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Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(11):2107-2109

Two Family Physicians Are Named Deans of Medical Schools

Just one month after Ann Connor Jobe, M.D., M.S.N., a family physician, was appointed dean of a medical college, family physician Joseph Scherger, M.D., M.P.H., was named founding dean for the new Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, which opened May 7, 2001. Dr. Jobe, who takes her post as dean of the medical school at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., on July 1, is currently interim vice chancellor for health sciences at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. She formerly served on the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Committee on Resident and Student Affairs. Dr. Scherger, who is currently associate dean of the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine, also assumes his new position on July 1. Dr. Scherger is past president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and a former director of the AAFP. For more information about Dr. Jobe's appointment, go to For more information on Florida State University College of Medicine, see

Task Force Will Make Patient Safety Information Easier to Report

A new patient safety task force within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was created to improve existing systems for data collection on medical error and patient safety. The task force is a joint effort of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Heath Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goal of the task force is to identify the data that health care professionals, states and others need to collect to improve patient safety. Another goal is to study ways to implement a user-friendly, Internet-based patient safety reporting format that will enable faster cross-matching and electronic analysis of data, and more rapid responses to patient safety problems. The group will also consider coordinating federal efforts with state and private-sector initiatives. For more information on the HHS patient safety task force, visit the AHRQ Web site at

HHS Secretary Launches New Organ Donation Initiative

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson recently unveiled a new national initiative to encourage and enable Americans to increase organ and tissue donation. The campaign includes a national donor card program, a national Gift of Life medal to honor donor families, a new curriculum on organ donation for teenage driver-education classes and the Workplace Partnership for Life Program. HHS will also evaluate whether an electronic donor registry would improve the current system. The Workplace Partnership program currently includes 17 businesses that have pledged to educate their employees about organ donation. According to preliminary data from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the HHS and the United Network for Organ Shipping, organ transplants in 2000 were up 5.4 percent from 1999. However, the number of persons on waiting lists for an organ transplant increased 10.2 percent to over 76,000. For more information on the HHS organ donation initiative, go to

CDC Establishes New Center on Birth Defects and Disabilities

On April 12, 2001, the CDC officially established the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) as required by the Children's Health Act of 2000 signed into law on October 17, 2000. The NCBDDD seeks to promote optimal fetal, infant and child development, prevent birth defects and childhood developmental disabilities, and enhance the quality of life and prevent secondary conditions among children, adolescents and adults who are living with a disability. This mission incorporates the mission of the former Division of Birth Defects, Child Development, and Disability and Health, which was in the National Center for Environmental Health. For more information about the NCBDDD, please visit

Former AAFP Director, Commission Member Join ABFP Board of Directors

Former AAFP Director Deborah G. Haynes, M.D., and Frank L. Kane, M.D., a current member of the Commission on Finance and Insurance, were elected to the board of directors of the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP). Kane, Newton, N.J., was nominated to the position by the AAFP and Haynes, Wichita, Ks., will serve as an at-large member. Also elected to the board was H. James Brown of Syracuse, N.Y. Other changes to the ABFP board include the election of Marjorie A. Bowman, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa., as president; Larry R. Anderson, M.D., Wellington, Ks., as vice president; L. Thomas Wolff, M.D., Syracuse, N.Y., as treasurer; and Jack Colwill, M.D., Columbia, Mo., as member-at-large on the executive committee. For more information about the ABFP board elections, visit the ABFP's Web site at

AAFP Awards Honor Research Efforts of Residents

The Commission on Clinical Policies and Research of the AAFP has announced winners in the 2001 Resident Scholars Competition. The awards recognize resident achievement in research and scholarly activity. Papers are submitted to the AAFP for the competition. The winners for 2001 are Jeffrey Geller, M.D., Lawrence, Mass., “Loneliness as a Predictor of Hospital Emergency Department Use”; Nancy Knight, M.D., Cincinnati, Ohio, “The Detection of PTSD in Honduras”; and Erika Lambert, M.D., East Syracuse, N.Y., “College Students' Knowledge of Human Papillomavirus and the Effectiveness of a Brief Educational Intervention.” Seven residents received honorable mention awards. The deadline for the next round of competition is November 15, 2001. For more information and an application, visit the AAFP Web site at

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Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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