Sunday, December 27, 2015

President's Desk: Jason Marker, MD, FAAFP

Thanks for checking in one more time for my final blog post of the year. It's been a great year for the Foundation and I think it sets us up well for exciting things in 2016. I've taken some time to review my prior posts and am continually amazed by the work that our excellent Board of Trustees has done and the commitment that our staff members have made to executing the vision of the Board with precision. Many thanks to them all.

Our Board meeting this last November tackled some big issues for us. If I had to sum up the meeting in a word it would be "governance". I have worked hard during my time with the Board (7 years!!) to do what I could to help us gain a more solid foundation. We have restructured as an organization, adjusted terms of service, rebuilt our officer track, and created opportunities for enhanced skill set diversity at the Board table.  

This last Board meeting we tackled the matter of racial and ethnic diversity in our discussions about our new board members. We officially launched our Diversity Work Group which, led by President-Elect Dr. Hughes Melton, will spend 2016 working on the necessary internal changes to integrate a focus on diversity into our organizational DNA. We also made needed changes to the governance of our research area that will lay the groundwork for the future success of the Research Signature Program being led by new President Dr. Evelyn Lewis&Clark.

Dr. Douglas Spotts from Pennsylvania was elected as our new Treasurer and will be a powerful addition to our officer track as Dr. Brent Smith moves on from Treasurer to Vice President. Our new Trustees elected for 3 year terms are:

Corporate Trustee: Carrie Johnson with CompHealth
Chapter Trustee: Dr. Gretchen Dickson
At-Large Trustee: Dr. David Govaker

I'd like to offer here a special thank you to our outgoing Board member, Mr. Stephen Gray Wallace, whose service to the Board was much appreciated!

Finally, I'd like to thank you, our faithful blog followers, for your ongoing support of the work of the AAFP Foundation. I have had an excellent time on the Foundation Board of Trustees. I have learned a lot, always felt supported and appreciated, and been blessed with opportunities I could never have had otherwise. It's been a great run and I will miss the Board, staff and the work that we have done together. My year ahead is an unknown, but I'm sure that I will find things to keep me busy. I will continue to be involved with the FMAHealth leadership team as well as activities in my own state Chapter. I also think I'll find ways to stay in touch with my friends at the Foundation - I'm "just a donor" now and that may be my greatest asset to the organization. If I'm lucky, I'll get asked to keep teaching in the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute (wink, wink)!

Thanks for staying in touch in 2015 and plan to join us in 2016 for future installments of the AAFP Foundation Blog.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Family Medicine for America's Health: Health Is Primary

The specialty of Family Medicine needs your help! At the end of this blog post is a link so you can do just that. But first, some history...

When I began my time in the Officer track of the AAFP Foundation, the Working Party (a biannual meeting of the officers of the eight Family Medicine membership organizations) began talking about re-envisioning what Family Medicine "could be" for America in the presence of all the changes happening in the house of medicine. This conversation evolved into a desire to make certain that the strategic plans and work products of the organizations were all properly aligned. This desire led to the formation of a new five-year organization, Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAHealth) and a concurrent media strategy called Health is Primary.  FMAHealth formed a Board of Directors that includes Dr. Jane Weida, a past AAFP Foundation President, and several tactic team leaders (including myself as the leader of the Practice Transformation Tactic Team). They also secured official archiving services through the AAFP Foundation Center for the History of Family Medicine and a total of $20 million to make sure that the strategic planning work to be done was robust, thoughtful, complete, actionable, and well-messaged to the many important stakeholders around the country including patients, physicians, insurers and the like. The Foundation was a significant financial contributor to this process and, as you have seen, contributed at a high level to the human resources capabilities of the organization.

Where we are now...
FMAHealth has been launched for a year, has clear direction from the eight organizations that birthed it, has survived the growing pains of starting a new organization from scratch and is gaining momentum within its six tactic teams in the work that they need to accomplish. The tactic teams are: Payment Reform, Practice Transformation, Engagement, Workforce Education and Development, Technology, and Research. These teams meet regularly by phone and twice yearly in person (Orlando and Baltimore this year) to advance work on our projects, the work product of which is designed over the next 5 years to help transform family medicine processes to more efficiently serve the American public AND improve physician "joy of practice."

We want your help…
I bet that all of you reading this have something you can contribute to this process. It may be just in who you know and a desire to stay informed and pass on news of the progress to others. It may be a desire to be an official "reactor" to our work, helping mold it as we go along. It may be that some of you have a will, desire, and resources to join one of our tactic teams and to roll up your sleeves for the cause. Others may have access to funding streams that can assist in our work.

Wherever you may find yourself we want your input. If you are ready to be part of this exciting journey, click the link below to learn more. The website includes the ability to get signed up for regular updates and volunteer. Read more about it, sign up today, and reach out to me directly if you have any questions.

Thank you for your time,
Jason E. Marker, MD, MPA, FAAFP
AAFP Foundation President
FMAHealth Practice Transformation Tactic Team Leader
Private Practice Physician, Wyatt, Indiana