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President's Message - April 2017

By John F. McCarthy, MD | SCMS President

Picture of John McCarthy, MD, President of SCMS

As I prepared to take over the helm of the SCMS leadership, the board was preparing for a change. It became clear that a new leadership model was necessary to remain fiscally responsible and we made a decision to change the administrative structure of the organization. We are returning to a model wherein we will be operating without a CEO. It is with regret that we announce that Dean Larsen, who served as our CEO for the last four years, will be moving on. During his tenure, we saw the development of our Wellness Program, 1st Wednesday Member Mixers, the Medical Education Task Force, a transition to a new office, and more. A lot has been going on and it has been important development for our organization. We continue to exist as a non-partisan voice in our medical community that serves the needs of our members.

In our world, change is constant and can be disconcerting; we tend to be anxious with transitions. Fortunately, change frequently also leads to creativity. Your SCMS board looks to our organizational future through optimistic lenses as we prepare for some unpredictable transitions. MultiCare is replacing CHS; Kaiser has acquired Group Health; Washington State University is starting a medical school; LabCorp is purchasing PAML; the ACA “repeal” is changing healthcare coverage options. Some of these changes will likely benefit our patients and/or ourselves; some will create challenges.


Across the spectrum of healthcare, our world is, and has been, changing rapidly. Your board’s optimism is founded in the strength of our greatest resource: you, our members. As physicians and PA’s, we collectively bring a huge amount of value to all discussions in our community regarding healthcare and health delivery. The commitment of my colleagues on the board to you, to our future providers, to our medical institutions, and to our patients is impressive. Your board does not give up its time to receive accolades, payment, or personal gain (nor does it have an overwhelming desire to go to more meetings). Rather, they are committed to making Spokane County healthcare some of the best in the nation. As we undergo our own restructuring, we will maintain a strong team with a staff that has a collective institutional memory of over 35 years. We will continue to benefit from Karen Hagensen, Shelly Bonforti and Stephanie Ferguson as they work to ensure our organization remains healthy and strong. We will continue to work to represent you on the various boards/committees and task forces at which we have done so historically.


As we move forward, the board will have a meeting with 15 past SCMS presidents to discuss visions, paths forward, creative opportunities and simply to appreciate the wisdom of this well positioned group. We plan to continue listening, continue representing you and your patients, and continue working to uphold our mission and core values. Again, I want to spell out to you that per our mission statement: We as an organization exist to “serve as guardian of community health and wellness while leading and promoting the professional practice of medicine in our region”. Your board and staff are confident that we will aggressively work to accomplish this mission.

John F. McCarthy, MD
SCMS President

Spokane County Medical Society
Ph: 509.325.5010 | Fax: 509.325.5409
708 North Argonne Road, Suite 5 | Spokane, WA 99212-2760