Highlights from TAFP’s 2022 Interim Session
Words and video by Samantha White
The councils and committees of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians met in Austin April 8-9 and deliberated many important matters. Thanks to all the members who participated. To get involved in TAFP business, complete the Engagement Form at any time, or apply for a council position when the application process opens in summer 2022. Contact Juleah Williams at email@example.com with any questions. Here are a few of the highlights from the recent meeting.
This year’s Interim Session saw many changes for official TAFP business. We hosted the first-ever council forums for each of the three councils. Since councils now have smaller membership than our previous commissions did, the forums are open to all members to learn about the council’s recent work and are meant to encourage wider discussion. All forums were well attended and had insightful discussion, and we would love to hear any feedback on them from attendees.
We also hosted the Transition to Practice Track for the first time, with specialized content for residents and early career physicians. Speakers focused on contract negotiation, financial management, and more. Attendees received expert help in planning their family medicine careers.
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The first Interim Session in-person Member Assembly took place Saturday morning, and included official TAFP business, information on TAFP’s communication plans, an explanation of using the TAFP Exchange, and great speakers. Author Peter Valenzuela, MD, MBA, spoke about trends in health care and his book, Doc-Related. TAFP CEO Tom Banning and Board member Brian Jones, MD, gave a presentation on value-based care in Texas.
While not new, we held yet another successful Resident and Student Track as well. Attendees learned about family medicine advocacy work, heard from a TAFP Foundation Scholar on their rural cancer screening project, got more familiar with the Match process, and had ample time to network and fellowship with not only each other, but also residency programs and family medicine physicians from all kinds of practices.
Member engagement and workforce development
The Council on Workforce and Member Engagement discussed two initiatives at both their meeting and council forum. The first initiative was the creation of a resident-only program similar to TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience. The leadership development program would begin in August.
The second initiative the council discussed was to get involved in workforce development before medical school. The council’s forum included a high school leader speaker from HOSA – Future Health Professionals, who provided information about the organization and the Career Technical Education programs in some Texas high schools.
Public health and preventive care in schools
Michelle Smith from Action for Healthy Kids spoke to members of the Council on Health of the Public about getting involved in their local School Health Advisory Councils. Also at the council meeting, members discussed details of a proposal the council will soon submit to the Board. The proposal is for a pilot program where TAFP members will collaborate with their local SHACs and school districts to encourage high school students to create healthy habits by offering a special graduation honor cord. The same topic was also discussed at the council forum, where members decided to create a workgroup to finalize the project’s proposal.
Also at the council forum, council member Sherri Onyiego, MD, gave a presentation on Equality Health, an Arizona-based population health company that utilizes a whole person care model to advance value-based care across independent networks for diverse populations. They have recently expanded their work into Texas with a focus on the Medicaid population, partnering with health plans to transition independent health care providers of varying sizes into value-based payment models.
The Suki AI team gave a presentation and demo to the Council on Medical Practice’s meeting and forum, showing how the AI software can relieve some administrative burden of note taking and patient records. The council also discussed a resolution to update AAFP’s policies on billing and coding, regarding the Current Procedural Terminology system, that will be sent to AAFP’s Congress of Delegates.
The Nominating Committee met to identify candidates for leadership positions. The Member Assembly will elect members of the Board and officers at the Annual Session and Primary Care Summit, held this October in Grapevine. Here is the proposed slate of directors and officers for 2022-23:
Terrance Hines, MD
Lindsay Botsford, MD, MBA
Ike Okwuwa, MD
Delegate to AAFP:
Tricia Elliott, MD
Alternate Delegate to AAFP:
Clare Hawkins, MD
At-Large Directors: (two will be elected)
Maria Colon-Gonzalez, MD
Triwanna Fisher-Wikoff, MD
Farron Hunt, MD
Anush Pillai, DO
Rashmi Rode, MD, FAAFP
The Finance Committee reviewed TAFP’s financial reports and the 2022 budget, as well as a report on past and future CME events. The committee also received an update on TAFP’s investment portfolio from Stephen Benold, MD, and made new recommendations for a reallocation of the current investment assets. Banning also gave an update on the NPI program for 2022.