Member News - Summer 2016

Tags: member news, family medicine residency program, nair, immunization, national conference, aafp, curran, texas medical association, nguyen, national conference of constituency leaders, congress of delegates, castroville, athens

Member News

Dallas residency program wins AAFP vaccine grant
The Methodist Family Medicine Residency Program of Dallas was awarded one of seven 2016 Senior Immunization Grants from AAFP. Rajasree Nair, MD, and her team focused their project on improving vaccination rates for family medicine patients 65 and older.

“We are planning to conduct an immunization drive in the community and the majority of the cost will be the cost of the vaccines themselves, along with staff time for the administration of the vaccine,” Nair says. “Receiving such an award to further our work provides us not only with the resources to improve the immunization rate but also provides a sense of accomplishment for the work done by the entire team. In addition to transforming our practice and improving the immunization rate we hope to train the resident physicians on basic principles of population health, working in teams, effective communication with patients and staff, assessing the health literacy of patients, and developing standardized protocols for improving immunization rates.”

The award includes a majority share for funding of the project, along with a smaller portion to cover one resident’s fees when the team sends a member to present their findings at the 2017 National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. Eighteen applications were submitted for the grant which included a detailed proposal and a preliminary budget, with Nair’s team making it through to become one of the final selections.

“We would like to sincerely thank AAFP foundation for giving us this opportunity and our clinical team who is very committed to the care of our patients,’ Nair says. “We would also like to thank the Methodist Health System Foundation who will be assisting us the with grant process. Participation in such projects enhances the residents’ understanding of health care, of the communities they serve, and ways in which they can be active participants and leaders for improving the health of local population.”


TMA re-elects seasoned advocate to its board of trustees
TAFP congratulates Douglas W. Curran, MD, who was recently re-elected to the Texas Medical Association’s Board of Trustees. Curran practices family medicine in Athens, Texas, and over his 36 years as a family doctor, he has become a recognized advocate for the patients and physicians of the state. He played a leading role in the passage of Texas’ groundbreaking medical liability reforms, fought for sweeping patients’ rights reforms including holding managed care companies accountable for their actions, championed legislation to improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid, and fought attempts by non-physician practitioners to expand their scope of practice. He will serve his second three-year term on the board.

Communication between physicians of different specialties is important in improving the health care system and TAFP members holding leadership positions in TMA and other professional physician organizations facilitate just that. “When doctors from all specialties are communicating, we find out we have much in common and our goals are consistently oriented toward improving patient care and the overall health of all Texans,” Curran says.

Curran is determined to improve access to care for all Texans – especially the working poor – and to decrease payment hassles for physicians. His position on the board allows him to advocate on behalf of both parties. He says bringing the hardships patients face to the forefront of the conversation is one of the pillars of facilitating change within the health care system. “We must tell our stories of patient care and the needs of our patients with character, integrity, and persistence.”

Curran has been a leader in TMA, TAFP, and AAFP, serving on numerous committees and in various officer roles. At TMA, he has served on the Council on Legislation and the Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured; he chaired the Select Committee on National Health System Reform and is a member of TEXPAC.

As a past president of TAFP, Curran has held every office of the organization. He has also chaired the Commission on Membership and Member Services, and the Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs, and is an active member of TAFPPAC. In 2000, Curran was named Texas Family Physician of the Year. He also served on the AAFP Commission for Governmental Advocacy and is currently the TAFP Alternate Delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

His dedication to his patients and his passion for advocacy make a difference in Texas. By telling the stories of his patients and shining a light on hurdles facing physicians, he continues to help unify the voice of organized medicine.


Castroville FP selected for AAFP position
At this year’s AAFP National Conference of Constituency Leaders, Mary Nguyen, MD, was elected to be the minority co-convener for NCCL 2017 and a member constituency alternate delegate for the AAFP Congress of Delegates. NCCL will be held in Kansas City, Missouri from April 27-29, 2017, while the Congress of Delegates met in Orlando, Florida from September 19-21, 2016.

Nguyen practices at the Medina Valley Family Practice in Castroville, Texas, has been a member of both TAFP and AAFP since 1992, and adds her new titles to a lengthy list of leadership positions. She received her bachelor’s degree in English and biology from St. Mary’s University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. After graduation, Nguyen completed her residency at the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program in San Antonio.

“I very much enjoy being active in the Academy and appreciate the fact that the AAFP gives all members an opportunity to be heard as well as an opportunity to serve as a leader,” Nguyen says. “I hope to increase membership involvement in the special constituencies. I very much enjoy advocating for my patients.”

Serving as the minority co-convener, Nguyen will assist the NCCL convener, Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah of Tucson, Arizona, in running their meeting at the conference and will run the minority caucuses with another co-convener, Dr. Eleanor Lavadie-Gomez of Iowa City, Iowa.

Nguyen has been elected to four NCCL delegate positions in the past and said she feels comfortable with the duties and responsibilities the title brings with it. She hopes to become more active in her state chapter and possibly become a state officer in the future. She has graciously accepted these positions but also wants to acknowledge her support system.

“I am married to a family physician who is a past AAFP board member, Lloyd Van Winkle, MD. He is extremely supportive of my decisions and interests in leadership at all levels,” Nguyen says. “He is my business partner as well as my life partner and I am very grateful for his love and support. I would not be able to do what I do without it.”