Physicians with Heart Delivers Medical Aid to the Republic of Georgia
A delegation of more than 40 medical professionals, business leaders, and other volunteers representing the humanitarian partnership Physicians with Heart recently delivered a multimillion dollar shipment of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to the Republic of Georgia. This is the 13th airlift for Physicians with Heart. The delegation delivered medicine and supplies to hospitals and clinics throughout the country and distributed them free of charge to people in need. Volunteers conducted medical symposia, updated local physicians on current uses of the donated medicines, and discussed the importance of implementing family medicine into the country’s health care system. They also taught courses on Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO). The volunteers participated in special projects at multiple institutions that care for children with special needs and orphans. Vitamins, food, personal hygiene items, bedding, and clothing were distributed to these institutions. For more information on the airlift, go to https://www.aafp.org/x13903.xml.
AAFP Names David Satcher, M.D., as John G. Walsh Award Recipient
David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Jonesboro, Ga., was honored with the John G. Walsh Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at the AAFP’s annual scientific assembly in Orlando, Fla., in October. Established in 1973, the award recognizes dedicated, long-term, effective leadership toward advancing the development of family medicine. Dr. Satcher is the director of the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. From 1998 to 2001, he served as Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health, releasing the first Surgeon General’s reports on mental health, suicide prevention, oral health, sexual health, and obesity. Dr. Satcher also assisted in the development of Healthy People 2010—The Nation’s Health Plan. More information is available online at https://www.aafp.org/x29442.xml.
AAFP’s Consumer Health Publication Wins Award
The 2004 edition of the AAFP’s magazine, Family Doctor: Your Essential Guide to Health and Wellbeing, was named the Healthcare Consumer Publication of the Year during the Medical Marketing and Media awards ceremony. The award is in recognition of consumer health publications for attributes including quality editorial content and innovation. Earlier in the year, all AAFP members with practices received copies of the magazine to use in their reception areas. Additional copies are available to members in packs of 10 for a shipping and handling charge only. To request copies, go to https://secure.aafp.org/catalog/viewProduct.do?productId=745&categoryId=4 or call 800-944-0000. A new edition of the magazine will be available in early 2005.
AAFP Asks ABFP to Modify Maintenance of Certification Program
At the annual scientific assembly, the AAFP Congress of Delegates urged the American Board of Family Practice (ABFP) to modify plans to implement its Maintenance of Certification Program for family physicians. Delegates discussed providing AAFP members more opportunities for input on the program and calling for delayed implementation of some of the processes. Members provided testimony to their experiences with portions of the process, most notably the self-assessment modules. The first of two resolutions states that the AAFP will collaborate with the ABFP to develop a plan to educate members about the process and importance of maintaining certification. The second directs the AAFP to urge the ABFP to suspend the self-assessment modules as a requirement for maintaining certification until problems with the process are resolved, to develop a better mechanism for showing the effectiveness of their processes, and to provide alternatives for members who have unreliable Internet access.
FDA Issues Advisory that Warns Public of Risks Associated with Antidepressants
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a public health advisory announcing a plan for alerting the public about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and adolescents being treated with antidepressant medications. The agency is directing manufacturers to add a black box warning to the health professional labeling of all antidepressants describing the risk and emphasizing the need for close monitoring of young patients starting treatment. The FDA is in the process of developing a medication guide to advise patients of the risks and what precautions can be taken. Once the guides are available, manufacturers are encouraged to distribute them to pharmacists to pass along to patients. The news release from the FDA is available online at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2004/new01124.html.
Kaiser Family Foundation Web Site Offers Medicare Information for Patients
The Kaiser Family Foundation has developed a Web site (http://www.kff.org/talkingabout-medicare) that helps answer basic questions about Medicare eligibility and coverage, supplemental insurance options, the Medicare Advantage program, and long-term care issues. Information about the Medicare prescription drug law and its implications for patients, including an overview of the Medicare-approved discount drug card program and the full Medicare prescription drug benefit that goes into effect in 2006 also is available. The guide includes a state-by-state list of key agencies that can answer specific questions about Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental coverage, and long-term care.
AAFP Updates Information Technology Web Site
The AAFP has updated its Center for Health Information Technology Web site (http://www.centerforhit.org/). New features include a quick-start guide, e-mail discussion lists, and readiness assessment forms. Members can now read and write reviews of electronic health record products. To date, more than 70 reviews have been posted. Links for news, events, and current projects also are provided.