President’s Message
Greetings from the Roanoke Valley Academy of Medicine!  Here's hoping you have a 
happy and healthy holiday season!
RVAM had a very successful Fall event held on October 19, 2017 at the Shenandoah
Club.  Over 60 healthcare providers participated in "Two Views into the Opioid 
Epidemic" that included speakers: Hughes Melton, MD - Chief Deputy Commissioner,
VA Department of Health, and Special Agent Joe Crowder, Virginia State Police - 
Bureau of Criminal Investigation.  Dr. Melton shared his data describing the current
opioid epidemic from an epidemiologic and statistical point, focusing on the state of 
Virginia.  Special Agent Crowder revealed the very personal reality of how this 
opioid epidemic affects our population at all socio-economic levels with graphic and
heart wrenching stories.  Special Agent Crowder is at the grassroots levels, going to s to educate parents and y
schools and churches to educate parents and young people to help abate future drug
use and abuse.  It was very enlightening hearing these speakers tell their stories and describing what is being done at the state and local level to educate physicians about the opioid epidemic and how by limiting opioid prescriptions to 7 days, and by recognizing the value of the Drug Monitoring Program, will decrease the amount of prescription medications being released into the community as a whole.
We greatly appreciate our sponsors who made this program possible.  Our Bronze Sponsors: Carilion Clinic, 
Jefferson Surgical Clinic, Bill Gearhart of Coldwell Banker, and LewisGale Medical Center and our Silver Sponsor:
Blue Ridge Pain Management for supporting this educational evening. Carilion Clinic also assisted by approving
and providing 2 CME credits that were applicable to the two opioid education credits required by the Board of 
Medicine this year.
One of the next events being planned is a visit by the 2018 Medical Society of Virginia President, Kurtis S. Edward, MD, MPH, FAAFP.  This is always an informative evening where state legislative issues affecting medical practice are discussed and reviewed.  Please plan to attend this event, which is currently projected to happen in April or May.
Thank you to all the RVAM members for paying dues and supporting RVAM.  Although our expenses remain the same, every year we face a decreasing membership, especially among the younger generation of physicians.  Without your continued paid membership dues, we will struggle to remain open through 2018.  We encourage all physicians to understand that as a group, we have much more power and influence in the MSV, as we can send more delegates to represent our community at this state level of organization.  The MSV will thus also better represent physicians in our State legislature if it knows what our local medical communities' needs encompass.  We must stay involved in organized medicine or our voice will not be heard at any level of government.  Please encourage your colleagues to pay their dues!
If anyone has any suggestions for a future educational experience/event, please let me, Nicole Cheyney or any RVAM Board memeber know - we are here to support our members' needs and to encourage involvement!
Cathy Jo Swanson, MD
RVAM President