Interim Session Highlights

Tags: interim session 2017, member news, tmf health quality institute, Project ECHO, family medicine leadership experience, The Section on Research, directors and officers

Highlights from TAFP’s Interim Session
April 13-14, 2018

The committees, commissions and sections of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians met in Austin and deliberated on many important items. Thanks to all the members who participated. Most commissions, committees, and all sections are open to guests. You can also request an appointment by submitting a “Make Your Mark” involvement form. Contact Juleah Williams at with any questions. Here are a few of the highlights of the recent meeting. All the recommendations mentioned will be presented to the Board of Directors

Advocating for your practice and your patients
Dr. Dan Crowe of Superior Health Plan discussed the company’s recent effort to manage treatment of chronic pain and substance use disorders in Texas with the Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care. He discussed the need to increase the use of medication-assisted treatment and the number of physicians credentialed to use it. He also discussed how Project ECHO is being used by those who prescribe MAT for opioid-dependent patients. It is a video conference system to deal with tough cases with the goal of extending training to primary care physicians.  

The Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care also heard an update on the implementation of Texas’ telemedicine legislation. TAFP is monitoring the market and communicating with lawmakers and with the Texas Association of Health Plans to ensure health plans are complying with the law.

The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed the results of a legislative survey of TAFP members. They also discussed a recent Florida law that would allow pharmacist prescribing under physician delegation and protocol for point-of-service, CLIA-waived testing. Dr. Troy Fiesinger from the AAFP Commission on Governmental Advocacy led a discussion of federal initiatives and AAFP’s involvement.

Member services and resources in development
The Section on Special Constituencies recommended that TAFP begin sending five alternate delegates to the AAFP National Conference of Constituency Leaders each year along with the five delegates. The five delegate seats are becoming more contested and the conference has proven to be a great opportunity to develop leaders for TAFP and give them opportunities for leadership at the national level. The alternate delegates would commit to attending the conference for two consecutive years and assume the role of official representative in their second year.

The Commission on Membership and Member Services recommended the creation of a TAFP Humanitarian Award. The award would honor members exhibiting extraordinary humanitarian efforts in the U.S. and around the world. The award isn’t intended to be given annually but only when a deserving member is identified. If you know a colleague who should be honored, contact the staff for more information.

The Commission on Membership and Member Services also discussed ongoing efforts to facilitate informal discussion opportunities at TAFP meetings. TAFP members served as facilitators of five Member Community meetings at Interim Session — Early Career Physicians, International Medical Graduates, Hospitalist and ER Physicians, Direct Primary Care Physicians, and Solo and Small Group Physicians.

The Section on Maternity Care and Rural Physicians met with two of the three recipients of the new TAFP Scholarship to attend the AAFP Family-Centered Maternity Care Live Course. The three recipients have provided written testimonial that will be shared at the next section meeting and will be sharing what they learned in their communities.

The commissions provided feedback on various member services and activities including production of Texas Family Physician, educational programming, educational programming for residents and students, the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, and much more.

Public health and research
The Section on Research has been in existence for a few years and last year began holding monthly conference calls with rotating speakers. 

Krista Del Gallo from the Texas Council on Family Violence shared a presentation with the Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research on Intimate Partner Violence and the resources available to physicians who screen for it during medical visits.

The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research also heard a presentation on transgender health care and the challenges transgender patients face while navigating the health care system and discussed social determinants of health with Dr. Edward Dick of Integrated Health Services at Methodist Healthcare Ministries.

Organizational issues 
The Nominating Committee met to identify candidates for leadership positions. In addition to nominating members for officer and delegate positions, they selected candidates for two at-large and one new physician position on the Board of Directors. You can read about the candidates in contested races in this issue of Texas Family Physician. 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 and Primary Care Summit in Arlington, November 9. Here is the proposed slate of directors and officers for 2018-19:

Jake Margo, Jr., MD

Amer Shakil, MD, MBA

Mary Nguyen, MD

Delegate to AAFP:
Doug Curran, MD

Alternate Delegate to AAFP:
Troy Fiesinger, MD

New Physician Director:
Lane Aiena, MD; Diana Mercado-Marmarosh, MD

At-large Director:
Gerald Banks, MD; Lesca Hadley, MD; Ike Okwuwa, MD

Special Constituency Director:
Stuti Nagpal, MD

Resident Director:
Janie Gibson, MD

Medical Student Director:
Justin Fu

The Bylaws Committee made several recommendations that will align TAFP’s Bylaws with AAFP’s Bylaws in the areas of ethics and dues and admission fees. The amendments will be voted on by the membership at the Annual Business Meeting during the TAFP Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in Arlington.
The Finance Committee reviewed TAFP’s financial reports and investments. The committee also received an update on TAFP’s investment portfolio.

Member highlights
The Nominating Committee recommended to the board that TAFP nominate Dr. Amer Shakil for Chair of AAFP’s Commission on Education, Dr. Troy Fiesinger for Chair of AAFP’s Commission on Governmental Advocacy, and Dr. Clare Hawkins for Chair of AAFP’s Commission on Health of the Public and Science. They are all in their fourth year of service on their commission.

The Nominating Committee also recommended that Dr. Troy Fiesinger be reappointed as TAFP’s Delegate to TMA’s Interspecialty Society. An Alternate Delegate will be named at the August 2018 meeting of the Board of Directors.

The Commission on Continuing Professional Development selected program chairs for TAFP’s educational programs for the near future. Program chairs include Kristi Salinas, MD, and Lesca Hadley, MD, for the 2019 C. Frank Webber Lectureship and Crawford Allison, MD, and Nidhisha Anireddy, MD, for the 2019 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands.

The Section on Residents held elections for officers and delegates. Daniel Nwachokor, MD, MPH, from Memorial was elected chair and Janie Gibson, MD, from Scott and White was elected to be the nominee for the Resident Director on the TAFP Board of Directors. They elected Arindam Sarkar, MD, from Baylor as chair-elect and Sophia Kim, MD, from Texas Tech El Paso as secretary. The delegate and alternate to National Conference are James Wang, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin and Amanda Patterson, MD, from Baylor. The delegates and alternates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Jean Ghosn, MD, from Memorial; Dominic Maneen, DO, MBA, from Memorial; Danny Joseph, MD, from Methodist Houston; and Anum Maniar, MD, from Methodist Houston. The resident liaison is Jessica Bracks, MD, from UT Tyler and the TAFP Foundation Resident Advisor is Jasmeet Kaur, MD, from Dell.

The Section on Medical Students met and held elections for officers and delegates for the coming year. Justin Fu from Baylor was elected chair and the nominee for the Student Director position on the TAFP Board of Directors. Emily Tutt from TCOM was elected chair-elect and Mac Light from Baylor was elected secretary. The delegate and alternate to AAFP’s National Conference are Jen Nordhauser from UT San Antonio and Nelson Boland from Baylor. The FMIG liaison is Ryan Trantham from Baylor. The delegates and alternates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Alice Jean from UT Southwestern, Kendra Williams from McGovern, Marc Ghosn from UIW, and Jordan Hartman from Texas Tech. Edward Strecker from UTMB was elected to the new position of TAFP Foundation Medical Student Advisor.