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April 2014 • Vol. 44, No. 4

Mecklenburg Medicine A Publication of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society |

Caring for Our Patients With Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Mecklenburg County Medical Society • Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment Founders of: Bioethics Resource Group, Ltd., Hospitality House of Charlotte, Teen Health Connection, N.C. MedAssist, Physicians Reach Out

Here for your patient’s cancer journey Cancer is a life-changing diagnosis. We understand that treatment means much more than chemo and surgery; it means caring for your patients physically, spiritually and emotionally. Whether your patients are struggling with fatigue, weight loss or lingering worry about finances or long-term health, our survivorship education programs offer the experts and resources to help. Customized cancer care is our commitment to you and your patients, and it’s another way we’re making healthcare remarkable.

Call today to refer your patients: 704-384-5560.

2 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine

April 2014 Vol. 44 No. 4

Table of Contents 5

President’s Letter: Providence

By James B. Hall, MD


Feature: Memory Care in Charlotte

OFFICERS President James B. Hall, MD

President-Elect Simon V. Ward III, MD Secretary Stephen J. Ezzo, MD

Leading-Edge Alzheimer’s Research and Therapies for Daily Living By Lee McCracken, contributing writer


Feature: Physicians Reach Out: 10 Years and Counting

By John T. Klimas, MD

10 11 11 12 13 13 14 16 18 18

National Health & Wellness Observances for April Member News Upcoming Meetings & Events MMAE News National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2014 Support Your Local Meck PAC At the Hospitals Independent Physicians of the Carolinas Charlotte AHEC Course Offerings for April Advertising Acknowledgement

Treasurer JP McBryde, MD

Immediate Past President Janice E. Huff, MD

BOARD MEMBERS Lloyd L. Bridges, MD Raymond E. Brown, PA Jonathan A. Buice, MD Scott L. Furney, MD W. Frank Ingram III, MD Scott L. Lindblom, MD Shivani P. Mehta, MD Elizabeth B. Moran, MD Cheryl L. Walker-McGill, MD Thomas N. Zweng, MD

EX-OFFICIO BOARD MEMBERS Gretchen Allen, President Mecklenburg Medical Alliance & Endowment Sandi D. Buchanan, Executive Director Mecklenburg County Medical Society Keia V. R. Hewitt, MD, President Charlotte Medical Society Docia E. Hickey, MD NCMS Speaker of the House Darlyne Menscer, MD NCMS Delegate to the AMA Marcus G. Plescia, MD, Health Director Mecklenburg County Health Department Douglas R. Swanson, MD, FACEP, Medical Director Mecklenburg EMS Agency

EXECUTIVE STAFF Executive Director Sandi D. Buchanan

Director, Meetings & Special Events Trisha G. Herndon

1112 Harding Place, #200, Charlotte, NC 28204 704-376-3688 • FAX 704-376-3173

Executive Assistant Stephanie D. Smith

Copyright 2014 Mecklenburg County Medical Society Mecklenburg Medicine is published 10 times per year by the Mecklenburg County Medical Society, 1112 Harding Place, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28204. Opinions expressed by authors are their own, and not necessarily those of Mecklenburg Medicine or the Mecklenburg County Medical Society. Mecklenburg Medicine reserves the right to edit all contributions for clarity and length, as well as to reject any material submitted. Mecklenburg Medicine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts. Non-members may subscribe to Mecklenburg Medicine at a cost of $30 per year, or $3.50 per issue, if extra copies are available. Classified Ads: Open to members, nonprofits and non-member individuals only; advance approval of the Managing Editor and advance payment required. Member rate is 0, non-members $20 for the first 30 words; $.75 each additional word. Display Ads: Open to professional entities or commercial businesses. For specifications and rate information, contact Mark Ethridge at Acceptance of advertising for this publication in no way constitutes professional approval or endorsement of products or services advertised herein. We welcome your comments and suggestions: Call 704-376-3688 or write Mecklenburg Medicine, c/o Mecklenburg County Medical Society, 1112 Harding Place, Suite 200, Charlotte, NC 28204.

MECKLENBURG MEDICINE STAFF Editor Mark E. Romanoff, MD Managing Editor Sandi D. Buchanan Copy Editor Lee McCracken

Advertising Mark Ethridge Editorial Board N. Neil Howell, MD James B. Hall, MD Jessica Schorr Saxe, MD

Graphic Design — Wade Baker

Mecklenburg Medicine • April 2014 | 3

START SOONER. REMEMBER LONGER. At The Ivey, our purpose is to preserve memories, promote independence, and improve the quality of life for people living with memory loss.

WHAT PHYSICIANS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IVEY The Ivey’s Memory Wellness Center partners with physicians and families in the treatment of those living with memory loss due to mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, stroke, or other causes of dementia. We’re open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

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Here’s how The Ivey can help your patients who are living with memory loss: Onsite Rehabilitation Services In partnership with Genesis Rehab Services, our full-time, onsite physical, occupational, and speech therapists provide physician-prescribed therapies, education, exercise, and behavioral change programs for patients and their families. Comprehensive Health Screenings Our professionally licensed team of RNs, therapists, and activity professionals conduct comprehensive health screenings, including memory, hearing, and gait. By partnering with the patient’s physicians, we become a team of support for the family.

4 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine

Health Monitoring Throughout each day, our team monitors vital signs, administers medicines, and assists with physician communication. Diagnosed health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, weight maintenance, and others are monitored and addressed. Life Enhancement Creative engagement activities and social interaction strengthen the connections in the brain that allow access to memory.

President’s Letter

Providence By James B. Hall, MD, President


’ve been told there have been a number of excellent candidates for the position of president of our county medical society who have not taken the position simply because one of the “responsibilities” (I’ve heard it called a lot of different things) is to produce a missive for each of the magazines that go out to our members. The notion of coming up with an idea for each issue that piques your interest and is interesting can be daunting, but each of us has daily experiences in the practice of medicine, or for that matter, in just going through our daily lives, that are unique and often worth reflecting on. On the other hand, it does take some thought and reflection, and I find my moments of musing often to be minimal as I go through my daily work routine. Often I’ve found time to be more introspective and able to put “pen to paper” (or should it now be “digits to laptop”), on an airplane. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this epistle somewhere over the United States at 4 a.m. on a red-eye from San Francisco. I was thinking about the people I had just met at the meeting I attended, life in general, the providential, the serendipitous or fateful nature of events in our lives. Let’s look at some definitions, and you can apply the one that suits you best. Providential is defined as involving divine foresight or intervention or occurring at a favorable or opportune time. Serendipitous is defined as occurring by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Fateful, which is defined as the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by the supernatural or chance or luck. What prompted these musings was the chance meeting of a physician from the metropolis of New Iberia, La., a town of some 30,000 people in Cajun country, a number of whom I know by virtue of the fact that our best friends here in Charlotte are from New Iberia, and they have huge families. So, why did I travel across the country with eight other docs to meet him? This served to make me more reflective during the all-night flight ... or was it indigestion from the airport food? Or was it simply my age? I challenge you to think/reflect on how you got where you are. I was an only child who was the first in my family to go to college. I grew up in Ohio and kept in touch with several of my grade school teachers. It was my seventh-grade teacher, who had retired to New Jersey, who suggested I apply to medical school in South Carolina. My interview to the only school that I applied to turned out to be with a fellow Ohioan, Dr. Biemann Otherson, a pediatric surgeon. At the Medical University of South Carolina, my first clinical rotation was on ob/gyn; it proved to be seminal in that my first attending was Dr. Paul Underwood, then a young gynecologic oncologist. He

was an incredible role model of what a physician should be, as he never missed the humanity of each and every patient he encountered. In addition, he was an amazing surgeon. Being from Ohio, I applied to one ob/gyn residency (I’m not sorry that we didn’t have the match to deal with) in my hometown of Dayton, where my chairman also was a gyn oncologist. I talked my new bride into coming to Dayton to take electives for her final year of medical school prior to beginning her internal medicine residency, where she learned “everything The notion of coming up you wanted to know with an idea for each about diabetes, but were afraid to issue that piques your ask.” She had the interest and is interesting good fortune to mentor with Dr. can be daunting, but AJ Gabriele, an endocrinologist each of us has daily in a solo private experiences in the practice, who had trained as the first practice of medicine, or fellow in diabetes for that matter, in just at the Joslin Clinic in Boston. We both going through our daily decided to look lives, that are unique and for fellowships, and once again often worth reflecting on. were providentially fortunate to find two programs in the same city, with me going to Massachusetts General Hospital to do gyn oncology and work with Dr. James Nelson, both a fellow Ohioan and friend of my old chair. Edith went to the Joslin Clinic and the Lahey Clinic to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, doing endocrinology. With a focus on diabetes especially in pregnancy, her fellow’s project resulted in the first publication in the New England Journal of Medicine on hemoglobin A1C. Remarkably, even though my wife was a year behind me in medical school, with her intellect and the differences in our programs, we ended our fellowships at the same time, and looked to return south, where it was warm. It just so happened that the ob/gyn department at Charlotte Memorial was looking to hire a gyn oncologist, as there were none in town, although Dr. Leslie Walton, also a fellow under Dr. Nelson, had been in Charlotte for a short time prior to moving to a long and distinguished career at UNC. Dr. Bobby Rimer hired me, and as they say, the rest is history.

Mecklenburg Medicine • April 2014 | 5

President’s Letter I often think about the “coincidences” that occur in a given day, and I am amazed. If one takes the time to reflect on the variables of a given day it is absolutely staggering, which begs the question of how, as “The great thing, if one highly-educated, can, is to stop regarding motivated, and in most all the unpleasant cases, Type-A things as interruptions personalities, we can have the in one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ hubris to think life. The truth is, of we actually are in control of our course, that what one daily existence. The number calls the interruptions of encounters are precisely one’s real and interfaces we have with life -— the life God is individuals, sending one day by day.” each of whom brings to that encounter their own variables of what is going on in his/her life and/ or work at the exact moment in time that we encounter

Balancing Your Life, Wealth and Legacy

each other, gives credence to the notion of the exponential expansion of possible permutations. We often look at interruptions in the course of the day as nuisances that we don’t have time for. One of my favorite quotes is from C. S. Lewis, “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one’s ‘own’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is, of course, that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.” If we are truly honest with ourselves, there is very little we actually control in a given day, let alone in a lifetime. So, if you are truly feeling reflective, periodically just stop and think about all the folks you have encountered who have helped you get to where you are and have helped you accomplish what you have achieved ... because we certainly haven’t done it on our own. Some would suggest “it takes a village,” a notion I would abrogate. Or, some would say it is the result of serendipity/fate, but then for me, I think it all has been providential.

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704.523.8027 - Ext. 10 6 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine


Memory Care in Charlotte Leading-Edge Alzheimer’s Research and Therapies for Daily Living By Lee McCracken, contributing writer


here is even more hope on the horizon for Charlotte-area patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and those who care for them. Neuroscience research is leading to the development of more effective treatments, and wellness centers are offering therapies that help patients both learn and retain skills for daily living.

Partnering With Patients Alzheimer’s disease accounts for about 60-70 percent of the cases of dementia. Other dementia disorders include Vascular dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and Frontotemporal dementia. AD — a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder affecting a patient’s memory, language, judgment, decision making, planning and organizing — is known mostly as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Last year, it cost the United States $203 billion, with some 5.3 million Americans affected by the disease. While there is no cure, medication temporarily can slow the worsening of symptoms and improve quality of life. There are five medications approved by the FDA to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Experts say clinical trials are essential to moving research forward, and more volunteers are needed. Physicians and researchers with Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health are participating in top national trials and keeping Charlotte on the cutting edge in caring for patients with dementia. One example is Dr. Oleg Tcheremissine, a research director with CHS’s Neurosciences Institute, who currently is conducting a study in mild AD patients ages 55-90. Another, Dr. M. Reza Bolouri, director of the Alzheimer’s Memory Center-Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology (Novant), strives to help his patients and their family members understand the disease — what occurs in the brain and how that impacts day-to-day life. The center currently is enrolling patients in several clinical trials. Just as important are the nonpharmacologic approaches to helping patients maintain an enjoyable quality of life. Bolouri, like most experts, partners with his patients and their family members to make sure mental and physical stimulation is part of the treatment plan.

Therapies, Classes and Creative Stimulation Last year, some 15.4 million caregivers across the country provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care (valued at $216 billion), according to the Alzheimer’s Association ( And, nearly 15 percent of those caring for people

The March issue of Neurology reported on a new study that revealed Alzheimer’s is nearly as lethal as heart disea se and cancer, with annual death rates closer to 500,000. Researchers say Alzheimer’s goes underreported as a cause of death. AD is lethal, but because it has been labeled a memory disease, people do not always connect the disea se with death. Experts estimate dementia cuts five to 10 years off a patient’s lifespan; it is not a normal part of aging . with dementia are long-distance caregivers. As Baby Boomers age, the need for AD services is exploding. Patients with dementia are at risk for lethal falls and other hazardous accidents. Even those with mild to moderate cognitive impairment benefit from physical exercise and mental stimulation, including entertainment, crafts, music, art and games. Lynn Ivey opened The Ivey in the SouthPark area, a fulltime adult day care/wellness center for people living with memory loss, in 2008 after caring for her mother over the course of four years. In addition Lynn’s father recently also was diagnosed with dementia.

“Our loved ones can continue to live a joyful life. We are learning that through screening and staging — using the Global Deterioration Scale — even those with stage 4 or 5 can learn and retain skills.” — Lynn Ivey

Mecklenburg Medicine • April 2014 | 7

Facts for Physicians and Their Patients By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million (a 40-percent increase). The demand for neurologists is growing faster than the supply. Source: There are nearly 5,000 adult day centers in the United States. About 90 percent offer cognitive stimulation programs, 80 percent provide memory training programs and just 75 percent offer educational programs. The help for caregivers is less: educational programs (70 percent) and support groups (58 percent). Source: LambMeckMedAd#2v1_7.5x4.5 12/4/13 5:34 PM Page 1

“Our loved ones can continue to live a joyful life,” says Ivey, noting Dr. Bolouri, as well as Dr. Andrea Diedrich with Carolina Neurologic Clinic, refer many patients to The Ivey. “We are learning that through screening and staging — using the Global Deterioration Scale — even those with stage 4 or 5 can learn and retain skills.” In November, The Ivey began partnering with Genesis Rehab Services to provide full-time, onsite speech, physical and occupational therapies prescribed by physicians. In addition, ongoing education, evidence-based exercise and behavioral-change programs are proving helpful for patients and their families. “We are a national pilot program,” says Ivey, explaining GRS primarily is a provider for residential and assisted-living facilities. “Genesis is helping to educate caregivers and family members on how to keep their

loved ones safe and help them stay independent at home longer. Our cooking class, led by occupational therapists, is very popular.” This spring, The Ivey is launching a program for mild cognitive impairment patients that will include therapies, classes and creative stimulation. Plans also are in the works for two family care homes for respite, featuring six beds/baths in each. “Our caregivers are so excited,” says Ivey, adding that they’re already anticipating some relaxing getaways knowing Grandma (or Grandpa) is wellcared for and happy. The 24/7 helpline for the Alzheimer’s Association is 800-272-3900. The Charlotte chapter can be reached at 704-532-7390 or northcarolina, with links for many education programs, events and support groups.

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8 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine


Physicians Reach Out: 10 Years and Counting By John T. Klimas, MD


f you’ve ever been confronted with the news that you or someone you love has a serious illness, you know the anxiety that accompanies that moment. Now imagine receiving such news knowing you have no doctor and/or lack insurance. That’s the situation many in our community face every day. This is not a new problem. In 2000, the MCMS Board took a hard look at the plight of the poor and uninsured as related to access to health care. Then it asked two all-important questions: “What can we do to make a difference?” and “How can we help these citizens get the medical treatment they sometimes desperately need?” The answer, when it came, took two years to implement with the creation of a network of volunteer physicians, which is today known as Physicians Reach Out (PRO). Ten years later, more than 11,000 uninsured individuals in Mecklenburg County have been treated through this medical safety net program that provides patients with access to doctors and hospitals. Over a 10-year period, some 1,600 PRO physicians, health care providers, dentists and hospitals have donated their services to the poor. Services rendered have totaled nearly $100 million, and that figure doesn’t include prevented ED visits or hospitalizations. These are impressive statistics, but they don’t tell the whole story. If you don’t mind, I’d like to reminisce about where we were and where we’ve travelled over the past decade. Flash back to the late 1990’s, when the uninsured were becoming a growing burden on emergency rooms, hospitals and medical practices. Dr. Gina Licause and I were volunteering at the now defunct Shelter Medical Clinic one Wednesday afternoon. Some of our patients presented with acute problems, but many more appeared to have chronic health issues, including diabetes and hypertension. Our labs were limited and the pharmacy consisted of a closet of donated samples. That afternoon, Dr. Licause, out of concern for a patient and because we lacked the proper medication to treat him, opted to drive the patient in her car to the pharmacy to pick up his vitally needed medications. There had to be a better way to provide health care to the poor and sick! The Mecklenburg County Medical Society agreed, and we spent many months studying models for indigent care. The Buncombe County Project Access model emerged as the best program to accomplish our goal. Their program had qualified patients treated free of charge in the physicians’ offices. Hospital, laboratory studies and medications also were donated. The challenge in Mecklenburg County was greater: The indigent population was much larger, and it would require the support of two separate hospitals.

To be perfectly honest, Physicians Reach Out did not pick up steam until the arrival of Amy Blackwell. Formerly a strategic planner with Presbyterian Hospital, Blackwell returned to Charlotte from Dubai in the wake of 9-11. She used her extraordinary talents to help us launch PRO. She organized the screening process, facilitated computerization to equitably distribute patients with primary care physicians and set up a system for referrals to specialists. Blackwell developed a pharmacy benefits plan. On the hospital front, Amy established relationships with hospital EDs, with in-patient services and labs. Additionally, she helped create a system that would provide accountability for all the services rendered. Meanwhile, Drs. Dan Hagler, Hayes Woollen, Mac Mitchell and I became official physician-recruiters for PRO. We all believed that for PRO to succeed, it would require the dedicated, donated efforts of the many Mecklenburg County Medical Society health care providers and hospitals. This would be the heart of the program. Not that there haven’t been a few bumps in the medical road! In 2007, when initial start-up grants from the Duke Endowment, the Kate B. Reynolds Foundation and the Mercy Foundation were about to run out, expenses, especially translation fees, began to skyrocket. Jen Algire, then executive director of Community Health Services (now Care Ring) rescued the program. With the help of a bridge loan from the Duke Endowment and the resources of Care Ring, PRO was able to continue on sound financial footing. Administration was transferred from MCMS to Care Ring. More recently, under the leadership of Don Jonas, PhD, Katie Benston, Carolyn Mullin, RN, and the wonderful staff of Care Ring, PRO continues to deliver high-quality care to the uninsured of Mecklenburg County. Words may tell the story of PRO but they cannot express the gratitude I feel toward all those who have worked so diligently to make this program a success. As changes occur on the health care front, as we navigate the impact of the Affordable Care Act, have no doubt: There is still work to be done. At the press conference announcing the launch of PRO, I stated that this program could be described as a “Win ... Win ... Win!” It’s a win for patients, who receive care with dignity from the best physicians in the community. It’s a win for physicians, as we are privileged to apply our skills with a noble heart ... treating the sick without regard to race, creed, gender or ability to pay. No doubt, it’s a definite win for the community. PRO has saved the community millions and improved the quality of life for so many of our most disadvantaged. The physicians and the Mecklenburg County Medical Society should be justifiably proud of Physicians Reach Out. It is a powerful and selfless achievement and it speaks volumes about the character of the men and women who practice medicine in Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg Medicine • April 2014 | 9


National Autism Awareness Month National Cancer Control Month National Child Abuse Prevention Month National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Counseling Awareness Month National Donate Life Month Stress Awareness Month National Humor Month National Occupational Therapy Month April 1-7: National Public Health Week April 4-6: Alcohol-Free Weekend April 6-13: National Volunteer Week April 7: World Health Day April 15-21: Medical Fitness Week April 15-21: National Minority Cancer Awareness Week April 16: National Healthcare Decisions Day April 24: Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day April 26-May 3: National Infant Immunization Week

Going green First step: Opt out of the printed version of Mecklenburg Medicine Magazine Each issue is posted to the MCMS website in an interactive format. OPT OUT of the printed version and enjoy all articles and information online at To opt out, email us at Include your name as it appears on the mailing label and the words “opt out”.

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10 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine

Reed Griffith



Notes The David G. Welton Society hosted Marcus Plescia, MD, Mecklenburg County’s new health director, at their Spring Luncheon at the Charlotte Country Club in March. n

The Women Physicians Section and the Charlotte Women Attorneys have started planning the fourth annual Fighting for Women with Fashion event to be held on Oct. 7 at the Foundation for the Carolinas. Their March planning meeting was held at the Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter. n

The Mecklenburg Chapter of the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) will feature Lynn Ivey, CEO and founder of The Ivey, at their June 3 meeting. Her topic will be “Organizing Care Around Dementia – Identifying Collaborative Care Partners.” The meeting will be sponsored by and held at The Ivey. n

The Smith Arthritis Fund Committee Is Accepting Grant Applications in May The Smith Arthritis Fund was established in 1979 when Carolyn Kirkpatrick Smith donated $41,500 for arthritis research. This fund is administered through the Mecklenburg County Medical Society under the guidance of Dr. Janice Huff, 2014 chair of the Smith Arthritis Fund Committee. The fund is designed to support research projects as they relate to the needs of patients suffering from rheumatologic diseases. Each year, the Committee awards about $1,000$2,000 per grant. There Janice Huff, MD are no rigid restrictions. The Smith Arthritis Fund Committee of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society will accept grant applications from interested physicians through the month of May. Contact the Medical Society office for more information at 704-376-3688.

Congratulations to Daniel A. Collins, MD, and Adam C. Hafemeister, MD, the 2014 GI Fellows Vignettes winners at the North Carolina Society of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting and Conference held in March in Pinehurst!

Member News Upcoming Meetings & Events Meetings are at the MCMS office unless otherwise noted.


Saturday, April 5 Care Ring Gala “Under the Big Top” Hilton Charlotte Center City. 7:30 p.m. n Tuesday, April 8 MedLink meeting. Health Department. 8:30 a.m. n Thursday, April 10 Charlotte Medical Society Membership meeting. Location TBD. 6 p.m. n Saturday, April 12 N.C. MedAssist Prescription for Hope Gala. Charlotte City Club 6-10 p.m. n Wednesday, April 16 MMAE Board meeting. 10 a.m. n Wednesday, April 16 WPS Fighting for Women with Fashion Planning meeting. Safe Alliance office. 6 p.m. n Thursday, April 17 CAMGM. Myers Park Baptist Church Cornwell Center. Noon. n Friday, April 18 Good Friday. MCMS office closed. n Monday, April 21 MCMS Executive Committee meeting. 5:45 p.m. n Tuesday, April 22 June magazine deadline. n

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2014 Annual Luncheon

MMAE held its seventh Community Health Luncheon, “Finding Your Way Through a Safe Healthcare Journey,” featuring Patty Skolnik, founder of Citizens for Patient Safety, as the speaker. Skolnik is a passionate advocate for effective communication among the patient, physician and hospital in the healthcare delivery system. Attendees learned how to participate on their healthcare team, and how to have conversations that can make for better outcomes. Skolnik offers Patient Advocacy 101 seminars to the public through sponsoring organizations, as well as training for administrators and healthcare providers in care coordination and shared decision-making. She also has authored a Patient Medical Journal to record the details and events of a person’s personal healthcare journey.


Formerly known as United Family Services

Womens Physicians Section

CWA Fourth Annual

Fighting for Women with Fashion

Save the date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Foundation for the Carolinas

Fashion presentation by Nordstrom, silent auction and raffle to benefit the Clyde and Ethel Dickson Domestic Violence Shelter Co-hosted by the Mecklenburg County Medical Society Women Physicians Section and the Charlotte Women Attorneys. Tickets will go on sale in August on the Safe Alliance website.

12 | April 2014 • Mecklenburg Medicine

February 28, 2014 Office of the Press Secretary: For Immediate Release

NATIONAL COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, 2014 By The President Of The United States Of America: A Proclamation THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER DEATHS IN THE UNITED STATES, colorectal cancer claims more than 50,000 American lives each year. Because the odds of survival rise dramatically when this cancer is caught early, calling attention to it can save lives. During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we aim to improve public understanding of risk factors and screening recommendations, reach for better treatments, and set our sights on a cure. While anyone can get colorectal cancer, the risk increases with age. Nine out of ten cases occur in people over 50 years old, and the likelihood is also greater for people of African-American or Eastern European descent and those with inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer. Symptoms can include stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away and weight loss without a known cause. Yet many cases have no symptoms, especially early on, when it can be prevented or more effectively treated. That is why it is crucial for people of all ages to discuss colorectal cancer with their doctors and those at risk or between ages 50 and 75 to get regular screenings. My Administration is funding research to improve prevention and treatment, and to identify the best ways to promote colorectal cancer screening. We are also working to ensure screenings and treatment are available and affordable for all. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funds programs that provide these tests to underserved, at-risk Americans. And under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans cover recommended preventive services, including colorectal cancer screening for adults ages 50 to 75, at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. Thanks to the health care law, insurance companies can no longer put annual or lifetime dollar caps on essential health benefits or discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Americans have their first chance to sign up for affordable, high quality coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace through open enrollment until March 31st, and annually going forward. Everyone has a role to play in reducing deaths from colorectal cancer. This month, I encourage Americans to talk to at-risk parents, grandparents, or friends of all ages about getting screened. If we look out for one another, we can better the chances of survival and keep more families whole. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, non-profit organizations, and other groups to join in activities that will increase awareness and prevention of colorectal cancer. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

Support Your Local Meck PAC! The MCMS Meck PAC Board seeks to identify, educate and support those candidates who have a real understanding of the issues physicians face in caring for patients, and who support legislation that positively impacts the practice of medicine. These issues include, but are not limited to, medical malpractice reform, payment and contract negotiations, pay for performance and scope of practice. The Meck PAC Board, along with the North Carolina Medical Society and other physician leaders across our state, decide who to support for election for state offices. They look at voting records, sponsorship of bills favorable to doctors, and campaign promises. The Meck PAC Board works with elected officials and is watchful for any legislation that may impact the practice of medicine. Meck PAC is a State PAC, and currently is not allowed to contribute to those individuals seeking election to Federal Office. Please continue to support our efforts on behalf of all doctors. You can contribute online at under Legislation/Meck PAC or contribute by personal check to Meck PAC, 1112 Harding Place, Suite 200, Charlotte NC 28204. Note: North Carolina law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, job title or profession, and name of employer or employer’s specific field for each individual whose contributions’ aggregate is in excess of $100 in an election cycle.

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At the Hospitals Stroke Symposium Novant Health will hold its third annual stroke symposium on May 3 at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. The halfday symposium will feature stroke experts who will lead discussions on current trends in evidence-based acute stroke care. Topics include stroke systems of care, interventional radiology vs. medical management, carotid surgical/stenting vs. medical management, t-PA in the setting of low NIHSS or rapidly improving symptoms and the Novant Health pharmacy t-PA project. Registration is $25 and is free for students and medical residents. CME credits and contact hours will be offered. Visit for additional details and registration information. n

William Porter, MD, Receives Board Certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Dr. William Porter is among the first in the country to become a board-certified urogynecologist. He received his certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery as recognized by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology dedicated to helping the many women who suffer from urogynecological conditions, including incontinence and pelvic prolapse. This very small subspecialty combines elements of gynecology, urology and pelvic reconstructive surgery to manage and treat pelvic floor disorders. Dr. Porter is the first physician within the Novant Health network to receive this certification. “The field of female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery is an important resource for many women who suffer unnecessarily from uncomfortable pelvic floor conditions. This specialty trains the physician to utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to treat the entire pelvic floor, often resulting in more successful outcomes for the patient,” says Dr. Porter. Porter has years of experience treating women’s health issues with minimally invasive techniques. In addition to his ob-gyn residency program, he completed three additional years of specialized training in an accredited fellowship program devoted to the treatment of pelvic floor disorders. This subspecialty became formally recognized in June 2013. Dr. Porter successfully passed the exam the first time it was offered, making him one of a few hundred board-certified urogynecologists in the country. In order to receive board certification, a physician has to complete appropriate clinical work and pass a certification exam. Porter is the lead physician at Novant Health Urogynecology, with offices in SouthPark and Huntersville. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 704-316-1120. n

Novant Health Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine in Matthews Moves Locations In March, Novant Health Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine’s Matthews location moved to a new building offering easy access to patients. The new location, at the intersection of East Independence Boulevard and Sam Newell Road, offers convenient care to patients seven days a week with no appointment needed. The new location is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays. The new address is 9600 East Independence Boulevard, Matthews. The phone number remains 704-316-1050. Visit for more information. n

Novant Health Launches Self-Service Kiosks Linked to Electronic Health Records Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center recently launched state-of-the-art, selfservice kiosks linked to its electronic health record. These kiosks are available for patient use to check in for pre-registered appointments at the push of a button. These kiosks allow patients to perform a variety of tasks including: • Update demographic information and review insurance data • Scan identification and insurance cards • Sign consent forms using an electronic signature • Make a payment by credit card on current and previous account balances • Request a MyChart patient portal activation code

The kiosks walk patients through the check-in process in English or Spanish. Patients have the option to check in using their first and last name or biometrics. The kiosks use iris-scanning cameras to connect patients to their electronic health record. After checking in, patients are prompted to complete the checkin process based on the type of appointment they have scheduled. Kiosks have been installed in the main lobby (admitting) and outpatient infusion department of Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, as well as Novant Health Rehabilitation Center Charlotte, Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute Heart Failure Clinic, Novant Health Diabetes Center and Novant Health Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine.

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At the Hospitals

Women’s Center for Pelvic Health Adds CO2 Laser to Treatment Options Carolinas HealthCare System’s Women’s Center for Pelvic Health at CMC-Mercy has added CO2 laser technology to its list of treatment options. The technology can be used with robotic and conventional laparoscopy, as well as open surgery. Led by Kevin Stepp, MD, director of advanced surgical specialties for women at Carolinas HealthCare System, and his colleague, Elizabeth Morgan, MD, the Center is among the most comprehensive and successful Kevin Stepp, MD facilities for treating women with endometriosis, and other gynecologic disorders. “This laser has come a long way from the laser surgery of the 90s. The technology is very different and, because of these differences, has much less risk of inadvertent damage to surrounding tissues,” says Dr. Stepp. Although there are very few hospitals in the country that have access to this technology for the treatment of endometriosis, it is well-studied in ENT, tongue surgery and otology. “Plus, there is also use for this technology in other pelvic surgeries, such as colorectal surgery or oncology,” says Stepp. n

Studies Examine New Therapies for ALS Patients Benjamin Rix Brooks, MD, director, Carolinas HealthCare System’s Neurosciences Institute and Carolinas Neuromuscular/ ALS-MDA Center, and colleague, Elena Bravver, MD, are Benjamin Rix Brooks, MD


teaming up with investigators from across the country to study the safety and effectiveness of a potential new therapy for the treatment of muscle weakness and muscle fatigue in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). During the study, the drug CK-2017357 will be tested to determine how well it is tolerated in ALS patients, compared to a placebo pill. “The study will determine the drug’s effects on the performance of a patient’s elbow, wrist, hand, knee and ankle muscles, their breathing, and how long they can maintain a task,” says Dr. Brooks. Approximately 680 patients with ALS are expected to take part in this research study at an estimated 80 sites throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The study is no longer recruiting additional patients; however, Dr. Brooks currently is seeking ALS patients to participate in a research study of resistance and endurance exercise at the Neurosciences Institute. Carolinas HealthCare System is one of just eight U.S. study sites, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. The purpose is to see whether one type of exercise is tolerated better and is safer than another for people with ALS. Physicians with potential candidates for this trial should contact Rita Rouse at 704-446-1902. CHS Helps Create Online Community Resources Directory A new online community resources portal is now available to patients and families in Mecklenburg County, helping them to more easily find information about local services that meet their economic, social and health needs. Such services include transportation, housing, clothing and health care. The portal, called the Mecklenburg Access Portal (MAP), is managed by the Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary Care Research, headquartered at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Department of Family Medicine and led by Michael Dulin, MD, PhD, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes research for the System. n

The directory allows community leaders and service providers to collaborate and communicate through a social networking platform that helps increase awareness of, and better promote, their services. It also highlights events to help patients and families stay active and remain aware of the community resources available to them. The MAP will be updated continuously to reflect the most accurate information and provide a good user experience for residents and families. So far, more than 80 organizations have registered and have profiles on The MAP. To visit the portal, go to For more information or to develop a profile, contact Brant Aycock at brant.aycock@ Neurosciences Institute Approved for Residency Program The neurological surgery residency training program at Carolinas HealthCare System’s Carolinas Medical Center received approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and has attained status of initial accreditation. The work of ACGME to review specific programs and make accreditation decisions is carried out by 27 specialtyspecific residency review committees, each of which has strict standards for approving the development of new training programs. Since receiving their initial accreditation, physicians within the department of neurosurgery, led by Anthony L. Asher, MD, FACS, co-medical director of the Carolinas HealthCare System Neurosciences Institute, and Scott Wait, MD, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Carolinas Medical Center, have begun distributing information about the new program to medical schools around the country. The first resident may start as early as July 1. Dr. Asher, who also serves as the residency program director, said the neurosurgery training program recruits residents who aspire to national leadership roles in clinical innovation, medical education and neuroscience research. n

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Independent Physicians of the Carolinas AR” on Thursday, April 3, 12:30-2 p.m. at 1410 E. 7th St. in the meeting hall of the Boy Scouts of America. The presenter of this program is Jill Raykovicz, MHA, CMPE, CPC, with Physician Practice Consultants in Greenville, SC. She has a 15-year career in medical administration and qualifications in education with a Master of Health Administration, Board-Certified Medical Practice Executive, and a Certified Professional Coder. The cost of the workshop is $25 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Registration is required and lunch is provided. E-mail the coordinator for registration information at

Independent Physicians of the Carolinas is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) membership organization whose mission is to create public awareness of medical doctors not employed by a network or hospital conglomerate and to provide educational programs and resources to physician members and their administration. Optimal Health Medicine Center at 3111 Springbank Lane, Suite G, in the Arboretum Medical Park announces its five-year anniversary. Nelsa Ciapponi, MD, directs the practice Nelsa Ciapponi, MD and provides a unique focus on Functional Medicine. She is board-certified in integrative and holistic medicine and family medicine. Dr. Ciapponi gives back to the community by volunteering at the Community Health Center. n

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Relief (AAIR) of Charlotte, at 8810 Blakeney Professional Drive, announces a new provider to the practice, Leandra Tonweber, PA-C. She joins Maeve O’Connor, MD, who has been elected to the office of Secretary/Treasurer for the North Carolina Allergy Society and named a Top Doctors in America for 2013 and Jennifer Caicedo, MD, who has been elected to the North Carolina Allergy Society. The medical and clinical team at AAIR of Charlotte invites all medical professionals and administrative staff to their Open House on Thursday, April 10, 6-9 p.m., at their Blakeney office. n

Independent Physicians of the Carolinas is hosting an Independent Practice Administrators and Managers Luncheon Workshop “Top 10 Billing Errors & Ways to Reduce Your n

Independent Physicians of the Carolinas welcomes new members Jean-Ronel Corbier, MD, with Neurology Wellness, and Deborah Matthew, MD, with Signature Wellness. Dr. Corbier is a boardcertified pediatric neurologist with a private practice in Pineville where he provides specialty care for complex neurological conditions, with a special interest in autism. Dr. Matthew is a member of the North Carolina Integrative Medicine Society and the Institute of Functional Medicine, where her special focus is on bio-identical hormone replacement for both men and woman at her practice located at the Arboretum Medical Park in Charlotte. n

Dr. Marlowe’s Weight Loss Institute at 400 Clarice Ave., Suite 100, welcomes a new provider, boardcertified nurse practitioner, Laura Reevey, NP-C. Having personally dealt with being overweight most of her life, Reevey understands the struggles that can come with weight loss. She received her BSN from UNC-Charlotte, then worked seven years as an RN on med-surg and gyn-surg units. In 2009, she went to East Carolina University to earn her MSN. She is proud to be a member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. Reevey is originally from Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to new places and spending time with her family. n



11 a.m. Registration & Lunch 1 p.m. Shotgun Start 6 p.m. Reception

For more information, contact Rebecca Sheaff at or 704-755-4048.



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Charlotte AHEC Course Offerings Charlotte AHEC is part of the N.C. Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program and Carolinas HealthCare System.

APRIL 2014 Allied Health and Public Health Education 4/4 2014 Charlotte AHEC Human Trafficking Conference

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

4/3-4/4 3rd Annual Multiprofessional Critical Care Clinical Symposium 4/12-4/13 28th Annual Glomerular Disease Collaborative Network Annual Meeting 4/30-5/1 25th Annual May Day Trauma Conference

Nursing Education

4/10 2014 Annual Diabetes Conference: Evidence-Based Practice Meets Reality-Based Care For more information or to register for these courses, call 704-512-6523 or visit

Fifteen years ago, Don Rudisill decided it was time to get a pair of glasses. But what started as a single pair and one prescription soon became another pair at a stronger prescription. And then another. And another, stronger still. When he flunked a driving test, he knew something had to change. So how did an appointment at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. lead to Don tossing a baker’s dozen of prescription eyewear? To hear Don’s experience with cataract surgery, visit



704.295.3000 800.654.3368

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Advertising Acknowledgement The following patrons made Mecklenburg Medicine possible.

Alpha Team Medical, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Brackett Flagship Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Carolinas HealthCare System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates . . . . . . 18 Charlotte Radiology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Charlotte Speech & Hearing Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Labcorp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Lamb Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Novant Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Ivey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tucker Boynton Financial Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

WORKING AS ONE The power of one system means smarter collaboration among physicians and better healthcare for all. Visit us at

Mecklenburg Medicine • April 2014 | 19

Mecklenburg County Medical Society


1112 Harding Place, #200 Charlotte, NC 28204 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED MCMS Mission: To unite, serve and represent our members as advocates for our patients, for the health of the community and for the profession of medicine.

LabCorp Laboratory Corporation of America


Ballantyne Billingsley** Carmel** Cabarrus Charlotte** Gastonia Stat Lab Huntersville Huntersville** Lake Norman Matthews** Matthews Northridge* Pineville Randolph** Rock Hill Salisbury** Shelby Statesville** University**

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15830 John Delaney Drive 300 Billingsley Road, Suite 200A 5633 Blakeney Park Drive, Suite 100 478 Copperfield Blvd. 1718 E. 4th Street 660 Summitt Crossing, Suite 206 14330 Oakhill Park Lane 10030 Gilead Road, Suite B100 134 Medical Park Drive, Suite 102 211 W. Matthews Street, Suite 103 1500 Matthews Township Parkway, Suite 1147 5031-G West W.T. Harris Blvd. 10410 Park Road, Suite 450 1928 Randolph Road, Suite 109 2460 India Hook Road, Suite 101 611 Mocksville Avenue 809 N. Lafayette Street 1710-A Davie Avenue 10320 Mallard Creek Road

*Drug Screens only **Blood Draws only

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Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC Concord, NC Charlotte, NC Gastonia, NC Huntersville, NC Huntersville, NC Mooresville, NC Matthews, NC Matthews, NC Charlotte, NC Pineville, NC Charlotte, NC Rock Hill, SC Salisbury, NC Shelby, NC Statesville, NC Charlotte, NC

704-540-0251 704-332-6904 704-542-7061 704-795-2710 704-372-6609 704-854-9497 704-948-8101 704-875-9130 704-799-6230 704-846-9186 704-849-0154 704-598-6266 704-341-1145 704-334-2629 803-328-1724 704-637-1676 704-480-7004 704-878-0948 704-549-8647

Mecklenburg Medicine April 2014  

A Publication of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society

Mecklenburg Medicine April 2014  

A Publication of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society