Health panel members picked

The head of the state’s Health Division has appointed seven members to its new Primary Care Advisory Council.

The council meets for the first time Friday in Las Vegas and will assist Richard Whitely, administrator for the Nevada State Health Division, with oversight of the federal J-1 Physician Visa Waiver Program.

The J-1 program allows international medical graduates who have completed a residency or fellowship in the United States to remain in the country for three years if they sign a contract to work in a clinic in an identified health professional shortage area.

Martha Framsted, a spokeswoman for the health division, said the council will review all applicants seeking to enroll in the J-1 program in Nevada as well as take complaints from physicians about the program. The council was developed amid concerns that some of the J-1 physicians in Nevada were being treated unfairly.

The seven members are:

• Dr. Gabriel Bonnet, a retired pediatrician and former medical director of Renown Health in Reno.

• Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas.

• Caroline Ford, assistant dean at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

• Dr. Carl Heard, interim CEO and chief medical officer for Nevada Health Centers.

• Larry Matheis, executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association.

• Dr. Amir Qureshi, a Las Vegas infectious disease specialist, and

• Mary Wherry, deputy administrator of the health division’s Health Care Financing and Policy in Carson City.

The council meets at 9 a.m. Friday at the Las Vegas Medicaid District Office, 1210 South Valley View, St. 104. Participation by video conference will be available in Reno, Carson City and Elko.

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