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  Community Pulse - July 2017



Introducing The Healthy Healer: WCMS' New Services Promote Wellness and Prevent Burnout!
If any of  these statistics below resonate with you,  click here to learn about our new Healthy Healer Program, featuring   discounted, discreet, confidential therapy and coaching services to WCMS members via experienced professionals whom we've personally vetted. Take action now and get help for yourself and your colleagues. We are here to help you be your best self!
  • Fifty-one percent of physicians reported experiencing  frequent or constant feelings of burnout in 2017, up from 40 percent in 2013
  • Physician satisfaction with work-life balance worsened from 2011 to 2014, according to a 2015 Mayo Clinic Proceedings study
  • Physicians have a 10 percent to 20 percent higher divorce rate than the general U.S. population, according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Medical students have a 15 percent to 30 percent higher rate of depression compared to the general population
  • Providers who use EHRs and computerized physician order entry report lower levels of job satisfaction and higher rates of burnout compared to their counterparts who still use paper
  • Nearly 50 percent of physicians believe overwork, stress and fatigue among their colleagues significantly contributes to medical errors
Learn More about the Healthy Healer Program

If you're interested in sharing information about the Healthy Healer Program with your colleagues, please  print our flyer!
In This Issue:
Ad (left): WCMS 2016-17 Blue Books Available to Order
Introducing The Healthy Healer: WCMS' New Services Promote Wellness and Prevent Burnout
Physicians and PAs: Enjoy 2017 with WCMS!
New Members to WCMS
Project Access Receives Three-Year Funding Award from The Duke Endowment
Innovative Care in Opioid Prescribing at Pardee Hospital
Millions of dollars at stake in Mission Health-Blue Cross battle
Angel Medical Center ends baby deliveries
Governor Signs STOP Act into Law
CDC: Opioid prescriptions remain high despite recent decline
Senate Votes Down Broad Obamacare Repeal
WCMS Job Board
Physicians and PAs: Enjoy 2017 with WCMS!
Physicians and Physician Assistants: If you haven't already, please become a member! 

This is a big year for legislative advocacy. Join us to: 
* Keep legislation out of the physician-patient relationship and exam room
* Make your voice heard about patient safety issues
* Fight for patient access to high quality health care

And we're building up our Healthy Healer program. Will include: 
* Discounts on counseling/coaching
* Large event with renowned speaker, November 4
* Other resources to prevent burnout
There's a lot happening at WCMS - check out our full 2017 Strategic Plan.

Join Today and make your voice heard!
New Members to WCMS
Click here to view the newest physicians to join WCMS!   

Project Access Receives Three-Year Funding Award from The Duke Endowment 
Together with Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS), Mission Health today announced it has been awarded a $750,000 grant over three years from The Duke Endowment to support and expand WCMS' Project Access charity care program.

In 1996, WCMS and its physician leaders recognized the real need to create a model of care that ensures all of our community members have access to preventive and specialty care, and to address the ever-widening chasm of health disparity in our area. Thus Project Access was born in Buncombe County-a model that has been nationally replicated in hundreds of communities with its ability to weave together a comprehensive network of care at low or no cost for the most indigent residents. To continue reading, click here
Innovative Care in Opioid Prescribing at Pardee Hospital
Dr. David Ellis and Dr. Scott Donaldson
As the opioid crisis continues to overwhelm western North Carolina, hospitals are changing gears when it comes to prescribing opioids to patients. In an effort to learn more about what some of our local hospitals are doing, WCMS interviewed Dr. David Ellis (Chief Medical Officer) and Dr. Scott Donaldson (Chief of Staff) of Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville. 

Pardee is working to change the mentality of hospital staff about prescribing with hopes of less opioids leaving the hospital. They are also sending patients who are prescribed opioids home with a narcotic deactivation bag in an attempt to reduce the number of pills left in the home.

To read the interview with Drs. Ellis and Donaldson,  click here
Millions of dollars at stake in Mission Health-Blue Cross battle
Cable-TV customers are used to financial disputes in which a content provider threatens to withhold favorite shows or the cable company says it will block a network. The disputes always get settled, often minutes before the final deadline.

The same thing is happening in Asheville, except this time, something much more important is at stake: health care.

Mission Health System, which has a 90% market share of hospital admissions in Buncombe County, says it won't accept Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance after Oct. 4. That means thousands of Asheville-area folks with Blue Cross coverage might pay more for out-of-network service at Mission, or drive to Hendersonville's Pardee Hospital or elsewhere for Blue Cross-affiliated health care. To read the full article,  click here
Angel Medical Center ends baby deliveries
July 14 marked the last day for delivering babies at Angel Medical Center in Franklin.   Mission Health, which runs the hospital, made the decision in April to shut down labor and delivery because of a multimillion dollar budget shortfall.

"The biggest problem is labor and delivery loses between $1-$2 million per year," Mission Health President and CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus said in April.
Administrators plan a $45 million replacement hospital for Angel, but, because of costs, labor and delivery won't be included.   Generations of mothers who've delivered at Angel disagree with the decision  Click here to continue reading

Governor Signs STOP Act into Law

On Thursday, June 29 th , Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 243, the STOP Act, into law in a ceremony at the North Carolina State Capitol. The STOP Act, which stands for the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention Act, seeks to help curb epidemic levels of opioid drug addiction and overdose in North Carolina. To read the full article,  click here.

CDC: Opioid prescriptions remain high despite recent decline 
NBC Nightly News   (7/6, story 7, 1:50, Guthrie) reported, "As this country battles the opioid drug crisis, the CDC reported today that far too many people are still being prescribed those highly addictive" pain medications "and for too long. The warning came despite the fact that the number of prescriptions was down actually over a five-year period." The CDC's Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD, was shown saying, "Enough for every American to be on opioid medications around the clock for three weeks. That's just too much." To read more, click here  
Senate Votes Down Broad Obamacare Repeal 

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted narrowly on Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but hours later, Republican leaders suffered a setback when their most comprehensive plan to replace President Barack Obama's health law fell far short of the votes it needed. To read the full article, click here 

Job Board

Click here to see the latest jobs posted on our website. 


To find out how you can post a Job or Classified Ad, click here.

Learn more about the Western Carolina Medical Society on this page. We would love to hear from you. Please contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.   



Miriam Schwarz


Miriam Schwarz signature


Miriam Schwarz, MPA

WCMS CEO/Executive Director 
( 828) 274-2267 ext. 312