Interim Session Highlights

Highlights from TAFP’s Interim Session
April 5-6, 2019

The committees, commissions and sections of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians met in Austin and deliberated on many important matters. Thanks to all the members who participated. Most commissions, committees, and all sections are open to guests and meet twice a year at TAFP’s Interim and Annual Sessions. 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 from the recent meeting. All recommendations mentioned will be presented to the TAFP Board of Directors.

Working for you and your patients
The meeting fell at approximately the halfway point of the 86th Texas legislative session and advocacy was a major topic of discussion. The Commission on Legislative and Public Affairs discussed the state budget and TAFP’s funding priorities including the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program, the Family Medicine Residency Program, the Physician Loan Repayment Program, and Medicaid payment rates. They also discussed opioid prescribing initiatives under consideration and HB1622, which would allow physicians to dispense pharmaceuticals in their practices, and legislation that would allow nurse practitioners to practice independently in Texas.

The Board of Directors approved a recommendation to fund $10,000 prizes for a Behavioral Health Integration Innovators Competition. The competition will allow TAFP to highlight practices that have integrated behavioral health and identify models that could work for other members. For more information, visit

The Commission on Health Care Services and Managed Care discussed the recent launch of the pilot recertification examination alternative. The commission recommended that TAFP work with ABFM to address initial concerns with the program including the length of time to answer the questions and the relevance of the questions.

Member services and workforce development
The Commission on Membership and Member Services discussed ongoing efforts to facilitate informal discussions at TAFP meetings. TAFP members served as facilitators of three Member Community meetings at Interim Session — Early Career Physicians, International Medical Graduates, and Solo and Small Group Physicians.

The commission 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.

The Commission on Academic Affairs discussed the preceptorship program, programming for residents, medical students and clerkship and residency program coordinators, and opportunities for TAFP Foundation travel funding. Dr. Adrian Billings discussed the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity Fellowship project with the group, a program to have an underserved medicine lecture in all Texas medical school curriculums using a faculty champion at each school. Dr. Lewis Foxhall discussed the Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Rotation available for third- and fourth-year residents at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Public health and research
Anna Stelter, Public Health Policy Analyst at TMA, gave a report from the Texas Public Health Coalition to the Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs, and Research. Dr. Winston Liaw, former medical director of the Robert Graham Center, presented to two commissions on the Population Health Assessment Engine Curriculum. The commission also recommended that TAFP introduce a resolution at the AAFP Congress of Delegates regarding corporal punishment.

The Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs, and Research oversees the annual TAFP Research Poster Competition. The group voted to change the schedule for presentation and judging. Beginning this year, posters must be displayed by 1 p.m. on Friday to allow participants to travel that morning instead of the night before. Space is limited for posters and if more applications are received than space allows, the review committee will limit participation by individual and academic institution.

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. 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 the Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands, November 8. Here is the proposed slate of directors and officers for 2019-20:

Amer Shakil, MD, MBA

Mary Nguyen, MD

Emily Briggs, MD, MPH

Delegate to AAFP:
Troy Fiesinger, MD

Alternate Delegate to AAFP:
Ashok Kumar, MD; Tricia Elliott, MD (partial term)

New Physician Director:
Mary Anne Snyder, DO

At-large Directors:
Lindsay Botsford, MD, MBA, CMQ; Brian Jones, MD, CPE

Special Constituency Director:
Puja Sehgal, MD

Resident Director:
Paul Moody, MD

Medical Student Director:
Emily Tutt

The Bylaws Committee made several recommendations that will change the way members are selected for the Nominating Committee, update the vision and mission statements with those adopted by the TAFP Board in 2018, and add the membership class of Transitional Member. The amendments will be voted on at the Annual Business Meeting during the TAFP Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in The Woodlands.

The Finance Committee reviewed TAFP’s financial reports and investments. The committee also received an update on TAFP’s investment portfolio. The board appointed a work group to study current policy on TAFP leader compensation and reimbursement and make recommendations for change. The group will look at models of compensation for similar non-profit organizations. The board also asked the president to appoint a task force to look at TAFP local chapters and their operations.

Member highlights
The Nominating Committee recommended to the Board that TAFP nominate Dr. Rebecca Hart for Chair of AAFP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development. She is in her fourth year of service on the commission.

The Commission on Continuing Professional Development selected program chairs for TAFP’s educational programs for the near future. Program chairs include Ike Okwuwa, MD, and Stephanie Roth, MD, for the 2020 C. Frank Webber Lectureship; Sarah Samreen, MD, for the 2020 Texas Family Medicine Symposium; and Jennifer Culver, MD, and Mark Malone, MD, for the 2020 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit in Grapevine.

The Section on Residents held elections for officers and delegates. Arindam Sarkar, MD, from Baylor was elected chair and Paul Moody, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin was elected to be the nominee for the Resident Director on the TAFP Board of Directors. They elected Katie Corkill, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin as chair-elect and Carlos Villania, MD, from Texas Tech El Paso as secretary. The delegate and alternate to National Conference are Chiraag Alur, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin and Cristina Penon, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin. The delegates and alternates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Austin Kadiri, MD, MPH, from Texas Tech Permian Basin; Jason John, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin; Michael Dakkak, DO, from Memorial; and Edward Strecker, MD, from Conroe. The TAFP Foundation Resident Advisor is Jasmeet Kaur, MD from Dell and the resident liaisons are Jean Ghosn, MD, from Memorial; Danny Joseph, MD, from Methodist Houston; Omar Mahfouz, MD, from Methodist Houston; John Maldonado, MD, from Texas Tech El Paso; Joshua Morgan, MD, from Conroe; and Jinal Patel, MD, from Texas Tech Permian Basin.

The Section on Medical Students met and held elections for officers and delegates for the coming year. Emily Tutt from TCOM was elected chair and the nominee for the student director position on the TAFP Board of Directors. Marc Ghosn from UIW was elected chair-elect and Mac Light from Baylor was elected secretary. The delegate and alternate to AAFP’s National Conference are Jeremiah Lee and Maria Lopez. The FMIG coordinator is Leah Bryan from UT RGV. The delegates and alternates to TAFP’s Member Assembly are Juan Vargas from UT San Antonio, Nery Guerrero from UT RGV, Amy Luu from UT Southwestern, and Connie Cheng from UT San Antonio. Chelsea Mendonca from UT San Antonio was elected TAFP Foundation Medical Student Advisor.