"Oh, I've got to be in the room where it happens."
Congratulations, Gary LeRoy, M.D.! On Sept. 25, Dr. LeRoy was sworn in as the AAFP's 72nd president. You can learn much more about him and his vision for family medicine in this excellent interview with AAFP News.
Fall has arrived, which means it was time last week for the Academy's Congress of Delegates and Family Medicine Experience meetings. It was nice to see so many family physicians from across the country. These annual celebrations of family medicine are great opportunities to connect with colleagues, attend world-class CME programs and hear from thought leaders on health care. If you couldn't join us this year in Philadelphia, please make plans to come to FMX 2020 in Chicago.
The COD, which comprises family physicians from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and AAFP special constituencies, as well as medical student and resident representatives, is the official policymaking body of the AAFP.
Family physicians who participate in COD proceedings have robust conversations to help shape the future of the nation's health care system. This year, delegates and other participants debated several resolutions focusing on proposals for health system reform such as Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, Medicare Advantage buy-in and collective bargaining. These are important discussions among delegates, who have a shared goal of forging a better, more equitable health care system, and the work allows the AAFP to have a strong voice in the national debate.
Delegates took on a wide range of important issues that you can read about in AAFP News, but I want to focus this post on just a few of the new policies established by measures adopted by the Congress that will drive AAFP public and private advocacy efforts to support family physicians' practices and the specialty of family medicine.
The 2019 Congress of Delegates considered dozens of other resolutions on a variety of topics; this is a brief summary of a small subset of that work. These adopted measures set policies that align with the AAFP's strategic plan. If they are successfully implemented in laws or regulations, they will have a positive impact on family physicians, their practices and their patients.
In addition to its policy-developing work, the Congress of Delegates selected Ada Stewart, M.D., of Columbia, S.C., as president-elect of the Academy. Additionally, the Congress elected three new members to the AAFP Board of Directors: Andrew Carroll, M.D., of Chandler, Ariz.; Steven Furr, M.D., of Jackson, Ala.; and Margot Savoy, M.D., M.P.H., of Newark, Del. Delegates also re-elected Alan Schwartzstein, M.D., of Oregon, Wis., as speaker and Russell Kohl, M.D., of Stilwell, Kan., as vice speaker.
Finally, the Congress also formally confirmed new student Board member Margaret Miller of Johnson City, Tenn.; resident member Kelly Thibert, D.O., M.P.H., of Columbus, Ohio; and new physician member Brent Sugimoto, M.D., M.P.H., of Richmond, Calif. These new Board members were elected earlier this year during the National Conference of Constituency Leaders and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.
As health care policy moves back to center stage, this group will be busy! I and the full AAFP team look forward to working with the Board, our members and our state chapters on a robust policy agenda in the coming year.
Shawn Martin is senior vice president of advocacy, practice advancement and policy.
Stephanie Quinn, AAFP Senior Vice President of Advocacy, Practice Advancement and Policy. Read author bio »