TAFP members receive AAFP appointments

By Samantha White
December 19, 2023

A number of TAFP members and one TAFP staff member were recently appointed to various positions on AAFP commissions and a delegation. These are two-year appointments and will include a combination of in-person and virtual work.

Emily Briggs, MD, MPH, was reappointed to AAFP’s delegation to the American Medical Association. This is her second term in the delegation. Briggs practices full-spectrum family medicine and obstetrics in New Braunfels, and just completed her year as TAFP president.

“Prior to serving on the AMA delegation years ago, I was not aware of what our Academy did for us with the AMA,” Briggs says. “I have since felt our individual voices are better heard with the participation of AAFP at the AMA. The advocacy around the G2211 add-on code is a prime example of how we lift up the primary care voice at the national level. I am excited to see how this code is used by our members to improve how we are reimbursed for the complicated care we provide every day to our Medicare patients specifically.”

AMA delegates and alternate delegates serve as a significant link between grassroots physicians and AMA leadership, and are expected to provide information to AAFP on AMA activities, programs, and policies.

Mark Nadeau, MD, was appointed to the Commission on Education. He is the Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at UT Health San Antonio, where he is also a professor. Nadeau previously served on TAFP’s former Commission on Academic Affairs.

“Education of the next generation of family physicians is vitally important to the well-being of Americans,” Nadeau says. “I appreciate the vote of confidence from the AAFP by appointing me to the Commission on Education. The future of medical education of residents and medical students is bright.”

The commission is charged with developing policy and disseminated new information related to the education and professional development of family physicians until the completion of residency. They focus on the family physician workforce, student interest and choice, student and resident issues, curriculum, and more.

Deepalakshmi Rajakrishnan, MD, was appointed to the Commission on Health of the Public and Science. She is the Director of Medical Operations for Concentra Medical Centers and is a current member of TAFP’s Council on Health of the Public.

“The recent pandemic not only showcased the preparedness of the general public,” Rajakrishnan says, “but also showed how the medical community as a whole rallied together. It has also uncovered the gaps in public awareness of health maintenance and mental health, both of which are key factors for a healthy community. Responsibility is now on the medical community to take lessons learned from the pandemic and apply them through the development of policies and recommendations to help develop awareness to both physical and mental health. I am very excited to utilize my experience gained from the TAFP commission to contribute to AAFP’s Commission on Health of the Public and Science for the advancement of community health.”

Members of this commission often represent AAFP in external organizations that develop health policies that define standards of care. The commission develops statements and responses for AAFP on current events and pressing health concerns facing the nation, and includes a number of member interest groups focusing on specific issues, as well as the Subcommittee on Clinical Recommendations and Policies and the Subcommittee on Public Health Issues.

Zach Sartor, MD, was appointed to the Commission on Quality and Practice. He is an Associate Program Director at the Waco Family Medicine Residency program, and the Associate Editor for The Waco Guide. Sartor is a current member of TAFP’s Council on Health of the Public.

“I am thrilled about my appointment to the AAFP Commission on Quality and Practice” Sartor says. “I aim to represent the Texas Academy effectively by championing efforts to reduce administrative complexity, improve payments, and leverage new clinical technology, among other strategic priorities. These initiatives will contribute to enabling family medicine physicians to practice as efficiently and effectively as possible so they can serve their communities well."

The commission works to better family physicians’ practice environments through the development of recommendations, policies, and programs in the arenas of administrative burden, practice management, payment, practice transformation, and other related topics. TAFP Director of Communications Jonathan Nelson was also appointed to the Commission on Quality and Practice.

Astrud Villareal, MD, was appointed to the Commission on Membership and Member Services. She is an Associate Program Director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Villareal is a current member of TAFP’s Council on Health of the Public.

“Since I joined AAFP as a medical student, the membership has provided me with so many benefits!” Villareal says. “From access to leadership opportunities, ability to network with the best and brightest in family medicine, to a variety of educational services (both in-person, audio, print and video), my membership has been so valuable over these years. With the continued support of TAFP, I want to have a voice to ensure that not only do these services continue, but that they remain accessible and equitable, and that they change with the needs of current and future family physicians.”

Congratulations to all of these physicians and thank you for representing TAFP at the national level!