Family Medicine Leads

Emerging Leader Institute Project Winners Honored

August 04, 2017 04:11 pm Chris Crawford

Scholarships worth $3,000 went to the three Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute overall best project award winners: (from left) Moazzum Bajwa, M.D., M.P.H., Amanda Stisher and Joshua Wienczkowski, M.D.

The AAFP Foundation has announced the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute(www.aafpfoundation.org) project award recipients(www.aafpfoundation.org) from its second class.

The program offers up and coming family medicine residents and medical students a yearlong leadership development training opportunity with the goal of expanding the number of well-trained future family medicine leaders.

Thirty scholars (15 residents and 15 medical students) from the 2016 class received $1,000 scholarships to attend the program and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo., last year.

Story highlights
  • The AAFP Foundation has announced the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute project award recipients from its second class.
  • Thirty scholars (15 residents and 15 medical students) from the 2016 class received $1,000 scholarships to attend the program and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo., last year.
  • The three overall best project award winners from each track of study received additional $3,000 scholarships to support their participation in an AAFP or AAFP Foundation national event related to their respective track of study.

These scholars participated in intensive workshops at AAFP headquarters in Leawood, Kan., that focused on three tracks: Policy & Public Health Leadership, Personal & Practice Leadership, and Philanthropic & Mission-driven Leadership. 

Following the conclusion of the day-and-a-half workshops, scholars were assigned a mentor to work with them on a post-conference project based on their respective track of study.

The AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees reviewed these projects, choosing four project award winners (two students and two residents) from each track of study to receive an additional $1,000 scholarship for their return to the 2017 National Conference on July 27 to present their projects.

The three overall best project award winners from each track of study received additional $3,000 scholarships to support their participation in an AAFP or AAFP Foundation national event related to their respective track of study. The three best project award winners were:

  • Amanda Stisher, Policy & Public Health Leadership
  • Moazzum Bajwa, M.D., M.P.H., Philanthropic & Mission-driven Leadership
  • Joshua Wienczkowski, M.D., Personal & Practice Leadership

Policy & Public Health Leadership Best Project

Stisher is a second-year medical student at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, Ala., and her project focused on using patient navigators to increase breast and cervical cancer screening(www.aafpfoundation.org).

2017 Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute Scholars Announced

The AAFP Foundation has announced the third class of its Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute for 2017(www.aafpfoundation.org).

Thirty scholars (15 residents and 15 medical students) from the 2017 class received $1,000 scholarships to attend the program and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students in Kansas City, Mo., this July.  

Stisher told AAFP News her project involved using lay patient navigators to help increase breast and cervical cancer screening in women in the "Alabama Black Belt" counties, some of the poorest counties in the United States. 

"We recruited and trained local, lay navigators who were demographically like the target patients in seven of these counties," she said. "We developed a training manual to help educate the navigators to deal with psychological, communication and social issues, as well as other barriers that impact access to health care."

These patient navigators reached out to women in their communities, taught them the importance of cancer screenings and encouraged them to sign up for the navigation program. Navigators called the patients who qualified and assisted them in scheduling their screening appointments.

After scheduled appointments, navigators would follow up with patients to check whether they attended their appointments.  

"If they didn't attend their appointments, navigators would help assist patients in overcoming any barriers that prevented them from attending their appointments including transportation, child care or any emotional support the patient needed."  

The results from the project were promising, including

  • almost 600 women qualifying for the program,
  • 154 making a clinical appointment,
  • 93 keeping their clinical appointment,
  • 78 making a mammogram appointment and
  • 58 having their mammogram done.

Stisher said the project wasn't beneficial only for the navigators and patients who participated.

"I felt like participating in the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute was one of the most rewarding experiences of my medical career thus far," she said.

Personal & Practice Leadership Best Project

Wienczkowski is a first-year resident at East Tennessee State University Family Medicine Residency in Kingsport, Tenn. While still a medical student, he created the End of Life Literacy website(endoflifeliteracy.com), a point-of-care tool specifically designed to guide medical students and residents through end-of-life-care discussions, step-by-step.  

Joshua Wienczkowski, M.D., discusses his project, End of Life Literacy, a web-based point-of-care tool designed to guide medical students and residents through end-of-life-care discussions.

End of Life Literacy includes the six most common death and dying discussions that medical students and residents are likely to encounter in their training, which are broken down by the practicing physicians who typically lead those talks most frequently.

The website also offers resources such as handpicked academic and journal articles dealing with death and dying, TED Talks that medical students and residents can stream while on-call and books on end-of-life care that physicians have recommended. Additional sections cover how to cope with death and dying, narrative medicine and how to become "end-of-life literate" via online training.

"End of Life Literacy is an initial attempt at addressing the ever-present need for educated end-of-life-care discussions in medicine as a whole, and I'm honored the Emerging Leader Institute is what pushed me to create the organization," Wienczkowski said.

Philanthropic & Mission-driven Leadership Best Project

Bajwa is a third-year resident at Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley, Calif. His project, Emerging Health Advocates(www.emergingadvocates.com ), is a program that provides public health advocacy education to local high school students. The curriculum is taught entirely by family medicine resident physicians, with the goal of engaging young physicians as community leaders while giving students a voice to become activists for health issues.  

Moazzum Bajwa, M.D., M.P.H., speaks about his project, Emerging Health Advocates, a program that provides public health advocacy education to high school students.

The first year of the project was implemented in three high schools in Moreno Valley as part of the family medicine residency program at Riverside University Health System.

Initially, the project had three primary goals:

  • improve local students' confidence to advocate on behalf of their communities,
  • provide meaningful mentorship to students from primary care physicians in their respective communities and
  • give resident physicians a strong sense of personal and professional accomplishment to enhance overall resident wellness.

"It took a team effort to accomplish these lofty goals, but I was lucky to have the full support of my residency program, in addition to the AAFP mentorship, in pursuing this project," Bajwa said.

As part of the program, Bajwa developed a teaching toolkit called Health Advocacy Upstream (or HEADS UP)(static1.squarespace.com) that gives resident physicians an outline to introduce high school students to concepts related to health advocacy such as identifying upstream causes of health disparities, investigating the social determinants of health, establishing assets and barriers to change, and creating effective strategies for accomplishing their project goals.

"I am excited for our students moving forward because so many of them demonstrated confidence in their leadership and advocacy skills," Bajwa said.

Pre- and post-program surveys were conducted to measure students' perceptions. After participating in the program, 87 percent of students reported feeling that they could confidently make change to address health issues in their communities -- a 26 percent increase from the start of the program. Furthermore, nearly 75 percent of students said they knew how to speak aloud in class about health issues in their community. "This further reinforces the tremendous benefit that our program has had on the students' confidence in their own skills in health advocacy," Bajwa said.

"The AAFP Foundation Emerging Leader Institute has been the single most important part of my development as a family physician and community activist," he said. "I hope in the coming years that even more residents and students can take advantage of this wonderful and unique opportunity from the AAFP Foundation."

Project Award Recipients

The full list of award recipients in each track of study includes:

Policy & Public Health Leadership

  • Alicia Ashby, M.D., Swedish Family Medicine - First Hill, Seattle, Wash.
  • Hayden Shafer, East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Joshua St. Louis, M.D., M.P.H., Lawrence Family Medicine Residency, Lawrence, Mass.

Personal & Practice Leadership

  • Andrea Larson, D.O., University of Minnesota Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program, Minneapolis
  • Edward Seto, M.D., Christus Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program, San Antonio
  • Warren Yamashita, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Philanthropic & Mission-driven Leadership

  • Chandler Stisher, University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Meghan Tierney, M.D., Group Health Cooperative, Oakland, Calif.
  • Jeanne Wigant, Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Rochester, Mich.

The Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute is supported by donations from individual family physicians. To make a donation, visit the AAFP Foundation website(www.aafpfoundation.org) and designate your gift to the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute.