WCMSF Charitable Programs Continue with Support from Dogwood Health Trust

June 25, 2020

June 25, 2020, Asheville, NC- The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) based in Asheville, NC is always working to help advance our mission of increasing access to quality and affordable health care, address health inequities, and promote wellness in Western North Carolina. We accomplish this through our charitable programs including Project Access®, WCMS Interpreter Network (WIN), and Healthy Healer Programs. 

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WCMS Participates in NCMS’ White Coat Wednesday

June 22, 2020

Last Wednesday, June 17, 2020, WCMS Board Members, Dr. Mark McNeill, Dr. Sarah Cash, and Dr. Rick Bunio along with Physician Member, Dr. Constance Sewell, WCMS CEO, Miriam Schwarz, and WCMS Association Program Director, Nadia Z. Mazza, attended a meeting with Director of Legislative Relations of NCMS, Sue Ann Forest, to discuss recent developments in legislation as they pertain to healthcare.

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New community clinic slated for physician-starved rural mountain region

June 15, 2020

A federally qualified community health center is planned to offer primary care services for Western North Carolina’s rural Plateau region, which includes parts of Transylvania, Jackson and Macon counties. Seen here, a similar primary care clinic operated by Blue Ridge Community Health Services in Rutherford County. Photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Community Health Services

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When Grief and Crises Intersect: Perspectives of a Black Physician in the Time of Two Pandemics

June 15, 2020


“Hey there—just checking on you and letting you know I’m thinking of you.”

“I know words don’t suffice right now. You are in my thoughts.”

“If there’s any way that I can be of support or if there’s something you need, just let me know.”

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From MAHEC: COVID-19 Exposes Ongoing Health Inequities

June 15, 2020

Recent acts of racial violence are painful reminders that structural racism has serious consequences for Black and Brown Americans. Persistent health inequities have created a crisis within a crisis, and we are seeing individuals and communities of color bearing a disproportionate burden of job losses, serious illness, and deaths associated with COVID-19. These national trends are also showing up in our WNC communities, which makes our health equity work more important than ever.

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WCMS 2020 Strategic Plan Quarterly Update (Q1)

June 15, 2020

OUR VISION is to serve as a dynamic physician/physician assistant community dedicated to a healthy, vibrant western North Carolina (WNC).
OUR VALUES are integrity, inclusion, and innovation.
OUR PARTNERS include Independent Physicians, Employed Physicians, Physician Assistants, Community Leaders, Sponsors/Businesses, Donors/Funders, Health System Leaders, Practice Managers, Patients, and Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) employees

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Project Access receives two years of grant funding from The Duke Endowment

May 27, 2020

May 26, 2020, Asheville, NC- The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) based in Asheville, NC recently was awarded $500,000 from the Duke Endowment over a two -year period for its Project Access® (PA) program. The Duke Endowment supports thirty (30) similar sites across North and South Carolina and has been a long-time supporter of WCMSF’s Project Access program.

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SAMHSA Grant Establishes First Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic in WNC

May 20, 2020


SAMHSA has recently awarded the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) a two-year $4 million grant to provide vital services for people with serious mental illness and substance use disorders across 18 counties in Western North Carolina.

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Letter: Rebuilding our primary care and public health infrastructure

May 13, 2020


A recent survey of 295 primary care practices in the state conducted by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services found that 34 practices already have closed (11.5%) and 121 practices (41%) have reduced hours due to the decline in patient visits caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This crisis has raised several painful questions for our region, the state and the nation as a whole. Yet the most important question we face is this: How long will we wait to fix what is broken so we’re better prepared the next time?

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Mims Named Chair of Community and Public Health, Helps Lead Asheville-based MPH Program

May 6, 2020

Asheville, NC (May 5, 2020)—On April 27, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) welcomed Susan Mims, MD, MPH, to chair the newly established Department of Community and Public Health at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC. 

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Project Access® Receives Emergency and Disaster Relief Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

May 1, 2020

The Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation (WCMSF) based in Asheville, NC recently was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) based in Asheville. The grant was issued as part of the CFWNC’s Emergency and Disaster Relief response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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MAHEC Opioid Educators Provide Technical Assistance Through National Network

April 28, 2020


MAHEC family physicians and opioid treatment educators Blake Fagan, Shuchin Shukla, and Susan McDowell, have recently joined the Opioid Response Network (ORN) as prescriber consultants to assist healthcare providers in implementing office-based services for the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorder.

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Innovative Practice Interview with Dr. Jeff Graham of The Family Health Centers- Asheville

April 27, 2020

Q: Please introduce yourself and The Family Health Centers- Asheville
A:  Jeffrey B Graham, MD MPH with The Family Health Centers.  We have been in Asheville since 1976 and are one of the largest physician-owned family practices in NC/SC. We offer full spectrum primary care, which has shifted a lot in the last couple decades so I am proud of our consistent growth over time. We have several specialists on board including a strong pediatric team so we are able to offer a wide range of specialized medical care. We have three offices in Asheville, Arden, and Hominy Valley. 

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Message from your WCMS President, Dr. Rick Bunio

April 6, 2020

Dear WCMS Membership,

Over the past few months, the world has seen changes the likes of which have never been experienced in most of our lifetimes. We have watched with trepidation as the coronavirus has slowly infiltrated into one county after another in Western NC and wondered if we and our patients would be spared the level of pain and suffering we see on the news every night.

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WCMS Association announces board leadership transitions

April 2, 2020

Dear WCMS membership:

Dr. Mike Parmer, President of WCMS, has accepted a new position in Greenville SC with the Prisma Health System. For this reason, Dr. Parmer will no longer be serving as the President of the WCMS Association effective today, 4/1/20. Dr. Parmer has been an outstanding leader and champion of the medical society. His integrity, wisdom and guidance will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best.

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