February 11, 2021, 1:03 pm News Staff — The AAFP is seeking applicants to serve as members of a cohort participating in the Women’s Wellness Through Equity and Leadership project, a collaborative effort of 10 of the nation’s leading medical organizations.
As one of the partnering organizations, the AAFP will select five candidates for participation in the next WEL project cohort. Active Academy members are invited to apply.
In addition to being an active member, applicants must have an interest in training and professional growth centered around leadership, equity and/or wellness. Candidates must also be willing to commit to participate in an 18-month curriculum that includes
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all activities and meetings will be held virtually.
Jennifer Bacani McKenney, M.D., who owns and operates the Bacani/McKenney Clinic in Fredonia, Kan., and serves as assistant dean for rural health at the University of Kansas Medical Center, was an AAFP representative in the first WEL cohort. She shared some of her experiences working on the WEL project with AAFP News.
“This was the single most meaningful experience with wellness, equity and leadership that I have had in my adult life,” Bacani McKenney said. “Imagine walking into a room full of women who at first you know only by their titles and credentials, only for each of us to immediately start sharing our vulnerabilities and fears, and offer support and guidance to each other. We very quickly became the family of women that every woman should have in her career.”
Bacani McKenney also explained why it’s important to participate in these types of projects.
“We make the time, find the energy and channel the passion to participate in projects like WEL not necessarily for ourselves but for the women who fill our positions after us,” she said. “Our work now is a foundation that the next woman can build upon, and the person after her can build upon that. This is how we will grow and rise above the barriers women face each day.”
Members can apply online until Feb. 28.
The Academy will then begin a review process and notify all applicants of their status by the week of March 15.
Members who are interested in applying can contact Julie Wood, M.D., M.P.H., the Academy’s senior vice president for research, science and health of the public, for more information.
About the WEL Project
The WEL project is funded by The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit organization. The project’s overall purpose is to help improve organizational structures, build individual skills of female physicians and develop a new wave of female physician leaders, resulting in a healthier, more equitable work experience.
Along with the AAFP, the WEL project’s partner organizations include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Hospital Association, AMA, American Medical Women’s Association, American Psychiatric Association, National Hispanic Medical Association and National Medical Association.