Don't stop believing ...
Don't stop believing ...
Happy New Year!
It's that time of year again! We couldn't do all that we do without YOU, and we offer the least expensive medical society rates. Please, renew your membership below.
Renew your KCMS dues

New Year's Message 

We hope your New Year is off to a great start. After a very successful Foundation Gala, KCMS is shifting gears into the 2023 Legislative Session. KCMS has several key focus areas for this session based on resolutions our Delegate Council wrote in 2022. Those resolutions have ignited real change in the areas of:
  1. Pulse Oximeter Bias - the AMA has picked up at the national level (HERE)
  2. Supporting Reproductive Rights & Protecting Physicians
  3. Expanding and Supporting Behavioral Health Initiatives
  4. Firearm Safety
  5. Prior Authorization
The 2023 Washington state legislative session begins TODAY - Monday, Jan. 9th.
KCMS members can receive weekly 'bill tracker' updates on the progress of WA state healthcare legislation. If you'd like to be included in the updates, contact 

KCMS's Work Highlighted by CBS News

DECEMBER 20, 2022 / 5:00 AM / KAISER HEALTH NEWS (Picked up by CBS and the Seattle Times)

When a group of physicians gathered in Washington state for an annual meeting, one made a startling revelation: If you ever want to know when, how — and where — to kill someone, I can tell you, and you'll get away with it. No problem.
That's because the expertise and availability of coroners, who determine the cause of death in criminal and unexplained cases, vary widely across Washington, as in many other parts of the country.
"A coroner doesn't have to ever have taken a science class in their life," said Nancy Belcher, chief executive officer of the King County Medical Society, the group that met that day.
Her colleague's startling comment launched her on a four-year journey to improve the state's archaic death investigation system, she said. "These are the people that go in, look at a homicide scene or death, and say whether there needs to be an autopsy. They're the ultimate decision-maker," Belcher added.

Regional pediatric disaster network guides statewide telehealth initiation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KiCMS's CEO, Nancy L. Belcher, Ph.D., MPA, is a co-author of an article in The American Journal Of Disaster Medicine. The primary author is Brian S. Marcus, MD. Congratulations on the collaborative spirit in producing this article.

Upcoming Events
Tuesday, Jan 10, 2023, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

UW Professor Emeritus and author Stephen Bezruchka will present his work; Inequality Kills Us All: Covid-19's Health Lessons For The World, at Elliot Bay Book Company. Bezruchka argues that economic inequality is the most powerful and overlooked cause of poor health. Bezruchka discusses how COVID-19 laid bare inequality in the U.S. and urges us to use this reckoning to make systemic change.

Dr. Bezruchka is an Associate Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Dept of Health Systems & Population Health & Global Health at UW School of Public Health.
Event Details

Legislative Summit

Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, 8 a.m.
The 2023 WSMA Legislative Summit will meet at the WA state Capitol. WSMA members can attend for free. The Summit will include lunch, updates from healthcare policy leaders, a presentation on WSMA’s legislative agenda, and optional meetings with your legislative delegation. This year’s session will feature a new chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee and require legislators to write the two-year state budget while considering policies focused on healthcare.

Announcing New Trustees
KCMS is proud to welcome four new physicians to the KCMS Board.

Megah Rao, MD

Dr. Megah Rao graduated from medical school at Rajiv Gandhi Health Sciences University in India and moved to the United States in 2006 with an interest in learning about a developed country's healthcare system and practicing evidence-based medicine.
At the University of Texas, Arlington, Dr. Rao earned a Master's in Healthcare Administration and subsequently completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami. Following graduation, she served as Medical Director at Sea-Mar, a Community Health Center in Tacoma, WA, focusing on providing equitable care to the underserved, specifically the Hispanic population and homeless in Pierce County. Dr. Rao led the Medication Management and Safety Committee at Sea-Mar and worked on a Quality Improvement project focused on chronic pain management that improved the prescribing trend across the organization.

Currently, Dr. Rao serves as a Physician and Section Head at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Issaquah Medical Center is a current member of the Optum quality board meetings and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs committee. Dr. Rao is passionate about making a meaningful impact on her patients, community, and healthcare tribe. As the gatekeeper of medicine, Dr. Rao enjoys witnessing patients' wins and challenges firsthand and believes that working with KCMS will provide an opportunity to bring forth worthwhile patient challenges and transcend their care beyond clinical rooms. Nothing gives Dr. Rao more joy in medicine than when patients heal by feeling heard and seen. Dr. Rao has a young family that leads an active social life enjoying traveling, biking, and reading together.

Mona Kathuria, DO

Dr. Mona Kathuria is an Internal Medicine and Palliative Care physician with Kaiser Permanente WA Medical Group. She is the Medical Director of the Advanced Care at Home Program and the North Seattle Hospice and Palliative Care team's lead physician.

Dr. Kathuria attended Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in New Jersey and completed her training in Internal Medicine at Drexel University/MCP Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. She practiced as a hospitalist for many years in private practice and at academic universities, including in leadership positions as Associate Program Director of Hospitalist Medicine. Dr. Kathuria completed a fellowship in palliative medicine and hospice at Mount Sinai/Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Kathuia was a Hospice Medical Director, Director of Palliative Care, and Associate Program Director of a Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Albert Einstein Medical Center in New York. Dr. Kathuria is active in local medical societies and has participated in numerous presentations and publications. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Kathuria's interests include teaching, advocating for underserved communities, palliative medicine, end-of-life care, and promoting wellness and preventing burnout within the medical profession. She enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest by taking hikes with her husband and toddler, skiing, baking, and journaling in her free time.

Nancy Connolly, MD

Dr. Nancy Connolly is fellowship trained in Infectious Disease and Integrative Medicine and board certified in Addiction and Internal Medicine. Dr. Connolly is an Internal Medicine primary care doctor with over 20 years of experience treating patients in the outpatient setting. 
Throughout her career, she has worked with patients across the socioeconomic spectrum, beginning in a dedicated HIV clinic in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh AIDS Center for Treatment, and spending ten years at Virginia Mason, where she served as the Medical Director of the Lynnwood Regional Medical Center for five years. She currently works for the UW, reaching out to homeless people, and is the KCMS Public Health Committee, Co-Chair.

Jose Flores-Rodarte, MD

Dr. Jose Flores-Rodarte, MD, MPH practices at HealthPoint - SeaTac as a family physician providing outpatient primary care. Dr. Flores-Rodarte attended the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and received his Master's in Public Health in Global Health. He then completed his Family Medicine residency at the UW program and stayed for a 4th year to serve as Chief Resident. 

Dr. Flores-Rodarte was born in Mexico, brought to the United States as a toddler, and grew up in Southern California. He became a U.S. citizen at 13 and was raised speaking Spanish as his first language. Dr. Flores-Rodarte shared that since he came from an immigrant family and grew up in a trailer park, he received his healthcare from community clinics - federally qualified health centers. These experiences helped develop his mission to pay it forward and provide healthcare to the same populations as the ones he came from, and he is proud to be doing that now as a National Health Service Corps Scholar at an FQHC. 

Dr. Flores-Rodarte's MPH studies taught him to look upstream for solutions and for answers to the questions he has in his clinical practice. It is also essential for Dr. Flores-Rodarte to maximize his impact on the populations he serves. Dr. Flores-Rodarte has been active with the AAFP, WAFP, and WSMA to represent the interests of patients and fellow physicians to legislative authorities who can act to improve our healthcare system to make it more just, equitable, and accessible.



Hope Wechkin, MD

Hope Wechkin, MD, is a hospice and palliative medicine physician who serves as the medical director of EvergreenHealth’s Home Care Services. Following seven years in primary care, she arrived at Evergreen in 2007, where she has overseen the growth of its Hospice and Palliative Medicine programs.  She has also served for many years as a faculty member at the UW School of Medicine in its Chronic Care and Palliative Care clerkships. She is a longtime member and current chair of the WSMA Foundation’s Washington Serious Illness Care Coalition (WSICC).

Hope attended medical school at the UW and completed a residency at Providence Family Medicine in Seattle, WA.  Her peers frequently select her as one of Seattle’s “Top Doctors” in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Wechkin is particularly interested in supporting her colleagues in caring for patients with complex needs at the end of life. In 2019 she chaired the first-ever national conference at the UW on the physician’s role and agency in “planned death.”

Dr. Wechkin is an avid musician, and in addition to spending time with her family and running, these days, she spends her free time composing music for the theater, singing and playing the violin.

Reshma Patel, DO

Dr. Reshma Patel is a Global Health Fellow at the UW. Dr. Patel recently graduated from a family medicine residency in Berwyn, IL, and trained at MacNeal Hospital, a part of Loyola Medicine.

Dr. Patel's primary interests include working with underserved populations, women's health, and infectious disease. She served as the Community Outreach Chair on the Diversity and Inclusion committee in residency and provided care to those struggling with homelessness with Loyola Street Medicine. Dr. Patel is new to Seattle (originally from Southern California) and is obsessed with the amount of hiking available in the region. Hiking almost every weekend, her favorite hike has to be Lake 22!

Get Involved

Committees are a great way to meet other members and get involved with KCMS! For meeting information, contact Shurlon at 
Events Committee
Next Meeting is in February 2023 @ 6 p.m.
Public Health Committee

Next Virtual Public Health Committee Meeting, February 15th @ 6:30 p.m.
Contact Us 
200 Broadway Suite 200 | Seattle, WA 98122 United States
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