Helping after Maui fires

New community health dashboard

Sonoma Health magazine

SMLMA wellness resources

Residents Corner with Kaiser

Other highlights

16 for 12 membership offer

Webinars and CME

Community Bulletin Board




Medical Arts Project Series

Canning & Preserving

Thursday, Sept.14

7:00–9:00 p.m. | Rohnert Park


CMA House of Delegates

Oct. 21–22

J.W. Marriott | LA Live

President's Perspective

The good news and the bad news

The good news: the costs of some expensive medications will be dramatically dropping for your Medicare patients. The bad news: COVID-19 mask mandates have been reinstated in some areas.

First the good news. On Aug. 29, the federal government announced the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiations. This means that efforts to rein in the costs of some commonly used and overpriced drugs are underway. For the list of drugs, see the White House fact sheet.

Price changes for the initial list of medications won’t take effect until 2026. An additional 30 drugs are slated to be selected for price negotiations beginning in 2027. However, the pharmaceutical industry is challenging these negotiations and filing multiple lawsuits to derail the process. It is expected that at least one of these lawsuits will end up as a case before the Supreme Court.

Seniors who rely on expensive prescription drugs have been anxiously waiting to hear which drugs will be discounted. An example of this is Xarelto, which often costs patients up to $1,000 a month. Legislation does help — beginning in 2023, a new federal law has already shown success in keeping the cost of insulin capped at not more than $35 for a one-month supply of each Part-D covered insulin product.

The bad news. Amidst rising COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout the country, some hospital systems have reinstated mask-wearing requirements. COVID-19 cases are still at near historic lows in the United States, although the

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How to help after Maui fires

CMA/SMLMA have received numerous requests from physicians asking how they can help. Our colleagues at the Hawaii Medical Association have published a dedicated web page that is regularly updated with news, resources, and volunteer/donation opportunities.


Sonoma County health dashboard now live

The new Sonoma County Community Health Dashboard provides community health data to highlight changing health needs and health equity concerns in Sonoma County following the 2017-2019 fires and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as future events and conditions. The dashboard currently features data from 2016 to the present. Goals of launching the publicly accessible site include:

  • Monitor changing health needs and impacts of disasters.
  • Understand disproportional access to health and well-being resources.
  • Increase accessibility of data to inform awareness and action.
  • Align with State community health assessment requirements.

The dashboard may be accessed on the Sonoma County Department of Health Services home page or via a direct link. Check out a myriad of health categories and data!


Sonoma Health magazine needs YOUR support

SMLMA is collaborating with the publishers of The Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine to develop the 2024 issue of Sonoma Health magazine. This valuable consumer-oriented magazine offers a venue for local physician authors to reach both patients and the general public — and resonates with SMLMA’s mission of physician engagement and leadership shaping positive change in our diverse communities.


Articles are being written by both physicians and freelance journalists. Editors are currently looking for physicians with the following areas of expertise to either write or be interviewed for upcoming stories:

  • Physician who has experienced first-hand the processes of a sleep clinic as a patient.
  • Nutritionist or dietician who can speak to the latest diet trends, including Noom, GoLo and the proliferation of Ozempic use.
  • Clinicians with experience using pain relief modalities such as prolotherapy, radio frequency ablation, TENS, and others.
  • Health professional willing to delineate the benefits of Dry January.

Have another idea for an article? If you’re interested in volunteering to write an article, please email Sonoma Health Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Russell at

NOTE: To continue publishing, Sonoma Health needs a strong measure of participation and advertising revenue from a multitude of healthcare providers. Please consider supporting the magazine with your advertising budget. To inquire about advertising and marketing opportunities, contact Sonoma Health Publisher Steve Childs at 707-521-5284 or


In addition to its healthcare professional contributors, Sonoma Health has a robust Medical Advisory Board, primarily comprised of SMLMA-member physicians, who will vet all medical content. We thank those serving on the 2023-2024 board:

  • CHAIR: Allan Bernstein, MD
  • Dierdre Bernard-Pearl, MD
  • James DeVore, MD
  • Rachel Friedman, MD
  • Gary Green, MD, FIDSA
  • Brien Seeley, MD
  • Jeffrey Sugarman, MD, PhD
  • Maria Petrick, MD, FACAAI-FAAAI
  • Victor Wong, MD

Sonoma Health will be distributed in December 2023 — and, with your help, it will continue informing readers for years to come. To view a previous issue, visit


Expanded physician wellness resources

To help you successfully navigate your own wellness practice, SMLMA is addressing how physicians can best care for themselves while they care for others. We hope you find the FREE resources listed below helpful on your wellness journey.

Please call SMLMA at 707-525-4375 for a referral if needed, or just to chat with us.

A new webinar from the Cooperative of American Physicians, Avoiding and Alleviating the Effects of Physician Burnout, is now available on demand.


September Residents Corner

SMLMA is pleased to present RESIDENTS CORNER, a News Briefs section that features articles written by Residents in local Family Medicine Residency programs. We are rotating the space between Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Sutter Health — publishing articles* written by each program’s Residents. Our goal is to provide a forum for Residents to share their work, research, and ideas with others in the medical community.

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency

This dynamic program builds on Kaiser Permanente’s 70-year commitment to graduate medical education and the long heritage of Santa Rosa as a model for full-scope Family Medicine practice and education. For more information about KP’s program, visit the website or contact Shannon McDermott at

Click on the titles to read or download the articles.

Motherhood in Medicine: A Rebellious Act? – Simone Easterbrook, Resident PGY3, writes about the challenges of managing motherhood and a medical career.

Supporting the Hospital Inpatient Services Modernization Act – Brian Gambardella, Resident PGY3, presents the case for hospital-at-home care through emerging Hospital At Home (HAH) programs.

*Articles have been reviewed by program faculty and are intended as informational only. Publication of an article does not represent endorsement or approval by the Sonoma-Mendocino-Lake Medical Association.

Support SB 598 to reform prior authorization

The California Medical Association urges you to take action on SB 598 to enact crucial prior authorization changes. This bill will reform the prior authorization system by providing a one-year prior authorization exemption for providers who consistently prescribe medically necessary care and requiring insurance reviewers to have the same medical expertise as the treating provider. Contact your legislator TODAY to share your support for SB 598.


Canning & preserving with Dr. Mariah Hansen

The Medical Arts Project of Sonoma (MAPS) resumes in September with a hands-on workshop led by Dr. Mariah Hansen, who uses canning as an essential strategy for de-stressing from work and connecting with her creative side. Join us to demystify the process of canning and learn about utilizing the amazing harvest of fruits and vegetables throughout Sonoma County. Attendees will can one sweet and one savory jam.

Thursday, Sept. 14 • 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Private residence in Rohnert Park (directions provided with registration)


Visit the MAPS website for workshop details and to register.

General questions:

SMLMA is pleased to sponsor this PHYSICIAN WELLNESS INITIATIVE, a collaboration between Sutter Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency and Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency, with sessions open to all community physicians, Residents, and faculty of the residency programs.



Do you love teaching? Are you a physician looking for an opportunity to give back to your community? If the answers are yes, Touro University needs you! Consider signing up to volunteer precept Touro osteopathic medical students. The Student-Run Free Clinic (SRFC) provides free, compassionate, quality heath services to Vallejo and surrounding communities every Thursday from 4:00–8:00 p.m. in Vallejo. All physician preceptors are credentialed as adjunct faculty at Touro University and have malpractice coverage for their work at the SRFC.

For more information, see the attached flier or reach out to Dr. Christina Kinnevey at


The Jewish Community Free Clinic provides free healthcare to those in need, regardless of religious affiliation, immigration status, or ability to pay. Our team is made up of almost 100 volunteers — medical providers, nurses, translators, front desk personnel, and more. If you are looking to share your kindness, have time for one shift per month, are just starting your career, are now retired or close to retirement, please consider being part of our volunteer team. 

Visit our website to find out more information about JCFC services, submit a volunteer application, or email us at to set up an appointment.


California Medical Association

Virtual Grand Rounds: New Communicable Disease Guidance for Schools

CMA designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023 • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

New Federal Loan Forgiveness for CA and TX Physicians – Everything Physicians and Hospitals Need to Know

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023 • 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

Sutter Health

The Sutter Health Virtual Grand Rounds is a Continuing Education (CE) webinar series hosted by Sutter Health Network providers for all medical professionals across Northern California. Interactive Q&A session takes place with each live event. Learn about the series here.

Sepsis Has Three S's: Suspicion, Symptoms, and Solutions

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023 • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

Sleep Solutions for Healthcare Practitioners

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023 • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

Voiding Dysfunction in Men: Beyond BPH

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE

Cardiovascular Diseases in Women

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 • 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER HERE


16 months of membership for the price of 12

Starting in September 2023, new medical organizations or individuals who join SMLMA/CMA and pay in full for the coming year will receive the remaining months of 2023 for FREE.

Join nearly 50,000 physicians making a direct impact on the practice of medicine and the health of California.

Visit or call SMLMA at 707-525-4375 to unlock your benefits today!

Congratulations, new SMLMA members!

We look forward to supporting you and your practice.

Kathryn Erickson-Ridout, MD


Chad Krilich, MD

Family Medicine

Cameron MacInnis, MD

Family Medicine

Samuel Ridout, MD


Edward Wang, MD

Emergency Medicine

Celebrating SMLMA membership

Please join us in thanking our 10-YEAR MEMBERS for their service and dedication to the practice of medicine, their colleagues, and our community. A round of applause for these exceptional physicians!

Renee Armstrong, MD

Family Medicine

Deidre Bass, DO


Michael Caton, MD


Indranushi Chaliha, MD


Jeannette Currie, MD

Family Medicine

Marlon Decastro, MD

Internal Medicine

Michelle DeSanto, DO

Family Medicine

Michael Gerstein, MD

Emergency Medicine

Patricia Hiserote, DO

Family Medicine

Douglas Jicha, MD

Vascular Surgery

Melanie Kates, MD

Internal Medicine

Robert Martinez, MD

Family Medicine

Naomi McAuliffe, DO

Family Medicine

Mondhipa Ratnarathorn, MD


Kristina Rodriguez, MD

Family Medicine

Swati Singh, MD


Leo Smith, MD

Family Medicine

David Soto, MD


Shannon Vargas, MD


Jenny Vesona, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Caroline Yu, MD

Diagnostic Radiology

Stay ahead of HR challenges

In the latest publication from the Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP), you will find guidance for the top HR issues impacting medical practices. Compiled from the most frequently asked questions by our physician members, this FREE guide will help you streamline your HR processes and manage the staff who contribute to your practice’s success and patient care.

Request your FREE copy

To learn more about becoming a CAP member:

Contact Dorine Leong at 650-543-2183 or 

Request an Instant Quote  and see how much you can save on medical malpractice coverage.