A Year of Celebration

YCMS kicked off celebrations of 120 years of advocating for physicians in Yakima County at our annual meeting! We heard from Dr. Mika Sinanan, MD, PhD, President of WSMA, as he shared ways that WSMA is advocating for clinicians throughout the state. We celebrated Dr. Katina Rue’s time as Board President as her term ended and Dr. Anita Showalter became our acting president. Finally we honored several of our board members who have faithfully served through the years including Dr. Alan Greenwald, Dr. Kay Funk, and OMS4 Haley Heitzman!

Our year of celebration will continue with our next social event this Spring. Stay tuned!


What Happens When the Doctor Can’t See You Now?


From Washington State Medical Association:

We’ve stood strong against the COVID-19 pandemic since its onset nearly two years ago, but we can’t run this marathon indefinitely. We are exhausted and our spirits are flagging as we continue to see preventable illness and death from this disease.
We’re dedicated to providing care to you—our patients—when and where you need it, but with a health system at or over capacity, that gets harder every day.
What does a crowded system mean to you? Imagine this: You have a suspicious lump in your breast, but you can’t get an appointment to be seen. Your child breaks her arm, but the local emergency room is too crowded to treat her. A friend needs a heart procedure, but their surgery is canceled because the hospital has no beds for post-op patients.
These aren’t imaginary scenarios—they are happening right now in Washington state. Real people are facing real delays in care due to Washington state’s overtaxed health system. But no matter, life still happens. Heart attacks, car accidents, and strokes still happen. Those traumas can’t wait for care.
While the capacity issues our hospitals and emergency departments are facing are not solely due to the COVID-19 virus, you can help. If you’re able and your health permits, get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you’re eligible for a booster, get it today. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. And until we get out of this pandemic, mask up.
By taking these steps, the greater our chances of keeping health care available to everyone.

Mentorship Match


Another season of the YCMS mentorship program kicks off September 17th! Our mentorship application for clinician mentors and medical student mentees opens now and closes on October 3rd for students and October 10th for mentees. After that time, the information will be tabulated and medical students will be matched with physicians based on shared interests.

This program facilitates long-lasting relationships between budding medical students and physicians that promote professional development and a lot of fun! We’ll be hosting a mentorship kickoff event this November, so stay tuned!

Annals of Family Medicine Article


YCMS President, Dr. Katina Rue, recently co-authored an article in the Annals of Family Medicine. Read it here 

Resident Trustee Honored with Award

Our Resident Trustee, Dr. Thomas Greenwood, was recently awarded
the David C. Leach Award, which recognizes “residents and fellows who have fostered innovation and improvement in their programs” by the ACGME.

Read More Here

Headshot of Thomas Greenwood, D.O.

A message from Governor Inslee


New Secretary of Health Announced

Please join me in welcoming Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, as the new Secretary of Health, starting December 21, 2020. Dr. Shah is currently executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. He has led the nationally accredited Harris County Public Health for the last seven years, managing 700 public health staff serving the 4.7 million residents in the nation’s third largest county. Before working for the county, he was chief medical officer of Galveston County Health District and has served as an emergency department physician at Houston’s DeBakey VA Hospital for over 20 years.

Dr. Shah comes into the position with extensive experience responding to public health crises and will help lead Washington state through the next crucial phase of this pandemic. He has helped lead Harris County through novel H1N1, Ebola, Zika and now COVID-19 and has responded to a variety of hurricanes and other emergencies.

Words cannot express my appreciation for John’s leadership over the last eight years. And I am confident that Dr. Shah will continue to lead with the same dedication, resilience, and compassion that John has instilled at DOH. We are thrilled to have him on the team.
Thank you,
Governor Inslee

Umair A Shah

Another year of mentorship begins


Each year YCMS brings together local physicians and medical students to facilitate life-changing relationships. Physicians share wisdom, insight, and encouragement to guide medical students through their education and beyond. Often times both mentors and mentees alike are surprised by how rewarding this relationship can be.

Here’s what Abrielle Sheets, student trustee and OMSII, has to say of the program:

“Last year, I participated in the student-physician mentorship program and
attended YCMS’ annual meeting. I was inspired by the program’s desire to bridge the gap between current and future doctors and was grateful to benefit from their efforts. I thoroughly appreciated having the opportunity to network with local community leaders while navigating my first year as a medical student; in the midst of exams and labs, having a physician mentor to encourage me, share insight, and help reset my perspective was invaluable. I strongly encourage others to participate as well!”

If you’re interested in learning more about the mentorship program and how to get involved, reach out to us through the Mentorship tab above.

YCMS President Alan Greenwald presented a check for $1000 to the Union Gospel Mission Medical Clinic fundraiser June 20, 2019.

This is the largest and busiest free clinic in Eastern Washington. It is staffed by physician volunteers and used as a training site for Pacific Northwest University students. Licensed physicians interested in volunteering can contact Jim Abbenhaus, or leave a message on this website.

Physician Whistleblower Protection Bill 

in the 2019 WA State Legislative Session

For a complete discussion of YCMS advocacy for the medical profession, see

Gov. Inslee signs Substitute House Bill No. 1049, April 19, 2019. Relating to health care provider and health care facility whistleblower protections. Primary Sponsor: Representative Nicole Macri

The Washington Legislature has an excellent website where you can read the complete text of the bill. Use this link: