TAFP member Roland Goertz installed as AAFP president

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TAFP member Roland Goertz installed
as AAFP president

TAFP member Roland A. Goertz, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.F.P., of Waco, was inaugurated as the 2010-2011 president of the American Academy of Family Physicians at the 2010 AAFP Congress of Delegates meeting in Denver, Colo. Previously, he served three years as a director on the AAFP Board and one year as president-elect.

In his acceptance speech, Goertz told the gathered delegates, “This is our time.” He described the efforts of earlier generations of family physicians and how they relate to the Academy’s current position of strength.

“There is a confluence of forces creating incredible opportunities,” he said. “We are dealing all at once with a new set of realities in health care, a new political reality, and a new economic reality. The new health care reality is partly the realization that modern medicine will not always ‘fix us’ and the frustration of current shortfalls. The new political reality is that improving health care is being pitted against the need to constrain governmental costs and to reduce the federal deficit. And the new economic reality is, well, all you have to do is have a patient tell you they lost their job or home to know what it is.”

Goertz addresses his colleagues at the opening ceremony of the 2010 AAFP Scientific Assembly on Sept. 29, 2010, minutes after being sworn in as AAFP’s 63rd president.

These political and economic realities present the perfect opportunity for family physicians to show their worth and value, he said.

“We and the other major primary care physician groups are the only ones offering a significant change in the current care delivery model, the patient-centered medical home.”

Goertz concluded his acceptance speech by proclaiming his optimism and hope for the future of family medicine. “We know that the essence of what we do cannot ever be replaced by a test or a procedure of any kind. We know that coordination of care is valuable, and that we do it best. We know there are volumes of data from excellent studies that champion our value to patients. We know the public wants and needs who we are and what we do. And we more than anyone else know the value a personal patient relationship has; it makes all the difference in the world. What we do is not just a job, it is a commitment, a vocation that we love and want to do.”

As AAFP president, Goertz will advocate on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. health care system. In his 26-year medical career, he has served as a physician in rural private practice, a family medicine residency program director at two highly regarded Texas residencies, and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School – Houston.

For the past 14 years, Goertz has served as chief executive officer of the three foundations that oversee all operations of the Waco Family Health Center, which operates one of the oldest family medicine residency programs west of the Mississippi River. It provides care to more than 50,000 patients in McLennan County, Texas. Goertz also holds an appointment at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas.

A member of the AAFP and TAFP since 1979, Goertz has served on numerous committees and commissions at the state and national level. He actively participated in and chaired the AAFP Commission on Education and Commission on Governmental Advocacy. He was a member of the AAFP Task Force to Enhance Family Medicine Research. Goertz served as TAFP president from 1994 to 1995, and as a delegate or alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates from 2000 to 2006. He is past president of the McLennan County Medical Society.

Goertz chairs the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s advisory committee on family medicine residencies and is a past president of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers. He represented family medicine on the Council of Academic Societies of the Association of American Medical Colleges from 2000 to 2006. He also served as a member and chair of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee on Physician Workforce and Distribution, and was a member of its Council on Medical Education.

Locally, Goertz is a member and past board chair of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Waco Business League, the Waco Downtown Rotary Club, and serves on the board of the Cooper Foundation, a local philanthropic organization.

Both AAFP and TAFP have recognized Goertz for his hard work and dedication to the specialty. He has received TAFP’s Presidential Award of Merit Award (1989), TAFP Political Action Committee Award (2003), TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year Award (2004), and AAFP’s Robert Graham Family Physician Executive Award (2006). He also was awarded the “Gold-Headed Cane” by the McLennan County Medical Society and Alliance in 2010.

Goertz graduated from medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio in 1981. He then completed a residency in family medicine at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He subsequently completed a clinical teaching fellowship in family medicine in 1986 and received a master’s degree in business administration from Baylor University in 2003. Goertz has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.