NCMS Morning Rounds 10-18-21

Enjoy this NCMS Morning Rounds recap of some news from our LEAD Conference!

October 18, 2021

Introducing Your New NCMS Leadership

On Saturday evening at the NCMS’ Annual Business meeting, held during our 2021 virtual LEAD Health Care Conference, the results of the NCMS election were announced. Here is a bit about your new leaders:

President: Michael J. Utecht, MD, FACEP

Dr. Utecht has served on the NCMS Board of Directors since 2014 and as an NCMS Foundation Trustee since last year. He has been heavily involved with various NCMS committees over the years and is a 2019 graduate of the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership Health Care Leadership and Management program. Dr. Utecht also is a past president of the North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians.

As outgoing NCMS President Philip Brown, Jr., MD, noted: “Michael is a seasoned emergency medicine physician who also has a great depth of experience in health care operations. He has been able – and will continue — to leverage his many skills as a clinician, health care manager and leader to the benefit of the NCMS.”

Dr. Utecht received his undergraduate degree in physiology from Michigan State University and went on to receive his MD from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He did his emergency medicine residency at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

He currently is an attending physician in the emergency department at the VA Hospital in Durham where he teaches residents while providing direct clinical care of veterans.

Dr. Utecht’s inaugural address was in the form of a letter to his old friend ‘medicine.’ He recounted his lifelong relationship from his time as a child watching medical television shows, through college and medical school to his residency at the ‘real General Hospital in LA.’ He described the changes that have taken place including HIPAA and prior-authorization, private equity investment, CON and COVID.

“Maybe in some ways you are better, but it came at a price,” he said, noting the stress and burnout that many in the profession now feel. “It’s time we re-focus on us — you and me together.  We don’t have to go through this alone. Organizations like the North Carolina Medical Society are here to help.

“The most important thing is what we do next together,” he said addressing his colleagues. “We do make a difference. I look forward to being a small part of your relationship with medicine.”

The new members of the Board of Directors are:

President-elect: Arthur Apolinario, MD, MPH, Clinton, is a board-certified family physician practicing at Clinton Medical Clinic. Dr. Apolinario is a graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and completed his residency in family medicine at Saint Vincent Health System in Erie, PA. He has been actively involved with the NC Medical Society since 2000 and served on the Board of Directors representing Region 3, which covers the south-central portion of the state, from 2014 to 2000. He is a 2016 graduate of the NCMS Foundation Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership’s Health Care Leadership and Management program. Dr. Apolinario has a special interest in weight loss and mind-body medicine including hypnotherapy.

Region 1 (eastern NC) Representative: Claude Jarrett, MD, Wilmington, is an orthopedic surgeon practicing at Wilmington Health. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Jarrett also participates in grant funded research projects addressing rotator cuff injuries, shoulder arthritis and upper extremity fractures. After graduating summa cum laude from Xavier University, Dr. Jarrett attended medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago and completed his Orthopaedic Surgery Internship and Residency at Emory University Hospitals. Dr. Jarrett is a 2021 graduate of Leadership College, a program of the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership.

Region 2 (north-central NC) Representative: Fatima Syed, MD, MSc, FACP, Durham, is an internist at Duke Primary Care and an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Syed came to medicine after receiving her MSc in Comparative Social Policy from University of Oxford in England. She went on to receive her MD from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania where she trained in both internal medicine and endocrinology. Dr. Syed has been involved in advocacy nationally through the American College of Physicians, formerly Chair of the Council of Resident and Fellow Members and currently serving in Diversity and Equity. At Duke, she is involved in medical and resident education as well as coaching and mentorship.

At-Large Representative: Jugta Kahai, MD, FAAP, Whiteville, is a pediatrician practicing at Southeast Pediatrics. Dr. Kahai has long been involved with the NCMS through committee work and as a 2003 graduate of the Leadership College and a 2019 graduate of the Health Care Leadership and Management program, both part of the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership. Dr. Kahai’s specialties include pediatric critical care medicine. She received her MD degree from MS Ramaiah in Bangalore and did her residency training at the State University of New York.

At-Large Representative: Carl Westcott, MD, Winston-Salem, a surgeon currently practicing at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he also serves as an Associate Professor of Surgery, was re-elected to a second term on the NCMS Board of Directors. In practice for more than 22 years, Dr. Westcott received his MD from Hahnemann University School of Medicine, now the Drexel University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania, where he also completed his surgical residency.  Dr. Westcott is a longtime NCMS member and served on the Legislative Cabinet.

NCMS Legislative Update

While the NC House and NC Senate have an agreed upon budget document, which has not been made public, negotiations are ongoing with Governor Roy Cooper to finalize a state spending plan. We hear there is an announcement planned for next week, so stay tuned and watch your NCMS Morning Rounds  and next Friday’s video for updates.

We were also happy to see so many NCMS PAC members at our 2021 NCMS PAC Legislative Forum last Thursday evening. This event served as the kick-off to our virtual LEAD Health Care Conference and featured Rep. Kristin Baker, MD (R – Cabarrus), who is an NCMS member, Sen. Sydney Batch (D-Wake), Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) and Senate Majority Whip Sen. Jim Perry (R-Wayne, Lenoir).

Legislators shared their insights on key health care issues like scope of practice, telehealth, the impact of COVID-19 and Medicaid expansion. They also offered advice on the most effective ways to engage with your representatives. While email and in-person visits are still important ways to let your legislators know what’s on your mind, virtual meetings through Zoom can often be a convenient way to engage, they agreed. Sen. Perry urged a ‘reasonable, keep your ears open’ approach focused on educating legislators on an issue as opposed to being demanding or aggressive.

To have access to future PAC events, and conversations like those at this forum, be sure to make a donation today to your NCMS PAC.

NCMS Awards Bestowed at LEAD Conference

This year, the NCMS presented two awards to those in the health care arena who have particularly distinguished themselves.

The E. Harvey Estes, MD, Physician Community Service Award, is presented by the NCMS to a North Carolina physician who has compiled an outstanding record of community service, which, apart from their work as a physician, reflects well on the medical profession.

Harry Gallis, MD, received this year’s E. Harvey Estes award. Dr. Gallis is recognized nationally as a pioneer in the development of the modern Continuing Medical Education (CME) accreditation model and was instrumental in the founding principles of the American Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). He has sustained his involvement over many years.

As his nominator stated: “Dr. Gallis’ career is prolific and admirable. By advocating for quality CME, Dr. Gallis has helped countless education programs to deliver credible learning opportunities, and therefore, has helped physicians in North Carolina and beyond meet requirements for maintenance of licensure, maintenance of certification, credentialing, membership in professional societies, and other professional privileges. Without his leadership, North Carolina’s CME options would be limited and the NCMS program may have been cancelled.”

A graduate of Princeton University and then receiving his MD from Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Gallis is highly respected nationally and in Durham through Duke and in Charlotte through his affiliation with Carolinas Medical Center, now Atrium Health.

The second NCMS award presented was the John Huske Anderson Award, which recognizes a layperson whose contributions have had a positive impact on the medical profession and the public health and recalls John Huske Anderson’s service to medicine and the NCMS, having served as its legal counsel from 1937 until his retirement in 1983.  This year’s award went to Paul Harrison, Executive Director of the Wake County Medical Society from 2000 until just this year and, from 2000 to 2011 with the Wake County Community Health Foundation. The Foundation’s mission was to develop a medical care safety net for indigent residents of Wake County on behalf of the Wake County Medical Society.

Harrison’s commitment to public service and health goes back to the very start of his career, beginning with his stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer and staff member in Truk Micronesia. He went on to earn his master’s degree in public health from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has worked for the NC Office of Rural Health Services, served as assistant dean of Trinity College, Duke University, and at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina before starting his 20+ year tenure with the Wake County Medical Society and work with the Wake County Community Health Foundation.  His volunteer service includes serving on the Board of Trustees for the Urban Ministries of Wake County as well as working as a volunteer patient intake worker at its Open Door Clinic.

Congratulations to Dr. Gallis and Paul Harrison!

In the News

3 Lessons for the Effort to Scale Up COVID-19 Rapid Tests, STAT, 1-15-21

Learning Opportunity

Learn more about how you can make patient referrals through the state’s NCCARE360 referral network of community-based organizations and other resources to help your patients.

Get an overview of the coordinated care network, demonstration of best practices to send and receive referrals, closing cases and updating organization details.

Registration is required and only those who have been added as a user (via Partner Registration Form, Organization Update Form, or directly on the platform, will be approved).

Oct. 27, 2021 | noon-1 pm – Register Here
Nov. 2, 2021 | 11 am to noon- Register Here
Nov. 4, 2021 | 8-9 am – Register Here

If you have policies you’d like your NCMS Board of Directors to consider, please complete the Board input form here. Thanks for reading!


More Posts in Elections


Share this Post