A Consistent Influence

For 123 years, SCMMA has been a
constant voice for the local medical community

About the Santa Cruz Monterey Medical Association

In 2023, the Santa Cruz Monterey Medical Association (SCMMA) formed by combining two long-standing medical societies - the Santa Cruz County Medical Society (SCCMS) and the Monterey County Medical Society (MCMS). 

The first physician-led organization in the area began in 1900. Physicians from three counties - Monterey County, San Benito County, and Santa Cruz County - came together to form the Tri-County Medical Society for the benefit of patients. As noted in Volume XXIII, No. 5 of the California and Western Medicine Journal, Watsonville physicians, Dr. Saxton Pope - Secretary of the society - and his wife, Dr. Emma Pope, played significant roles in this society. 

On December 9, 1903, 10 physiciancs from Monterey County and one representative from the state met to form the Monterey County Medical Society. In attendance were Drs. Abbott, Brumwell, Craig, Edwards, Gordon, Grimes, Molgaard, Parker, Rankin, Ritchie, and state representative Dr. Jones. On December 9, 1903, efforts to organize in Monterey County were led by temporary President, Dr. Thomas C. Edwards; temporary Vice-President, Dr. Adam M. Ritchie; temporary Secretary, Dr. Doris Brumwell; and temporary Treasurer, Dr. John Parker; Censors were named: Drs. Rankin, Parker, and Molgaard. Dr. Brumwell was named Delegate, with 1st alternate, Dr. Edwards and 2nd alternate, Dr. Grimes. Then, in 1904, the following were the first elected officers: President, John Parker, M.D., Salinas; Vice-President, E.K. Abbott, M.D., Monterey; Secretary, N.E. Richardson, M.D., Salinas; Treasurer, Doris Brumwell, M.D., King City. Censors: Drs. E.J. Rankin, Gonzales, H.B. Christensen, Salinas, and A.M. Ritchie, King City. Alternate, T.C. Edwards M.D., Salinas, Second Alternate, N.E. Ritchardson, M.D., Salinas.

A couple weeks later, on December 22, 1903, 9 Santa Cruz County physicians met at the St. George Hotel in Santa Cruz to establish the Santa Cruz County Medical Society. In attendance were Drs. Bush, Christal, McGuire, Hedgpath, Pope, Phillips, Priestley, Vaux, and Watters. Also in attendance was state representative, Dr. Phillip Mills Jones, who called the meeting to order. The following members were elected to serve as the first board in 1904: President, Dr. Exeter P. Vaux; Vice-President, Dr. Spencer C. Rodgers; Secretary, Dr. Saxton T. Pope; Treasurer, Dr. Ira C. Bush; Delegate, Dr. S.T. Pope, Alternate, Dr. W.R. Congdon; Censors, Drs. Phillips, Christal, and McGuire. 

Then, on January 22, 1904, a month after the Santa Cruz County Medical Society was formed, physicians from San Benito County gathered to form the San Benito County MEdical Society. At the meeting, the following physicians were elected to serve on the board: Dr. James H. Tebbetts, President; Dr. Richard W. O'Bannon, Vice-President; Dr. Joseph M. O'Donnell, Secretary; Dr. Leonard D. Hull, Treasurer; and Drs. Nash, Ball, and Porter were elected to be censors. 

Records show that the Tri-County Medical Society continued to meet in 1904. Our historical review has not yet identified when the Tri-County Medical Society was dissolved. 

From the 1970s-2001, the Santa Cruz County and Monterey County Medical Societies shared staffing, administration, and operations, however, the Societies remained separate and independent. In 2019, Monterey County signed an agreement with Santa Cruz County to provide administrative services. Then, in 2021, leadership of the two Societies opened a dialogue resulting in the formation of a Joint Task Force to explore opportunities for greater impact and a stronger voice in organized medicine locally, regionally, in California, and Nationally. 

Now, in 2023, a new chapter unfolds for the now merged Santa Cruz Monterey Medical Association (SCMMA), ushering in an era of growth and enhanced opportunities for medical professionals and the communities they serve along California's north-central coast. This marks a pivotal moment as the SCMMA embarks on a journey to offer an even broader platform of support and resources to physicians and their patients in the region. The first seated board for the SCMMA includes elected board members from the two societies at the time of the consolidation. Those physicians include the following: Co-President, Anthony Sturzu, M.D.*, Soquel; Co-President, Steven Harrison, M.D.*, Gonzales; President-Elect, Daniel Greene, M.D., Santa Cruz; Treasurer, Amy McEntee, D.O.**, Watsonville; Secretary, Alfred Sadler, M.D., F.A.C.P., Carmel; Immediate Past President, Ciara Harraher, M.D., M.P.H., Santa Cruz; Elected Directors: Clay Angel, M.D.*, Watsonville; Brian Brunelli, M.D.**, Santa Cruz; John Christensen, M.D.*, Santa Cruz; Malcolm Kearns, M.D., Santa Cruz; Dawn Motyka, M.D.**, Santa Cruz; Inemesit Newsome, M.D., Santa Cruz; Christopher O'Grady, M.D., Watsonville; Joyce Orndorff, M.D., Santa Cruz; John Pestaner, M.D.*, Santa Cruz; Jeannine Rodems, M.D.**, F.A.A.F.P, Santa Cruz; Eloy Romero, M.D., Salinas; Jack Watson, M.D.*, Watsonville; Board Advisors: Maximiliano Cuevas, M.D., Salinas; Donaldo Hernandez, M.D., Santa Cruz; James Hlavacek, M.D., Salinas; Lisa HErnandez, M.D., M.P.H., Santa Cruz. (*Elected CMA Delegate; **Elected CMA Alternate)

A great deal of thanks is expressed to the physician leaders of those counties, both present and past. They have served unselfishly to give back to the community and profession by representing the voices of this region's physicians in the house of medicine!

SCMMA is a professional association representing physicians, residents, medical students, and fellows in all modes of practice and specialties in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. The purpose of SCMMA is to work collaboratively with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to advocate for the professional practice of medicine, helping to improve the health of Santa Cruz County and Monterey County communities, while ensuring excellence in patient care, public health, and the education, supports, and well-being of physicians and their patients. SCMMA is a component medical association of the California Medical Association (CMA). 

Membership in the SCMMA and CMA acknowledges physicians' commitment to the profession of medicine and to preserving its honored place in modern society. With more than 680 members, SCMMA is committed to keeping the practice of medicine in the hands of physicians, helping to champion health care initiatives, and advocating for patients.