Local News

2016–17 SDCMS Board of Directors Elections

2016–17 SDCMS Board of Directors (BOD) Elections: April 12 – May 6, 2016

Notes: “inc.” After Name = Incumbent • # in Parentheses After Name = Term Length in Years










President-elect: Mark W. Sornson, MD (1): It is a privilege to again ask for your support as I run for president-elect of SDCMS. I have served as an SDCMS at-large director for four years, four years as a representative on the Executive Committee, eight times as a CMA delegate or alternate delegate representing San Diego, and three years on the Insurance and Physician Reimbursement Reference Committee for CMA. I’m now serving on the CMA Council on Legislation, the Council on Medical Services, and the Subcommittee on Medicare. Through these experiences I have seen firsthand that when a medical society speaks with a unified voice and builds relationships, we can make a difference. I was a spokesperson for CMA’s No on 45 campaign, and it was a true pleasure to be a part of that successful advocacy effort. This year we’ll have another initiative campaign, and I look forward to assisting. When physicians come together, they are listened to. As president-elect, I will continue to be a voice for reasoned discussion, representing all physicians. I’ve greatly enjoyed my service on behalf of SDCMS and CMA, and I am honored to ask for your vote to continue.



Secretary: David E.J. Bazzo, MD, FAAFP (1): I’ve had the privilege to serve on the SDCMS BOD since 2009. During this time, I’ve seen what advocacy through organized medicine can accomplish. This past year, the BOD elected me to serve as treasurer, allowing me to learn more about the inner workings of our wonderful association. SDCMS is second to none when it comes to representing the needs and interests of physicians in advocating to optimize our ability to help our patients. The politics of our state and nation have enormous impact on our capacity to keep our patients healthy and safe, and to keep costs controlled. As with any process, unless you have a seat at the table, your opinion is not heard. Well, through the work of your county and state medical societies, your voices are heard. Your interests are represented. The members of the board do have influence and work on your behalf to ensure that physicians have a say on the future practice of medicine. I am proud of my membership and position on the board, and view it an honor to volunteer to help our organization. I ask that you continue to place your trust in me to serve our organization by supporting my candidacy. Please grant me the privilege to continue to represent you as secretary. Thank you.


Treasurer: James (Jim) H. Schultz Jr., MD, MBA, FAAFP, DiMM (1): Jim Schultz is a family physician who practices at Neighborhood Healthcare, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center serving about 70,000 of the underserved and medically needy. He sees outpatients in Escondido, Pauma Valley, and Temecula, and inpatients as part of the California Emergency Physicians hospitalist program. He has been chief medical officer of Neighborhood Healthcare since 2001, and is currently the medical director of the Council of Community Clinics and of Project Access San Diego. Prior to his role at Neighborhood Healthcare, Jim was medical director and practicing physician at Graybill Medical Group in Escondido, where he began his professional career in 1988. His goals at SDCMS include fairly representing the interests of the physicians of North County and bringing in the voice and perspective of those physicians whose practice is predominantly that of the underserved. He is also a volunteer clinical professor at UCSD in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and hosts the Family Medicine Residency PGY-1 outpatient gynecology rotation. He recently completed his Diploma in Mountain Medicine in order to be prepared for the next avalanche in San Diego.



East County #1: Venu Prabaker, MD (inc.) (3): As a primary care physician practicing in East San Diego County for over 27 years, I have experienced a dramatic paradigm shift from a fee-for-service model to a managed-care model. At this juncture, we are entering the uncharted territory of healthcare reform, accountable care organizations, and patient-centered medical homes, where the interests of PCPs and the patients we care for are being undermined by economic and political forces. Now more than ever, we need strong leadership to represent us and our patients. Although a great challenge, I am excited to help pave the way for my fellow physicians during this time of instability in the healthcare arena. I am confident that with the help of the dynamic leaders that I have the pleasure of working with at the SDCMS board, we can convert the challenge into a great opportunity. I believe that my past leadership experiences and my dedication to our community make me the ideal candidate for East County geographic director. Prior to moving to San Diego, I served as an assistant director of the internal medicine residency program at Cleveland. I am or have served as voluntary clinical faculty in multiple educational institutions, including UCSD, USD, Western, Stanford, University of Arizona, etc. I have attended three mini-executive MBA courses (two from UCI and one from UCSD), which have taught me how to effectively assume leadership roles. I was the past president (twice) and actively participated in leadership roles since the inception of the San Diego Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (SAPI), where I coordinated educational, charitable, and collaborative programs for its members. I have participated in three of Sharp’s physician leadership courses in the past 20 years. As an SDCMS board member for the past few years, I witnessed the amazing talents, leadership, and dedication of my colleagues, who work tirelessly on behalf of fellow San Diego County physicians. It would be my proud privilege to join this vibrant group for another term. Never before was there a more critical need for us to stand steadfast, to speak in one voice, and to safeguard the interests of our patients as well as our colleagues. Organized medicine is the only armor we have to shield ourselves from the political and economic onslaught ahead. I consider the opportunity to serve our esteemed organization, SDCMS, a great honor, and I pledge to be the voice of East County physicians as their geographic director.


East County #2: Kosala Samarasinghe, MD (1)








Hillcrest #1: Gregory M. Balourdas, MD (inc.) (3) It has been a distinct pleasure to serve on the board of the San Diego County Medical Society over the last four years. I have been a member of the Medical Society since completion of my hand and microvascular fellowship at UCSD. During those 25 years, I have had the privilege to practice hand and upper extremity orthopedics in a traditional solo practice in the Hillcrest and Mission Hills area. In the last four years, I have received a valuable postgraduate education by participating through SDCMS as a delegate and participant in CMA's annual legislative meetings. Despite the not-always-positive trends in the practice of medicine, I believe our best chance to effect desired changes for our profession is to unite on common ground and to advocate through these avenues. I will endeavor to effectively represent all the physicians in my geographic community, as well as the perspective of solo and small-group practitioners and my orthopedic colleagues. Thank you for this opportunity.



Hillcrest #2: Thomas (Tom) C. Lian, MD (inc.) (3)








North County #2: Eileen S. Natuzzi, MD (inc.) (3)








South County #1: Irineo (Reno) Tiangco, MD (inc.) (3) I would like to represent South Bay on the board of directors. I am a foreign medical graduate and am currently doing solo practice, internal medicine, in National City. Prior to that, I was the medical director of a hospital-based primary care group practice. Thus, I represent several aspects of medicine: primary care, internal medicine, South Bay medicine, solo practice, and foreign medical graduates. The latter two together have few representatives on the board. While the mix of all four, I doubt, is represented by anybody at all. I would like to lend my voice, to the best of my ability, to all these sectors. Thank you.






Kearny Mesa #1: Anthony E. Magit, MD, MPH (inc.) (3): I appreciate the opportunity to continue my service on the SDCMS board of directors. Maintaining access to healthcare for our region’s children is a primary focus of my practice and advocacy activities, including being a member of the board of the Children’s Specialty Care Coalition (CSCC). The CSCC is a statewide organization representing physicians providing comprehensive medical and surgical care to children with special medical needs. My appreciation for the challenges facing medicine locally and nationally come from practicing pediatric otolaryngology for more than 20 years in San Diego and interacting with all of the health systems in our region, as well as participating in the development of clinical guidelines through national pediatric and specialty organizations. SDCMS has a critical role in supporting physicians representing the entire spectrum of medical practices in San Diego County.



South County #1: Maria T. Carriedo-Ceniceros, MD (3): I am honored to be a candidate for SDCMS alternate director. I am a family physician from San Ysidro Health Center Healthcare, a Federally Qualified Community Health Center serving about 90,000 of the medically underserved and culturally diverse population in the South Bay and southeast San Diego. I have been the VP and chief medical officer for San Ysidro Health Center since 2012. My goals at SDCMS include not only providing the perspective of a physician working in South County with an underserved and culturally diverse population, but, in addition, working together with physicians from throughout the county to build a healthier community. I also look forward to working with a team of physicians to address the important issues of payment reform and physician workforce shortage that we are facing. Throughout my years at San Ysidro Health Center, I have actively been involved with training of students and residents. In addition, working as preceptor with the Scripps Chula Vista family residency program, I take great pride in helping in the training of our future family medicine physicians. I have been a board member with the San Diego Academy of Family Practice and enjoyed collaborating with physicians from various modes of practice. It would be an honor to have a seat on the board of SDCMS so that I may serve on behalf of all physicians. I ask for your support.



#3: Alexandra (Alexe) E. Page, MD (3): Serving for four years on the SDCMS board of directors has offered me the chance to build relationships with other San Diego County physicians, understanding and representing their views as a delegate to the California Medical Association. I have used the opportunity to transcend specialty interests and work on a united physician voice defining how healthcare will evolve. After 16 years with Kaiser, I have moved into private practice, which gives me a broad view of the challenges facing physicians in different modes of practice. But regardless of specialty or practice environment, paradigms of healthcare delivery from patient-centered medical homes, to ACOs, to bundled payments can change the patient-doctor relationship. Physicians can protect the care we give our patients by proactively defining how these new healthcare models will evolve in our community. My knowledge and experience in health systems have evolved from serving as a member and now chair of the Health Care Systems Committee of the Orthopaedic Academy (AAOS), a role that keeps me on the cutting edge of system-level changes that will affect San Diego physicians. A cum-laude graduate of Harvard Medical School, after residency in New York, I have practiced orthopaedics in San Diego since 1998. As a member of the SDCMS board of directors, I hope to continue communication among physicians of all disciplines to enhance consensus-building and present a stronger front to other stakeholders in the healthcare system.


#4: Nicholas (Nick) J. Yphantides, MD, MPH (1): I am thankful for your support of my service as a director of SDCMS. For seven years I have been blessed with the opportunity to be the chief medical officer (CMO) of the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency. My life and passion is to be an advocate and catalyst to improve the health and wellbeing of our entire region. Prior to my service with the County, I have served as the CMO of Neighborhood Health Care, the publicly elected board chair of Palomar Health, and the CMO of the Council of Community Clinics. I currently serve on the board of the SDCMS Foundation, and as vice chair of our regional heath information exchange (HIE), known as San Diego Health Connect. We are in a very dynamic and strategic time of collaborative partnership between SDCMS and its physician leaders with the County of San Diego through the nationally recognized “Live Well San Diego” vision. As a director, I eagerly look forward to strengthening our regional collective impact even further, as we strive to improve the wellness of our patients and their families throughout San Diego.


#5: Stephen R. Hayden, MD (inc.) (3): For most of my career in the fields of emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine at UC San Diego, I have been involved in national academic affairs. With the landscape changing so quickly in healthcare, I believe it is as important as ever for community physicians and academic physicians to partner and face the current challenges in medicine together. For over 20 years, I have been directly involved in national specialty societies and the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and these experiences will allow me to contribute to SDCMS’s advocacy efforts. After a tour of duty as senior flight surgeon for the Naval Strike Warfare Center NAS Fallon, Nevada, I completed my emergency medicine residency at the University Medical Center at Stony Brook, New York, where I served as chief resident. I am the previous associate dean for graduate medical education at UC San Diego, after serving as the program director of the emergency medicine residency. I am a past president of the national Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors, and, in 2006, I was selected as the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Emergency Medicine. In 2005 I was the recipient of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) Residency Director of the Year Award and was recognized in 2005–2007 as one of America’s Top Physicians. In addition, I was fortunate to receive the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) National Faculty Teaching Award. I am a primary author / editor for a major textbook in emergency medicine, The Five-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult, as well as numerous textbook chapters, peer-reviewed publications, and over a hundred invited national and international speaking engagements. I am married with three children and have a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I would consider it a privilege to continue to serve the San Diego County Medical Society and its members.



#1: Karl E. Steinberg, MD, FAAFP (inc.) (3): I’m a family physician, geriatrician, and hospice physician, and I have been a nursing home and hospice medical director in coastal North County continuously since 1995. My passions are providing compassionate care to the frail elderly and others with serious or chronic illnesses, and helping to educate patients and healthcare providers about palliative care. In addition to patient care, I am editor-in-chief of a periodical called Caring for the Ages, published by Elsevier and AMDA (the American Medical Directors Association), and I am chair of AMDA’s public policy committee. I am chair of the Compassionate Care Coalition of California (the people who brought you POLST), and a past president and current secretary of CALTCM (the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine); I also currently serve on the government relations committee of CAHF (the California Association of Health Facilities). I provide long-term care consulting and medico-legal services, and I’m medical director of three North County skilled nursing facilities (Life Care Center of Vista, Carlsbad by the Sea, and Village Square). I am volunteer faculty for UCSD and Camp Pendleton’s family medicine residency programs, and serve as adjunct faculty for Case Western Reserve University’s Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering. I am also affiliate faculty at CSUSM’s Institute for Palliative Care. At SDCMS, I’ve been on the Bioethics Commission for the last seven years, and have been active on the POLST Coalition and TDC’s Physician Advisory Board. In my spare time, I take my dogs to the nursing homes with me, and play tennis and guitar marginally. My experience has given me a broad exposure to multiple sectors within the healthcare arena, not just locally but statewide and nationally as well. I believe we have a long way to go in getting incentives aligned to optimize care (for example, taking care of ill nursing home residents in the nursing home instead of shipping them to the hospital), increasing awareness of palliative care and advance care planning, and helping our patients get the care they want (and not get the care they don’t want). By participating in the political process, I hope I can help move things along — with the assistance of many other committed individuals within SDCMS and other involved organizations. Thanks for your support in allowing me to continue my service on this board.


#2: Steven L-W Chen, MD, FACS, MBA (inc.) (3): It is an honor to be considered for a re-election to a position on the SDCMS board of directors. As a surgical oncologist in independent practice with offices in Mira Mesa and Encinitas, I have privileges in the Scripps, Sharp, and Palomar systems, allowing me to get a broad overview of county issues. Although I consider myself still relatively new to San Diego, in the past two years I have worked towards building relationships with physicians all over the county. I have been an academic physician while serving as chief of breast surgery, an employed physician at City of Hope in Los Angeles, and now in independent practice, I have developed experience in multiple practice modes and will ensure that our policies take all modes into account. My experience in organized medicine has spanned serving on the board of the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, as well as nationally including serving on the board of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, as prior service on the Governing Councils of the Young Physicians Section of the AMA and the Young Fellows Association of the American College of Surgeons. I continue to serve on the legislative committees of the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Breast Surgeons and thus stay up to date on the issues facing the professional practice of medicine. I fully believe that if we do not defend the profession and act as professionals, we will lose the right to be a profession. SDCMS and organized medicine are key links to ensuring that being a physician continues to mean being a professional. I ask for your support to allow me to help represent you and your concerns.



Edwin S. Chen, MD (inc.) (1): Healthy and happy physicians take better care of healthy and happy patients. In the dramatically changing healthcare landscape, SDCMS provides a meeting place and a launching platform from which we can advocate for ourselves and our patients. New physicians often find themselves immersed in a healthcare world they never imagined. I have had the honor and privilege of serving as the young physician director for the past year, and it has been a wonderful experience. As a young physician who recently started a solo practice, I look forward to collaborating with all of you in sharing our knowledge and experience so that we can better advocate for the medical community and the patients that we serve.




Alternate: Heidi M. Meyer, MD (inc.) (1): My first experience with SDCMS was as a medical student delegate to CMA while at UCSD. As a resident, I served as the resident member of both the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians national board of directors, which exposed me to the politics of medicine on both a state and federal level. I am currently president-elect to the San Diego Academy of Family Physicians, after 4 years of serving on its board. I am a primary care physician at Kaiser Permanente, a unique practice environment that needs representation — along with all other styles of practice — in our medical society. My first year on the board was a wonderful one, and I hope to earn further time to represent physicians on a local and state level.





Michael C. Hann, MD (inc.) (1) I am psychiatry chief resident at Naval Medical Center San Diego, and I am running for re-election as the resident physician director. I am a dual-degree graduate of the Florida International University (FIU) Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and FIU Chapman Graduate School of Business in Miami, Florida, where I earned my MD and Healthcare MBA. I entered the Navy through the Health Professions Scholarship Program after completing the Navy’s Officer Development School (ODS), where I served as the division officer. I was recognized as the honor graduate upon completion of ODS and was further recognized with the George T. Smith Award for Military Leadership. I currently serve as Naval Medical Center San Diego’s House Staff Council representative for the Directorate of Mental Health, as well as a committee member on the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) / CLER Pathways Patient Safety Committee. I was humbled to be selected for the prestigious American Psychiatric Leadership Fellowship and to serve on the APA Council for Advocacy and Government Relations. In addition, I was also one of only 12 psychiatry residents in the United States and Canada to be distinguished as a 2016 Laughlin Fellow. My professional interests include advocacy in government and healthcare systems, and it would be a sincere honor to continue to serve the SDCMS board of directors.


Alternate: Zachary T. Berman, MD (1)









Lisa S. Miller, MD (inc.) (3)








J. Steven Poceta, MD (3): I am running for alternate delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) from San Diego for the upcoming term. I respect and appreciate Lisa Miller, our current alternate, but I believe that I will better represent you at AMA. I have been a member of SDCMS since I came to San Diego in 1987. I have served on their board of directors and have been president. I have also been head of the Division of Neurology at Scripps Clinic, and I have learned a lot about leadership. I am dedicated to the pursuit of medicine, and I believe in a pluralistic approach to the practice. All physicians have a role to play in the optimal delivery of healthcare to our fellow community members. The respect that we receive from our patients is great, and it not only serves to enrich our lives, but also to indicate our value to the community. No specific healthcare delivery system is innately better than another, considering the changes that have occurred since our profession was founded. That is, the practice of medicine has survived since long before the Depression of the 1930s, the creation of Medicare, the HMO, and the current trend toward consolidation. All doctors are important — from those in academics to those in solo practice — and I support them all. The backbone of the system remains the same: doctors who study, train, and work hard to take care of people who are sick and to understand the causes of disease. We need a system that fosters the most capable young people to go into our profession, rewards them appropriately, and provides career and personal satisfaction. This may be in jeopardy. I believe that we can meet these goals even under the uncertainties of the current system.

While president of SDCMS, I undertook many challenges, including facing the retirement of our long-standing CEO and recruiting our current CEO. I reformed out investment policy. Working with CMA, I led the charge against Proposition 46 and won. I worked with constituents to make reforms to the maintenance of certification process, and in all of these was successful at some level.

I now want to turn my efforts to the national level through the most effective voice that we physicians have: the American Medical Association. This association is a proven, effective and nonpartisan voice in Washington, DC. Although certain specialty societies have a voice of their own, AMA speaks for all physicians and is by far the most recognized voice that we physicians have. It works with state organizations such as CMA to represent us and our vocation to help patients. Again, although not without its challenges and problems — including the fact that most doctors are not members — AMA is now and will remain our best chance to influence policy at the national level. I look forward to trying to help.

I ask for your vote as alternate delegate from San Diego to AMA.

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