The biggest and brightest family medicine gathering in Texas

Tags: annual session and primary care summit, annual session, aspcs, aspcs report, emily briggs, linda siy, mary nguyen, larry kravitz, harold fields, adela valdez, lane aiena, cristian fernandez falcon, lesca hadley, tafp foundation, lindsay botsford, terrance hines, ike okwuwa

The biggest and brightest family medicine gathering in Texas

Report from TAFP’s 2022 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit

Words by Samantha White
Photos by Samantha White and Jonathan Nelson

Family physicians and other health professionals from around the state gathered in Grapevine, October 28 – 30, for TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit. A total of 515 registrants networked, earned CME, shaped TAFP policy at council meetings, and celebrated the specialty of family medicine. Attendees had opportunities to learn about a variety of topics during the CME portion of the conference and earn up to 18.5 CME credits. Participants attended two Knowledge Self-Assessment Module workshops Friday and Sunday on palliative care and the care of women. The National Procedures Institute also offered their popular course on suturing for primary care physicians. All three of these workshops were sold out.

Council meetings and forums took place on Thursday, all with great attendance and discussion. The Council on Workforce and Member Engagement forum focused on local chapter engagement, the Council on Medical Practice forum focused on TAFP’s new value-based care resource center, and the Council on Health of the Public forum focused on women’s health and vaccine hesitancy. The Member Assembly included a presentation on the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, an update on the Academy by Emily Briggs, MD, MPH, and a discussion on the upcoming legislative session led by TAFP CEO Tom Banning and TMA Council on Legislation member Linda Siy, MD.

TAFP officers, left to right: Okwuwa, Nguyen, Briggs, Hines, Botsford.

Delegates from the Academy’s local chapters elected new members of the TAFP Board of Directors and leaders. Briggs will serve as president; Terrance Hines, MD, will serve as president-elect; Lindsay Botsford, MD, MBA, will serve as treasurer; and Ike Okwuwa, MD, will serve as parliamentarian. After the new officers were installed by AAFP Board of Directors member Jen Brull, MD, incoming president Briggs gave her presidential address.

“We stand today fighting medical mistrust, brought on by more than this pandemic,” Briggs said. “We know that primary care means better outcomes. We have the evidence – studies exist as proof! We will continue to go to the Capitol, speak to legislators on all of these issues and more. We will make our stance known and keep moving the needle. Your board will perform strategic planning in this nearly post-COVID world. We are here to assist you in navigating these difficult waters.”

Vicky Bakhos Webb, MD, MBA, will serve as new physician director; Sherri Onyiego, MD, PhD, will serve as advocate for diversity and health equity; Farron Hunt, MD, and Rashmi Rode, MD, will serve as at-large directors; Angie Macias, MD, will serve as resident director; and Ashley Mai will serve as student director. New delegates to AAFP’s Congress of Delegates were also elected – Tricia Elliott, MD, will serve as delegate, and Clare Hawkins, MD, will serve as alternate delegate. Puja Sehgal, MD, was elected to serve on the Nominating Committee.

The CME opening keynote speaker was Onyiego, who spoke on health equity in the framework of value-based care. She is the Texas market medical director for Equality Health, a population health company. The rest of the weekend’s CME topics included behavioral health, adolescent health, women’s health, pain management and opioids, and more. Brull, of Kansas, provided an update on the national Academy on Sunday morning.

The 2022 graduating class of the Family Medicine Leadership Experience.

Participants in the Family Medicine Leadership Experience attended their final session of the program, officially graduating from the program. They presented their posters and projects to the group, and learned about various capacities of leadership from AAFP guest Brull and TAFP members Rode, Lane Aiena, MD, and Jim Martin, MD. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a leader, the FMLE 2023 application is now open.

The TAFP Foundation held an exclusive dinner at Dino’s Steak and Claw House with proceeds benefiting the new Resident Leadership Endowment, which will support the Texas Family Medicine Scholars program and other leadership activities. Sponsors for the event included AbbVie, Aledade, Agilon Health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Catalyst Health Network, The Family Medicine Department of Austin Regional Clinic, Main Street Health, Cigna, Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Texas Health Resources, Texas Medical Association, and Texas Medical Liability Trust.

TAFP physician member Kendra Williams, MD, assists student member Winona Gbedey during the LARC procedure workshop.

TAFP’s Resident and Student Track took place Saturday and was well attended – 88 students and 27 residents participated, representing 14 medical schools and 15 residency programs. Attendees practiced their LARC procedural skills with models from Bayer, heard a women’s health update from Rebecca Hart, MD, and learned about integrating mental health in family medicine and becoming leaders.

The Briggs family celebrates her new presidency in the TAFP photo booth.

Saturday night’s closing party, the Family Medicine Celebration, honored both outgoing TAFP President Mary Nguyen, MD, and incoming TAFP President Briggs. Attendees ate barbecue, had fun in the official TAFP photo booth, sang karaoke on stage with a live band, and danced the night away. Check out more photos from the week’s events on Facebook.

TAFP’s 2022 award recipients

TAFP’s top honors were announced at Saturday’s annual TAFP Awards Lunch. Here’s a list of the 2022 winners.

Physician of the Year: Linda Siy, MD

Mary Nguyen, MD, TAFP’s outgoing president, presents the Texas Family Physician of the Year award to Linda Siy, MD.

Siy has been a family physician for over 30 years, and currently practices at John Peter Smith Health Network at the Northeast Medical Home in Tarrant County, a practice she’s been a part of since 1995. She is also faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine, the University of North Texas Health Science Center/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Texas Christian University Burnett School of Medicine. She currently serves as president of the TAFP Foundation, on the Acclaim Multispecialty Group’s Physician Board of Directors, and previously served as president of the Tarrant County Medical Society and TAFP’s Tarrant County chapter.

Siy has spent her career in medicine treating her loyal and multi-generational families of patients, many of whom are underserved, suffer from housing and food insecurity, and struggle with mental health and substance abuse. Many of her nominators mentioned her willingness to speak up and ask the questions others are too afraid to ask, as well as her dedication to teaching the next generation of family physicians.

“I think what’s kept me in the game for so long at the place where I work now are those rewarding relationships with your patients, with your staff, with your colleagues,” Siy said as she accepted the award. “It’s really not a job. It’s a calling.”

In honor of Siy winning this award, the TAFP Foundation launched the Linda Siy Medical Student Scholarship. Siy’s family donated the seed money and the Foundation is confident that it will be fully endowed within the year. Click here to learn more about this new scholarship and donate.

Physician Emeritus: Harold Fields, MD

Mary Nguyen, MD, TAFP’s outgoing president, presents the Physician Emeritus award to Harold Fields, MD.

Fields is now retired but had a long and distinguished career in family medicine, spanning two continents and three countries. He completed medical training and began his family medicine practice in Scotland, then practiced in Toronto before immigrating to America. Fields settled in Houston where he practiced for 35 years, including founding Village Family Practice which is now part of Village Medical.

“Medicine has changed in the past five to 10 years, but I feel that the family physicians are in the lead,” Fields said as he accepted the award. “Good health, and good luck to all of you.”

Public Health Award: Lane Aiena, MD

Lane Aiena, MD, makes his remarks after receiving the Public Health Award.

Aiena practices at Huntsville Family Medicine and currently serves on TAFP’s Board of Directors as an at-large director. He is president of the Walker-Madison-Trinity County Medical Society and is also active in the Texas Medical Association.

Serving as the Walker County COVID Medical Response Director, Aiena worked with his state representatives to secure vaccines for his community and organized events to distribute them. He was interviewed by several media outlets to raise awareness about the lack of vaccine distribution in rural Texas, and taught classes to local hospital staff on overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

Recently, Aiena launched “Doc to the Future,” his podcast aimed at exploring the ever-changing field of primary care. Learn more about the podcast and listen here.

TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year: Lesca Hadley, MD, MBA
Hadley has been faculty at John Peter Smith Health Network since 2003 and currently serves as the director of the geriatrics fellowship. She has served on the TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees since 2015, is quick to volunteer her time to the Foundation, and is a generous Foundation donor at the Trailblazer level.

“Years ago, I decided caring for the vulnerable would be my personal mission in life, and I have been blessed beyond my imagination to have had the opportunity to provide patient care and medical education in places across Texas and around the world,” Hadley said. “Some would call what I do work, but to me it is just fun, pure joy.”

Hadley was unable to be in person October 29 to receive the award, as she was in Kyrgyzstan to teach family medicine at a new training program. She previously worked with Russian family physicians and frequently takes students across the globe on medical mission trips.

Diversity and Health Equity Leadership Award: Adela Valdez, MD, MBA

Mary Nguyen, MD, TAFP’s outgoing president, presents the Diversity and Health Equity Leadership Award to Adela Valdez, MD, MBA.

Valdez is the associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and health at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, where she is also a professor of family and community medicine. She also chairs the Texas Medical School Diversity and Inclusion Consortium, and the newly formed UTRGV Faculty and Success and Diversity Council.

In her work as associate dean, Valdez focuses on increasing underrepresented groups in medicine, including Hispanic, Black, and female populations. She also oversees the Diversity Fireside Chats, which provide a venue for open discussion on thought-provoking topics, and have included prestigious speakers such as multiple former surgeons general.

Exemplary Teaching Award (Full Time): Cristian Fernandez Falcon, MD
Falcon is the associate program director for the Family and Community Medicine Residency Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he is also an associate clinical professor in the Long School of Medicine. He previously served as interim director at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s McAllen Family Medicine Residency Program, where he helped the program recover full accreditation.

In addition to utilizing traditional styles of teaching, Falcon works with more innovative techniques like small group teaching and quality improvement projects, and is currently developing a modern curriculum using podcasting. A nomination letter for Falcon said that his “enthusiasm for excellence is contagious.”

Exemplary Teaching Award (Volunteer): Larry Kravitz, MD

Mary Nguyen, MD, TAFP’s outgoing president, presents the Exemplary Teaching Award to Larry Kravitz, MD.

Kravitz is affiliate faculty at both the University of Texas Southwestern and the University of Texas Dell Medical School, and has practiced at Austin Regional Clinic since 1987. He serves as a preceptor in the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, teaching medical students to help them gain real-life experience in a community setting.

Many of his nominators described Kravitz as one of the most sought-after preceptors, as well as a valued and very respected teacher. Former students constantly mention his willingness to provide them with the autonomy to meet with patients and report back with questions in a non-judgmental and safe environment.

Kravitz is known to take this teaching outside of clinic walls, assisting students with research projects, bringing them along as he acts as team physician for many Austin sports organizations, and having them join him as he serves at the Capitol as Physician of the Day during legislative sessions.

Presidential Award of Merit: Lloyd Van Winkle, MD

Mary Nguyen, MD, TAFP’s outgoing president, presents the Presidential Award of Merit to Lloyd Van Winkle, MD.

The Presidential Award of Merit is given each year by the outgoing president. Nguyen gave this year’s award to Van Winkle, who practices in Castroville with Nguyen and is currently president of their accountable care organization. He helps other physicians transition into ACOs and was promoting and educating members on value-based care models before it became the hot topic it is today.

Mark your calendars now for TAFP’s 2023 educational events. The C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Interim Session will be April 21 – 22 in Austin, the Texas Family Medicine Symposium will be June 9 – 11 in San Antonio, TAFP Pulse will be held virtually on August 19, and Annual Session and Primary Care Summit will be November 10 – 12 in Grapevine.