In the past year, Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., was named to the board of directors of her state's largest health foundation(www.endowmentforhealth.org) and an advisory council for the state's health assessment and improvement initiative.(www.dhhs.nh.gov) Through her growing involvement with health equity issues in New Hampshire, she also was invited last fall to present on the topic at a social impact conference called QCommons.(www.qcommons.com)
She credits an AAFP national event with her readiness to create an impact on the state and local levels.
"I couldn't be an effective leader in my state without the mentoring I received and the leadership skills I learned at NCCL," said Ramas, who will be the convener of the National Conference of Constituency Leaders during the AAFP Leadership Conference April 23-25 in Kansas City, Mo.
Ramas has served as a minority or new physician delegate from her chapter to NCCL in seven of the past eight years. The conference gives AAFP members from underrepresented constituencies (minorities, women, international medical graduates, new physicians, and LGBT physicians and those who support LGBT issues) an opportunity to develop leadership skills and influence AAFP policy.
"NCCL, for me, is the driving force of the Academy," said Ramas, who practices full-scope family medicine -- including maternity care -- at a federally qualified health center in Nashua, N.H., and precepts students from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. "From the first time I went to NCCL, there was a unified understanding and passion for advocacy on behalf of patients and our specialty that I had not experienced elsewhere. It was so impactful and moving for me. To be convener and help up-and-coming members on their leadership path is an honor and a privilege."
Since starting her leadership path at NCCL, Ramas has served on the Academy's Commission on Membership and Member Services and the Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Task Force, been an alternate delegate and delegate at the Congress of Delegates, and represented new physician members on the AAFP Board of Directors.
Ramas helped the New Hampshire AFP apply for and be awarded one of five AAFP health equity planning grants last year. She said she recognized an opportunity for family physicians to lead the medical community in training and skill development related to addressing health equity, work that ensures the state Academy continues to be a source of collaboration and education.
Ramas, who balances her practice and leadership efforts with being a wife and mother of three young children, said she eventually hopes to hold elected office so she can be at the forefront of policy development.
"I'm committed to promoting health equity at the grassroots level and helping develop future leaders who have a great passion for health," she said.