Happy Tuesday! Enjoy your NCMS Morning Rounds!

October 19, 2021

WCMS Executive Director Paul Harrison Announces Retirement; Honored with John Huske Anderson Award

The Wake County Medical Society (WCMS) has announced the retirement of Executive Director Paul B. Harrison, MPH, effective October 1, 2021.  On October 16 at the NCMS Annual Business Meeting, Paul’s 21 years of service to the Wake and surrounding area’s medical communities were recognized with the John Huske Anderson Award.  The John Huske Anderson Award is given annually to a layperson whose contributions have had a positive impact on the medical profession and public health. The award honors Mr. Anderson’s service to medicine and the NCMS, having served as NCMS legal counsel from 1937 until his retirement in 1983. Paul was nominated for the award by Ted Kunstling, MD, WCMS President.

Paul served as the Executive Director of the Wake County Medical Society (WCMS) since 2000, and as Executive Director of its Wake County Community Health Foundation, Capital Care Collaborative and Project Access from 2000-2011. Paul joined the WCMS, its Foundation, and Project Access to advance their mission of developing a medical care safety net for indigent residents of Wake County on behalf of the Wake County Medical Society. (In recent years, Community Health Foundation and Capital Care Collaborative have spun off from WCMS and function independently.)

Paul served in the Peace Corps both as a volunteer and as a staff member from 1966 to1972. He then moved to Chapel Hill where he earned a master’s degree in public health. Following graduation, he worked for the NC Office of Rural Health Services; served as Assistant Dean of Trinity College, Duke University; and for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) before taking the helm at the WCMS.

Dr. Kunstling shares, “Paul has been committed to the health of North Carolinians throughout his entire career. His leadership at the WCMS and the Wake County Community Health Foundation resulted in the launch of programs such as Project Access, Community Care of Wake and Johnston Counties, and Capital Care Collaborative, which provide daily assistance with the healthcare needs of our neighbors. His quiet leadership for our physicians and surgeons has been an essential enabler, allowing them to reach those who might otherwise fall between the cracks. Paul’s career has been much more than just a job; it has been a labor of love, a response to a call to serve. The WCMS and it leadership will always be indebted to Paul for his loyal support.  Well done, faithful servant!”

Chip Baggett, CEO of the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS), echoes Dr. Kunstling’s comments. “It is rare to find a public servant who quietly goes about planting and nurturing the seeds of change. Paul’s contributions to the health and well-being of patients are enduring. I am grateful for his leadership.”

In continuing operations following Paul’s retirement, the WCMS has contracted with the NCMS to provide association management services. The WCMS Executive Council, led by Dr. Kunstling, continues its current activities including community events, their Book Club, and annual holiday celebration. Upcoming activities and additional information will be available at www.wakedocs.org.  Visit the NCMS website to join or renew membership in the WCMS or email [email protected].

AMA Sign-on Letter to CMS

The American Medical Association continues to hear that physicians have challenges when attempting to access fee-free reimbursement for claims via EFT. We (AMA) are writing to the Biden Administration asking for a fresh evaluation of the issue, specifically calling on the administration to (1) issue guidance that affirms physicians’ right to choose and receive basic EFT payments without paying for additional services and (2) undertake the associated enforcement activities. Read the letter here.

Last Power Hour of 2021

Friday, October 22 from 12:00 noon – 1:00pm

In 2020, there will be an estimated 104,610 new cases of colon cancer and 43,340 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the US according to the American Cancer Society. Despite ample research that show the impact of screening on the incidence of the diagnosis and improvement of survival, colorectal cancer is still the fourth leading cause of death in North Carolina. In addition, minorities and low-income patients have lower screening rates.

With the Medicaid expansion, the aspiration is to increase screening across all groups. While there is no study that shows a direct correlation between Medicaid expansion and colorectal cancer care, simply having insurance means the patient is two times more likely to get colorectal cancer screening.

Join us for this month’s Power Hour for an important conversation around this pressing topic with a group of experts and advocates including a former patient and stage 4 colon cancer survivor.

Register here.

In the News

US Renews COVID-19 Emergency Declaration for 7th Time, Becker’s, 10-18-21

Learning Opportunity

HCCN Webinar: Connecting to NC Immunization Registry via NC HealthConnex, October 25th from 12 noon – 1pm

Please join the HCCN and NC HIEA staff to discuss how you can connect to the NC Immunization Registry by leveraging your existing connections to NC HealthConnex. Feel free to invite your EMR vendor representatives to join as well.

Register here.


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