RALEIGH — The 2023 LEAD Healthcare Conference and Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala has concluded! Over the course of two days, attendees, including members of the North Carolina Medical Society, guests, speakers, and exhibitors, gathered at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in RTP for engaging discussions, camaraderie, and educational sessions. The agenda encompassed a range of vital subjects, such as women’s reproductive health and Black maternal well-being, trending topics for young physicians and physician assistants, clinician well-being, and the latest developments in the healthcare field.

On Friday morning, the event commenced with a keynote address from Dr. Amy Bryant, who delved into the topic of women’s reproductive health. This was followed by the screening of the Aftershock video and a panel discussion centered on Black maternal health, skillfully moderated by Dr. Karen L. Smith. Joining her on stage were Belinda Pettiford, MPH, and Maria Small, MD, MPH, contributing to the insightful dialogue.

Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to engage in networking sessions with peers and gain valuable insights from a diverse array of exhibitors who offered comprehensive support to meet the needs of physicians. The exhibitors included financial advisors, workforce support providers, technology consultants, and a myriad of experts prepared to address the challenges and opportunities within the future of healthcare in North Carolina.

On the first day, there was a panel discussion titled ‘Voice of the Young Physician and Physician Assistant,’ skillfully moderated by Shawn Scott from NCMS. The panel featured Hans Arora, MD, Jasmine Hemmings, PA-C, Joshua Penninger, PA-C, and Sherry Wang, MD, offering valuable insights. Additionally, attendees enjoyed a lunch session and a Sponsor Showcase discussion on Asthma Care presented by Sanofi-Regeneron. There was also an informative advocacy class led by Seth Palmer, along with the annual CPP Meeting. Throughout the day, the NCMS Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, CCH, and CCHN conducted extensive meetings, culminating in the announcement of new board members on Saturday.

Friday afternoon was brimming with enlightening MedTalks featuring Leadership College Scholars, including Julia Wulforst, PA-C, Jennifer Kipp, DPM, Carla Holder, MD, Susie Fitzgerald, DO, Christine Khandelwal, DO, Michalina Kupsik, MD, Katie Lowry, MD, Jacqueline Njapa, MD, and Dana Point, MD. The MedTalks were followed by a meeting of the Opioid Task Force.

The day reached its climax with a joyous celebration of the Kanof Institute for Professional Leadership. The evening featured a cocktail reception, including a warm Welcome Reception and the formal presentation of graduation certificates to the 2023 KIPL class. The gathering was a moment to reflect on and commemorate the 20-year legacy of Leadership College.

Saturday began with the NCMS PAC Advocacy Breakfast, featuring a presentation by CEO Chip Baggett, who offered insights into the changing landscape of political division in the United States and strategies for advancing both the nation and the NCMS. Attendees enjoyed breakfast while several prizes and raffle items were distributed, and further interactions with exhibitors took place.

Following this, Elizabeth C. Tilson, MD, MPH, the State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services and Ronald B. May, MD, delivered a presentation on the Public Health Commission.

The morning continued with an chance to see posters created by residents, fellows, and medical students from across the state, along with a final opportunity to engage with exhibitors. After that, NCMS President Dr. Arthur Apolinario participated in a panel discussion alongside NCMS Board members Andrew Lamb, MD, and Claude Jarrett, MD, FAAOS, focusing on the topic of ‘When the Physician is the Patient.’ The discussion was expertly moderated by NCMS’ Dr. Kristina Natt och Dag.  The NCMS Annual Meeting was also held Saturday afternoon.

Saturday night marked the moment when the festivities shifted into high gear at the 2023 Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala! The event was kicked off by NCMS’ Randy Aldridge and Chip Baggett, who extended a warm welcome to past, present, and future NCMS presidents on the stage. A touching farewell was delivered by Past President Dr. Michael Utecht to President Dr. Arthur Apolinario, who presented him with the presidential pin. Dr. Apolinario, affectionately known as “Dr. Art,” then directed his attention to incoming president, Dr. Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS, FAAP. He administered the oath of office and bestowed upon her the President’s Medallion. Dr. Raynor then addressed the gathering with her inaugural speech as NCMS president.

Several awards were given including the Golden Stethoscope Awards.  They went to:

  • Dr. Karen Harum from Region 1
  • Dr. Holly Biola from Region 2
  • Dr. Joseph Bell from Region 3
  • Dr. Alan Story from Region 4

The 2023 T. Reginal Harris Award was given to Dr. Jeffrey Kuremsky

The 2023 John Huske Anderson Award went to Brooks Bell

The 2023 E. Harvey Estes, Jr. Physician Community Service Award went to Dr. Peter Morris.

All of that was followed by a presentation on 20 years of NCMS Leadership College by Kristina Natt och Dag.

The evening wrapped up with comments from CEO Chip Baggett and dancing!  All-in-all, it was another wonderful annual conference for the North Carolina Medical Society.