36 cases per 100,000 population.  The North Carolina Division of Public Health asks that clinicians help address increases in Legionnaires’ disease by sharing prevention measures with patients and by ensuring the early detection of cases, allowing for a rapid response to prevent additional cases.

    Read the NC Department of Public Health’s memo to clinicians.

  • Got an Opinion? Share It With Your Colleagues!

    Do you have strong feelings about a health care issue that affects your practice; your patients; your life as a physician or PA? If you would like to share your thoughts with your fellow North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) members, we welcome your viewpoint pieces for publication in this Bulletin.

    Here are our broad guidelines:

    • Only NCMS member submissions will be accepted.
    • The content and tone of the piece must be respectful.
    • All statistics, statements made as fact and quotes will be verified.
    • Topics must pertain to health care, physicians and PAs and/or the practice of medicine.
    • Recommended word count is 500-800 words. The NCMS reserves the right to edit for length.

    Please email your submission to Elaine Ellis, If you have questions, please contact Elaine via email or at 919-833-3836 x112.

  • Tomorrow: Webinar on How to Master ACO Benchmarking for Financial Success

    The ACO Council, which brings together Accountable Care Organizations throughout the state that are part of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) to share valuable information is offering a free webinar tomorrow, Thursday, July 19 from noon to 1 p.m. on “How to Master Your ACO’s Benchmark for Financial Success.” Register here.

    Stephen Nuckolls, CEO of Coastal Carolina Health Care, PA, and its ACO, Coastal Carolina Quality Care, Inc., will offer his insights into the topic and share his experiences on:

    • The importance of benchmarks compared to quality;
    • The MSSP benchmarking process (costs, risk adjustment, regional adjustment, trend);
    • Strategies to improve your benchmark (HCC codes, cost initiatives, impact on trend); and
    • How to compute quarterly performance estimates.

    Nuckolls is responsible for the direct management of the 60-provider multi-specialty physician-owned Coastal Carolina Health Care medical practice and its ACO, which is currently in a two-sided risk model.  Prior to helping form Coastal Carolina Quality Care in 1997, he helped guide physicians and integrated hospital organizations in the formation of larger systems.

    Nuckolls earned his BA in Economics from Davidson College and his MAC from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a founding member of the National Association of ACOs and served as its board chair from 2016-2017; he currently serves as Treasurer. He also has served on several advisory boards and committees for the North Carolina Medical Society and is a frequent speaker on ACOs and related topics at medical conferences including presentations for the Medical Group Management Association, the American College of Physicians, and the National Association of ACOs.

    Register for the webinar.

  • Learn About Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) At These Upcoming Training Sessions

    Opioid addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects millions of Americans and produces a tremendous burden on the health care system. In 2002, U.S. physicians gained the opportunity to treat opioid-addicted patients with buprenorphine in primary care settings, commonly referred to as office-based opioid treatment (OBOT). OBOT has been shown to be effective in primary care settings and impacts public health through the reduction of opioid use, opioid overdose mortality, and transmission of infectious diseases. However, it remains underutilized.

    One consistently cited barrier preventing OBOT expansion is lack of adequate clinical support given the additional needs for patient monitoring. Successful medication-assisted treatment (MAT) requires a team-based approach just like treatment for other chronic diseases. In addition, treatment is more effective when providers can use a trauma-informed and gender-responsive treatment plan.

    Learn about the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation’s Project OBOT initiative.

    Several upcoming trainings are designed to increase health care teams’ comfort with OBOT as well as provide waiver training.

    • Recovery Within Reach: Building Team Expertise in Office Based Opioid Treatment, Sept. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the NCMS headquarters in Raleigh. Get the details and register.
    • Providers Clinical Support System: Buprenorphine Office-Based Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (the “Half and Half” Course), Sept. 5, from 4:30-9 p.m. at the NCMS headquarters in Raleigh. Get the details and register.
  • NC Institute of Medicine Annual Meeting Focuses on Team-Based Care

    The theme for the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s (NCIOM) Annual Meeting to be held Sept. 7, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh will be ‘Team-Based Care for a Healthier North Carolina.’

    The meeting will explore how practices and systems across the state are evolving from coordinated care to team-based care models. The speakers include Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD, Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and Chair of the Department of Health System Design & Global Health, at the Mount Sinai Health System and Icahn School of Medicine; and Patrick Conway, MD, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

    Register for the meeting.

  • Study of Physical Activity Counseling – Still Chance to Participate

    Researchers from Appalachian State University are looking for physicians, physician assistants, psychiatrists, practice administrators and others on the health care team to participate in a brief survey about physical activity counseling practices. They are interested in all providers no matter your current practices. By taking eight to 10 minutes to complete the survey you will have a chance to win one of ten $100 Amazon gift cards. Learn more.

    Take the survey

    For additional information, please contact: Dr. Richard Christiana at

  • In Memoriam: Matthew Jared Strouch, MD

    Our condolences to the family and friends of Matthew Jared Strouch, MD, 40, of Raleigh. Dr. Strouch died in a car accident on June 28. He was part of the 2018 Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership’s customized program for Rex Hospital employees.

    Dr. Strouch received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He attended Tufts University medical school and did his residency training at Northwestern University in Chicago where he also devoted two years to cancer research. He completed his fellowship at Washington University Hospital in St. Louis and then moved to Raleigh with his family where he worked as a colorectal surgeon at Rex Hospital for the past six years.