Richard Herring, MD Installed as New 2022 NCAAIS President

At their 2022 Annual Meeting, Richard Herring, MD was installed as President.  Dr. Herring practices at Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center in their Eastover, Concord and Huntersville locations.

Dr. Herring graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in biology. After 2 years of research at UNC Cystic Fibrosis Center, he decided to go to medical school. At East Carolina University, he graduated medical school and completed a combined 4-year residency program in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, caring for both adults and children. He then completed an adult and pediatric specialty fellowship program in Allergy & Immunology at the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Herring is board certified in both Allergy & Immunology and Internal Medicine.

Dr. Herring first became interested in this field when his wife’s allergies dramatically improved with allergy shots. He truly loves helping patients of all ages lead healthier lives and assisting them in actively changing the course of their allergic disorders. He also enjoys helping children and adults in all areas of his field such as severe nasal & eye allergies, allergic asthma, allergic eczema, as well as food allergy and immune deficiency syndromes.

For fun, Dr. Herring loves spending quality time with his family, being outdoors, and traveling. He has 4 children, 2 boys and 2 girls ranging in age from 2 to 11 years old.

WCMS Members Invited to Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club Open House September 17

Do you remember the joy of running your model train as a kid? Maybe you still love trains. If so, bring your kids to visit the Neuse River Valley Model Railroad Club Open House between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 1615 Old Louisburg Road, Raleigh 27609.  ( WCMS members and their families are invited to view N, HO, S, O, and G gauge trains in operation and enjoy light refreshments. Several of our retired physicians are members and will be pleased to show you around. Contact [email protected] for more information.

NRVMRR Club will also hold its big annual Train Show November 5-6, 2022, in the Graham Building of the NC State Fair.

Wake County Medical Society Call for Nominations for Executive Council

Because COVID restrictions curtailed meetings, recent annual elections of WCMS officers and Executive Council members were suspended, and current members of the Executive Council extended their time in office for several years. Now the time has come to again elect officers and at-large members of our Executive Council at our October general meeting. While several of our senior members are willing to continue to serve, we are very much in need of fresh new leadership, younger and more diverse.

Service on the Executive Council is not arduous, about 4 -5 meetings per year, currently being held in person / Zoom hybrid format.  Please contact Ted Kunstling [email protected] if you are interested in serving or would like more information. Perhaps you have a goal or aspiration which you would like to achieve or accomplish with the support of the WCMS.

Medical professionals in Wake County deserve and need their own independent professional organization, but if it is to survive, it is essential that leaders step forward. We need you. You will find that it is very personally rewarding and gratifying to serve your fellow physicians and surgeons.

On Point: 2030 - North Carolina Takes America’s Top Rank for Overall Health - by Philip M. Brown, Jr., MD

Imagine if we had the ability to elevate North Carolina to become the healthiest state in America. We could enhance people’s lives, eliminate suffering, and make our state truly able to claim to the honor of being the best place to live, work, and play. North Carolina would also be the best place to build and maintain a business, because our workforce would be well educated, healthy, and less expensive to insure. Our economy would be robust and our tax base secure. While it seems perhaps too good to be true, the reality is that such a vision is possible to achieve within the decade.

Yes, by 2030 North Carolina has the opportunity to become the healthiest state in America. But, it will take something we have never achieved on scale, which is an alignment of public and private sectors, individuals and communities, and people from different backgrounds who have not always seen eye-to-eye. Fortunately, we now have a source of information that makes factual alignment possible. The other parts are up to each of us.

While most people have been solidly and reasonably focused on surviving a global pandemic, during the last year something truly remarkable has emerged. The most powerful alignment tool for improving the health of North Carolinians in state history has been created through collaboration between Cape Fear Collective, Novant Health, Community Care of North Carolina, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, and Datawheel. Based on the 10 year state health plan Healthy NC 2030, the Healthy Communities Dashboard is now live online for all 100 counties in North Carolina. In many cases, it is possible to view the information at census block level and download the source data
for use in grant applications, subset analysis, and tracking of community-based interventions.

As a native North Carolinian and physician leader, it is hard for me to describe how excited I am to be part of developing a tool which gives free access to data-derived insights on the key factors underlying health. But I am even more excited that this information is readily available to everyone. For the first time ever, anyone with internet access will be able to see and use actionable information about health that is derived from 1300+ community metrics. Also for the first time ever, any organization intending to have a positive impact on health is enabled to use a common language based on evidence to elevate the health of people they serve. Putting all these things together,
we have the opportunity to make North Carolina the healthiest state in America, which will be incredibly important to us if we intend to keep our recent status as America’s Top State for Business.

So the real question is, where do we need improvement and who among all the sectors will be willing to step up to help make the lift? Let’s explore this with a few questions:

Do we have the need to improve job training in order to make our citizens better candidates for all the new job opportunities in North Carolina?

Are there opportunities to improve our education system?

Would we benefit from addressing the housing crisis that plagues many of our communities?

Would neighborhood revitalization that provided more people with safe places to exercise and connect be helpful to communities and attractive to businesses?

How do we best eliminate the problem of food insecurity among children and the elderly?

What can we do to better understand and respond to the impending mental health crisis?

Of course this short list of questions is only a fraction of what’s available to be analyzed through the Healthy Communities NC Dashboard. But the most imposing question that remains in my mind is, will we be able to align enough stakeholders working together to take action on these powerful insights? I am optimistic, and I hope you are too. It will take many of us working humbly and nobly together to make this vision our new reality, but it is possible. Creating the future is up to us.

Katie Lowry, MD, shares her giving moment...

NCMS member Dr. Katie Lowry with Robeson Pediatrics shares why she supports the NCMS Foundation’s Destination Health annual giving fund.

2021 Legislative Wrap-Up

NCOGS Legislative News and Priorities

NCOGS lobbyist Rob Lamme provides his wrap-up of the 2022 Legislative Session (July 1, 2022)


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