NCMS Morning Rounds 7-23-21

Happy Friday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds.

July 23, 2021

Encouraging Your Community to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Since COVID-19 vaccines have become available, the NCMS has issued public statements consistently urging anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. We have joined with other health care associations to amplify our voice and last week we again encouraged those age 12 and up to get vaccinated as we look ahead to the return to school in the fall.

Our message has been carried by the media throughout the state (see some of those articles/broadcasts below), but we need to continue to communicate the importance of vaccination. For those who are hesitant about receiving the shot, we encourage them to confer with their trusted physician or PA to get the facts. We particularly need to disseminate this message in areas of the state where vaccination rates remain low. If you practice in or near an area with low vaccination and are willing to be a media spokesperson to help convey our message, please contact Elaine Ellis, today. The NCMS can help you connect with your local newspaper or television station as well as provide social media content to populate your channels. The message is stronger when it comes from a trusted health care expert in the local community.

See which counties are lagging in vaccinations by scrolling down to the map on the NC Department of Health and Human Services vaccination dashboard here. NCDHHS also provides a communications toolkit to help get the message out about the importance of being vaccinated with content for social media posts.

Here are several media outlets where our message has been featured recently:

Triangle area — CBS17-TV
New Hanover County area — WECT-TV
Spectrum News, the statewide cable network, ran a piece in which NCMS Immediate Past President Palmer Edwards, MD, was interviewed on camera. While a link to this television report is not available, the story focused on children returning to school, and included Dr. Edwards’ stating that 99 percent of COVID deaths are occurring in unvaccinated persons, and that unvaccinated children are at risk.
Dunn — The Daily Record
Crystal Coast area — Carolina Coast Online

Initial Slate of Candidates for NCMS Leadership Roles

The North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Nominating and Leadership Development Committee met via Zoom on Saturday, May 22, 2021 to interview candidates and vote for the initial slate of nominees for officers, directors and AMA delegates. Per NCMS Bylaws, Component Societies, Specialty Societies, and Sections may submit additional nominations for these positions between now and Aug. 14, 2021.

Please use this form to submit nominations. For questions on the nominating process, contact Evan Simmons. Below is the relevant excerpt from the NCMS Bylaws:

  • B-3.302 Committee Nominations. All nominations made by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee shall be communicated in writing to members of The Society at least seventy five (75) days before the election.
  • B-3.303 Nominations from the Membership. In addition to the Committee Nominations, nominations for any of the positions addressed by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee may be made by a recognized component society, specialty society or section, provided such nominees have agreed to serve if elected and that the nominations be submitted to The Society at least sixty (60) days before the first day of the Annual Meeting of The Society. The Society shall develop forms for submitting nominations under this Section. The Nominating and Leadership Development Committee will review any additional nominations to ensure qualifications are met.

The following slate of nominees was selected by the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee:

NCMS Board of Directors
President-Elect: Arthur Apolinario, MD
Region 1 Representative: Claude Jarrett, MD
Region 2 Representative: Fatima Syed, MD
At-Large: Jugta Kahai, MD
At-Large: Carl Westcott, MD

NC American Medical Association Delegation
Delegate: Mary Ann Contogiannis, MD
Delegate: John Fagg, MD
Alternate Delegate: Tim Reeder, MD
Alternate Delegate: Dev Sangvai, MD

Nominating and Leadership Development Committee
Region 1: Joe Navejar, DO
Region 2: Ronnie Laney, MD
Region 2: Andrew Phillips, MD
Region 3: Labron Chambers, MD
Region 3: Peter Fenn, PA-C
Region 3: Jim Hill, PA-C
Region 4: Frank Melvin, MD
Region 4: MaryShell Zaffino, MD

The Committee will reconvene to determine the eligibility of any additional nominees. The final slate of candidates will be published to members by Sept. 24, 2021. Under the NCMS’ governance structure, online voting for the candidates will begin on Oct. 1, 2021 and continue until midnight on Oct. 15, 2021. Paper ballots also will be available to those who need them.

The following are the members of the NCMS Nominating and Leadership Development Committee:

Chair Palmer Edwards, MD
President-Elect Michael Utecht, MD
Ex-Officio Philip Brown, Jr., MD
Board Representative Eileen Raynor, MD
Board Representative Ed Whitesides, MD
Region 1 Chris Grubb, MD
Region 1 Jugta Kahai, MD
Region 1 Edward Ricciardelli, MD
Region 2 Justin Hurie, MD
Region 2 Ronnie Laney, MD
Region 2 Vipul Shah, MD
Region 3 Docia E. Hickey, MD
Region 3 Jim Hill, PA
Region 3 Janice Huff, MD
Region 4 Gregory F. F. Evans, MD
Region 4 Frank Melvin, MD
Region 4 Scott Paviol, MD

Medicaid Managed Care Plans Join NCCARE360 Network

The five prepaid health plans participating in North Carolina’s Medicaid transformation initiative have joined the statewide coordinated-care network NCCARE360.
NCCARE360 represents the nation’s first statewide coordinated-care network that connects individuals to local services and resources. The goal is to foster whole-person care, promote health equity and address the social drivers that influence a person’s health.

“NCCARE360 is critical to the department’s goal of effectively delivering health, not just health care, by addressing the medical and non-medical drivers of health, including housing, food, transportation and interpersonal safety,” Dave Richard, deputy secretary of NC Medicaid, said in a statement. NCCARE360 is part of the Healthy Opportunities initiative through the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The Medicaid managed care health plans are WellCare of NC, AmeriHealth Caritas N.C., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C. (doing business as Healthy Blue) and UnitedHealth Group. Carolina Complete Health serves a portion of the state.

In the News

Meet the Young Adults Sneaking Behind Their Parents’ Backs to Get Vaccinated, Slate, 7-21-21

Learning Opportunity

Explore the link between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and substance use disorder on Wednesday, July 28 from 1 to 2 p.m.

ACEs are shown to increase the risk of chronic health conditions, including substance use disorder. These ACEs, frequently experienced as ‘trauma’ in early childhood, can have a profound impact on one’s health. Fortunately, there is growing recognition that a trauma-informed approach can help individuals, organizations and systems better serve those living with addiction. Join the National Overdose Prevention Network (NOPN) for a conversation with a researcher and practitioner about the link between ACEs and substance use. Register here for this virtual session.


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 AMA Delegation Candidates


Share this Post