Highlights from TAFP's Annual Session, July 23-27, 2014

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Highlights from TAFP’s Annual Session, July 23-27, 2014

The committees, commissions, and sections of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians met in San Antonio and deliberated on many important items. TAFP also held its first voting Member Assembly to elect new leaders. Thanks to all the members who participated. Most commissions and 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 jwilliams@tafp.org with any questions. Here are a few of the highlights from the recent meeting.

Advocating for you and your patients
TAFP’s lobby team met with the Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs to provide an update on the elections and discuss the likely themes of the 2015 Texas Legislative Session including Texas’ fiscal outlook, public education and transportation funding, infrastructure development, water infrastructure, and the business tax/margins tax system. They discussed the political challenges for some of TAFP’s priorities including Medicaid expansion, increasing graduate medical education funding, and changes to Texas’ telemedicine laws.

Member services and resource in development
TAFP has several sections that meet at TAFP’s Interim and Annual Sessions to discuss issues and interests common to the group. Any member is welcome to attend and participate in discussions on maternity care, rural medicine, resident education, medical student education, and now research. The Section on Research had its first meeting at Annual Session for those interested in developing research projects, participating in research, or just learning about research going on in Texas. You are welcome to attend their meeting at Interim Session in Austin, March 6-7, 2015.

The Leadership Development Committee moved closer to rolling out a new leadership program for TAFP members. It will include increased leadership programming at TAFP conferences and the opportunity to participate in a year-long leadership experience with a small group of your colleagues. Watch for more details in the coming year.

Defining PCMH in Texas
The Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care received a report from the patient-centered medical home workgroup that formed after Interim Session. The report has a recommendation to develop a Texas-specific version of PCMH designation. The goal is to compile a set of qualities, capabilities, and characteristics of a medical home in collaboration with consultants, other primary care physician associations, and the Texas Medical Home Initiative. Once the standards are developed, they should be presented to payers around the state in hopes of forging agreements to create multi-payer PCMH programs. The commission recommended that TAFP develop a strategy to implement the report.

Developing a strong family medicine workforce
The Commission on Academic Affairs recommended, and the Board approved, a bold goal of having 50 percent of Texas medical school graduates go into family medicine. They also recommended that TAFP facilitate a meeting of key stakeholders from Texas medical schools to discuss barriers, best practices for FMIG groups, preceptorships, and clerkship practices.

Opportunities for members
TAFP has been represented by Drs. Erica Swegler and Troy Fiesinger at the TMA Interspecialty Society since 2006 and they have done a fantastic job. The Nominating Committee will be reviewing the responsibilities of the position and will send a “call for nominations” to identify new leadership at their next meeting. If you are interested in serving, please contact Kathy McCarthy at 

Organizational news
The voting representatives on the Member Assembly reviewed recommendations from the Nominating Committee and elected these 2014-2015 leaders:

  • President-elect: 
Ajay Gupta, MD
  • Vice President: 
Janet Hurley, MD
  • Treasurer: 
Tricia Elliott, MD
  • Parliamentarian: 
Tamra Deuser, MD
  • Delegate to AAFP: 
Erica Swegler, MD
  • Alternate Delegate to AAFP: 
Troy Fiesinger, MD
  • New Physician Director: 
Emily Briggs, MD
  • At-large Director: 
Adrian Billings, MD
  • Special Constituencies Director: Terrance Hines, MD
  • Resident Director: 
Kassie Johnson, MD
  • Medical Student Director: 
Brittany Taute

At the annual TAFP Business and Awards Lunch, the membership approved bylaws amendments recommended and published in Texas Family Physician earlier in 2014. These changes were meant to ensure alignment with AAFP’s bylaws, alter the succession of leadership, and clarify the Annual Business Meeting. The Bylaws Committee met during Annual Session and discussed a few other changes that will be published in 2015 to be voted on during the next annual business meeting.

Member highlights
The Nominating Committee reviewed opportunities on the national level. TAFP has a strong presence within AAFP because of the strong Texas leaders who dedicate time and energy to serving the specialty. The committee recommended and the Board approved nominating Dr. Lloyd Van Winkle to run for AAFP President-elect in 2015. They also asked TAFP to submit a nomination for Dr. Rebecca Hart to chair the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science and nominate the following members for service on AAFP Commissions – Dr. Amer Shakil, Dr. Lesca Hadley, Dr. Clare Hawkins, Dr. Troy Fiesinger, and Dr. Erica Swegler.

The Commission on Membership and Member Services recognized and applauded the election of Dr. Emily Briggs to the AAFP Board of Directors as the new physician member and Dr. Christina Kelly as the convener of the 2015 National Conference of Constituency Leaders.