Highlights from TAFP’s Interim Session, Feb. 27-March 1, 2014

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Highlights from TAFP’s Interim Session

The committees, commissions, and sections of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians met in Austin and discussed many important items. Thanks to all members who participated. Most commissions, committees, and all section meetings are open to guests. You can also request an appointment by submitting a “Make Your Mark” involvement form. Contact Juleah Williams at jwilliams@tafp.org with any questions. Here are a few of the highlights from the recent meeting.

Advocating for you and your patients
The Commission on Health Care Services is forming a work group to discuss and consider proposing a standard definition for Texas patient-centered medical homes. Members noted that Colorado and Nebraska, among other states, have had success setting their own PCMH standards. Sue Bornstein, M.D., executive director of the Texas Medical Home Initiative, agreed to join the group as an expert consultant.

The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed legislative interim studies including one regarding the expansion of transparency in the health care marketplace to facilitate informed consumer choice. Members raised concerns about unintended administrative burdens that may be placed on family physicians.

The proposed Medicare SGR legislation was discussed in several different forums including the Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs. That group also discussed the time line for receiving enhanced Medicaid payments and a new prescriptive authority agreement developed by TMA and TAFP for physicians entering into a collaborative agreement with an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or Physician Assistant.

The Commission on Public Health asked the Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs to consider a recommendation to the legislature to require pharmacies to take back unused or expired medications and prescription drugs. The consensus was that current drug take back days are poorly advertised and insufficient to address the need.

Member services and resources in development
A new committee to design leadership development training opportunities met for the first time and began to outline a curriculum. A more formal proposal to the Board will be developed and submitted at a later date.

The Commission on Continuing Professional Development discussed offering ABFM Part 4 group workshops in the future. Staff is investigating the feasibility and will report back at the next meeting.

Opportunities for members
It was noted during the Commission on Core Delegation that the TMA delegation to the AMA does not have many family physicians. Members are encouraged to consider running for positions on the delegation to increase the influence of family medicine. There was also discussion of the TMA Leadership College. Those who have participated have found it quite valuable in developing their skills and gaining experience and insight. It is open to TMA members who are in their first eight years of practice or under age 40. Members interested are encouraged to apply.

The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs, and Research called on the Board to create a Section on Research to serve as a venue for members who are interested in research to get together and discuss opportunities. The group was approved by the Board and will meet for the first time at Annual Session in San Antonio.

For several years, TAFP has provided funding for members who participate in the TMA Foundation’s Hard Hats for Little Heads. TAFP provides the matching funds for physicians to take advantage of this program to provide helmets to children in the community at bicycle safety and other community events. Contact Samantha White at swhite@tafp.org for more information.

Organizational issues
The Nominating Committee had a new responsibility this year to identify candidates for positions on the new Board of Directors. They selected two candidates for one at-large position on the Board of Directors. You can read more about those two candidates at www.tafp.org/news/tfp/spring-2014/BOD-candidates. The Section on Special Constituencies and the Sections on Medical Students and Residents also have the ability to select nominees for the Board. The Member Assembly will elect members of the Board and officers at Annual Session in San Antonio. Here is the proposed slate of directors and officers for 2014-15:

President-elect: Ajay Gupta, M.D.
Vice President: Janet Hurley, M.D.
Treasurer: Tricia Elliott, M.D.
Parliamentarian: Tamra Deuser, M.D.
Delegate to AAFP: Erica Swegler, M.D.
Alternate Delegate to AAFP: Troy Fiesinger, M.D.
New Physician Director: Emily Briggs, M.D.
At-large Director: Adrian Billings, M.D.; Mike McCrady, M.D.
Special Constituencies Director: Terrance Hines, M.D.
Resident Director: Kassie Johnson, M.D.
Medical Student Director: Brittany Taute

The Bylaws Committee reviewed recent changes to the AAFP bylaws and made recommendations to ensure alignment. They also discussed the succession of leadership and recommended changes in that area and a clarification in the section describing the Annual Business Meeting. These amendments will be voted on by the membership at the Business and Awards Lunch during the TAFP Annual Session and Scientific Assembly in San Antonio.

The Finance Committee reviewed the combined 2013 audit for TAFP and NPI. There were no major findings. The committee also reviewed and made changes to TAFP’s investment allocation.

Both the Commission on Academic Affairs and the Commission on Membership and Member Services discussed student enrollment in TAFP and discussed strategies to address schools with declining participation. The Commissions also reviewed and provided feedback on various member services and activities including the production of Texas Family Physician, educational programming, the Texas Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Students, the Texas State Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, and much more.

The Task Force on Local Chapter Operations met for the first time and began discussing issues related to local chapters. An attorney will be consulted prior to the next meeting to provide a legal opinion of the risks and legal responsibilities.

Member highlights
Members from across the state were selected for scholarships to attend AAFP’s Annual Leadership Forum and National Conference of Special Constituencies. They include Domingo Caparas, M.D.; Mary Nguyen, M.D.; Farron Hunt, M.D.; Darnel Dabu, M.D.; Saleh Elsaid, M.D.; and Kristi Salinas, M.D. They join the official representatives to NCSC Adana Amechi-Obigwe, M.D.; Emily Briggs, M.D.; Lee Bar-Eli, M.D.; May Nguyen, M.D.; and Terrance Hines, M.D.

The Commission on Continuing Professional Development selected program chairs for TAFP’s educational programs in the near future. Program chairs include Kristi Salinas, M.D., for the 2014 Primary Care Summit in Houston; Mark Malone, M.D., for the 2014 Primary Care Summit in Dallas; Lamia Kadir, M.D., for the 2015 C. Frank Webber Lectureship; Sarah Samreen, M.D., for the TAFP’s new summer CME conference in San Antonio; and Fozia Ali, M.D., and Tarina Desai, M.D. for the 2015 Annual Session in The Woodlands.

The Section on Residents held elections for officers and delegates. Joshua Splinter, M.D., from San Jacinto Methodist, was elected chair and Kassie Johnson, M.D., from UT San Antonio, was selected to be the nominee for the Resident Director on the TAFP Board of Directors. They elected Nish Shah, M.D., from San Jacinto Methodist, as vice chair and Soraira Pacheco, D.O., from UTMB Galveston, as secretary. The delegate and alternate delegate to the National Conference are Charla Allen, M.D., from Texas Tech, and Shiv Agarwal, M.D., from John Peter Smith. The delegates and alternate delegates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Erika Spuhler, M.D., from Baylor; Benafsha Irani, D.O., from San Jacinto Methodist; Annie Jan, M.D., from UTMB Galveston; and Loren Fisher, M.D., from CHRISTUS Santa Rosa. The resident liaison is Mary Anne Estacio, D.O., from UT San Antonio.

Medical students held elections for officers and delegates for the coming year. Brittany Taute from UTMB was elected chair and nominated for the student director position on the TAFP Board of Directors, and Sharon Moore from Texas Tech was elected secretary. The delegate and alternate delegate to AAFP’s National Conference are Alyssa Shell from UTMB and Blair Cushing from UNT TCOM. The FMIG coordinator is Anna Gamwell from Texas A&M. The delegates and alternate delegates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Glenda Linares and Cesar Cardenas from UTMB, Riesa Welch from Texas Tech, and Rodolfo Canizales from UTMB.

Proposed amendments to TAFP bylaws

The proposed amendments to the TAFP Bylaws are in accordance with the TAFP Bylaws, Chapter XVII, Amendment of Bylaws. An affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at the annual business meeting shall constitute adoption. If you would like to receive a complete copy of the TAFP Bylaws, contact Kathy McCarthy at the TAFP office at (512) 329-8666, ext. 14. For all of these amendments, the Bylaws Committee and the Board of Directors recommend adoption.

Chapter VI. Classes of Membership and Election
A member in good standing shall be one whose current dues and assessments, if any, have been paid in accordance with the provision of these Bylaws, who is duly licensed to practice medicine, who is not under disciplinary action, and who has met the applicable CME requirements during the period of the preceding three (3) years as set forth in the AAFP Bylaws.

Transfer of membership from one constituent chapter to another shall be subject to what is outlined in the AAFP Bylaws.

Chapter X. Annual Business Meeting
Functions of the annual business meeting shall be: (1) to adopt or reject proposed changes in the Bylaws; (2) to act upon annual reports by officers and committees which are summarized and given by the President; (3) to act on business specifically referred by the Board of Directors; and (4) to make available the power of referendum the delegates to the Assembly may, by majority vote, approve a referendum for submission to the members of TAFP on questions affecting the policy or recommendations of the Academy.

Chapter XII. Board of Directors
SUB-CHAPTER I. Policy and Procedure
Vacancies on the Board shall be filled at the next annual Member Assembly, at which time the Nominating Committee shall present a nominee for the unexpired term, if any.

Board Chair. If a vacancy exists in the office of immediate past president, it shall be filled by a majority vote of the Board from among the remaining duly elected Board members.

President. If a vacancy exists in the office of president due to death, resignation, or for any reason the president shall be unable or unqualified to serve, the President-Elect shall succeed to the office for the unexpired term. The duration of the term for the individual filling that position would be determined by the Board.

Other Vacancies. If a vacancy exists for any officer position or elected member of the Board of Directors, unless within 90 days preceding the Annual Meeting, it may be filled with a vote by the Board of Directors.

If the office of the President becomes vacant, he/she shall be succeeded by the Vice President. In the event the Vice President is unable to serve, the office shall be filled by an appointment of the Executive Committee until the next Board of Directors meeting. In the event of the death, resignation, or removal from office of the President-Elect, the Executive Committee shall nominate one or more members for that office and election of the successor to the President-Elect shall take place by voting on those candidates by the Board of Directors, provided that nothing shall prevent additional nominations for this office.