Family medicine reunion
Report from the TAFP 2018 Annual Session and Primary Care Summit
Words by Jean Klewitz and photos by Jonathan Nelson
Family physicians and other health professionals from around the state gathered in Arlington, Nov. 9-11, for TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit. A total of 481 registrants gathered to network, earn CME, shape TAFP policy at committee and commission meetings, and celebrate 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 20 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Participants attended three Knowledge Self-Assessment Module workshops Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, on hypertension, care of the vulnerable elderly, and mental health in the community. The National Procedures Institute also offered their popular course on suturing.
The TAFP Foundation held an exclusive dinner at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel with proceeds going to benefit the Nancy W. Dickey, MD, Medical Student Scholarship.
Friday morning’s opening keynote speaker was, Sam Cullison, MD, vice president for graduate medical education at Methodist Health System, who spoke on mental health. The rest of the weekend’s CME included topics on osteoarthritis, cardiomyopathy, gout, sleep apnea, COPD, wrist and hand injuries, and much more. AAFP speaker, Alan Schwartzstein, MD, of Wisconsin, provided an update on the national academy on Sunday morning.
Rebecca Hart, MD, gave a TAFP update during Friday’s Member Assembly Luncheon. Delegates from TAFP’s local chapters elected Lane Aiena, MD, to serve as new physician director, and Ike Okwuwa, MD, and Gerald Banks, MD, to serve as at-large directors on the Board.
TAFP’s 2018 award recipients
Saturday’s annual TAFP Business and Awards Lunch began with members voting to adopt the TAFP Bylaws changes. Next, TAFP’s top honors were announced. Here’s a list of the 2018 winners.
Rodney B. Young, MD, accepts the TAFP Physician of the Year Award.
Physician of the Year — Rodney B. Young, MD
Rodney B. Young, MD, is chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Amarillo. Throughout his distinguished career, he has earned numerous honors and awards, including the Texas Medical Association’s Award for Excellence in Academic Medicine and the Distinguished Alumnus from Texas Tech School of Medicine.
“Dr. Young’s personal and professional career defines that of a servant leader,” TAFP President Janet Hurley, MD, said at the awards ceremony. “He has an exceptional record of community service and understands how being involved in the community can effect positive change in people's health. He combines his love of teaching with his love of medicine to serve people in his community who are displaced and disadvantaged.”
In addition to his academic responsibilities, Young maintains a busy clinical practice, spending half of his time in direct patient care.
In his community, Young serves on the board of directors for Heal the City, a free clinic that provides primary care, chronic disease management, and other preventive and wellness services for Amarillo’s uninsured patients. He also serves on the board of directors for the Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation, which provides patients access to high-quality cancer care, detection, supportive care, and survivorship services.
Presidential Award of Merit — Christopher Crow, MD; Lance Spivey; and Jeff Lawrence of StratiFi Health and the Catalyst Health Network
Christopher Crow, MD, a family physician and nationally recognized health care innovator, has spent the past 20 years focusing on helping communities thrive through improving the delivery of health care. Lance Spivey is a health care executive with more than 22 years of experience in strategic, operational, and financial management. Jeff Lawrence is responsible for driving operational excellence and has spent the past 28 years serving the health care community.
“This group of family doctors learned how to manage patients well, got key members on the team, and now are directly reshaping care in their community consistent with their goal of helping communities thrive,” Hurley said. “These family physicians, empowered locally, have made a difference in the health care of their community.”
Catalyst Health Network is a nonprofit health corporation that is committed to transforming the health and well-being of North Texas communities through the power of relationships. StratiFi Health, a population health and physician practice services organization, provides the management services needed to operate the Catalyst Health Network. In tandem these organizations focus on the physician-patient relationship and improve the health of communities by proactively shaping a patient’s health care experience.
Charles Ted Mettetal, MD, wins the TAFP Humanitarian Award.
Humanitarian Award — Charles Ted Mettetal, MD
Charles Ted Mettetal, MD, practices full scope family medicine with obstetrics and hospital work at Lakeland Medical Associates in Athens. In 2010 he started Hope Springs Water, following a trip to the developing world as part of a medical team.
“There he saw suffering due to a lack of clean water,” Hurley said. “Noticing how much bottled water fills the shelves at the grocery store, he saw a way to connect the water we buy with the water needed around the world. He began selling Hope Springs bottled water, with a hundred percent of the profits going to service around the world.”
In addition to selling bottled water, Hope Springs Water sends out volunteer teams several times a year to drill wells, build latrines, and teach good hygiene practices. His earliest projects with Hope Springs Water were in Nicaragua and Belize, where they reclaimed 150 abandoned wells. In 2011, they began working in Africa — funding wells, rainwater catchment and storage systems, and a water treatment project in Sierra Leone, which helped ward off an impending cholera epidemic.
Hope Springs Water’s mission is simple yet powerful: to bring hope to the world through clean water, reliable sanitation, and hygiene education.
Physician Emeritus — Walter D. Wilkerson, Jr., MD
Walter D. Wilkerson, Jr., MD, has had a long and distinguished career in Montgomery County. He served as an assistant clinical professor with Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where he shared his experience and knowledge with medical students. He also served as chair of the board of trustees for Doctors Hospital and Conroe Regional Medical Center for many years.
In addition to his clinical responsibilities, Wilkerson held a variety of volunteer appointments for the state of Texas, including a six-year term as chairman of the Texas Board of Health. Throughout his long career, he has been active in both TAFP and the Texas Medical Association. Wilkerson retired from clinical practice in 1997 to focus his time and energy on another one of his passions — politics.
“Nicknamed ‘King Wally’ by Karl Rove, Wilkerson has served as chair of the Montgomery County Republican Party since 1964,” Hurley said. “During his 54 years as chairman, he has been credited with almost single-handedly bringing Montgomery County’s GOP from a ‘rag-tag group of outcasts to Republican pre-eminence.’”
Rep. Four Price thanks the crowd for the Patient Advocacy Award.
Patient Advocacy Award — Rep. Four Price
Rep. Four Price is serving in his fifth term in the Texas House of Representatives where he advocates for constituents residing in five Texas Panhandle counties.
“In the Legislature, Representative Price is known as an effective problem solver with common-sense solutions,” Hurley said. “He carefully studies issues, reads the bills, listens to all proposed solutions, and votes in the best interest of his constituents.”
Rep. Price is chairman of the House Calendars Committee and he serves on the House Public Health Committee. He is co-chair of the Health and Human Services Transition Legislative Oversight Committee and serves on the House Redistricting Committee and on the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Public Health Award — Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD, PhD
Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD, PhD, serves as the chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health San Antonio and he was the co-director of AAFP’s Center for Research in Family Medicine and Primary Care for more than a decade. He served on the panel that published the U.S. Public Health Service guidelines for smoking cessation in 1996 and 2000, and he was the co-chair of the panel in 2008. His research has been recognized nationally and in 2013 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.
“In his role as an educator and leader, he shares his passion for family medicine and public health with medical students, residents, and faculty,” Hurley said.
Charmaine Martin, MD, wins the Exemplary Teaching Award.
Exemplary Teaching Award (Full-Time) — Charmaine Martin, MD
Charmaine Martin, MD, is Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso where she has taught for more than a decade. She has an impressive resume filled with awards, community service, and research. She is recognized for her ability to challenge, inspire, and motivate her students in the clinic. With the compassionate care she provides, she sets an example they want to live up to.
“One student referenced his first encounter with Dr. Martin at his white coat ceremony where she spoke about social justice and how it relates to the journey of becoming a physician. The student wrote: ‘I didn’t know what type of doctor she was, but she immediately became a role model,’” Hurley said.
Exemplary Teaching Award (Part-Time) — Mary Anne C. Snyder, DO
Mary Anne C. Snyder, DO, is a part-time assistant professor at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine and a clinician at the Toyota Family Health Center. In both locations, she precepts medical students.
“Students commented not only on her ability to teach in a way they understand but also on her enthusiasm and the joy she exhibits on a daily basis,” Hurley said.
Exemplary Teaching Award (Volunteer) — Chrisette M. Dharma, MD
Chrisette M. Dharma, MD, precepts medical students at her practice, Southwest Family Medicine Associates Clinic, and as a clinical assistant professor at UT Southwestern. Those she has precepted say she has a strong ability to identify strengths and weaknesses and that she challenges them.
“One even compared her to Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid,” Hurley said. “One student put it best when he said, ‘great teachers help students recognize their full potential and then help them cultivate that potential.’”
TAFP Foundation Philanthropist of the Year — Dale Moquist, MD
Dale Moquist, MD, has received numerous awards for his work as a professor, physician, and scholar. He is a health educator with National Procedures Institute and former faculty at the Memorial Family Practice Residency Program, and he served as director for Wichita Falls Family Practice Residency Program and faculty at Family Practice Residency Program of the Brazos Valley.
“When I became president of the Foundation two years ago, l succeeded Dr. Moquist, who had held the office for 10 years,” TAFP Foundation Board of Trustees President Linda Siy, MD, said at the awards ceremony. “It’s remarkable what the Foundation was able to accomplish in those 10 years due to his leadership, his passion for family medicine, and his vision.”
During his tenure, the Foundation created several new scholarships, began its research endowment, doubled its research budget, and doubled its income from monthly donors.
Erica Swegler, MD, accepts the TAFPPAC Award.
TAFP Political Action Committee Award — Erica W. Swegler, MD
Erica W. Swegler, MD, served as the president of TAFP and went on to represent Texas in AAFP’s Congress of Delegates. In 2017 she was elected to the AAFP Board of Directors where she continues her work on behalf of the specialty.
“She has long understood the power of the PAC,” Hurley said. “She has tirelessly championed both TAFPPAC and AAFP’s FamMedPAC — not only as a continuous donor, but by challenging her friends and colleagues to do the same.”
TAFP’s newly installed officers from left: Parliamentarian Mary Nguyen, MD; President-elect Javier “Jake” Margo, Jr., MD; Treasurer Amer Shakil, MD; President Rebecca Hart, MD; and Immediate Past President Janet Hurley, MD.
Installation of officers
Following the presentation of awards, Dr. Schwartzstein installed the TAFP 2018-2019 officers. They are President Rebecca Hart, MD; President-elect Javier “Jake” Margo, Jr., MD; Treasurer Amer Shakil, MD; and Parliamentarian Mary Nguyen, MD.
“I am so humbled, joyful and happy to begin work as your new president,” Hart said in her inaugural address at the awards ceremony. “Thank you for electing me and giving me this opportunity to serve you. I hope you join me this year in working harder than ever to keep our profession strong, our physicians inspired, and our workforce increasing.”