Letter from Dr. Raymond Thertulien, 2018 President of the WCMS Association Board

January 16, 2019











Dear Colleagues,

2018 was a year of big healthcare changes for Western North Carolina (WNC). The one likely to have the greatest impact on the health of the community is the sale of the not-for-profit Mission Health care to the for-profit HCA Corp. WCMS took a leading role in informing the community and created a forum that allowed its members to express their concerns and to ask questions about how this change will affect their practice, public health, and the affordability of health care going forward in our community. One of these concerns is obviously how this will affect the care of the most vulnerable among us, notwithstanding the formation of the proposed Dogwood Foundation. As John F. Kennedy put it: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot serve the few who are rich”.

In 2018, WCMS remained active in its role as legislative advocate for the Healthcare community of WNC. It remained committed to the health of the community by administering and growing the Project Access program that serves the most vulnerable among us. The WCMS interpreter network remained a valuable service to our community despite the growth of the remote interpreter electronic system. It allowed patients to receive care in the language that they are most comfortable in and helped them navigate the complexities of our healthcare system with  local, trained, experienced live human being. WCMS remained committed to the health of our healthcare providers by offering and promoting the Healthy Healer program to combat burnout within the medical community.

These are just a few highlights of the programs administered by WCMS that makes it an important and relevant organization in WNC, worthy of your membership and support.

It has been my privilege to serve as the president of the board of WCMS over the past year. I thank the WCMS staff for their help and continuing commitment to the organization.


Raymond Thertulien, MD

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