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


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