NCMS Morning Rounds 10-19-20

Welcome to a new week and your NCMS Morning Rounds!

Oct. 19,2020

New NCMS President, Philip Brown, Jr., MD Inaugurated

At its Annual Business Meeting on Friday, Oct. 16, outgoing NCMS President Palmer Edwards, MD, DFAPA, administered the oath of office to incoming President, Philip M. Brown, Jr., MD. Surrounded by his family, including his mother, Bonnie Brown, executive director of the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society, Dr. Brown was inaugurated as the NCMS’ 167th president in a virtual ceremony, which also was streamed live on Facebook.

In a moving and inspirational inaugural speech, Dr. Brown recalled several pivotal moments in his life in which events prompted him to think about the world and his role in it in new ways. The confluence of those life lessons and current events helped shape his vision for the NCMS in the coming years – to bring North Carolina into the top 10 in the country in overall health rankings by the year 2030.

“The health of North Carolina is terrible. We’re ranked 36 out of 50 states,” he said. “You have to ask why. What has put us in such an unenviable position? I start with myself. Even though we do some great things in the NCMS, I’m the 160th white guy to be president. We’re an exclusionary society. What’s been the cost of that exclusion? We’ve lost all kinds of expertise and perspectives for our society. We can move forward and become an inclusive medical society. We can change the future.”

To achieve that he envisions the NCMS will be “more humble as an organization. Listening differently.” That ongoing work and showing “leadership courage” will help improve health in North Carolina, a core mission of the medical society.

Dr. Brown is a vascular surgeon who, since 2016, has served as the Chief Physician Executive and Executive Vice President at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Prior to that he was president at Wilmington Health, where he worked for more than a decade.

An NCMS member since 1991, Dr. Brown has been involved in many aspects of the society’s governance through his service on a variety of committees and task forces over the years. He also is an alumnus of the NCMS Foundation’s Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership. After his graduation from the Leadership College, Dr. Brown went on to become a co-chair of the program, mentoring other health care professionals as they grow to become leaders throughout our state.

He has served on the NCMS Board of Directors since 2015 and the NCMS Foundation Board of Trustees since 2019. Most recently, in addition to his Board service, Dr. Brown was named Chief Strategy Officer for the NCMS.

He has a wealth of experience, a clear vision and the necessary passion to lead the NCMS in a direction that helps promote the profession and enhance the health of all North Carolinians.

Dr. Brown received his MD from the Brody School of Medicine at ECU and completed his residency at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, then a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Long involved in organized medicine, Dr. Brown also is former president of the New Hanover-Pender County Medical Society.

LEAD Health Care Conference Highlights

Last Thursday and Friday the NCMS held its annual LEAD Health Care Conference. This year, due to the pandemic, the educational sessions and business meeting were held virtually. Following are some of the highlights of the conference. Be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s event, which, we hope will be an in-person — Oct. 14-16, 2021.

Racial Equity Institute Workshop

Nearly 100 tuned into the daylong training, which used stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. Thanks to speakers Deena Hayes-Greene and Blaise Amendolace, PsyD for an educational and highly thought-provoking experience.

As Karen Smith, MD, co-chair of the NCMS Racial Reconciliation Task Force remarked in introducing the session: “Anti-racism is within the NCMS scope of business.”

In his inauguration remarks NCMS President, Philip Brown, Jr., MD, also mentioned the Racial Equity Institute training the NCMS Board and staff experienced last February and this workshop as crucial to his ongoing learning about racism in this country.


This popular session, which serves as the culminating event for the Leadership College class each year, featured each 2020 Leadership College scholar summarizing their year-long research project in quick 15-minute segments modeled on TEDTalks. Topics included addressing COVID-19 in the Hispanic community, ending unintended pregnancies, addressing childhood obesity and ensuring physician well-being among others.

You can read each scholar’s written report here. Video of this year’s presentations will be posted on the NCMS website in coming days. Watch your NCMS Morning Rounds for details.

NCMS Annual Business Meeting

Under the NCMS’ bylaws, members meet each year in an Annual Business Meeting to conduct the society’s business including receiving reports from the NCMS Foundation President and the state health director. These reports and other documents like the strategic plan and the In Memoriam for those NCMS members who passed away over the past year are available for your review here.

Election of NCMS Leadership

NCMS members cast their votes online over the last several weeks for the new leadership slate recommended by the NCMS Nominating and Leadership Development Committee. Here is the newly installed NCMS leadership.

New officers

President-Elect — Dr. Michael Utecht
Secretary Treasurer — Dr. John Meier, IV
Board of Directors, Region 3 Representative — Dr. Karen Smith
Board of Directors, Region 4 Representative — Dr. Rachel Keever (reelected)
Board of Directors, At-large member — Dr. Eileen Raynor (reelected)
Board of Directors, At-large member — Dr. Bryant Murphy

American Medical Association Delegation
Delegate: Dr. Hadley Callaway
Delegate: Dr. William Bowman
Delegate: Dr. Darlyne Menscer
Delegate: Dr. Liana Puscas
Alternate Delegate: Dr. Rebecca Hayes

Nominating & Leadership Development Committee
Region 1: Dr. Chris Grubb
Region 1: Dr. Jugta Kahai
Region 2: Dr. Justin Hurie
Region 4: Dr. Gregory Evans

Award Presentations

As traditional, several awards were presented at the Annual Meeting to recognize colleagues for their extraordinary work.

This year’s T. Reginald Harris, MD Memorial Award, established by The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence (CCME) in 1999 and presented annually to a North Carolina physician for his or her outstanding achievements in health care, quality improvement and service to the medical community, was presented to Dr. Allen Dobson.

Dr. Dobson’s focus has been access to quality health care for all North Carolinians. A graduate of NC State University and Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Dr. Dobson completed his residency in family medicine at East Carolina University. He founded Cabarrus Family physicians in 1983, and helped start the Cabarrus Family Medicine Residency Program, which grew into a multi-site system serving thousands of patients in Cabarrus and neighboring counties.

Dr. Dobson also launched Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC), a statewide infrastructure for Medicaid that made it possible for physicians to efficiently work together, test ideas, compare outcomes and share best practices. CCNC has become a national model for improving patient outcomes and lowering costs. Clinical programs such as Pregnancy Medical Home and care management for foster children are among many successful CCNC programs aimed at improving the quality of care delivered in our state.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Dobson said:
I am so honored and appreciative of this recognition. It is especially meaningful considering the many giants in healthcare that have previously been honored with this award that is named for Dr. Harris, a great physician and leader. North Carolina has a long tradition for collaboration and innovation in healthcare and it has been my great honor to work alongside so many dedicated professionals working to improve the health of our citizens. As physicians it is our duty not only to care for our patients but also to make sure we work to improve the access and quality of healthcare in our community and for all our citizens.”

The E. Harvey Estes MD Physician Community Service Award, which is presented by the NCMS to a North Carolina physician who has compiled an outstanding record of community service apart from his/her specific identification as a physician and reflects well on the medical profession, was presented to Dr. Mary Rudyk.

Dr. Rudyk is an internal medicine physician in Wilmington and immediate past Chief of Staff at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Colleagues say she is a shining example of a physician who consistently puts her patients and her community first. During the many hurricanes that recently have hit southeastern North Carolina, she has moved into the hospital, sleeping on an air mattress, to make sure she is close to her patients when needed.

During the current pandemic, Dr. Rudyk has worked tirelessly to ensure vulnerable geriatric patients as well as skilled nursing facility staff are safe. She is a leader among her colleagues as well, helping guide the medical staff at New Hanover Regional through a time of transition.

Upon receiving this honor, Dr. Rudyk said:
I want to thank everyone who nominated me for this award. I am truly humbled by your recognition. More than anywhere in medicine, geriatrics does take a “village” – committed individuals from many disciplines, in many settings coming together for our aging population. I am only the catalyst bringing together this truly remarkable group of people in our community. Really, we all should be sharing this award.

I specialized in geriatrics because I saw the stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination that older people endured. I wanted to counter this socially normalized prejudice of Ageism and its widespread, insidious and harmful effects on the health of older adults. Ageism is a major force leading to the marginalization of our older adults in our community with negative impacts on their health and well-being. Older adults matter.

Our older population needs us to be a guiding light for them, illuminating innovations that help them to maintain their independence, a sense of friendly community and aging in place. The loss of these is a major fear we all experience as we age. We need to provide our older population with preventive care earlier. We are making progress in developing an age friendly community for all of us due to the commitment and the generous contribution of time from my colleagues and patients. Please join us in our mission to ensure that Older Adults Matter. I want to thank you all again for honoring me with this award.”

In the News

Inside the Fall of the CDC, ProPublica, 10-15-20

Learning Opportunity

NC Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance along with the NC Community Health Center Association offer the Virtual Rural Primary Care Conference this week Oct. 21 – 22. This virtual conference will highlight the Power of Rural and explore telehealth, benchmarking for success and other topics critical for moving the rural health care agenda forward. Learn more and 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!


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