Family medicine went to the beach for the 2017 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit
Words by Perdita Henry and photos by Jonathan Nelson
Family physicians and other health professionals from around the state gathered in Galveston, Nov. 10-12, for TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit. A total of 466 registrants gathered to network, earn CME, shape TAFP policy at committee and commission meetings, and celebrate the specialty of family medicine.
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Attendees had opportunities to learn about a variety of topics during the scientific portion of the conference and earn up to 21 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Participants attended three Knowledge Self-Assessment Module workshops Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, on Preventive Care, Coronary Artery Disease, and Maternity Care. The National Procedures Institute offered their popular Joint Exam and Injections course and the Sideline Management Assessment Response Technique course.
The TAFP Foundation held an exclusive seafood dinner at Galveston’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf with proceeds going to benefit the TAFP Foundation Research Endowment. Thank you to AbbVie for being a Platinum Level sponsor; Texas Medical Association, Texas Medical Liability Trust Catalyst Health Network, and Robert Youens, MD, for being Gold Level sponsors. Thank you also to Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals and Baylor Scott & White Health for being Silver Level sponsors; and to Kelsey Seybold Clinic and Austin Regional Clinic for being Bronze Level sponsors.
Friday morning’s opening keynote speaker was, Kent Brantly, MD, the first American Ebola survivor to return to the United States and be treated for the disease. The CME general session followed, with a breakfast lecture presentation by Rebecca Hart, MD, entitled “Contraception in Primary Care: Helping Your Patients Choose the Best Method.” The rest of the weekend’s CME included topics on influenza in older adults, infectious disease, an ethics talk on palliative care, a lecture on the prevention of hepatitis, and much more. AAFP’s immediate past board chair, Wanda Filer, MD, of Pennsylvania provided an update on the national academy on Sunday morning.
Rebecca Hart, MD, gave a TAFP update during Friday’s Member Assembly Luncheon. Delegates from TAFP’s local chapters elected Terrance Hines, MD, to serve as at-large director, Lawrence Gibbs, MD, to serve as new physician, and Mary Nguyen, MD, to serve as parliamentarian.
TAFP’s 2017 award recipients and new officers
Saturday’s Annual Business and Awards Lunch began with members present voting to adopt the TAFP bylaws changes. Next, TAFP’s top honors were announced. Here’s a list of this year’s winners.
Physician of the Year:
Jorge Duchicela, MD
Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Jorge Duchicela, MD, immigrated to the Wisconsin at the age of 13. He would later earn his Bachelor of Science and his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin. He completed his family medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in both surgery and family medicine.
Duchicela is chief of the medical staff at Columbus Community Hospital. He is the founder and president of Texas Rural Family Medicine Education Center and the founder and director of Cachamsi, a nonprofit medical immersion institute to help health professionals learn Spanish and learn global and cross-cultural medicine. He served as board director of the Colorado Valley Chapter of TAFP for 10 years and he currently serves as the chair of TAFP’s Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs.
After accepting the award, Duchicela reflected on the journey that lead him to this moment. “I came to Weimar a well-trained family physician. There I discovered the training had just begun. I am thankful to all those patients who trusted me and had the patience to teach me how to become a better family physician.”
Dale C. Moquist, MD
Dale Moquist, MD, received his Bachelor in Science from the University of North Dakota, his medical degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, and completed his residency at the University of Minnesota Family Practice Residency Program. He moved to Texas after a long career in North Dakota, during which he was active in the North Dakota Academy of Family of Physicians and served on the AAFP Board of Directors. After becoming a Texas resident, he generously shared his vast leadership experience with his new colleagues and assisted TAFP with campaigns to elect AAFP leaders. He is a former faculty member of the Memorial Family Practice Residency Program. He served as director for Wichita Falls Family Practice Residency Program, and as faculty at the Family Practice Residency Program of the Brazos Valley. He was a part of AAFP’s delegation to the American Medical Association and served as chair of the delegation for many years. He served as president of the TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees for 10 years and enthusiastically supported the Foundation’s mission to encourage medical students to pursue the specialty, to support family medicine residents, and to fund practice-based primary care research. Under his leadership, the TAFP Foundation created several new medical student scholarships and began its research endowment. He is currently retired.
Presidential Award of Merit:
Barbara Thompson, MD
Barbara Thompson, MD, is a family physician professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and currently holds the Sealy Hutchings and Lucille Wright Hutchings Chair. She is also the current chair of the department of family medicine, a position she’s held for 20 years. She has spent more than 40 years caring for her patients, advocating for the specialty of family medicine, and teaching students and residents. Thompson received numerous honors and awards for her work as a professor and physician. She’s a recipient of the John P. McGovern Award and Endowment, she’s been recognized eight times as a Texas Super Doctor by Texas Monthly Magazine, and she was recognized by the UTMB School of Medicine Alumni Association with the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award for her outstanding service to the medical profession and humanity.
Patient Advocacy Award:
Dan Hinkle has more than 30 years of government affairs experience and an extensive background in both engineering and legal fields. He reflected on what the award significance in his recorded acceptance speech. “This award is special to me. I grew up in the second least-populated-county in the state of Missouri,” Hinkle said. “We were lucky we had a family physician in our town because the nearest hospital was nearly 50 miles away. It has been a great privilege and honor to represent the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.”
Public Health Award:
Scott Lillibridge, MD
Scott Lillibridge, MD, has more than 30 years of experience in medical and public health preparedness in domestic and international settings. He is the founding director of the CDC Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program and served as special assistant to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services during the 2001 anthrax attacks. He has also contributed to several state and local public health policy forums, bringing clinical trials to South Texas to ensure the population has access to new investigative drugs. He assisted in the development of the Global Institute for Hispanic Health in Corpus Christi, he brought the first CDC funded Public Health Preparedness Center to Texas, and he served on the Governor’s Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease.
Full-time Faculty Exemplary Teaching Award:
Marcy Wiemers, MD
Marcy Wiemers, MD, is the full-time family medicine residency associate program director and assistant clinical professor at UT Health San Antonio. She has received several recognitions and awards for her work as a professor, physician, and scholar, including the Corpus Christi Family Medicine Residency Program’s Family Medicine Faculty Teaching Award in both 2008 and 2012 and UT Health San Antonio’s Family and Community Medicine Education Development Award.
Part-time Faculty Exemplary Teaching Award:
Nida Joy Emko, MD
Nida Joy Emko, MD, is a part-time clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. She also cares for incarcerated teens at the Juvenile Detention Center, teaches family medicine residents at the Family Health Center, and sees patients at the Family Medicine Inpatient Service at University Hospital in association with UT Health San Antonio. She’s received numerous honors and awards for her work as a professor, physician, and scholar, including the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for Faculty, and the Veritas Faculty Mentor of the Year Award, and she has been named among the Best Doctors in San Antonio by Scene Magazine.
Special Constituency Leadership Award:
Emily Briggs, MD, MPH
Emily Briggs, MD, MPH, is the founder of Briggs Family Medicine in New Braunfels, where she practices full-spectrum family medicine and obstetrics and is the medical director for two school districts. She is an active TAFP member who has served on multiple committees and commissions and as the new physician board member for both TAFP and AAFP. She has served as president of her local chapter of the Texas Medical Association and the Alamo Chapter of TAFP. She has also represented Texas during AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders.
TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year:
Seth Cowan, MD
Seth Cowan, MD, was president of TAFP from 1979-1980. He is responsible for several leadership development programs and mentored several generations of TAFP leaders. He was named Texas Family Physician of the Year in 1989 in recognition of his years of service, leadership, and excellence. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in organized medicine on all levels, becoming a member of TAFP and AAFP in 1958. He served as TAFP Foundation president, oversaw the development of the scholarship program, and has served on numerous committees and commissions for both TAFP and AAFP. He served on the Foundation Board for over 36 years including seven years as treasurer and is a monthly donor who reached the fifth level of the organization’s monthly donor program in 2015. In 2017 he made a generous donation to endow a scholarship in his name to benefit a family medicine resident in training at the Baylor Family Medicine Residency at Garland.
TAFP Political Action Committee Award:
Linda Siy, MD
Linda Siy, MD, served as president of TAFP from 2007-2008 and went on to represent Texas in AAFP’s Congress of Delegates serving as alternate delegate and now delegate. As delegate, she passionately advocated this year for AAFP to assist state chapters with political action committees in collecting support through the annual dues billing process. She is a longtime advocate for family medicine, working to develop local relationships with her elected officials and is regarded as an expert in health policy. She’s served as chair of the TAFP Political Action Committee Board of Trustees.
Following the presentation of awards, Dr. Filer installed the TAFP 2017-2018 officers. They are President Janet Hurley, MD; President-elect Rebecca Hart, MD; Vice President Amer Shakil, MD, MBA; Treasurer Javier “Jake” Margo, Jr., MD; and Parliamentarian Mary Nguyen, MD.
In her inaugural address, Hurley thanked the many physician leaders who have gone before her and several mentors who have guided her along her path. She encouraged family physicians to become involved in the Academy for the sake of the specialty, their patients, and their own fulfillment.
“I believe that family medicine’s time for resurgence is now. The giants who wore this medallion before me set the stage for what we can become,” she told the audience. “Do you believe as I do that family medicine is this nation’s best hope for a sustainable, practical, and financially sound health care system? Do you believe as I do that we are positioned well as a specialty to finally be valued for the work we do? Are you ready to transform your practices into something better than it had been, to do your part to make this health care system the best that it can be? If the answer is yes, then we must continue to act.”
Mark your calendars now for upcoming symposia. The 2018 C. Frank Webber Lectureship will be held April 13-14 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. The Texas Family Medicine Symposium will be June 8-10, 2018 at La Cantera Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, and next year’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit will be Nov 9-11, 2018 in Arlington. For the full 2018 schedule, visit www.tafp.org/professional-development.