Current Bulletin

  • Dr. David S. Johnson Receives 2018 E. Harvey Estes Physician Community Service Award

    John L. Reynolds, MD (left) presents David S. Johnson, MD, with the E. Harvey Estes Physician Community Service Award.

    David S. Johnson, MD, a pediatrician with Burlington Pediatrics for 38 years and a longstanding North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member, received this year’s E. Harvey Estes Physician Community Service Award at the NCMS’ Annual Business meeting on Friday, Oct. 19.

    This award recognizes physicians whose service to their community is exemplary and reflects most positively on the medical profession.

    Dr. Johnson has not only committed himself as a physician to the health and welfare of his patients, he also has worked tirelessly for his community. His business acumen has served his practice, Burlington Pediatrics and Alamance County well. A member of the Alamance Chamber of Commerce for many years, he was elected President in 2009 and continues to take part in initiatives to recruit high quality businesses to the area. He is active in the Alamance County Economic Development Foundation helping to stimulate economic growth. He is a great ambassador for Burlington Pediatrics, as well as an effective advocate for the interests of children in Alamance County and the Triad region. On many levels, he appreciates the role of economic stability in improving the lives of children.

    As his letter of nomination noted: “With a booming voice and towering 6’ 5” figure, he seems quite intimidating at first glance. But appearances can be deceiving. To those who know him, he is a gentle giant— compassionate, sensitive and trustworthy. To friends, he keeps you on your toes with his razor sharp wit while putting you at ease with his self-deprecating sense of humor. To opponents, he is formidable— confident and shrewd, with an impressive fund of knowledge. To children— who are smart enough to see right through him, they recognize David as one of their own, with an ageless mischievous streak. David embodies humanity in medicine.”

    Congratulations Dr. Johnson!

  • 2018 T. Reginald Harris Award Goes to Dr. Karen Smith

    Congratulations to Karen Smith, MD, of Raeford who was awarded The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence’s (CCME) 2018 Harris Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the improvement of health care quality and service to the medical community. Dr. Smith has shown dedication to her community through her private practice and her involvement in health care reform initiatives, treatment of substance abuse disorders and onsite education experience.

    She has been an active member of the Hoke County community for 26 years as a family physician in the rural community of Raeford. Over 13 years she has been an active participant on the Division of Medical Assistance Advisory Board and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. Recognizing that the needs of her patient population reached beyond the exam room, Dr. Smith became involved with the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and has been a member since 1990. She also is active with the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians (NCAFP).

    NCMS Past President John Mangum, MD, presented Dr. Smith with the award on behalf of the CCME at the NCMS’ LEAD Health Care Conference held in Raleigh on Friday, Oct. 19.

    The Harris Memorial Award was established twenty years ago to honor the life and memory of one of CCME’s founding members, T. Reginald Harris, MD. Dr. Harris passed away in 1999 and was well-known for his decades of service to the medical community through the North Carolina Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and many other professional, civic, and community activities.

  • Congratulations to Leadership College Class of 2018

    Tadhg O’Gara, MD, presents his MEDTalk on mindfulness in the office.

    The Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership’s (KIPL) Leadership College class of 2018 received their certificates of completion for the year-long program at the LEADership Dinner on Friday, Oct. 19, the culminating event of the North Carolina Medical Society’s (NCMS) LEAD Health Care Conference in Raleigh. The 17 graduating scholars joined the growing ranks of KIPL alumni, which include many prominent health system and practice leaders in North Carolina.

    Throughout the LEAD conference, the graduating scholars each presented 10-minute MEDTalks, summing up their Leadership College research projects. These talks, modeled on TEDTalks, were a highlight of the conference for many attendees, offering brief overviews of timely topics including integrating medical and dental care in a rural pediatric practice; transportation as a social determinant of health; postpartum depression screening at well-child visits; and the state of medical marijuana, among many others. Watch the NCMS website for videos of each of the MEDTalk presentations.

    Scholars in the incoming Leadership College Class of 2019 kicked off their year of learning and also attended the LEAD Health Care Conference. The Class of 2019 includes 24 scholars making it one of the largest in the 16-year history of the Leadership College.

    Congratulations to the 2018 graduates and the incoming scholars!

  • Wellness Summit Inspires Health Care Leaders

    More than 60 health system leaders and other stakeholders gathered in Raleigh on Oct. 17-18 for the Physician Wellness Summit, hoped to be the first in ongoing annual summits on issues surrounding physician wellness. National and local experts shared insights and activities to address topics such as what regulatory agencies like the NC Medical Board can do to address physician wellness; how practices and health systems can create an organizational structure that fosters wellness and why ensuring physicians and PAs are healthy and feel professionally fulfilled is good for patients and the bottom line.

    Many who attended the Summit hold decision-making roles in their organizations. The goal of the Summit was to raise awareness among these leaders and prompt action to address the serious challenges facing physicians and PAs who practice medicine in today’s health care environment.

    “The Physician Wellness Summit [addresses] an overdue topic,” remarked Roger Austin, MD of Lake Norman Pulmonary & Sleep in Mooresville.

    The Summit was organized by the North Carolina Consortium for Physician Resilience and Retention, of which the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) is a founding member.

  • LEAD Health Care Conference Highlights

    If you did not join us for the LEAD Health Care Conference this year in Raleigh, we’re sorry you missed the education, inspiration and fun. Just be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s conference – Oct. 3-4, 2019 in Raleigh. For more photos, be sure to check out our Facebook page!

    To illustrate why you won’t want to miss next year’s gathering, here are a few highlights from this year’s conference.

    • The PAC Breakfast featured legislators (l-r) Rep. Nelson Dollar, Rep. Josh Dobson, Rep. Verla Insko, and Sen. Mike Woodard. Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, (not pictured here) moderated the panel.

      The PAC breakfast brought together five North Carolina legislators from both sides of the aisle to discuss current legislative issues that impacts health care. Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, (R-Pitt) moderated the conversation with his colleagues, Rep. Josh Dobson (R-Avery, McDowell, Mitchell); Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake); Rep. Verla Insko (D-Orange) and Sen. Mike Woodard (D-Caswell, Durham, Person). The group touched on the opioid crisis, health care costs, the State Health Plan and Medicaid transformation.

    “The panel discussion provided great insight into the current medical legislative issues, but even more about the insight and perspectives of the assembly members,” commented William Ferrell, MD.

    • Opening keynote speaker Julie Ann Freischlag, MD, CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine, offered her thoughts on “Breakthrough to Brave.” She inspired the crowd with stories of her personal challenges as a surgeon, wife, mother and health care system leader as well as insights on how she strives to empower others to discover their strengths and find balance in the challenging world of health care.
    • Conference participants contributed 326 pounds of non-perishable food items to the InterFaith Food Shuttle.
    • After some great food from the Angus Barn, LEAD attendees took to the dance floor.

      LEAD offered lots of time to mingle and dance with colleagues at the Angus Barn Pavilion on Thursday evening and at the Friday night LEADership Dinner.

    • At the conclusion of the Annual Business meeting, the NCMS Board of Directors held an Open Forum during which several members brought issues and ideas to their attention. The Board is reviewing the suggestions and will report back. Watch the Bulletin and your email for updates.
    • Immediate Past President of the AMA, David Barbe, MD, updated members at the Annual Business Meeting about the AMA’s current initiatives.
    • This year, nearly 40 students and residents representing medical schools throughout the state competed in the NCMS’ Annual Scientific Poster session. Thank you to the judges – Darlyne Menscer, MD; Marian Cranford, PA-C; Neelima Kamineni, MD; and Khalil Tanas, MD. Special thanks to poster competition chair, Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS. Congratulations to the winners listed below!

    The Thursday evening event at the Angus Barn Pavilion featured entertainment by The Speculations, a talented group of health care practitioners with a passion for classic rock.

    Resident Vignettes:

    1. Vahini Chundi, MD, Cone, “Trench Fever Bacteria as a Cause of Culture Negative Endocarditis”
    2. Michael Gergel, DO, Southeastern Regional, “An Atypical Presentation of HELLP Syndrome in the 2nd
    3. Lezau Wolf, DO, MHS, Harnett Health, “Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES).”

    Student Vignettes:

    1. Carissa Sedlacek, MS, Campbell University, “From Paresis to Full Functional Recovery: An Off-Label Use of Intravenous Immunoglobulins with Methylprednisolone to Treat Neuralgic Amyotrophy.”
    2. Katherine Gushanas, Campbell University, “Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type with Autonomic Dysfunction and Tryptase Excess: A Case Report.”
    3. Bradley Dorius, Campbell University, “A Review of Postmenopausal Uterine Cyst Formation and Diagnostic Procedures.”

    Residents and students shared their clinical experiences and research during the Scientific Poster Session.

    Student Research:

    1. Dylan Flood, Brody School of Medicine, “Prevalence and Causation of Stunting in the Palajunoj Valley, Guatemala.”
    2. Mauricio Barretto, UNC School of Medicine, “Investigation of Cytokines as a Biomarker for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease Undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.”
    3. Whitney Green, Brody School of Medicine, “Electronic Cigarette Awareness, Use, Perception and the Effects of a School Based Intervention in Urban North Carolina.”


    Related Links:

     Dr. Timothy J. Reeder Sworn In As NCMS’ 165th President

    2018 T. Reginald Harris Award Goes to Dr. Karen Smith

    Dr. David S. Johnson Receives 2018 E. Harvey Estes Physician Community Service Award

    Your NCMS Election Results


    Mark your calendar now – Oct. 3-4, 2019 – to join us for the 2nd Annual LEAD Health Care Conference.

  • The CSRS Has Moved to a New Platform

    The state’s Controlled Substance Reporting System (CSRS), designed to help ensure patients are not abusing controlled substances, changed to a different software system last month. This means you will need to transfer your account to the new system. On the new platform, each user account must have a unique email address.

    The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has sent multiple emails beginning in July, alerting clinicians to the change and explaining how to log on to the new platform. Please check your inbox for these emails or view the information here.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CSRS support directly at 855-962-4767 or Technical assistance is available 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday. Should you have any policy questions, you may contact CSRS by email at

  • This is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Oct 21-27

    The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is helping to get the word out this week about lead poisoning. Two flyers are available – in English and Spanish – to print off and distribute to your patients. The message is to:

    • Get the facts.
    • Get a pre ’78 home tested for lead paint.
    • Get kids under age 6 tested.
    • Use NC certified contractors.

    Access the flyers in English and in Spanish.

    For questions and more information call 919-707-5950 or visit the NCDHHS website dealing with lead poisoning.

  • Opening for NCDHHS Division of Public Health Director

    The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) recently posted an opening for the position of Director of the Division of Public Health. The director “assists with strategically developing and implementing state-wide public policy that promotes comprehensive health and shapes prevention methods, interventions, surveillance, and systems of care in service to all North Carolinians.”

    Learn more about the position, qualifications and how to apply.

  • MAHEC and UNC Celebrate New Health Center Building

    The Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill celebrated the construction of a new academic health center building on MAHEC’s Biltmore campus on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

    The UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC building supports an innovative educational partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and MAHEC and will house UNC School of Medicine’s Asheville campus; a Master of Public Health program led by UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; MAHEC’s psychiatry residency program and psychiatry outpatient care; and health care research, education and community engagement initiatives at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

    UNC-Chapel Hill and MAHEC have a shared commitment to address health care workforce shortages in North Carolina. All 16 Western North Carolina counties are considered primary care health professional shortage areas, or areas with too few providers to meet the health care needs of the population. By training health care professionals in Western North Carolina, and placing students in long-term internships across the region, UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC encourages more health providers to practice in Western North Carolina.

    The establishment of UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC was made possible by the people of North Carolina through 2015 and 2016 state appropriations totaling $8 million in nonrecurring funds for building construction and $18.6 million in recurring funds to support the development of UNC-Chapel Hill’s academic programs to train and expand the health care workforce in medically underserved Western North Carolina.

    The three-story 37,000-square-foot building will be completed in spring 2019 and includes classrooms and incubator spaces that will bring together family medicine clinicians, pharmacists, public health professionals, researchers, residents, students, UNC-Chapel Hill faculty, and community health partners.

  • In the News