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Incoming President's Message from Christopher Tsai, M.D.


Dear SBCMS Members and Partners,

I’m very excited to have been installed as your 2020-2021 President, along with my fellow officers. We were honored to have Dr. Lee Snook, Jr. perform the swearing in ceremony online for the SBCMS Board and Executive Committee on June 23. We are grateful for his leadership at CMA and are thrilled for his upcoming term as President!

A name that was not sworn in, for the first time in six years, was Dr. Damodara Rajasekhar, who has concluded his term on the executive committee.  Dr. Rajasekhar has been a catalyst for so many projects and policies, and we thank him for his service. A big thank you to all our past presidents as well, who have devoted their time and skill to build this organization.

COVID 19 has upended our lives, personally and professionally.  The impact has been sudden and tremendous and we will have to live with it for the foreseeable future.  We as physicians must continue to adapt.  As noted by our immediate past president Dr. Mark Bai, CMA and SBCMS have been providing timely webinars and resources to help practices navigate this new landscape, adapting to telemedicine and virtual care, providing needed PPE (graciously procured and donated by IEHP as well as through a current large scale program by the state of California and CMA), and public service announcements encouraging patients to resume routine and preventive health care visit. We will continue to look for ways to adapt, obtain relief, and provide assistance. In addition, we will support and stand by our public health department and their efforts to keep the public safe.

As our interactions and social presence become more digital, it is critical that our technology keep in step.  I am grateful for the ongoing work of Dr. Tarek Moqattash and Dr. Alex McDonald with the development of the SBCMS mobile app, a first for any component medical society.

Together, we rallied against Governor Newsom’s attempt to divert Prop 56 funds in this year’s budget, and we have protected the CalHealthCares loan repayment program.  We can expect this fund to be a constant target and we will remain vigilant.  We still face a MICRA challenge, which although it was pushed off of this November’s ballot, will be just around the corner in 2022. Only together as an organized voice can we defeat this measure.

Some good news:  we learned three weeks ago that we have been named as a partner with First 5 San Bernardino in a grant to educate and communicate the elements of ACEs Aware, the campaign surrounding Adverse Childhood Experiences.  There are some really encouraging things happening in the value based care space.  SBCMS and CMA have partnered with Aledade and the CMA’s Physician Services Organization to help your practices realize dramatic shared savings for both Medicare and fee for service models.

We are also honored to continue the incredible work with our numerous business partners, led by NORCAL and Mercer as well as Citizens Business Bank, Cooperative of American Physicians (CAP), Outpatient Call Solutions (OCS), Patient Pop, Thakur Law Firm, Net Serve and Aloma Medical Practice Management. We appreciate them for their partnership and support!

Despite all the challenges we face, what keeps me going is knowing that we make a difference, as individual providers, as solo, small and large group practices, and as a county society.  We ARE role models. We have taken an oath in which we have sworn to care for every human being entrusted to our care, period.  As our country continues its struggle with race, perhaps what we do can be an example. We are by no means perfect, and we factor race into every patient encounter. It’s part of our differential diagnosis; its programmed into our EMRs. We can’t ignore it. In fact, it would be considered malpractice in some cases were we NOT to consider a patient’s ethnic background as it pertains to their risk for disease or how they might respond to treatment. A person’s race is an observation but not a judgement.  We have been trained professionally to see each patient as a WHOLE, so that we may care for them in the best way possible.  Not a bad way to see people on a personal level as well.

To the executive committee, board members, medical society members, and medical society staff, thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve you.  I need your ideas, your input, your service. Thank you for your participation in SBCMS and for your sacrifice and dedication to your patients. We are stronger together.

Lastly, I want to thank and congratulate Dr. Mark Bai for an incredible job this past year. He has been a rock, and he leaves behind a very high bar for those of us following in his wake. No one could have seen the challenges thrown upon us four months ago, and he has met every challenge head on willingly and without hesitation, and with crystal clarity.  

Thank you for all that you do every day on behalf of our patients and the community. I am looking forward to working closely with you in the coming year. Together we can – and will - make great strides.

Christopher K. Tsai, M.D.
2020-21 President

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