Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


June 2012

Congressional candidates spar at MMS forum

Five candidates for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Lynn Woolsey engaged in a lively debate about health care policy at a May 17 forum sponsored by MMS and held at Novato Community Hospital. The event, moderated by MMS President Dr. Peter Bretan, attracted more than a dozen physicians and other medical professionals.


Two of the top candidates for Woolsey’s seat--Jared Huffman and Susan Adams--spoke at the forum, along with three lesser known contenders: Brooke Clarke, Larry Fritzlan and Michael Halliwell. Each candidate answered questions about health care issues and explained what their focus would be as a member of Congress.


A key question that recurred throughout the forum was whether the candidates would raise taxes or cut services in light of health care funding shortfalls. “Every one of them seemed supportive of Medicare,” Bretan observed. “The problem is how you pay for it. Those are the hard questions that need to be pressed.”


MMS will host a membership dinner with the two final candidates this fall. Because of California’s new open primary law, the candidates may both be from the same party.


Dr. Georgianna Farren is new MMS President-Elect

The MMS election results are in, and Dr. Georgianna Farren, the chief medical officer for Marin Community Clinics, has been confirmed as the medical society’s president-elect for the 2012-13 fiscal year. She will become president in July 2013.


Other new members of the MMS board of directors confirmed by the election include Drs. Jeff Stevenson, Paul Wasserstein and Michael Kwok. Four members of the CMA delegation were confirmed as well: Drs. Irina deFischer, Larry Bedard, Jeff Stevenson and Anne Cummings. A complete list of the MMS board of directors will be posted on in July.


In addition to their election ballots, non-Kaiser members received a staff wage and benefit survey. Physicians can use the results to help manage their practice. Later this month, results will be sent by first-class mail, marked “confidential,” only to physicians who completed the survey.


Health Information Exchange conference set for Rohnert Park

The annual Health Information Exchange (HIE) conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park on July 19 and 20. Titled “Connecting California to Improve Patient Care,” the conference will focus on practical solutions for securely sharing electronic clinical information between unaffiliated health care facilities, such as outpatient practices, hospitals, laboratories, imaging centers, long-term care, home health and public health. Conference attendees will learn best practices in clinical informatics, quality analytics and HIE services.


To register, visit Attendees can register for either one or two days. A separate Interoperability Exhibition will be held in conjunction with the conference.


2012-13 Marin County Physician Directory publishes this month

The 2012-13 Marin County Physician Directory, which lists all practicing physicians in Marin County, will be published later this month and distributed to MMS members. Nonmember physicians and health care facilities can purchase the directory for $40, or $35 each when purchasing five or more. Cost to the general public is $55 per copy. To order by phone with a credit card, contact Rachel Pandolfi at 415-924-3891. You can also order online at or by printing the order form below and faxing to 415-924-2749.


2012-13 Marin Directory order form


The directory features detailed photographic listings for MMS members, including primary and secondary specialties, special medical interest, medical training, languages spoken and complete contact information. Nonmember listings include primary specialty and phone number only. The directory also includes a specialty index and an exhaustive list of medical resources in Marin County.


Retired physicians needed for smoking cessation project

The Public Health Institute is seeking retired physicians for a project intended to educate, motivate and refer smoking patients into local smoking cessation programs. Based on the maxim that “No one can reach a smoker more effectively than a doctor, ” the project seeks to demonstrate that smokers can prevent re-hospitalization from tobacco-related diseases if they receive a phone call to refer them to a smoking cessation program following discharge. To learn more about this short term (5-7 hours a month for 3 months) volunteer opportunity, contact Dr. Theo Tsoukalas at or 415-444-6071. For more information about the Public Health Institute, visit


Top stories from CMA Alert

Here are the top stories from the latest CMA Alert, the California Medical Association’s biweekly email newsletter. For a free subscription, visit


* Are your controlled substance prescription pads up-to-date?


* Action is required to avoid the 1.5% e-prescribing penalty in 2013


* CMA opposes expansion of dual eligible managed care pilot program


* Exchange plans now riskier propositions for physicians


* Medi-Cal primary care rates will increase to Medicare levels in 2013-2014


Dr. Naveen Kumar, a 36-year-old interventional radiologist at Kaiser San Rafael, has received a “40 under 40” award from the North Bay Business Journal for starting and heading the hospital’s interventional radiology department, which performs minimally invasive surgical procedures using imaging guidance. The annual award recognizes local professionals under 40 years old.


Shriners Hospital and the American College of Surgeons are cosponsoring an all-day disaster management and emergency preparedness course on June 7 at the Northern California Shriners Hospital, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento. The course, approved for 8.25 hours of CME, will address planning, triage, incident command and injury patterns. The $100 fee includes lunch, breakfast, course materials and CME credit. To register, contact Shriners Hospital at 916-453-2041 or


Four CMA webinars are scheduled for June. All webinars begin at 12:15 p.m. and run until 1:15 or 1:45. To register, visit Seminars are free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person. Here’s the lineup:

* A manager’s guide to lowering practice costs (June 6; includes CEU)

* California worker’s comp eBill--part 4 (June 7)

* Accessing CMA’s legal library (June 13)

* Writing effective appeals (June 20)


Medical fitness to drive: Is your patient at risk? is a free web-based course from the American Medical Association that helps physicians identify medical conditions that may impair their older patients’ ability to drive. The course, available at, includes assessment tools, case studies and additional resources to help doctors evaluate and counsel older drivers in their care.


Marsh, the insurance broker sponsored by MMS, is offering a 5% rate reduction on term life insurance policies worth up to $1 million. Rates for the first 10 or 20 years of coverage can be locked in. Coverage can also include spouse, domestic partner or eligible employees. For details, contact Marsh at 800-842-3761 or, or visit


The Marin Medical Society, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, supports local physicians and their efforts to enhance the health of the community. We are affiliated with the California Medical Association and the American Medical Association.


© 2012 MMS, PO Box 246, Corte Madera, CA 94976