Logo courtesy of the Western Carolina Medical Society.

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The Buncombe County Medical Society established in 1885 by area physicians is changing its name to the Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) as announced by Rob Fields, MD, President of the Board of Directors.

Logo courtesy of the Western Carolina Medical Society.

“Regional expansion of the Medical Society in 2011 was the impetus behind our name change to the Western Carolina Medical Society,” notes Miriam Schwarz, CEO and Executive Director. “An innovator, collaborator and community partner, WCMS is committed to supporting and advocating for physicians across Western North Carolina.”

The Society’s new website also launches to reflect the regionalization. The new web address is www.mywcms.org.

WCMS is comprised of two divisions: the WCMS Association and WCMS Foundation.

The Association is a thriving professional association of over 875 physicians from WNC. As the advocacy arm of the medical society it works to further the professional interests of its members and improve conditions for the practice of medicine and the overall health of the community through legislative advocacy, educational opportunities for physicians and their staff, value added services, communications and collegiality.

The Foundation is the physician and community-led charitable arm of the medical society, addressing issues of access to quality healthcare, disparities in health, and health and wellness. The Foundation’s nationally-recognized flagship program, Project Access, is a comprehensive volunteer primary and specialty physician network, providing access to healthcare at no charge for low-income, uninsured residents of Buncombe County.

The WNC Interpreter Network addresses disparities in health due to linguistic barriers, the Minority Medical Mentoring Program provides a medical internship experience for under-represented minority high school student and the Foundation’s Dr. Charles Blair Health Parity Fund provides scholarships for minority youth pursuing health careers. Another key emphasis area of the Foundation is wellness and prevention which offers “Living Healthy,” a program for patients, friends or family members living with a chronic disease.

WCMS works closely with the BCMS Alliance, which is comprised of physician spouses in Buncombe County; the Alliance is a catalyst for the health of the physician family community through learning opportunities and social interaction. The BCMS Alliance and WCMS Foundation jointly manage an Endowment that awards grants to health and wellness programs in our community.

The Western Carolina Medical Society is the physicians’ voice advocating for the health of the medical profession, the health of the patient, and the health of the community. WCMS is located at 304 Summit St., Asheville. For further information, call (828) 274-2267 or log onto www.mywcms.org.

Kathleen O'Nan

Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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