AAFP Selects New Officers and Board Members for Upcoming Year
The Congress of Delegates of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) selected new officers and board members at the 2003 AAFP Scientific Assembly in New Orleans. Mary E. Frank, M.D., Mill Valley, Calif., was chosen the AAFP's president-elect. Three new AAFP directors were selected: James King, M.D., Selmer, Tenn.; Thomas Kintanar, M.D., Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Timothy Komoto, M.D., Mendota Heights, Minn. The new physician board member is Lisa Corum, M.D., Rock Hill, S.C. The new resident board member is Saria Carter, M.D., Davie, Fla. The new student board member is Eddie J. Turner, Nashville, Tenn. Carolyn Lopez, M.D., Chicago, is speaker, and Thomas Weida, M.D., Hershey, Pa., is vice speaker.
The delegates also selected three finalists as candidates for the AAFP position on the board of directors of the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP): Ross Black II, M.D., Cleveland; Richard Hays, M.D., Lake Worth, Fla.; and Tanya Jones, M.D., Atlanta. The ABFP board will elect one of the three candidates in spring 2004 to serve on the board for five years.
Also at the Assembly, Michael O. Fleming, M.D., Shreveport, La., was installed as president of AAFP for the upcoming year, and outgoing president, James C. Martin, M.D., San Antonio, became board chair.
AAFP Establishes Center for Health Information Technology
The AAFP recently announced the establishment of the Center for Health Information Technology, whose mission is to promote and facilitate the adoption and optimal use of health information technology by AAFP members and other office-based clinicians. The center will collaborate with government, industry, and other professional organizations to promote health information technology. It will be the focal point of AAFP's technical expertise, advocacy, research, and member services activities associated with health information technology. The center, which is based at the AAFP's headquarters in Leawood, Kan., will guide all health technology initiatives based on the following four operating principles: (1) affordability, which ensures that the costs of acquiring and using health information technology will be within the budget of small- and medium-sized medical practices; (2) compatibility, which ensures that the health information systems and their components will operate within existing systems; (3) interoperability, which is concerned with the sharing of data between other medical specialists, laboratories, pharmacies, hospitals, and the patients regardless of the application or vendor used; and (4) data stewardship, which allows physicians and other clinicians to retain control of the data and choose who will be the guardian of those data. David C. Kibbe, M.D., former director of health information technology for the AAFP, is director of the Center. “The establishment of the Center signals the importance for both members and leaders of the AAFP of the need to move from paper-based to computerized information systems in the family physician's office,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., AAFP executive vice president. “The activities of the Center will improve the quality and safety of medical care and, in turn, increase the efficiency of health care delivery,” he added.
HHS Creates Six National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson recently announced the creation of six National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health that will provide integrated and comprehensive women's health services across the United States. Almost $1 million to support the six new centers will be awarded through the HHS' Office on Women's Health. In addition to clinical preventive services, each of the centers will provide various functions, including a multidisciplinary research agenda focusing on women's health issues; the integration of a women's health focus into medical school curriculum; an integrated model for the delivery of clinical health care services to women, with an emphasis on prevention and early detection of diseases and conditions; educational programs and materials for the general public and health care professionals on women's health; networking within the community; and coordination between clinical services in academic centers and surrounding communities. The centers are located at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond; the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; Brown University, Providence, R.I.; the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; the University of Arizona, Tucson; and the Oregon Health and Science University, Portland. For more information on these centers, go online tohttp://www.4woman.gov/coe.
Arizona Physician Chosen AAFP Family Physician of the Year
The AAFP Congress of Delegates named Eric M. Ossowski, M.D., a practicing family physician from Phoenix, the 2004 AAFP Family Physician of the Year. Dr. Ossowski has been a member of the family practice department at Phoenix Indian Medical Center for 22 years and chief of family and primary care medicine for the past 13 years. He helped develop the geriatrics program and smoking cessation program at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center that serves over 39 tribes in the southwest United States. He has also been active in tobacco control issues in Arizona as a member of Arizonans Concerned about Smoking & Chewing Inc. and by supporting the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians' Tar Wars program. As a captain with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, Dr. Ossowski received the USPHS Commendation Medal in 1987 and 1993 and the Achievement Medal in 1995. In 2002, he was named the Phoenix Area Clinical Employee of the Year. Dr. Ossowski received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical Schools in Duluth and Minneapolis, and completed a family practice residency at the Duluth Family Practice Residency program.