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  • November 26, 2018
  • August 28, 2018
  • June 11, 2018
  • May 17, 2018
  • Dec. 5, 2017
  • April 27, 2017
  • October 19, 2016
  • June 23, 2016
  • March 8, 2016
  • November 16, 2015
  • August 21, 2015
  • July 20, 2015
  • Seshul, Puscas Elected to NCMS Leadership Positions

    The results are in! Two NCSOHNS Past Presidents were elected to leadership positions with the NC Medical Society.

    Merritt J. Seshul, MD (Hickory), who served as 2010-2011 NCSOHNS President, was elected to serve on the NCMS Nominating and Leadership Development Committee representing Region 4 of the state.

    Liana Puscas, MD (Durham), 2008-2009 NCSOHNS President, was elected as an Alternate Delegate to the American Medical Association.

    The results of the election for NCMS leadership positions were announced at the NCMS Annual Business Meeting last month in Raleigh. For more election results, visit the NCMS website.

    Merritt J. Seshul, MD,

    Liana Puscas, MD, MHS

    NC/SC SOHNS Annual Assembly Wrap Up

    The NC and SC Societies of Otolaryngology welcomed more than 100 otolaryngologists and allied providers, along with their families, to their 2018 Annual Assembly, held over the weekend of July 20-22, at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC - one of the most attended NC/SC Assemblies ever!

    Participants took in exceptional mountain views while enjoying 11 hours of educational programming, networking and social events, and organized recreational opportunities. The meeting program featured Dr. Rick Pillsbury, Otolaryngology Department Chair and Thomas J. Dark Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina, and Dr. Greg Murphy, a Greenville urologist and the only physician currently serving in the NC General Assembly.

    The meeting also featured a resident paper competition. The Edgar C. Garrabrant, II, MD Award was created in 2003 to pay tribute to a former North Carolina otolaryngologist and outstanding person, Dr. Ed Garrabrant. This award was instituted in his memory to signify the importance the Society places on residency training and on residents' involvement in this society. The award is presented to the winning resident paper presenter at the Annual Meeting, on those years when the meeting is hosted by the NCSOHNS.

    The Society is grateful for the residents from Duke, UNC, Wake Forest and MUSC who presented papers. Thank you! Congratulations to UNC's Zainab Farzal, MD on being selected as the 2018 Edgar C. Garrabrant, II, MD Award for her first place paper, "Sex Bias in Otolaryngology Clinical Research: Current Status in the 21st Century."

    The meeting also provided members the opportunity to elect officers and directors to the NCSOHNS Board of Directors.

    Meet your 2018-2019 NCSOHNS Board of Directors:

    Carlton Zdanski, MD
    (Chapel Hill)

    Richard Alexander, MD

    Vice President:
    Charles Woodard, MD

    Secretary Treasurer:
    Christopher Tebbit, MD

    Immediate Past President:
    W. Cooper Scurry, Jr., MD

    Governor to AAOHNS BOG:
    Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS

    This exceptional meeting would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors and exhibitors.

    Plans are already underway for another excellent NC/SC SOHNS Annual Assembly. We will be returning to the Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa for the 2019 Annual Assembly, August 1-4. Save the date!

    Lawsuit Filed Over Certificate of Need Restrictions

    A Winston-Salem surgeon, Dr. Gajendra Singh, has filed a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina challenging the constitutionality of the state’s Certificate of Need (CON) laws, which are among the most restrictive in the country. North Carolina’s CON laws prohibit physicians from opening ambulatory surgery centers and from purchasing diagnostic equipment, thereby contributing to rising healthcare costs, adversely impacting surgical quality and limiting patient access to care.

    There have been several attempts over the years at legislative solutions to deregulate the system, which the NCSOHNS has supported, but those measures have yet to gain enough support to make it through the General Assembly. Most recently, Rep. Beverley Boswell (Dare Co.) in June offered an amendment from the House floor calling for a study of CON’s impact on healthcare access. The amendment failed 18-89, highlighting the low level of interest on this issue among House members.

    The timeline for how and when this lawsuit will be adjudicated is uncertain.

    Media Coverage and Additional Information:

    Liana Puscas Elected to National Board of Medical Examiners

    NCSOHNS Past President (2008-2009) Dr. Liana Puscas (Durham) has been elected to the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) as a member representing the American Medical Association (AMA). Dr. Puscas is an associate professor of surgery within the Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences at Duke University. Please join the NCSOHNS in congratulating Dr. Puscas on her achievement!

    Eileen Raynor Elected to NCMS Board of Directors

    NCSOHNS Past President Eileen Raynor, MD, FACS, FAAP (Durham) has been elected to the NC Medical Society's Board of Directors. Dr. Raynor shares, "I would like to positively impact the quality of life for North Carolina citizens and its physicians through advocacy and collaboration. As a member of the NCMS Board, we will be able to help shape the future of health care for all of North Carolina." Congratulations, Dr. Raynor!

    Dr. Raynor has held numerous leadership positions in the NCSOHNS, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the NC Medical Society. She served as NCSOHNS President 2013-2014 and is presently the NCSOHNS Representative to the AAO-HNS Board of Governors. She has served on the NCMS Legislative Cabinet, the NCMS Medical Education Committee and the NCMS Membership and Communications Advisory Committee. She is also an alumna of the prestigious NCMS Leadership College, class of 2012. Dr. Raynor is on faculty with the Department of Surgery, Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences at Duke University Health System.

    The North Carolina Medical Society Board of Directors (NCMS BOD) is comprised of four executive members, four regional representatives and five at-large members. The NCMS BOD meets several times throughout the year and seeks feedback from the membership on any health policy issues of concern. Get to know your NCMS Board better by reading member bios on the NCMS website.

    NCSOHNS Advocacy Opportunities

    All is quiet on Jones Street at the moment, but several big policy issues will be addressed when the legislature convenes in mid-May for the 2018 short session. Physicians will have just over one month to advance (or derail) legislation impacting patient care and health care payment. This includes proposed legislation that would expand the scopes of practice of optometrists (HB 36) and advanced practice registered nurses (HB 88/SB 73), proposed restrictions on your ability to bill patients for out-of-network care (SB 629), and expansion of insurance coverage for the working poor (HB 662).

    Although some of the aforementioned bills are technically not eligible for consideration in 2018 due to procedure rules, we anticipate that each of these issues will be brought for consideration in some manner in the coming year. Also of note, the General Assembly announced on Nov. 9 that a legislative study committee has been assigned to study access to healthcare in rural NC, to include the physician shortage and its impact, solutions that other states have used to address physician shortage, and eye care access. The committee roster is available on the NC General Assembly website.

    2018 Otolaryngology White Coat Wednesday at the Legislature
    Each year, the NCSOHNS and the NC Medical Society join forces to present an otolaryngology advocacy day in Raleigh. White Coat Wednesday events include a legislative briefing at the NCMS office, meetings with legislators, attendance at legislative committee meetings, and a debriefing lunch. To help us identify a date that will support the greatest possible attendance, please complete our date picker poll to indicate all dates you could be available to meet with legislators in Raleigh. This is a free event and always a rewarding experience. Practicing, retired and resident physicians are invited to participate.

    Political Advocacy 101
    Engaging with legislators in Raleigh is just one component of an effective advocacy strategy. To be highly effective, otolaryngologists need to incorporate regular meetings with legislators into your schedules and support legislators' election campaigns.

    Participating in candidate fundraisers are an excellent way to show support for our elected officials who deal with legislation impacting the medical profession and patient care. In fact, they are an essential part of our representative democracy! Politically-engaged citizens like you help to ensure the election of candidates who are open to hearing our concerns and appreciate our position on key legislative issues impacting patient care.

    You will find that your elected representatives in the NC House and Senate are very accessible and genuinely appreciate the opportunity to answer your questions and hear your concerns. If you don't know who represents you in the General Assembly, you can look up your House and Senate representatives on the General Assembly website. If you would like scheduling assistance, coaching or a legislative briefing, please contact the NCSOHNS at