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Wednesday Aug 12, 2015

Shaping Our Future: Volunteer to Help Drive Specialty Forward

During my six years as an AAFP Board member, I have benefitted greatly from meeting hundreds -- if not thousands -- of family physicians at dozens of state chapter meetings, AAFP meetings and other primary care events across the country. The problems, solutions, suggestions and insights you have shared with me have helped shape the AAFP's positions on a myriad of issues. Your voice truly makes a difference. Thank you for eagerly sharing your ideas over the years.

Now more than ever we need your input, and here is an exciting opportunity for members to contribute to the future of our specialty in an even more direct manner.

Family Medicine for America’s Health(fmahealth.org), a collaboration of the AAFP and seven other national family medicine organizations, launched two years ago to drive improvement of the U.S. health care system and demonstrate the value of primary care. The initiative's Health is Primary(healthisprimary.org) communications campaign is a three-year effort to advocate the values of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care and engage patients in our health care system.

I am honored to be able to continue to serve the AAFP and the specialty on the Family Medicine for America's Health Board of Directors after I complete my term as Academy Board chair. And you have the chance to join me in this work!

Family Medicine for America's Health is seeking volunteers to serve on tactic teams that will focus on six critical areas:

  • engagement of stakeholders,
  • payment,
  • practice transformation,
  • research,
  • technology, and
  • workforce education and development.

Family physicians may participate on the tactic teams in one of three roles: project team members, advisory group members or communicators.

Each team will be working from 2015 through 2019 and will complete a number of projects each year. There are three ways family physicians can serve as project team members:

  • Experts -- Physicians with a specific type of knowledge, experience or expertise who can help accomplish a task or achieve an objective.
  • Influencers -- Physicians who think work on a particular project is vital and sign on to help influence others about its importance, especially as objectives of the work are achieved and consequences for action become clear.
  • Mobilizers -- People who have passion and interest in working on a project whether or not they have specific experience or expertise in the subject matter.

Advisory group members will be asked to lend their perspectives on issues through online discussions, surveys and other channels.

We realize that not everyone who is interested in participating on a tactic team will be able to commit the time needed to serve as a project team member or an advisory group member. That's where the communicators come in. They will be kept informed of tactic team activities through regular updates and will have opportunities to participate when their schedules permit.

Additionally, we will ask communicators to tell people who might be interested about opportunities to engage with Family Medicine for America's Health.

If you would like to participate on a tactic team in one of these roles, please let us know by completing this questionnaire(cfarsurveys.polldaddy.com). You'll find more information about the tactic teams -- including the projected time commitment for various roles and a frequently asked questions document -- in the survey.

You have a unique opportunity to help shape the future for family medicine, family physicians, our patients and our communities. Thank you for considering these positions, and I look forward to working with you!

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is Board chair of the AAFP and the Academy's representative to the Family Medicine for America's Health Board of Directors.

Posted at 11:42AM Aug 12, 2015 by Reid Blackwelder, M.D.

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