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President's Message

By Brenda Sue Houmard, MD, PhD | 2018 SCMS President

Dear Colleagues,

Fall is the time for change, right? I want to keep you abreast of some of the changes in store for the Spokane County Medical Society. Under the guidance of Dr. John McCarthy in 2017, the Board of Directors of the SCMS started the process of confirming the value for our members and the appropriate price-point for membership dues.

It was during that time that we downsized the staffing of the medical society from four employees to two employees and decreased the cost of membership. We were lucky to have Karen Hagensen and Shelly Bonforti to help us during that transition. We then re-affirmed our mission and put forth four pillars of emphasis:

  • A Clinical Issue: the Opioid Crisis
  • Medical Education
  • Medical Advocacy
  • Opportunities for Collegiality for our Members

Please refer to the article on the Opioid Crisis for the great initial strides made by the medical society and the Spokane Regional Health District. We are looking for these benefits to make a great impact on our society in this challenging era.

Previous issues have highlighted the work that the society has pursued for medical education. I am so pleased that our students have been integral in helping us as a society with our efforts in both the opioid crisis and medical advocacy. They are truly the future of medicine and have risen to the occasion.

Speaking of medical advocacy, check out the article by Dr. Deb Wiser. We were fortunate to have the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) House of Delegates in Spokane for its annual meeting this fall. I echo the sentiments of Dr. Wiser – the experience brings you back to why you chose medicine as a career path.

SCMS has continued to experience financial challenges and 2019 is going to bring some changes to its organizational structure. Karen Hagensen’s last day with the SCMS will be November 21st. Please see the article thanking her for her tremendous contributions over the last few decades. The office space will be correspondingly decreased in size. We have yet to locate the precise location, but will keep you informed of that process. The SCMS will contract with WSMA to provide the administrative support necessary to run the society efficiently. Shelly Bonforti will become a WSMA employee, but remain locally to help us provide the same exceptional service to our members. We, as your leadership team, are excited for this transition as it will give us the breadth of experience and necessary depth to meet the precise needs of the Spokane County Medical Society in a very fiscally responsible manner.

Shortly, the request for membership renewal will be coming. I encourage you all to renew your membership to allow us to continue the momentum we have created.

Picture of Brenda Sue Houmard, President of SCMS



  Brenda Houmard Signature


  Brenda Sue Houmard, MD, PhD
  2018 SCMS President


Spokane County Medical Society
Phone: 509.325.5010 | Fax: 509.325.5409
318 East Rowan Avenue, Suite 209 | Spokane, WA 99207