People in the News/Awards -- January

January 20, 2017 04:05 pm News Staff

AAFP Past President Robert Wergin, M.D., of Milford, Neb., and former Director Judith Chamberlain, M.D., of Brunswick, Maine, have been appointed to serve( on the founding national advisory board of directors for the Institute for Medicaid Innovation (IMI).

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The two appointees join a diverse group of clinical, research, academic, advocacy and private industry leaders committed to advancing innovative strategies that address a wide range of Medicaid issues through multistakeholder engagement, research, data analysis, education, quality improvement initiatives, and dissemination and implementation activities.

Chamberlain also has been named to chair the IMI's Dissemination and Implementation Committee. The committee is charged with a number of tasks, including

  • identifying and reviewing clinical topics on which the institute should consider focusing its research and project efforts,
  • identifying strategies to disseminate and implement evidence-based best practices, and
  • reviewing research and quality improvement proposals submitted to the IMI to determine their merit.

Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, M.D., was elected a member-at-large on the Wonca (World Organization of Family Doctors) Executive Committee( during the 21st Wonca World Conference of Family Doctors, Nov. 2-6 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As part of her new role, Martinez-Bianchi will also serve as Wonca's liaison to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After earning her medical degree from the Universidad Nacional de Rosário in her native Argentina in 1990, Martinez-Bianchi moved to the United States to pursue her family medicine training. She completed her residency at the University of Iowa Family Medicine Residency Program in Iowa City in 1996.

Today, Martinez-Bianchi provides full-spectrum ambulatory care at the Duke Family Medicine Center in Durham, N.C., and is director of the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program in Duke University School of Medicine's Division of Family Medicine, where she is also an assistant professor of community and family medicine.

Members of Wonca's executive committee meet as often as twice per year during their three-year terms and act for and on behalf of the Wonca World Council. As WHO liaison, Martinez-Bianchi will work to

  • increase Wonca members' understanding of and engagement with WHO activities;
  • boost active participation in WHO activities relevant to family medicine; and
  • enhance WHO's understanding of and engagement with Wonca and family medicine.

Melissa Martinez, M.D., of Belen, N.M. has been appointed to serve on HHS' National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC). The AAFP had recommended her for this post in June 2016. Martinez will serve a four-year term on the committee, beginning on Feb. 8.

According to the invitation letter from Acting Assistant Secretary for Health Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., NVAC "studies and recommends ways to encourage the availability of an adequate supply of safe and effective vaccination products in the United States, and recommends research priorities and other measures to enhance the safety and efficacy of vaccines."

Martinez is a professor of internal medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque and served as medical director of the Presbyterian Belen Family Health Clinic. She has also served as co-chair of the Immunization Practices Advisory Council, a collaborative of the New Mexico Department of Health and the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, and was an AAFP Vaccine Science Fellow in 2015-2016.

David Acosta, M.D., of Folsom, Calif., has been named chief diversity and inclusion officer( for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Currently senior associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of California (UC), Davis, School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for UC Davis Health System, Acosta will join the AAMC on Feb. 27.

In his new role, Acosta will lead the association's Diversity Policy and Programs unit, providing strategic vision and leadership for the AAMC's diversity and inclusion activities across the academic medicine community.

Acosta was a member of the steering committee for the AAMC's Group on Diversity and Inclusion from 2009 to 2015 and served as the committee's chair from 2011 to 2013. Before moving to California, he was the inaugural chief diversity officer at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.