MMS Quarterly Spring 2021

Page 1

Volume 25, Number 1

President, Andrew Watson, M.D., and the 2021 Board of Directors

Member Spotlight: Claudette Jones Shephard, M.D.


WHEN THE PROBLEM IS PAIN, WE’RE HERE TO HELP. Pinpointing and treating the source of your pain Providing advanced interventional treatments Our ambulatory surgery center, alongside our physician practice and physical therapy team, provides compassionate, comprehensive, and state-of-the art care for patients suffering from chronic pain.

901-747-0040 • 55 Humphreys Center Dr., Ste. 200 • Memphis, TN 38120 7900 Airways Blvd., Ste. A6 • Southaven, MS 38671

COMPREHENSIVE CARE FOR YOUR PAIN. Medical Director: Moacir Schnapp, MD Pain Clinic Associates PLLC d/b/a Mays & Schnapp Neurospine and Pain is a licensed pain management clinic. License #PLLC0000000690

Volume 25, Number 1


The mission of the Memphis Medical Society is to unite the physicians of Memphis and Shelby County into an organization to promote the highest quality of medical practice and the health of our citizens.

Editorial Thomas C. Gettelfinger, M.D. Managing Editor Allison Cook 2021 Board of Directors President Andrew Watson, M.D. Immediate Past President Danielle Hassel, M.D. President-Elect Christopher M. Pokabla, M.D. Vice President Lisa Usdan Secretary Dale Criner, M.D. Treasurer David L. Cannon, M.D. Members-at-Large James Beaty, M.D. Christopher Jackson, M.D. Walter Rayford, PhD, M.D., MBA Raymond R. Walker, M.D. James Wang, M.D. Paul Tackett, M.D. Perisco Wofford, M.D. Catherine Womack, M.D. Melanie Woodall, M.D Ex-Officio Board Members LaTonya Washington, M.D., President of Bluff City Medical Society

In this issue Editorial


President’s Letter


Hospital Updates


Society News


Member Spotlight: Dr. Throckmorton


Feature: Gala & 2021 Board of Directors


In Practice


Finance Q&A


Legislative Update




The Memphis Medical Society 1067 Cresthaven Road Memphis, TN 38119 901-761-0200 CEO/Executive Vice President, Clint Cummins, MHA Director, Communications & Marketing, Allison Cook Finance Director, Leah Lumm Physician Liaison, Cara Azhar Director, MedTemps, Cailyn Bautista Lillard MedTemps Administrative Coordinator, Katie Yaun MedTemps HR Coordinator, Tripp Knight





Anatomy of a Bill

I no longer believe what I used to believe



Transparency is the solution. Just make prices transparent and competition will solve the cost issue. For doctors, for hospitals for medicines. I’ve looked into this lately, partly at the behest of a friend who recently had a TIA. I’m not accustomed to deciphering the Explanation of Benefits form, EOB, with its screaming all caps THIS IS NOT A BILL, not for my patients, not for me personally. But my friend was surprised, maybe better to say, was aghast, at the submitted charges, and asked me to interpret the EOB. His TIA hospital workup discovered a Patent Foreamen Ovale, PFO; cerebral arterial studies were normal. A loop recorder was subsequently placed, ruling out Atrial Fib. With the PFO the only cause seeming to account his TIA, closure was recommended. Hospital stay 3 days for TIA: Placement Loop recorder, outpatient: Closure PFO, trans venous, outpatient: Total hospital and outpatient charges:

$30,282.56. $36,854.07 $55,141.70 $122,278.33

The thoroughness of his workup, the skills of the neurologists, cardiologists and interventionists, were outstanding. And the closure reduced his risk of another TIA or stroke from 5.4% with medical treatment only, to 1.8% with closure. The treatment was successful, my friend happy. And there was no out-of-pocket cost. Medicare and his supplement paid it all. American medical care at its best. I would however doubt that many health care systems around the world would offer that treatment to an 80 year old. Nor at that expense. But for true costs, the EOB was rather opaque. I called the secondary insurance company office. Medicare paid some charges, especially the procedures, at 100%, discounting the others. How the charges and coverage was determined is between Medicare and the Hospital So what could I tell the patient? Who got paid, how much and how was it determined? It’s too complicated for me. Transparency? It’s an illusion. The Wall Street Journal reported March 23, 2021, that hospitals were hiding prices on the web. New disclosure rules require hospitals to post sticker prices, cash prices for the uninsured and the insurers’ price. We shall see...Right now you just have to take it on faith. I do know my friend got wonderful care. Thomas C. Gettelfinger, M.D. I repeat, American medicine at its best. 3


President’s Letter

With the first quarter of 2021 behind us, everyone is growing ever more eager to find our way back to “normal”. We’ve broken out of winter into warmer days and more of the population is either already COVID-19 vaccinated or in process. Both those realities definitively yield a sunnier outlook for the balance of 2021. Together, we can make 2021 even brighter for our community. The Memphis Medical Society found itself in an unprecedented position in the midst of the unexpected 2020 pandemic. Rising to the challenge, MMS actively participated in initiating and assisting efforts across multiple agencies and community groups resourcing and redirecting needed pandemic supplies, including PPE and vaccinations. After a year of working more closely across community-wide efforts by non-profits, local and state government agencies, first responders, community clinics, and others, MMS is better situated to be of greater relevance, influence, and help in the community. We are now in an improved position to help make more substantial progress in a number of areas. The value of this position cannot be highlighted too strongly and the opportunities it affords absolutely should not be missed. It is with that in mind that I am delighted to share MMS’s first Strategic Plan in quite some time. We are called both by our profession and by our MMS membership to further assist our community in confronting and rebounding from the pandemic, both as we continue our existing efforts and as we continue to identify more ways to help our neighbors emerge safely back into a more active lifestyle. It’s also time to learn from this experience: assess systems and functions for better future results, identify and engage in additional leadership opportunities and accept leadership positions in community groups that directly impact community health, and optimize improved technology and strategies to better connect in our community. Our ability to have an impactful community presence relies on our resources: human and financial. In 2021, increasing MMS membership to 1,100 dues-paying members will strengthen our community-wide presence and help to prioritize the recruitment of diverse future MMS leaders. Reaching this goal also increases West Tennessee representation in the TMA at its board level, giving our concerns and objectives more focal prominence with TMA and lawmakers across the state. Financially, our objective is to meet operating expenses while holding, at minimum, 12 months of operating expenses in reserves. We will be exploring a number of varied fundraising methods and financial vehicles to accomplish this goal which will give greater flexibility to the MMS supporting its purpose and community.


At the core of MMS’s purpose is the creation of an inclusive medical community that supports and advocates for physicians, their practices, and their patients. While there are a multitude of ways to accomplish this purpose, we can all agree that helping Memphis, Shelby County, and West Tennessee emerge stronger than expected from the last year and better prepared for our shared future is in all our best interests. One avenue to this end is working with the TN Department of Health introducing Project Access in Memphis and West Tennessee. If you have been following the progress of this program in Hamilton County, for example, you know that since 2004 over 1,100 health care providers and area hospitals have coordinated and offered over $200 million in donated health care to over 20,000 low-income individuals without insurance or access to it. Project Access is on the horizon here and we all hope it will be a resounding success. On behalf of the board as well as myself, personally, I would sincerely like to extend our thanks to Clint Cummins for all his carefully and artfully executed work and skilled coordination of the Society’s ongoing efforts. 2021 marks Clint’s fifth year anniversary as the MMS’s CEO and Executive Vice President. Recently speaking with Clint, he mentioned being happy, but not content, with our progress thus far, as there is still so much that needs our attention and efforts. I couldn’t agree more with his assessment and look forward to seeing how Clint and the MMS staff assist the Society, TMA, and our community to reach our collective goals. This year has already started busy, and the pace will be increasing. I respectfully ask for your active support, engaged interest, and dedicated participation for the benefit of our families, our patients, and our community.

Andrew Watson, M.D.

President, Memphis Medical Society 2021




WATCHMAN FLX offers new hope for more patients with AFib More than 90% of blood clots that cause stroke in AFib originate in the left atrial appendage. Bloodthinning medications help reduce the risk of stroke but also increase the risk of bleeding. The first-generation WATCHMAN device, now nearly 15 years old, is an implantable device to close off the appendage. The second-generation WATCHMAN FLX provides an even better option for more patients with non-valvular AFib. In January, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) became the first provider in the region to use WATCHMAN FLX. Mehul Patel, MD, director of Structural Heart Disease and Hybrid Lab with MLH, along with Sutherland Cardiology Clinic’s medical team, performed the procedure. Patel, who has implanted more than 400 WATCHMAN devices, said the FLX offers “better safety, better conformability and better sealing” meaning more patients with various anatomies are eligible. In a minimally invasive procedure, the WATCHMAN device is implanted through a small needle puncture in the groin area and catheter guided into the patient’s heart. The umbrella-like device, about the size of a quarter, seals off the left atrial appendage to prevent stroke. With a one-night hospital stay, some suitable patients go home on the same day. Within 45 days, most patients are able to stop blood-thinning medications. Focused on the future of medicine, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is committed to providing patients the latest cutting-edge technology to help improve their lives.

Baptist Cancer Center is one of the only centers within a 3-4-hour radius to offer intraoperative radiation therapy for early-stage breast cancer patients. The procedure, called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), delivers a concentrated dose of radiation during surgery to remove a tumor in the breast, reducing the need for weeks of breast cancer radiation. . Dr. Alyssa Throckmorton, breast surgeon and medical director for Baptist’s multidisciplinary breast cancer program, said IORT helps reduce side effects, such as skin changes from whole breast radiation or risk of infection from partial breast radiation devices. IORT also eliminates the need for patients to make multiple trips to the hospital for weeks of radiation treatment. “Patients can have their breast cancer removed, receive a single dose of radiation and be finished with all their local therapy in a single setting,” said Throckmorton. Throckmorton performed three of the first four IORT procedures at Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women, and Dr. Lindi Vanderwalde performed the other procedure. In all cases, Dr. Angela Wortham, radiation oncologist, delivered the radiation once the area was prepped by the surgeon.




Regional One Health and West Cancer Center partner to provide cancer care at Midtown location Now called Regional One Health Cancer Center, the facility offers an exceptional level of care for cancer and benign blood disorders from an experienced team of medical, surgical and gynecological oncologists. Regional One Health and West Cancer Center and Research Institute have partnered to bring exciting changes to the Midtown cancer center. The West Cancer Center Midtown location has transitioned to a hospital outpatient department of Regional One Health. The new Regional One Health Cancer Center, located at 1588 Union Avenue, will continue to provide the exceptional level of care the patients and community have experienced at this location under West Cancer Center. Patients at this location will continue to see the same providers through an agreement between Regional One Health and West Cancer Center. “The launch of the Regional One Health Cancer Center marks the culmination of several months of work to ensure continued access to high quality oncology services in the midtown area,” said Reginald Coopwood, MD, president and CEO of Regional One Health. “Like Regional One Health, West Cancer Center has a long tradition of providing compassionate care and exceptional services to patients. Their expertise is invaluable to us, and we are proud to partner with them to provide care to individuals in this community faced with cancer.” West Cancer Center’s CEO, Mitch Graves, stated, ”West is proud to join Regional One Health in expanding cancer care in the core of our community. It is nice to enter into a relationship where both entities strive to exceed in clinical excellence, patient centric care and access.”

Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett received an “A” grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is, a national distinction recognizing the hospital’s achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care. “This A-rating from The Leapfrog Group is a testament to the exceptional care being provided at our hospital,” said Chris Locke, Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett CEO. “Our continued excellence is made possible by our talented and dedicated physicians and staff. Each member of the Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett team plays a key role in our ability to provide award-winning medical services in a safe and caring environment.” “An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that your community should be proud of,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for hospitals, but Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett shows us it is possible to keep a laser focus on patients and their safety, no matter what it takes.” Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,700 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent. 7


Society Updates

Project Access

MMS is leading the expansion of charity care in west Tennessee MMS and Memphis Medical Foundation have officially launched Project Access West Tennessee. The Society’s 501c3 sister organization, Memphis Medical Foundation, has received a grant from the State of Tennessee to launch Project Access West Tennessee. Project Access exists to help uninsured individuals get the health care they need by linking local physicians, hospitals, and local health clinics that agree to donate their services to the individuals and families in need of health care services. Project Access already exists in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Tri-Cities. The State of Tennessee wanted to expand the program to the west, and MMS was perceived as a natural partner due to three of the four existing programs being operated by metro medical societies. “We are excited to work with existing community stakeholders, particularly our friends at Church Health, to expand access to care for uninsured residents of West Tennessee,” said Clint Cummins, MMS CEO. He went on to say, “If each provider in our community can give a very small amount of time to caring for this population, it will go a long way to improving our community’s health.” For patients, Project Access serves as a resource for receiving the specialty care needed and improving overall health. For the provider, Project Access provides comprehensive care coordination, allowing for efficient uses of the provider’s time and offering assurance that complex patient cases will receive continued referrals to appropriate care. Soon, an easy signup will be offered to providers who wish to donate services, from a simple consultation to more complex needs such as surgery appointments and imaging.



Member Updates

New Editor-in-Chief Named

Quin Throckmorton, M.D. will lead AAOS education website The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recently announced Campbell Clinic’s Dr. Thomas W. (Quin) Throckmorton, MD, FAAOS, as the editor-in-chief designee of, the AAOS’ patient education website. A leading online resource for orthopaedic information, OrthoInfo has more than two million monthly visitors and offers patients credible resources to help them better understand musculoskeletal conditions and make informed decisions about their health. The site features more than 400 articles and videos on bone and joint conditions, treatments, and injury prevention, many of which are also available in Spanish. “Dr. Throckmorton brings his vision and experience to OrthoInfo at an exciting time,” says Dr. Stuart J. Fisher, MD, FAAOS, previous OrthoInfo editor-in-chief. “As more people seek and access medical information on their mobile devices than ever before, OrthoInfo has the opportunity to evolve further into digital space and reach a younger generation of doctors and patients with orthopaedic information they can trust. Dr. Throckmorton is uniquely qualified through his background as an Academy leader, surgeon, and editor to carry OrthoInfo into the future.” Dr. Throckmorton believes that patient education is an integral part of providing the highest quality of musculoskeletal care and anticipates success as new innovations enhance the utility of this public resource. “OrthoInfo is a fantastic resource,” Dr. Throckmorton said. “Moving forward, I am excited to look into ways of packaging our information into the formats that are best digested by our younger patients,” says Dr. Throckmorton. “They communicate almost exclusively through social media platforms. How to make us more accessible to our patients in that world is something I’m really interested in exploring.” Dr. Throckmorton graduated from Vanderbilt University. He went on to attend medical school at the University of Iowa. He then completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Dr. Throckmorton also completed a fellowship in shoulder and elbow surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and spent a year in practice in Antioch, California before joining Campbell Clinic in 2009. Today, his practice encompasses shoulder and elbow operations. Dr. Throckmorton previously served as the residency program director at Campbell Clinic for more than seven years. He has also contributed significantly to Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics textbooks. As editor-in-chief of OrthoInfo, Dr. Throckmorton is a member of the AAOS’ Communications Committee. He has previously served on the AAOS Board of Directors and the AAOS Central Instructional Course Committee. He was assistant editor for the AAOS Instructional Course Lectures textbook and also spent one year as copy editor. 9


Member Benefits

Scan with your smart phone’s camera to join

Join us at a new member discount! Join your physician colleagues in Shelby County in this professional organization dedicated to supporting, advocating and enriching the lives of physicians at home and in practice.

Join today, and you’ll soon learn the benefits of organized medicine. WE ARE STRONGER TOGETHER 10


• Wellness programs to reduce burnout and more YOUR PRACTICE

• Staffing and recruiting services YOUR COMMUNITY

• Networking for direct referrals

2021 President’s Gala


President’s Gala

Until next year! Although we were not able to hold our 2021 President’s Gala due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still want to highlight our distinguished members. You can view videos that we’ve created on our web site by scanning this code with your smartphone’s camera. You’ll find a discussion with outgoing President, Danielle Hassel, M.D., and incoming President, Andrew Watson, M.D. They discuss what a unique year everyone has endured due to COVID-19, and how the positive lessons learned will benefit us in the future. You will also find a video celebrating the physicians who marked 50 years in practice. What a truly remarkable accomplishment, and we look forward to celebrating them in person in 2022. We’ve also compiled a video of physicians who passed in 2021. If you know of someone we missed, please email Allison at We keep the friends and families of these physicians in our thoughts. And, we hear from Scott Morris, M.D., with Church Health. Memphis Medical Society’s continued relationship with Church Health is a treasured one that will continue to benefit the entire Memphis community. We would be remiss if we did not also thank our sponsors, even more this year than in the past. Thank you for continuing your support of our mission and our members through this unique and challenging year. Special thanks to First Horizon Medical Private Banking for their long-standing support. As Presenting Sponsor of our President’s Gala, we look forward to celebrating and thanking you in person in 2022!

2022 President’s Gala Januar y 29, 2022 FedEx Event Center We will see you there! 11

I Board of Directors Q2021 Feature

Physicians leading healthcare in Shelby County.

Not pictured: Paul Tackett, M.D., Persico Wofford, M.D.

Andrew Watson, MD President

Danielle Hassel, MD Past President

David Cannon, MD Treasurer

Chris Pokabla, MD President-Elect

Lisa Usdan, MD Vice President

Dale Criner, MD Secretary

12 6


James Beaty, MD Member-at-Large

Christopher Jackson, MD

Andreana Smith, Mid-South MGMA President

Raymond Walker, MD


LaTonya Washington, MD

Catherine Womack, MD

Bluff City Medical Society President




Walter Rayford, MD Member-at-Large

James Wang, MD Member-at-Large

Melanie Woodall, MD Member-at-Large 13


In Practice

Scan the Horizon, See the Future! By Kathy Hunt, Executive Director, Hunt & Associates One of the more useful aspects of strategy and planning is the process of environmental scanning. Thomas Edison University defines Environmental Scanning as the process of processing information about events and relationships within an organization’s internal and external environments. For a physician practice, the practical question could be: When is the last time you took a deep breath and slowed down to scan your internal and external environment for trends, changes, even disruptions that might alter your current plans? Environmental Scanning uses trended analysis of history to project the future. And as they say about history, if we don’t study it we are doomed to repeat it. With respect to internal environments, several key variables come to mind as most important. Physician and provider age and future capacity are key to sustainability and success. In addition, physical office space and how it is deployed for revenue generation are key questions. Gone are the days that non-revenue generating space can be coveted and protected. Financial and clinical trends should be measured and understood so that a relevant self-assessment can truly guide the physician or practice leader. Internal environments are the harder side to understand in my opinion. Why? Because no one writes articles about them. Few practices study themselves. Even fewer act on what they find. It’s the timely execution of strategy that drives results and the bottom line in business. The local and State Medical Society, MGMA and your Academy or Specialty Society can provide excellent benchmarking information to guide a true environmental scan of your practice. Remember, what is measured can be managed. The external environment is often more easily determined, especially if you know where to look. We operate in the healthcare industry, about which much is known. Check. We operate in the Mid-South region, of which much is known. Check. We know much about demographic changes (Bulletin: People getting older!), reimbursement changes (Bulletin: Medicare office visit rates just went way up!), payer mix changes and technology changes. Check. This information is out there and available. We just must gather it and use it in our environmental scan and to further evaluate our current and future plans. It’s this kind of information that can offer leadership a much greater chance of success. Speaking of leadership, a question might be whose job is it to gather and scan information for relevant changes to our strategies? The answer is BOTH the physician(s) and the individuals they choose to lead their businesses. If neither are capable nor have the time, then get help. This kind of work and planning does not happen on its own. It must be intentional. And it should be done periodically, but not less than every two years. 14


In Practice

This river of change in healthcare is picking up speed. Practices will continue to face demographic shifts, new rivals, new technologies, new regulations, and other environmental changes that will seem to come out of left field. But did they? Often not. What is on the horizon, seen through the binoculars, will be staring you in the face soon. Will you be ready?

MedTemps Continues to Grow Record staffing hours week over week

We staff all opportunities in healthcare • Medical Office Manager

• Medical Office Assistant

• Certified Medical Assistant

• Medical Assistant (Non-Certified) • Licensed Practical Nurse

• Registered Nurse

• Phlebotomist

• Radiology Technician

• X-Ray Technician

• Nurse Practitioner

• Physician Assistant

Why you should use MedTemps? You want to hire for a position but you don’t want all of the headaches of onboarding, training, pay-rolling, etc. You prefer to give employees a trial period before hiring. You don’t have the capacity to perform recruiting, employee relations and other critical human resources functions. Don’t be confused by the name; we’re not just a temp service. We stay connected to the city’s best healthcare talent in order to recruit and retain for our city and our members. And don’t forget that we are owned and operated by Memphis Medical Society! That means our pricing stays low. We exist to support MMS and help fund initiatives and events that supports the entire medical community. Call 901-264-0031or visit for more information. 15


Your Benefits

Foresight in 2020. We believe that your malpractice insurance team should be ready and available when you need them most. SVMIC is built on this kind of reliable and dedicated relationship, so you can focus on your practice and we can focus on protecting it.

Move forward with us at 16

2020 Print Ad 7.5x10.indd 1

2/3/2020 8:43:29 AM

Financial Q&A


Financial Q&A

Protecting your investment portfolio Q. What personal financial lessons can be learned from the 2020 COVID pandemic? A. The 2020 quarantine resulted in severe economic disruptions for consumers and service-oriented businesses. One of the biggest personal finance lessons we can learn from the pandemic is the importance of a substantial emergency fund. While many financial experts recommend an emergency cash reserve in the amount of three to six months of living expenses, the depth and length of the COVID uncertainty illustrated the importance of larger cash reserves that can provide up to one-year or more of living expenses. A fundamental investment strategy that can help your portfolio weather uncertain times consists of the following formula: stay invested and stay diversified. Financial market unpredictability was on full display in 2020. As the market declined, some investors panicked and sold financial assets for the safety of cash. Those investors that stayed out of the market eventually missed the recovery and a double-digit return in equities (S&P 500 Index) by year end. Remember, it is time not timing that benefits investors most. Consistent long-term success also starts with the creation of a diversified portfolio. This investment approach utilizes a basket of securities across multiple asset classes. Offensive assets (stocks) provide portfolio growth, and defensive assets (cash and bonds) provide portfolio stability. In the right combination, these assets work together to minimize the effects of market volatility and uncertainty. The appropriate mixture of cash, bonds, and stocks will depend on your financial circumstances, tolerance for risk, and need for return. Following a disciplined investment process is a great approach to keep your investment goals on track. Planning for uncertainty is difficult, but insurance (risk management) can be an effective tool to help offset adverse moments in life. Health, disability, life, long-term care, liability, and property insurance policies should be major components of your risk management strategy. Adequate amounts of coverage and costs for coverage are factors to consider, but the benefits of a strong insurance plan can be significant for your personal finances when you need it most. Having the proper estate documents in place is another crucial message that can be taken from the COVID catastrophe. The most prudent course of action is to be prepared, so use these basic documents to help build a solid foundation for your financial wishes upon death or incapacitation: last will and testament, living will, financial power of attorney, and advanced medical directive. Over the course of a lifetime, turbulent times will resurface, and your financial goals and objectives will change and evolve. Contact your advisor(s) for a financial check-up. They can help evaluate your financial health, highlight adjustments needed, and develop and implement a plan for success. William B. Howard, Jr., ChFC, CFP International Place II 6410 Poplar Ave., Suite 330 Memphis, TN 38119 Telephone: (901) 761-5068 Fax: (901) 761-2217




House of Delegates Two-Years in the Making

The TMA House of Delegates held its 186th annual business meeting last weekend in Franklin, where 127 credentialed physician delegates considered 20 resolutions on a number of healthcare topics, and eight Bylaw amendments. Please review the summary of which resolutions were adopted, not adopted or referred to the TMA Board for possible action. TMA also installed Dr. Ron Kirkland, an otolaryngologist from Jackson, as 167th President of the association and elected a number of new officers on the TMA Board of Trustees. Drs. Warren McPherson of Murfreesboro and Dr. Don Franklin of Chattanooga received Outstanding Physician Awards, and the Nashville Academy of Medicine gained special recognition for their upcoming Bicentennial Anniversary. Thanks to the HOD, the TMA Young Physician Section was saved. There were Bylaw Amendments aimed at removing the Section from the HOD due to inactivity, but members voted to retain the Section. If you’re interested in representing Memphis and Young Physicians, reach out to Cara, your Physician Liaison, at A Resolution was passed that changes the TMA Committee nomination process. Now, all TMA Committee member nominations will go through the local component society (via the nominating committee or Board). This Resolution creates consistency for the process of nominating TMA Committee representatives. A Bylaw Amendment that would “further define” Residents’ voting rights in TMA elections was referred back to the Board. Although many physicians supported Residents’ ability to vote in elections, more work needs to be done before it can be passed. Currently, the TMA Board and staff are reviewing the bylaws and election rules in order to recommend the easiest fix that would allow Residents the ability to vote. A Bylaw Amendment that would change the makeup of the TMA Board of Directors was referred back to the Board. The Amendment would have decreased the necessary amount of members to give component societies a second Board Member (from 1,000 to 500). This change would have allowed many societies to add a second Board Member and increase diversity across the Board. The Board is currently in the process of establishing a blue ribbon panel that will make recommendations to the Board on the future governance of TMA. We need a diverse set of physicians to serve on this committee, so please email Cara at, if you’re interested in serving on this important panel.


First in the Region



MRI-Guided Btrachytherapy West Cancer Center & Research Institute: First in the Region to Offer MRIGuided Brachytherapy for Cervical Cancer New technology and treatments for cancer are ever changing. Researching and providing innovative, curative therapies are a top priority at West Cancer Center. Now women managing cervical cancer will have access to MRI-guided brachytherapy treatment as an option – first available in the MidSouth, right here at West. According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is one of most common causes of cancer deaths for American women with approximately 14,480 new cases forecasted for 2021 and 4,290 deaths. Because of awareness campaigns, an increase in HPV testing, and preventative measures, along with increased use of Pap tests, cervical cancer can be detected in earlier or even pre-cancer stages. At West Cancer Center & Research Institute, our Radiation Oncology team has been on the cutting-edge of new therapies, treating prostate, breast and GYN cancer with brachytherapy. Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation with radioactive capsules targeted directly to the cancerous tumor, while sparing healthy, surrounding tissue. Our Radiation Oncologists can now use MRI guidance for better visibility and more accurate placement of these capsules for improved outcomes and reduced toxicity.

Above: Matthew Ballo, M.D.

Below: Michael Farmer, M.D.

Michael Farmer, MD, Radiation Oncology Lead stated, “We are excited about this treatment option for several reasons. It will not only improve the accuracy of the radiation, but it will also diminish unnecessary radiation from damaging normal tissues. Patients with cervical cancer who receive this therapy will live better longer and with a greater chance of cure” West Cancer Center’s Director of Radiation Oncology, Matthew Ballo, MD, FACR said, “This is yet another example of how physicians at West strive to bring the very best technology to cancer patients here in the Mid-South.”


For over 100 years, Semmes Murphey Clinic has been a leader in neurological and spinal care. Our dedicated team of doctors provides cutting edge treatment options with compassionate, personal care.



Give your finances the same care as you do your patients.

In today’s uncertain markets, having a bank that tends to your financial health is vital. First Horizon Medical Private Banking can help with today’s needs and tomorrow’s goals. Our Relationship Managers offer guidance and solutions tailored to medical professionals. So you can focus on your priority: your patients.

To make an appointment, please contact: Margaret Yancey Senior Vice President Medical Private Banking ph: 901-681-2526 Jeff McIlvain Vice President Medical Private Banking ph: 901-681-2555

©2021 First Horizon Bank. Member FDIC.

You can’t mask our commitment. Behind the masks, the gloves and the gowns, you’ll find the same commitment to your health. And the same dedication to your safety. So you can step through our doors with confidence. The world may have changed. But at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, our world still revolves around you.

To learn more about our services, visit

Rajesh Kabra, MD