Fine Art and Fun Featured During PCMS Annual Meeting at TAM

The 2019 Annual Meeting Banquet of the Pierce County Medical Society was conducted on Wednesday, December 11 at the Tacoma Art Museum.  

As attendees arrived they were greeted by the sounds of a quartet of the Tacoma Youth Symphony performing holiday favorites while the new Benaroya Galleries as well as the North Galleries displaying a temporary exhibit of Impressionist masters were open for viewing.  Appetizers were served near the bar in the glass enclosed atrium looking out over downtown Tacoma.  

After partaking of a delicious buffet dinner served with Columbia Crest wines from the Evergreen State, a brief program began with Executive Director Bruce Ehrle welcoming PCMS Members for the evening.  He noted that as the new decade begins, one that is due to bring tremendous transformations in payment away from fee-for-service toward a reimbursement focus on value and quality, a top priority for PCMS will be in helping independent physicians navigate these changes as well as to work in partnership with the health systems and other large practices to assist the entire medical community by making sure that implementation of this new paradigm makes sense for providers and patients from a front-line care perspective.  He stressed the importance of seeking success for both health systems and the MDs, DOs, and PAs who work for them because with real penalties and bonuses coming on-line from the federal government and then private payers, a collaborative approach can yield positive results for all.  With administrative burden and other challenges continuing to grow for independent practices, Bruce expressed how important it is to seek solutions so that those who wish to remain independent have every opportunity to do so.  Advocacy will be key to all of this (and many more issues in the decade ahead) and PCMS will be a voice for physicians and PAs with federal and state policymakers, he said.  Bruce thanked the sponsor supporters of the 2019 PCMS Annual Meeting--CHI Franciscan, Community Health Care, MultiCare, and Physicians Insurance.  

PCMS President Aaron Pace, MD looked forward to a continued strong role for PCMS as the community-based professional organization for physicians and PAs in Pierce County and thanked his fellow board members for their participation in helping to lead the Society with ED Bruce Ehrle.  With gratitude for their service, Dr. Pace noted the departure of three doctors from the PCMS Board--Khash Dehghan, MD who had served as President in 2018, David Swedler, DO, and Noda Torres, MD. 

During his time leading the program at the podium, Dr. Pace announced that the recipient of the 2019 PCMS Community Service Award was Jeff Smith, MD for his long tenure at safety net provider Community Health Care including as medical director where he has enthusiastically provided care to so many who have few or no other places to turn for healing, for playing a leading role in establishing the family medicine residency program at CHC that has recently graduated its first classes during a time when residency slots and primary care providers are desperately needed, and for his ongoing support of and collaboration with PCMS including his past service as PCMS President. 

Dr. Pace presented the 2020 PCMS Presidential Gavel to Alex Mohit, MD.  Dr. Mohit stated that he was looking forward to the year ahead continuing to pursue PCMS priorities of advocacy, education, and collegiality which earlier Bruce Ehrle had noted now includes a partnership with TRA Medical Imaging to host Free PCMS Collegial Socials at the TRA Lounge.  Dr. Mohit stressed that physician wellness through implementation of these priorities, with a special focus on the well-being of the MD, DO, and PA, is increasingly important with each year of Society activities including during his upcoming term as President.  In closing the program, Dr. Mohit welcomed two new members of the PCMS Board--C. Blake Perry, MD, an independent surgeon, and Irene Grias, DO, an OGBYN at CHI Franciscan.