Newsroom

More Powerful NC Campaign Launches in Effort to Educate Public About Opioids

April 12, 2019

April 11, 2019 – More Powerful NC, a public education campaign to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and empower North Carolinians to take action to address the epidemic in their homes and communities, launched in early April. 

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Annual Minority Medical Mentoring Program (MMMP) HOPE Banquet

March 22, 2019

On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA), Mission Health, the Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) and the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) will host the annual Minority Medical Mentoring Program (MMMP) HOPE Banquet. This is a program for underrepresented high school students with an interest in high-level health professions. The primary goals of the program are to increase the number of underrepresented minorities training and practicing in WNC, enhance quality of care (prevention and wellness) as a result of increased workforce diversity, and achieve increased levels of health parity for populations of color in WNC.

This year’s keynote address will be given by four MMMP Alumni: Davon Washington, Melvis Madrigal, Darryl Jayda Hart, and Zaria Bunn. Proceeds from the event will support the Dr. Charles Blair Health Parity Scholarship Fund that awards each MMMP intern a scholarship. The HOPE Banquet will be held at the MAHEC Mary C. Nesbitt Biltmore Campus on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 6:00-7:30pm.

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President's Message

March 22, 2019

Presidents Message WCMS 3/2019

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


As I write this message I sit preparing for an exciting week ahead, a week that makes me proud to be part of the WCMS.  In a couple of days I will leave with a cohort of WCMS staff and physicians for our first White Coat Wednesday of the year at the North Carolina General Assembly.  For years, advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients to our representatives in government has been a key strategy of the WCMS. However advocacy this year is special. With the shakeup of power in Raleigh after the last election, we can now discuss access to affordable healthcare for all more easily.  The association board has chosen to make closing the coverage gap in NC our top legislative priority this year. WCMS has already been hard at work meeting with representatives locally in Asheville, and with the support of our allies at the NCMS, we will take the discussion to the next level in Raleigh this week.

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Preparing for Medicaid Managed Care Questions to Consider Before Signing Managed Care Contracts

March 7, 2019

Thanks to the NC Academy of Family Physicians, which has compiled a checklist as another way to ensure you're aware of all possible issues! 

Click here to read the checklist

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WCMS Interpreter Services Trains a New Crew of Interpreters!

February 28, 2019

Submitted by Mariela Solano, Director of WCMSF Interpreter Services

Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation’s Interpreter Network (WIN), in collaboration with MAHEC’s Department of Continuing Professional Development, has just completed the second yearly Winter Cross Cultural Communications Interpreter Training taught by one of WIN’s Contract Russian Interpreters and Interpreter Trainer, Gulnara Akbarova.

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Innovative Practice Interview with Dr. Richard Bunio of Cherokee Indian Hospital

February 28, 2019

Interview with Dr. Richard Bunio of Cherokee Indian Hospital Regarding the Implementation of a MedServe Fellow

Q: Please describe the MedServe Fellowship Program in your own words.

A: The MedServe program links college grads with an interest in a healthcare field with private practices, hospitals, clinics etc. where they spend two years serving that community. It’s like the Americorp for healthcare. They are dually “sponsored” by the program and by the clinic they’re working with.

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Meeting with Representative Brian Turner

February 25, 2019

WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, meets with Representative Brian Turner to discuss WCMS' 2019 Legislative Priority of "Affordable Healthcare for All"! 

We discussed examples of Project Access patients who are unable to access affordable healthcare in spite of working hard to do so. Almost 60% of Project Access low income uninsured are ages 50-64, 62% are working poor, many lost jobs due to health issues, and have difficulty finding employment because they are close to retirement.  We shared with Rep. Turner the story of Jerry Moncus (insert youtube link here). We also discussed keeping legislation out of the exam room, scope of practice, and HCA’s charity care policy.

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Mark Hall, JD Interview

February 19, 2019

Public Policy and Legal Perspective on Impact of HCA Deal, Expiration of COPA, and Medicaid Transformation in North Carolina

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WCMS Legislative Priorities for 2019

February 19, 2019

1. AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL

  1. Patient and provider protections in new Medicaid Reform law
  2. Medicaid expansion
  3. Mental Health Access
  4. Keeping legislation out of the exam room
  5. Scope of Practice

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Meeting with Representative Joe Sam Queen

February 19, 2019

Meeting with Representative Joe Sam Queen

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Western North Carolina Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative

February 13, 2019

by Dr. Michael Newcomer, Digestive Health Partners

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It is the third most common cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death. In the US in 2019 it’s estimated that there will be 145,600 new cases of colorectal cancer and 51,020 CRC related deaths. CRC screening is effective in decreasing both the incidence and mortality. However, it is underutilized in disadvantaged populations, especially in the uninsured. A recent study utilized the SEER database to evaluate 55,000 patients diagnosed with CRC between 2007 and 2012 (age less than 65). Patients without insurance were more likely to present with advanced disease (stage IV) and have a lower 3 year survival rate compared to patients with insurance (Pulte et al. Diseases of Colon & Rectum. May 2018).

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Am I Breaking the Law regarding Death Certificates?

February 12, 2019

Am I Breaking the Law regarding Death Certificates?

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DHHS Announces Prepaid Health Plan Contracts for Medicaid Managed Care

February 5, 2019

Today, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced the selection of Prepaid Health Plans that will participate in Medicaid managed care when the program launches in November 2019. Contracts were awarded after careful evaluation of all responses to the Request for Proposal issued by DHHS on Aug. 9, 2018.  

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The NC Office of Rural Health Stakeholder Meetings

January 28, 2019

The NC Office of Rural Health (ORH) is hosting several stakeholder meetings across NC to gather Stakeholder input regarding the J-1 Visa Waiver program and NC’s Loan Repayment and Incentive Programs. 

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Attorney general places stipulations on major NC hospital deal

January 17, 2019

HCA’s acquisition of Asheville-based Mission Health’s assets received approval from state Attorney General Josh Stein on Wednesday, paving the way for the largest health care provider in Western North Carolina to move from nonprofit to for-profit ownership while setting up a massive nonprofit foundation with the sale’s proceeds.

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