Marin Medical Society

MMS News Briefs


July 2012

Physicians urged to volunteer for Rotacare Clinic

The Rotacare Clinic, which offers charitable care at the Third Street offices of Kaiser San Rafael, is seeking physician or nurse practitioner volunteers to serve one Monday or Thursday evening per month. The clinic is open from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on those days, but volunteers generally work from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Most of the patients are unable to afford medical insurance, and many speak Spanish, but interpreters are available on-site. The average is 4-5 patients per physician per night.


In a letter to his colleagues about Rotacare, longtime Marin internist Dr. Stephen Mizroch noted, “After 31 years of internal medicine and geriatric practice, I retired in 2010. Not surprisingly, I missed the personal contact and problem-solving challenges that I had taken  for granted over the years. Fortunately, a very special practice opportunity opened up for me at Rotacare Clinic in downtown San Rafael. Although I see patients only when my travel schedule allows, it is a very special opportunity to serve the medically uninsured population of Marin.


“The patients I have seen have been incredibly appreciative for the care I've rendered, and I have connected with a caring group of volunteers who lovingly provide care that is nowhere else available to this uninsured population. At Rotacare, we provide advice and evaluation, lab and x-ray testing, along with free medications for a variety of acute and subacute problems. Where more intensive longitudinal management is needed, we refer to community resources when available.


“In addition to honing my clinical skills, there has been ample opportunity to polish my rudimentary Spanish language skills. I have a translator for any patient who speaks primarily Spanish, but I never fail to learn a new word or two.


“This has been a very rewarding opportunity to give back to the County of Marin, and I am proud to serve as a volunteer at Rotacare. I urge physicians to consider this clinic as a fine opportunity to make a contribution to our community.”


Physicians or nurse practitioners interested in volunteering for the clinic should contact Dr. Gordon Manashil at or Dr. Steve Berkov at


Dr. Irina deFischer is new president of MMS

Irina deFischer, MD, a family physician at Kaiser Petaluma, is the new president of MMS. She will serve through June 2013. In an interview in the current issue of Marin Medicine, she discusses her plans for the medical society and the need for community involvement.


The other new members of the MMS executive team are Drs. Georgianna Farren (president-elect), and Anne Cummings (secretary/treasurer). The team serves on the MMS board of directors, along with Drs. Peter Bretan (past president), Michael Kwok, Scott Levy, Lori Selleck, Jeffrey Stevenson and Paul Wasserstein. Current membership stands at 366 physicians throughout Marin County, a significant increase from last year.


2012-13 Marin County Physician Directory goes on sale

Each MMS member received one free copy of the 2012-13 Marin County Physician Directory last month. Additional copies of the directory, which lists every practicing physician in the county, are available to members for just $30 each. 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, city and phone number only. The directory also includes a specialty index and an exhaustive list of medical resources in Marin County.


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.

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


* Coalition sues Aetna to stop threats and retaliation


* Court refuses to require physician supervision of nurse anesthetists


* CMS proposes Medicare fee increases for primary care, SGR fight set for fall


* CMA releases synopsis of Supreme Court health reform ruling


* Six new California ACOs announced


Dr. Michael Sexton, a past president of both MMS and the California Medical Association, has been elected vice chair of the AMA Council on Legislation.



The stroke program at Marin General Hospital has been recertified by the Joint Commission and has also received a Gold Plus award from the American heart and stroke associations. “Both designations demonstrate the efforts of our EMS team, the emergency department staff and our imaging and laboratory services to work together to maximize speed to treatment while ensuring the highest quality care,” said Dr. John Panagotacos, a neurologist and stroke specialist at the hospital. “Our aim is not only to save lives, but to maximize recovery.”


A CMA webinar on preparing for a Medicare and/or Medi-Cal audit runs from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on July 18. To register, visit The seminar is free for CMA members and their staff; cost for nonmembers is $99 per person.


CalHIPSO, a nonprofit that provides assistance with electronic medical records, is offering $150 or $250 stipends to physicians or office managers who attend one of its data analytics focus groups. The goal of the focus groups is to gain an understanding of the challenges clinical and operational leaders face in making timely, accurate operations and business decisions. The focus groups include an in-person session in Oakland on July 31 ($250 stipend), as well as webinars on July 31 and Aug. 2 ($150 stipend). To register, visit


MMS members can use the free DocBookMD mobile app to send HIPAA-compliant messages to their colleagues throughout the North Bay. The new, regional version includes medical society members in Marin, Napa, Solano, Mendocino and Lake counties. For more details, visit DocBookMD is offered at no charge to MMS members thanks to the sponsorship of MIEC.


September Williams, MD, Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Pain Medicine, Hospice & Palliative Medicine, Nutrition, 401 Pine St. #D, Mill Valley 94941, 505-2310,, Creighton Univ 1984


Sarvenaz Zand, MD, Dermatology*, 1300 S. Eliseo Dr. #207, Greenbrae 94904, 925-0550, Fax 925-9062,, Harvard Med Sch 2005


* = board certified

italics = special medical interest


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