Current Bulletin

  • Dr. Patrick Conway Assumes Helm At BCBSNC

    Patrick Conway, MD

    Patrick Conway, MD, officially became President and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina on Dec. 5, succeeding Brad Wilson, who retired from BCBSNC after two decades at the company and seven years as its President and CEO. Dr. Conway was elected to lead the state’s largest insurer by its Board of Trustees in August 2017 and has been serving as President and CEO-elect since October.

    Dr. Conway comes to BCBSNC from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where he served as Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality and Director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). He is one of the driving forces behind the national movement toward value-based care, and has collaborated with many of the nation’s largest health systems, including several in North Carolina, to make health care more effective and affordable.

    Dr. Conway is a practicing pediatric hospitalist. He grew up in College Station, Texas, and graduating summa cum laude from Texas A&M University. He graduated with high honors from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his pediatrics residency at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital Boston.

    Welcome Dr. Conway!

  • Dr. Talton Named 2017 NC Family Physician of the Year

    Longtime North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member R. Kevin Talton, MD, of Mount Olive, was named the 2017 NC Family Physician of the Year. Dr. Talton received the honor at the NC Academy of Family Physician’s (NCAFP) meeting in Asheville on Dec. 2.

    “Dr. Talton epitomizes how a family physician works within their entire community and beyond,” the NCAFP reported. “From literally growing up in a house across the street from where his practice now stands, Dr. Talton knew early that he wanted to serve his hometown. That dream has become reality and so much more throughout an illustrious medical career.”

    At the awards ceremony Dr. Talton was lauded for combining compassionate and adept clinical skills with community leadership and service to his country.  Dr. Talton completed his undergraduate degree at NC State University and earned his medical degree at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina. He went on to complete residency training through a joint program of Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville and Sampson Regional Medical Center in Clinton.

    Congratulations Dr. Talton!

  • Dr. Puscas Elected to National Board of Medical Examiners

    Longtime North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member Liana Puscas, MD, associate professor of surgery, division of head and neck surgery and communication sciences at Duke University, has been elected to the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) representing the American Medical Association (AMA).

    Dr. Puscas has long been involved at the national level, where she currently serves on the AMA’s Council on Medical Education.  The NBME is an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts assessments of health care professionals, including the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

    “This honor recognizes Liana’s national stature as a medical educator,” says Howard Francis, MD, Chief of Duke’s Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences. “It is good for the US public that the NBME has selected Liana to their team as her commitment and sound reasoning will shape physician assessment for some time to come.”

    Congratulations, Dr. Puscas!

  • Dr. Simpkin Appointed to NC Partnership for Children Board

    Gov. Roy Cooper recently appointed Becky Simpkin, MD, a pediatrician with Sandhills Pediatrics in Southern Pines to serve on the North Carolina Partnership for Children Board of Directors. A North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member, Dr. Simpkin was a resident in pediatrics at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

    Congratulations Dr. Simpkin!

  • In the News

  • Learning Opportunities

    MAHEC, working with the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, The Governor’s Institute on Substance Abuse and Project Lazarus: A Project of CCNC, is offering A Guide to Rational Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain, an online education course. The course is designed for all prescribing health care practitioners who are interested in an overview of the rational prescribing approaches for persons with chronic pain disorders. It will fulfill the North Carolina Medical Board’s requirement of at least one hour of continuing education designed specifically to address prescribing practices for chronic pain management. The course cost is $15 for the first 6 months. Offers 3 hours of AAFP, AMA/AAFP Equivalency, and CDE;


    The Governor’s Institute and the NC Medical Board is offering “Controlled Substance Prescribing: What Every Provider Needs to Know” live training sessions across the state. These free CME panel sessions are designed for controlled substances prescribers to complete up to two hours of the required education in opioid prescribing. A one hour online training is recommended before the live training. Register for 1-hour online training here. Together they fulfill the three hour requirement.  Here are the upcoming sessions:

    Jan. 18, 2018 – 6 p.m. Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Lumberton (2 hrs)

    March 15, 2018 – Cape Fear Medical Center, Fayetteville (2 hrs)

    April 3, 2018 – 6:00 p.m. Carolinas Medical Center, Concord (2 hrs)

    May 8, 2018 – 6:00 p.m. Carolinas Medical Center, Shelby (2 hrs)


    A top performing NC Hospital will reveal how they went about creating a process map to drive improvement and reduce pneumonia mortality and readmissions in Mapping Your Road to Improvement: Develop an Action Plan,” a webinar to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 20, noon to 1 p.m. They will also discuss strategies for transforming documentation to drive excellent patient care with experts across the state. Register here. This is part of the Knockout Pneumonia campaign. Learn more.


    The North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol & Drug Studies will hold its 2018 Winter School, Feb. 18-21, at the Embassy Suites in Greensboro.  The gathering will address Substance Use Disorder, identify population specific interventions and examine techniques and concepts to use with those affected by substance use disorder. Learn more and register.


    The 9th Annual Addiction Medicine Conference will be held April 26-28, in Asheville. The conference will provide clinically practical and up-to-date substance use related training, applicable across general medical as well as addiction specialty practices. Learn more.

    NCTracks has Computer-Based Training (CBT) courses on a variety of topics available to providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Anyone who is a registered user with NCID access to the NCTracks secure Provider Portal can access and take a self-paced course. A list of courses available can be found here and under Quick Links on the NCTracks Provider Training page of the public Provider Portal.