Member News - Fall 2017

Tags: erica swegler, MD, AAFP Board of Directors, AAFP Congress of Delegates, H. Kyle Sheets, MD, Humanitarian Award, Norman Chenven, MD, Family Physician Executive Award, Edward Seto, MD, Award for excellence in graduate medical education, AAFP’s Commission on Quality and Practice Lindsay Botsford, MD

Erica Swegler, MD, wins election to AAFP Board of Directors

TAFP members shine bright at AAFP Congress of Delegates

TAFP members had a great time representing the specialty Texas-style at this year’s AAFP Congress of Delegates and Family Medicine Experience held September 11-16, 2017 in San Antonio. Several members were honored, elected, and won the nominations during the national meeting and if the pictures and video taken during the festivities are anything to go by, a great time was had by all.

Congratulations to Erica Swegler, MD, of Austin, Texas, who won her bid to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The election was held on Sept. 13, 2017, at the annual meeting of the AAFP Congress of Delegates in San Antonio. The board of directors advocate on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system, according to an AAFP statement.

“I believe in family medicine,” she said in a statement announcing her candidacy. “In our specialty lies the solution for what ails our nation’s inefficient and expensive health care system. I am determined to help effect that solution in my practice, my community, our organization, and within the halls of government.”

Dr. Swegler has practiced medicine for more than 30 years. Her meritorious career includes stints in rural communities as well as metropolitan practices. Currently she owns Beacon Family Health Care, where she cares for patients in the Austin community.

She is a past president of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians and a past recipient of the Texas Family Physician of the Year Award. She represented Texas in the AAFP Congress of Delegates for 10 years and she has served on three AAFP Commissions: Governmental Advocacy, Quality, and Health Care Services. She has also served in a variety of capacities with the Texas Medical Association, as well as on the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, and the American Heart Association’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee for Texas.

She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and completed her family medicine residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Sheets receives AAFP’s Humanitarian Award
H. Kyle Sheets, MD, founder and CEO of Concord Medical Group in Lubbock, received the 2017 Humanitarian Award during AAFP’s annual meeting. The Humanitarian Award honors extraordinary and enduring humanitarian efforts by AAFP members, both within and beyond the borders of the United States, according to an AAFP statement.

During his third year of residency, Sheets, his wife, and their 10 children took a trip to Zimbabwe where he completed a one-month rotation at the Karanda Mission Hospital. The rotation set him and his family on a new path.

“I never wanted to do medical missions,” Sheets said as he accepted the award. “It seemed too difficult, too expensive, and way too scary. But in 1999 when we went to Zimbabwe, I thought it would be a great medical experience, I thought it would be a good education for my children, and I thought it would be a great spiritual experience. I figured we could suffer through one month of that, check it off our list and never go back. I was not prepared to fall in love with the Shona people of Africa. I was not prepared for the life-changing experience that we encountered there.”

Four years after that first mission trip, Sheets founded PAPA Missions — Physicians Aiding Physicians Abroad — to provide training to other physicians with no practical experience planning mission trips. The organization now focuses on sending supplies and volunteers to those in need. Through PAPA, hundreds of volunteers have provided care in six countries and medical supplies have been shipped to communities around the world, according to an AAFP statement.

Chenven receives Robert Graham Family Physician Executive Award
Norman Chenven, MD, of Austin, received the 2017 Robert Graham Family Physician Executive Award during AAFP’s annual meeting. AAFP President John Meigs, Jr., MD, presented the award to Chenven “for using his executive skills to improve access to high-quality health care and to foster the tenants of family medicine.”

Chenven is the founding CEO of Austin Regional Clinic, one of the largest multispecialty medical groups in the state, which delivers care to more than 400,000 patients. He also serves as the president and CEO of Covenant Management Systems, which provides technical support and services to governmental and employer-based health plans.

“These are really the best of times and the worst of times,” Chenven said as he accepted the award. “Best because medical science has given us an amazing array of treatments and capabilities to treat disease and relieve suffering for our patients. It’s the worst of times because we are hampered by a very broken business model in health care and a model that I don’t believe can be fixed until our political culture heals itself. I wish I had an answer for that but I don’t. What I do know is that in the meantime, the best hope for future improvements will come from physician leadership and in particular, from primary care.”

Chenven has served as a board member on major medical organizations including the American Medical Group Association, the Council of Accountable Physician Practices, and CAPG, the Voice of Accountable Physician Groups. He has served on national advisory boards for many major health plans including United, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Cigna. Last year, he was named TAFP Physician Emeritus.

Seto receives 2017 Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education
Edward Seto, MD, of San Antonio, was selected as one of AAFP’s 2017 Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education. The awarded is only given to 12 family medicine residents each year out of the 3,500 eligible for the honor. Seto is co-chief at Christus Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program and was recently named a TAFP Member of the Month.

Botsford named Chair of AAFP’s Commission on Quality and Practice
Lindsay Botsford, MD, of Houston, was named chair of the Commission on Quality and Practice during the Congress of Delegates. She has several years of experience serving with AAFP in multiple roles over the span of her career and she helped TAFP create its own year-long leadership development program, the Family Medicine Leadership Experience.

Congratulations to all honored, elected, and nominated during this year’s AAFP Congress of Delegates! They remind us of what happens when all the hard work comes together.