Ada D. Stewart, MD, FAAFP, a family physician with Cooperative Health in Columbia, South Carolina, is board chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents 129,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. As AAFP board chair, Stewart advocates on behalf of family physicians and patients to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system.
Stewart has been a practicing family physician with Cooperative Health, formerly Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers, since 2012 and currently serves as lead provider and HIV specialist.
A member of the AAFP since 1995, Stewart has served in several leadership positions at the state and national level. She has served on numerous commissions and committees, including as a member of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science, past chair of the commission’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Committee, board liaison to the Commission on Federal and State Policy, Commission on Finance and Insurance, and Commission on Continuing Professional Development. Stewart also served as AAFP Board of Directors representative on the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees.
Previously active in the American Medical Association, Dr. Stewart served as AAFP resident delegate to the AMA Resident and Fellow Section and was chair of the AMA Minority Affairs Consortium Governing Council.
On the state level, Stewart served the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians as secretary-treasurer, president-elect, president, board chair and chair of their Commission on Public Health. On the local level, she served as president of the Columbia Medical Society and continues to serve on their executive committee.
Stewart is also a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Medical Women’s Association.
Born and reared in an underserved urban area of Cleveland, Ohio, Stewart has committed her career to ensuring uninsured and low-income families have access to high quality health care. She began her career as a National Health Service Corps scholar, caring for underserved patients in rural South Carolina. She continues to work with underserved communities in both rural and urban settings. From 2003 to 2012, Stewart served as chief medical officer and HIV specialist at the Richland Community Health Care Association in Eastover and Columbia, South Carolina. She was recognized in 2017 for her dedicated service in hepatitis C treatment and prevention by the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Council. She was recognized in April 2018 by the South Carolina Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women with the Health Award in recognition of her contributions to the health of the community in Columbia. In 2019, Stewart was named to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and still serves on that council.
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, Stewart enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves where she continues to serve and has achieved the rank of Colonel.
She is a preceptor for nurse practitioners, medical residents and medical students, and has received numerous awards, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society 2012 Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award for her precepting at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She also conducts continuing education programs relating to HIV, health disparities, transgender care, hospice and palliative medicine and hepatitis C.
In 2021, Stewart was recognized with a Resolution by the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate for her leadership and service to the people of South Carolina.
Stewart earned her Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. Realizing she wanted to have a more direct impact on patients’ lives and well-being, she returned to school, completing her medical degree at the Medical College of Ohio and her family medicine residency training at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.
Stewart has also earned additional certification in HIV care from the American Academy of HIV Medicine and is certified as a hospice medical director by the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board.
Stewart is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.