Wednesday, June 3, 2015

President's Desk: Jason Marker, MD, FAAFP

Thanks for coming back to catch up with our Board of Trustees activities. Our Officers and staff are always thinking about the needs of our organization to help us see the road ahead clearly while improving our efficiency and effectiveness at serving the needs of our donors. Ever mindful of our mission statement, we strive to do that work with a high level of resource stewardship and progressive thinking. We started our Board meeting with an afternoon of Diversity Enhancement Education. We decided last fall that it was time for a deep dive into this topic for the good of our Board and over the winter put out a Request For Proposals looking for just the right speaker. Susan B. Wilson, PhD, MBA, the Vice Chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion for the University of Missouri Kansas City was selected in that process. She tasked us with some pre-work and engaged us in a very productive session designed to help us understand the state of research into the important outcomes gained from having a high level of board diversity (as defined in terms of both inherent and acquired diversity). We discussed unconscious bias and worked through case studies to highlight important points for Boards to consider as they develop processes to obtain and maintain diversity of leadership. This was quite simply the best and most appropriate diversity training I've ever received and it led, by the end of the weekend, to a work force with short-term (i.e. immediate) and long-term goals including evaluation of our new Trustee application process and ways for individual Board members to enlarge their professional networks in ways that are important personally and for the Board.

Friday evening many of us enjoyed a 12-1 victory for the Kansas City Royals as you may have seen on Facebook...

 Find us on Facebook @AAFPFoundation

Saturday was a long work day as we spent 11 hours in committee meetings discussing everything from donor development to our work in Haiti and from the beginning of our Research Signature Program to our audited financials.

Sunday was the official AAFP Foundation Board meeting. We approved our award winners (grants, Outstanding Program Award, Center for the History of Family Medicine Fellowship, Philanthropist of the Year, and much more!), got everyone up to speed on this summer's launch of Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute, and made summer plans to evaluate the governance of our entire research arm.

Our Foundation has grown in sophistication, governance maturity, and expertise of membership in the last 6 years. This Board meeting was proof of that. Never before have we had so many irons in the fire for the good of Family Medicine and in support of our AAFP. That said, we see opportunities at every turn to grow into new areas and with that growth will come the need to be always reevaluating how we do our work. Our current officers (Dr. Evelyn Lewis&Clark, President-elect; Dr. S. Hughes Melton, Vice President; Dr. P. Brent Smith, Treasurer) are as committed to the long-term growth and success of the Foundation as I am and that bodes well for the future - and will generate a lot of work getting us there. Our capable staff proved to us (again) this weekend that they, too, are up to the task of creating ever bigger success stories for our donors.

Finally, we wished well our departing Board members who have served us faithfully in recent years. Christopher Watson, our Student member was graduating from Medical School this weekend (congrats, Chris...or should I say, Dr. Watson!) and couldn't join us, but below are photos of outgoing Board members Dr. Jessica Johnson (our Resident Trustee) and Dr. Lloyd VanWinkle (one of our liaisons from the AAFP Board of Trustees).
This is a great Board doing phenomenal work with exceptional promise for the future. If you or someone you know is interested in considering a seat at our table, please contact Brenda Cherpitel. If you've read between lines of this blog you'll know that we are specifically interested in expanding the diversity of our Board. Please consider identifying one of the leaders in your community who may represent a diverse or traditionally underserved population and nominate them for leadership. We are ALL better served when our Board represents ALL of those we wish to serve.