NCMS Member to receive prestigious 2022 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons for pioneering work in regenerative medicine.

Anthony Atala, MD - NCMS member since 2004

Pediatric urologist Dr. Anthony Atala, MD, FACS, of Winston-Salem will be presented with the 2022 Jacobson Innovation Award of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) at a dinner held in his honor this evening in Chicago. He is currently the George Link, Jr. Professor and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) and the W. H. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The award honors living surgeons who are innovators of a new development or technique in any field of surgery.

Dr. Atala is a pediatric urologist, researcher, professor, and mentor who is renowned for developing foundational principles for regenerative medicine research, which holds great promise for people who require tissue substitution and reconstruction. Dr. Atala and his team successfully implanted the world’s first laboratory-grown bladder in 1999.

He currently leads an interdisciplinary team of more than 450 researchers and physicians. Beyond many other world firsts, WFIRM has also developed 15 clinically used technology-based applications, including muscle, urethra, cartilage, reproductive tissues, and skin. Currently, the Institute is working on more than 40 tissues and organs.

Through Dr. Atala's vision, ingenuity, and leadership, the WFIRM team has developed specialized 3-D printers to engineer tissues. This work is accomplished by using cells to create various tissues and organs, including miniature organs called organoids to create body-on-a-chip systems. Dr. Atala and his team also discovered a stem cell population derived from both the amniotic fluid and the placenta, which are currently being used for clinically relevant research applications.

Dr. Atala's theory is that every cell within the human body should be capable of regeneration. What reproduces naturally inside the body should also have the same capabilities of reproduction outside of the body. According to Dr. Atala, “the key benefit to the approach of cell and tissue regeneration is that a patient will not reject their own cells or tissue, which is always a concern related to traditional organ match transplantation.”

In addition to this award, Dr. Atala has also been recognized as one of Time magazine’s Top 10 Medical reakthroughs in 2007, Smithsonian's 2010 Top Science Story of the Year, and U.S. News & World Report's honor as one of 14 top Pioneers of Medical Progress in the 21st Century. He has been named by Scientific American as one of the world's most influential people in biotechnology, by Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review as one of 50 Key Influencers in the Life Sciences Intellectual Property arena, and by Nature Biotechnology as one of the top 10 Translational Researchers in the World.

Other honors include being the recipient of the U.S. Congress-funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, which is bestowed on a living American that currently is working on a discovery that will significantly affect society; the World Technology Award in Health and Medicine for achieving significant and lasting progress; the Edison Science/Medical Award; and the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award. 

Political Pulse for June 17, 2022

NCMS CEO/EVP Chip Baggett, JD, dives into the details around three important hot-topic legislative items in this week's can't-miss Political Pulse.

Related Links:

This bill won't improve healthcare in rural NC - Charlotte Observer - Op-Ed by Chip Baggett

Political Pulse for June 10, 2022

NCMS EVP/CEO Chip Baggett, JD, catches you up on all of the legislative news from this week and offers more details on several concerning provisions in the health care omnibus bill, HB 149. He also shares some good news regarding two health care bills that are moving through the legislature. Get all of the highlights in today's Political Pulse!

Related Links:
HB 149 - Expanding Access to Healthcare

SB 345 - PA Team-Based Practice

HB 1090 - Family Medicine Loan Forgiveness Pilot


Who wants to spend a weekend in Myrtle Beach?

Join the NCMS by June 15th for your chance to win!

As part of our #NCMS2000Stronger membership campaign, we are offering a weekend stay at the Marriott Myrtle Beach Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes for one lucky winner. Anyone who signs on with the NCMS as a brand new member by the June 15th deadline will be eligible to win.

Get your name in the running — join today!

Already a member? Share this exciting offer with a colleague!


Political Pulse for May 25, 2022 - The rumors were true...

The new legislative session began this week, and NCMS CEO Chip Baggett summarizes the fast-moving developments already unfolding. Rumors began flying fast that the SAVE Act was going to move quite quickly in some form down at the General Assembly, and the rumors were true. In Wednesday's Senate Health Care Committee, Sen. Krawiec (R - Dist. 31) introduced an amended version of HB 149, originally the telehealth bill. This amended bill rolls in additions to the original bill such as Medicaid Expansion (supported by the NCMS), the SAVE Act language (opposed by the NCMS), onerous provisions around Surprise Billing, and new changes to the Certificate of Need law. Find out more about this amended bill and when it may go up for a vote by watching this week's Political Pulse.

For more information, please see the proposed language here and a summary of the changes here.

Lunch & Learn Webinar: No Surprises Act

This Lunch & Learn webinar is presented by Joy Hord, JD from Parker Poe, and highlights the provisions of the No Surprises Act that are impacting practices, including:

  • What actions physician groups must take now in order to comply with the No Surprises Act, including provisions applicable to all physicians and physician groups (regardless of whether services are provided in facilities);
  • Process to obtain patient consent to bill as an out-of-network provider for certain services provided to patients at facilities,
  • Impact on physician groups of No Surprise Act rules applicable to payors, and
  • Reporting and enforcement rules.

Webinar Q&A (PDF)


Political Pulse for March 25, 2022

NCMS CEO/EVP Chip Baggett shares news about an important committee meeting at the Legislative Office Building next week and offers suggestions and talking points for you to reach out to your legislators. Watch this week’s Political Pulse for his update.

Blue banner with stars asking for people to save the date for the Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala - October 15, 2022

NCMS Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala

Make Plans to Join Us October 15th in Raleigh for the Golden Stethoscope Awards and Presidential Inauguration Gala

We have made it through two of the most challenging years the health care community has had to navigate in some time. Many of our physician and PA members went above and beyond the call of duty, placing their own lives at risk, sacrificing precious time with family and loved ones, while selflessly serving their patients. The NCMS thought it only right that we celebrate all of the health care heroes who made a huge impact on our state — that’s why we are holding our first Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala this year! Be sure to mark your calendar now so that you may attend this event created exclusively for NCMS members, their guests and event sponsors.

In addition to the Inaugural festivities where we will honor outgoing NCMS President Michael J. Utecht, MD, FACEP and welcome Arthur E. Apolinario, MD, MPH, FAAFP, as the 2022-2023 NCMS President, we plan to celebrate an NCMS member from each of the four regions of the state with a Golden Stethoscope Award.

Michael Utecht, MD

Arthur Apolinario, MD

Nominate an outstanding NCMS member for a Golden Stethoscope Award

Do you know an outstanding NCMS physician or physician assistant member who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, has demonstrated impressive leadership, dedication to patients, and stellar skills motivating, inspiring, and leading a medical team? If yes, please nominate that person for the NCMS’s Golden Stethoscope Award!

This award will provide peer recognition based upon nominations submitted and final selection by the NCMS Awards Committee. *Please note: NCMS Board and NCMS Foundation Board members are ineligible for this award. Award recipients and nominees will be recognized in the Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala on October 15, 2022.

The deadline to submit nominations is August 31, 2022.

Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala
Sponsorship opportunities

We hope that you will join us in Celebrating Medicine!

The 2022 Golden Stethoscope Awards Gala is the North Carolina Medical Society’s way of thanking our physician and PA members for their tireless and remarkable dedication to their profession and service to their patients and communities.This year we are “Celebrating Medicine” by holding the Golden Stethoscope Awards, which will honor four NCMS members for their dedication to the profession of medicine, communities, and their patients during the COVID pandemic.

Corporate partners are invited to share in this event honoring the sacrifices of these health care heroes. Your gifts will ensure a spectacular evening spent celebrating the North Carolina physicians and PAs who helped steer us through one of the most challenging times in our history.

Please download a Sponsor Prospectus or contact Pam Highsmith for more information.

Download the Sponsor Prospectus

Our New Membership Campaign

The NCMS has launched its new member campaign for 2022 — #NCMS2000stronger — and we need YOU!

Now more than ever in this challenging health care climate, you need your voice to be heard. The NCMS is that voice for your profession and your patients — and the greater the number of voices behind us, the more powerful our impact can be.

This year, we have a new goal to increase our numbers by 2,000 brand new physician and PA members. Is this goal possible? Yes! Do we need you? Yes, yes we do!

Here's how you can help. Are you...

A current NCMS member?

Become an NCMS champion! Talk to your colleagues and find out if they are NCMS members, too. Let them know about your experience and why YOU joined. Encourage them to visit our website, review our membership information and become a member online at Forward them a copy of our membership handout and urge them to help make us #NCMS2000stronger!

A lapsed NCMS member?

How can we help you? Let us know about your experience and how you think we can improve by taking our latest member experience survey or by contacting us at [email protected]. We want your feedback!

Did you just forget about renewing? Visit to fix that.

Never been a member?

Join our NCMS community and become one of our #NCMS2000stronger heroes! Being an NCMS member has its privileges. Find out what the benefits of membership are and sign up online today! Need an invoice sent to you instead? Please contact us at [email protected], and we'll be happy to send one over.


Download our Membership Handout

NCMS Supports Governor’s Decision and Offers Recommendations on Transitioning to COVID Endemic

Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and radically changed many behaviors we once considered normal, from the way we shop, work, access health care, and educate children, to the way we interact with neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends. From the onset of the pandemic, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) supported the strong mitigation efforts to lessen the transmission of COVID-19 and its potential negative impact on the health of North Carolinians. Our members—representing North Carolina’s physicians and physician assistants—understood clearly how these mitigation efforts were critical tools for them as frontline responders treating COVID-19 patients. NCMS members also understood that these mitigation efforts were important to protecting all healthcare workers. As the key metrics begin to trend in the right direction, it is now time to use what we know about public health pandemics and endemics to critically and judiciously plan the next steps that we should take. The next steps we take should be geared more towards individual behaviors to manage and assess ongoing personal risk and less towards public mandates.

“Vaccines have been an effective tool for minimizing potential health (personal and public) hazards associated with COVID. Vaccines are also vital in slowing widespread viral transmission resulting in increased disease progression as measured by hospitalizations and deaths. We are seeing success to that end. Now, we must accept that very much like the seasonal flu, COVID-19 will be among us on the list of SARs viruses. We must learn to live with it in a safe and thoughtful way. Patients should rely on their trusted physician to help them evaluate their personal risk and safely navigate life in the new post-pandemic COVID era,” said Michael Utecht, MD, NCMS President.

Assessing personal risk includes identifying hazards where you could be exposed to COVID, deciding your personal risk tolerance on your health status and the health status of those in your immediate family and environment, and the impact on you and your family if you were to contract COVID. “Evaluating risk is something that we commonly do without thinking, like when we drive a car.” said Chip Baggett, EVP & CEO of NCMS. “Your primary physician has the deep understanding of your personal health history and lifestyle to assist you in developing a personal COVID risk determination. That is where people should now turn to for guidance.”

Baggett says: “We are mindful, however, that there are communities and segments of the population who may not have a primary care provider or local physician. Health disparities and inequities remain serious issues that we must continue to confront and address. For people who may never visit a doctor until a disease has worsened, it is important that they have clear guidance on what they can do to practice healthy behaviors to minimize their personal risk. Therefore, the NCMS will be exploring ways to collaborate with stakeholders to promote public messaging to reach wider audiences than those who have primary care physicians or meet regularly with their local doctors.”