How Sesame Street models behaviors of inclusion
By Jean Klewitz
When the new Muppet character, Julia, a shy, artistic 4-year-old girl, made her debut on Sesame Street on April 10, 2017, you could tell there was something special about her.
In the episode “Meet Julia,” Big Bird is confused when Julia doesn’t respond to him. Throughout the episode, the characters of Sesame Street present the uniqueness and talents of their new friend to each other. The lively introductions to Julia provide a message of understanding for young viewers watching everywhere. “It’s just that Julia has autism,” Elmo says, “so sometimes it takes her a little longer to do things.”more
By Perdita Henry
April 22-29 is National Infant Immunization Week and the Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer several different ways to help you keep your patients’ parents informed.
The DSHS’s National Infant Immunization Week website features articles and offers printable, bilingual, materials such as the “Protect Two from the Flu” brochure, the “Pertussis Cocooning” brochure, and the “Hepatitis B Vaccine Can Save Your Baby’s Life” poster to assist you in educating your patients about the benefits of immunizations and how they keep those most at risk safe.more
By Perdita Henry
It’s the second week of April 2017 and that means TAFP just wrapped up Interim Session and C. Frank Webber Lectureship! It was great to see all of you for two days of business meetings and CME, but there was so much more that happened. In case you were busy with other important tasks, meetings, and networking opportunities, here’s some behind the scenes information.
This year’s CFW had 306 total attendees. Of our total number of attendees, 276 were physicians who had the opportunity to earn up to 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and AAFP Prescribed Credits. More than 100 members helped shape Academy policy and discussed hot topics on a wide range of issues in committee, commission, and section meetings during Interim Session.more
By Matthew Brown, MD
My name is Matthew Brown, and I am a family doctor who has worked with the underserved in the inner city of Rochester for the past 12 years. In my position, I have seen what happens when people do not have access to primary and preventive care. I have seen people admitted for diabetic complications because they couldn’t afford their insulin. I have seen people diagnosed with end-stage cancer because they couldn’t afford screenings to catch it when it could have been treated. I have seen strokes, and heart attacks, and kidney failure, and a hundred other things because people had to choose between medicine and food. Between doctor’s visits and having a roof over their heads. Between what they needed in the long-term and what they needed right that moment.
Medical care shouldn’t be a political issue. I didn’t work so diligently in medical school and residency because I hoped one day I would get to lobby my congressman, or attend rallies, or research Supreme Court decisions. The reason I became a doctor was, quite simply, to help people who needed help. And I hope most of the people I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving would see that even if I failed, I was trying with all of my heart to do that.more
By Christina Kelly, MD
The American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference of Constituency Leaders will be held April 27 - 29, 2017 with a preconference day on April 26 in Kansas City, Missouri. This is the AAFP’s premier leadership and policy development event for underrepresented constituencies, which includes new physicians (physicians in their first seven years of practice), women, international medical graduates, LGBT, and minority constituencies.
At this leadership meeting, we gather every year for a purpose. We gather to: learn about how we can make a difference for our patients and our specialty, inspire each other to advocate, lead the way to action, and challenge our colleagues to join us in our efforts. A variety of issues are discussed at this meeting, such as patient barriers to quality health care that you want the AAFP to address, challenges within a variety of practice settings that you want fixed, or changes that need to occur to continually improve family medicine.more
By Jean Klewitz
As all members of TAFP are keenly aware, Texas and the nation suffer from a persistent shortage of primary care physicians. We need more family doctors. The Harris County Academy of Family Physicians is taking important steps to generate and cultivate interest in family medicine among medical students.
HCAFP met for their Second Annual Medical Student Roundtable on Wednesday, Feb. 3, to discuss the specialty of family medicine. Members welcomed students early in their education from Baylor and UT Houston to a swanky restaurant on the sixth floor of the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons Building for an evening of frank questions and enlightening discussion.more
A busy start to a busy year
By Tricia Elliott, MD
Greetings colleagues. Regardless of what you think about the first several weeks of 2017, you certainly can’t say they’ve been boring. With the inauguration of a new president and the installation of his administration, the uncertain future for the Affordable Care Act, and the start of the 85th Texas Legislature, we have a lot of big issues to keep up with.
As it turns out, “repealing and replacing Obamacare” is much easier said than done and anyone who professes to know how the president and Congress will proceed most likely doesn’t. AAFP continues to be an influential resource to policy makers in Washington D.C. In letters to President Trump and to the leadership of the House and the Senate, AAFP has defined its priorities: health care for all, delivery system and payment reform, health care affordability, a national health care workforce strategy that promotes the value of primary care, and the promotion of prevention and wellness.more
By Jean Klewitz
Health care costs are back on the docket as lawmakers finish the third full week of the 85th Texas Legislature. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has convened a workgroup to come up with ways to control rising health care costs for state programs and that group met for the first time on Friday, Feb. 3, hearing testimony from state agencies and a variety of stakeholders for more than six hours.
Orthopedic surgeon and chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, Sen. Charles Schwertner, MD, R-Georgetown, presided over the seven-member panel. “Health care costs in all these programs and across all our state agencies continue to skyrocket and crowd out other priorities like education, transportation, and public safety,” he said as he opened the hearing.more
By Tammy Wishard
TMA has a way to help you boost local vaccination rates: Be Wise — Immunize Local Impact Grant. TMA is accepting applications until March 1 for grants of up to $2,500 to support local vaccination events. TMA member-physician practices/clinics, county medical societies, TMA Alliance chapters, and medical student chapters can apply.
The funds can be used for shot clinics to vaccinate children, adolescents, and/or adults. Applicants should apply for a grant at least four months before their event, and grantees have up to 12 months to use the funds. TMA will accept applications again on July 1 and Nov. 1 for shot clinics in late 2017 and early 2018.more
By Perdita Henry
Have you worked alongside someone who blew you away with their leadership skills? Are you a special constituency member who wants to make sure minorities, women, new physicians, LGBT+, and IMG physicians have a seat at the table? You’re in luck. Many of the inspirational and dedicated members of TAFP have made AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leader Forum a part of their journey to build the careers they always wanted.
Taking place April 27-29, in Kansas City, Missouri, AAFP members from across the nation will gather to discuss various issues, suggest policies and programs to AAFP, and receive leadership training.more