Welcome to the summer edition of the Bulletin! The Bulletin features your stories and how you are making a positive impact on family medicine.
In This Issue:
Letter from the Board President – Julie Anderson, MD, FAAFP
As family physicians, we’re trained to deal with anything that comes in the door – including new illnesses. In the few months since our Spring Bulletin, the value of that training has been clear: Family physicians are serving a vital role at this time, and the need for our expertise will only expand as the COVID-19 situation evolves, and we shift our focus from diagnosis to the long-term physical consequences for our patients, and how we manage those consequences.
When the crisis hit, the AAFP Foundation demonstrated the value of being a nimble organization, quickly establishing the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. I’m excited to tell you that right after we announced the fund, The Humana Foundation awarded us a $1 million grant.
That generous grant – along with wonderful support from CompHealth (our longtime corporate partner), the Eisai USA Foundation, and family physicians – enabled us to provide emergency and general assistance for free clinics supported by the AAFP Foundation’s signature humanitarian program, Family Medicine Cares USA. Donations to the fund are also supporting other urgent needs created by the virus, from providing telehealth resources to securing PPE.
In another COVID-19 related move, the 2020 AAFP National Conference will be a virtual event this year. I’m pleased to say that gives us an opportunity to reach even more future family physicians. With travel-related expenses cut, we’re able to spread our scholarship funds out, and help more residents and medical students cover conference fees.
It’s a big opportunity: Many interested medical students haven’t attended the conference in the past because they couldn’t afford it. Now, we’re expanding from 250 Family Medicine Leads Scholarships to 750 scholarships. By tripling the number of scholarships awarded, we will provide more access to conference resources. And, for students, virtual events are a second language!
Our hope, of course, is that learning more about family medicine will encourage the best and brightest to choose our field as their specialty area. When they do, Tim Hoff – the recipient of the Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine – thinks they should make a “pilgrimage” to the Foundation’s Center for the History of Family Medicine. His story is part of this Bulletin.
We want to hear your stories too! Throughout the year, we hope to highlight the stories of family physicians in the field. We want to hear about your practice, your hopes, your involvement with the AAFP Foundation. To share a story, or suggest one, please contact Cheri Tabel, Bulletin editor and AAFP Brand Manager.
My story includes lessons learned as a business owner during the pandemic – everything from filing for a loan to adapting to virtual visits, from furloughing employees to creating a safe work environment as I bring those employees back. My story also includes an encouraging note: Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on my practice, I’m not letting it defer my plans. I’m breaking ground on a new building in July. I’ve also donated to the Douglas and Mary Henley Fund, and I challenge all AAFP Foundation Board of Trustee members to make a contribution.
We are so grateful for support – especially now, during this difficult time. Thanks to all of you who have donated during the past few months, and those of you who take a moment to donate now(www.aafpfoundation.org).
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Donor Profile: Jeff Cain, MD, FAAFP – On Living Intentionally
It wasn’t the way Jeff Cain, MD, FAAFP, wanted to remember his birthday.
“I learned that I was mortal on my birthday in 1996,” Cain says. “One day, I was making the rounds in ICU, visiting a patient. A week later, I woke up on a ventilator in the same bed, in the same room.”
The plane crash that sent Cain to the ICU resulted in the amputation of one leg during that hospital stay, and – many surgeries and years later – also led to the bilateral below-knee amputation of his other leg.
A lifelong athlete, Cain didn’t let the loss of his legs stop him from participating in the host of activities he loves – for example, hiking, swimming, and flying. Among his many accomplishments, he became the first ever Gold Medal winner in Adaptive Slalom at the 2000 U.S. National Snowboarding Championships.
“Participating in sports has taught me that the limits of what people tell you are possible are really yours to discover,” he says.
With a focus on possibilities rather than limits, Cain is taking action now to continue his legacy of innovative leadership with the establishment of a planned gift, designed to expand the AAFP Foundation’s Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute and enhance medical student and resident leadership development. With a special focus on advocacy, policy, and public health, the gift will support engagement in health equity, diversity (including disability), and tobacco-free education – all topics near and dear to Cain’s heart.
“I’m really excited about the Family Medicine Leads program,” Cain says. “I’d like to see more young residents view their role beyond the office, as advocates for improving healthcare.”
Cain says he put off updating his will and creating this legacy fund, despite the intense awareness of his own mortality and the advice he so often gives others.
“I talk to patients about wills and durable powers of attorney all the time; I tell them it’s important to be intentional,” he says. “But I kept putting it off. It was scary hard, but important. Doing a will and considering your legacy gives you the opportunity to reflect on the panorama of your life. It helps you see what’s important.
“Legacy gifting is part of living intentionally. What kind of ripples do I want to have? What lives on? There are a number of lives I’ve touched in education and in life. I hope some of the gifts I’ve received in life continue to support the kind of work I’ve done.”
Make a ripple. To learn more about legacy gifting, click here to email Mike Armstrong with the Foundation.
Congrats to Our First Family Medicine Discovers RapSDI Scholars!
Do you have a great idea you’d like to research? Something that – if it worked – could be quickly scaled and help improve the health and well-being of patients nationwide?
Providing the support and infrastructure needed to identify and launch such research projects is the idea behind the Family Medicine Discovers Rapid Cycle Scientific Discovery and Innovation Initiative (FMD RapSDI). The AAFP Foundation opened the first FMD RapSDI call for projects last year, and the response was immediate and impressive.
“The overwhelming response we saw validated our belief that the combined creativity and innovation of family physicians is stunning,” says Richard Smith Jr., an AAFP Foundation Board of Trustee and co-chair of the FMD RapSDI Work Group. “This is a groundbreaking opportunity for family physicians on Main Street to explore the phenomenal ideas they have that will bring about sustainable change.”
As a collaboration between the AAFP Foundation and the AAFP National Research Network, FMD RapSDI is open to family physicians whether they have research backgrounds or not. The awards empower the physicians to explore small projects that can yield results in a 12-month timeframe. The scholars selected for the inaugural program and their topics are:
Dr. Vijay Singh, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, will use evidence-based family medicine interventions, proven successful with adolescents, to help identify men with anger issues and provide relevant services.
“In medical school, only one hour was dedicated to intimate partner violence (IPV),” Singh says. “Doctors aren’t trained on what to do if we find a man who might be abusive. How do we ask? In what way? How do we respond? There’s no effective intervention.”
Singh says his research study will include men known to commit violence against women, and family physicians and other healthcare professionals who interface with the men.
“Historically, physicians have been trained to respond to women – the data shows 1 in 3 women will experience IPV in their lifetime,” Singh says. “I hope this study will lead to a revised and adopted protocol for intervention amongst adult men, and provide the data needed to seek new grant funding to use in a larger trial.”
Dr. Lauren Ciszak, a family physician with the South End Community Health Center in Boston, will research the impact of providing meal kits and nutritional education to patients with chronic diseases, rather than ready to heat/eat meals, the standard approach.
“Food delivery is super helpful, but it doesn’t help patients understand what they can and cannot eat. It also doesn’t allow them to share meals with their family,” Ciszak says. “Along with offering nutrition classes, we’ll put together tailored meal kits, with recipes and step-by-step instructions.”
Ciszak says the success of the program will be measured by quality of life surveys, heart failure, chronic diseases, emergency room visits, and nutritional understanding.
“I hope we get strong enough evidence to convince insurance companies to cover this,” she says. “If this was covered, it could open so many doors for us and help our patients live better.”
The FMD RapSDI Work Group is now accepting applications for the second year of the program, and Ciszak encourages you to consider the possibilities.
“Being able to connect with people around the country was amazing, and I learned a lot,” she says. “Just connecting with the mentors assigned to me was fantastic. If you have a good idea and you feel passionate about it, go for it!”
More information is available here.
Searching for the Country Doctor
If you’re searching for an expert on the U.S. healthcare system, physician behavior, and healthcare change and innovation, you’ve come to the right place: Meet Timothy Hoff, Ph.D., professor of management of healthcare systems and health policy at Northeastern University in Boston, a visiting associate professor at Oxford University, and an award-winning author.
Hoff is also the recipient of the 2019 Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine, and a big fan of a unique AAFP Foundation resource, the Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM).
“The Center is a really interesting place to learn about the whole concept of how family medicine developed,” Hoff says. “It was a counter-culture idea in the ‘60s to start with, and it’s fascinating to look at the old documents and learn about the people who were influential at the start, the physicians who pushed for this. It wasn’t a certainty it would even become a specialty.”
Hoff was encouraged to apply for the fellowship after visiting the CHFM on his own to do research. The award allowed him to return to the CHFM in March 2020 (right before the pandemic shutdown), to gather information for his upcoming book, tentatively titled, “The Search for the Country Doctor.”
“Going to the CHFM should be a required visit for every young family doctor to understand the roots of the specialty,” he says. “I didn’t realize the historical piece of how hot-blooded the start of the family medicine specialty was. This was a revolutionary movement in medicine, a revolutionary act on the part of general practitioners and family doctors who didn’t like that medicine was becoming a bunch of specialists. The intellectual giants in family medicine knew how to use rhetoric and language – this field was full of fire and passion.”
Hoff says he is “honored and flattered” to have received the prestigious Panther fellowship, and looks forward to sharing research results and more in “The Search for the Country Doctor.”
“The book focuses on family medicine careers in the modern age, weaving in the historical perspective,” he says. “It will include an historical analysis with 65-70 family doctors on why they choose the career. I’m looking at the evolution, from history to career choices, to tell a story of how this specialty has grown.”
Hoff’s book will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press and is expected to be released at the end of this year or early 2021.
Wonder what difference your donation makes?
Family physicians at the FMC USA clinics can tell you!
The initial $1,000 grants from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund are helping free clinics cover the costs of PPE, medications, telemedicine, and more.
“Due to the high number of patients who are out of work because of COVID-19, we (at the Hearts and Hands Clinic) have stopped charging patients for glucose test strips and meters … Any funds not used for glucose test strips and meters or medication, will be used toward utilities.”
“Anne Kastor Brooklyn Free Clinic (BFC) volunteers contact patients and document information related to chronic illnesses, medication access, food insecurity, housing instability, childcare, and beyond. After each telemedicine session, a needs assessment report is compiled and provided to a social worker. The social worker acts on a case-by-case basis to connect patients with the resources, programs, and support they may be eligible for. Social workers allow the BFC to provide continuity of care in a time when vulnerable patients are especially likely to fall through the cracks. However, the BFC has historically paid for social worker services … We hope to use the $1,000 grant to defray the bulk of that cost.”
“The Community Medicine Clinic plans to use the grant towards purchasing a laptop computer to conduct telemedicine visits via video. Our desktop monitors do not have built-in cameras so that we can perform video visits with our patients. Thus, we are conducting telehealth visits via telephone at this time.”
“(At the St. Peter Community Free Clinic), we will purchase PPE such as surgical face masks (level 1 masks) for all patients to wear while being seen in the clinic … We would like to purchase additional physical barriers (room dividers) and signage for the clinic space to assure social distancing for our entrance, reception, and waiting areas … If possible, and if funds are remaining, we would like to purchase a used iPad for patients to allow us to do ‘reverse telehealth’ where the patient is present in the clinic (or parking lot) and the volunteer physician sees them from her or his home.”
“We would like to buy … scales for home use that we could give to a few of our patients who are committed to managing their weight better. (At Cape Volunteers in Medicine), we suspect that obesity concerns will skyrocket as the shelter-in-place orders continue. If the patient had a home scale, we could do weekly telephone weight checks.”
Thanks to additional support from The Humana Foundation, these and other grant recipient clinics have been surprised with the opportunity to receive an additional $10,000 grant as well. We will share their stories in the next issue.
Want to support the vital work family physicians are doing at free clinics across the country? Donate to the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund(www.aafpfoundation.org) here.
Thank you, Dr. Henley!
Leader. Advocate. Board member. Volunteer. Donor. We could easily come up with 20 terms to describe Doug Henley, MD, FAAFP, and the many ways he has moved family medicine forward over the years. But, rather than listing words, we’re enlisting you!
Join us now for the 20 Days for 20 Years campaign
After 20 years as executive vice president and CEO of the AAFP, Doug Henley retires August 1. We can’t give him a proper party in a pandemic – and, knowing Doug, he wouldn’t want one anyway. However, we’re not going to let this event slip under the radar.
Please join us the 20 Days for 20 Years campaign: Contribute today to the Doug and Mary Henley Fund(www.aafpfoundation.org). The fund, established last year, supports the Family Medicine Leads signature program and provides scholarships for medical students to attend the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.
It’s a critical cause: Research shows that students who attend the National Conference are more likely to choose family medicine as their specialty of choice. The conference – in person or virtual – offers new insights into family medicine’s potential and enables the students to make important connections.
“Doug remembers what it’s like to be a young medical student and need some financial support to attend the National Conference,” says Julie Anderson, MD, FAAFP, and president of the AAFP Foundation.
Anderson says contributions to the fund continue the momentum the Henleys established with their initial and generous donation of $100,000. She’s looking for an overwhelming show of support, including 100 percent participation from the AAFP Board of Directors and the AAFP Foundation Board of Trustees.
“Doug Henley has shown us, time and again, how important leadership is in family medicine,” Anderson says. “Your contribution during the 20 Days for 20 Years campaign is the perfect way to say thank you and keep his great work going(www.aafpfoundation.org).”
Corporate Partner Spotlight: Novo Nordisk Leads the Way
When we established the Champion level of the AAFP Foundation Partners Program, it came as no surprise that Novo Nordisk, Inc., was the first company to step up with the $75,000 contribution. Over the years, Novo Nordisk has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to our philanthropic work, and its understanding of the invaluable role family doctors play in the healthcare system.
Today, as an ongoing Champion, Novo Nordisk shares a number of priorities with the AAFP Foundation. Novo Nordisk values partnerships and is an ally to the AAFP in efforts to improve the management and treatment of diabetes and other chronic diseases by family physicians, with particular emphasis on identifying ways to mitigate worsening of conditions and co-morbidities. Family physicians are often the first line of defense against diabetes, obesity, and many endocrine disorders – not all patients have access to an endocrinologist.
Novo Nordisk(www.novonordisk-us.com) is a global health care company that has been committed to helping people with diabetes and other chronic diseases such as obesity, and rare blood and endocrine disorders lead longer, healthier lives for nearly 100 years. In addition to making innovative medicines to help people manage their disease, Novo Nordisk offers a range of access and support programs including numerous affordability offerings to help make medicines, including insulin, more affordable for people who need them. The company strives to ultimately defeat diabetes through better prevention, detection and management, and empower people with chronic disease to live life with as few limitations as possible.
The AAFP Foundation thanks Novo Nordisk for its ongoing, generous support, and invites others to learn more about the AAFP Foundation Partner Program(www.aafpfoundation.org).
The Tooth, The Attack, and The Last Little Girl
In his book, “Family Practice Stories: Memories, Reflections and Stories of Hoosier Family Doctors of the Mid-Twentieth Century(www.amazon.com),” Richard D. Feldman, M.D., wrote and edited a number of fascinating tales, including The Tooth, The Attack, and The Last Little Girl. His goal, in part, was to highlight the foundational values of family practice, and pass those principles on to medical students and residents.
Beginning with the 2020 AAFP National Conference, Feldman’s ability to educate and inspire future family physicians will extend beyond the printed page. The Richard D. Feldman, M.D. Endowed Lectureship on Ethics, Professionalism, and Family Medicine Values will provide an annual platform to build knowledge of, pride in, and commitment to maintaining the ethics and values of the specialty.
While partnering with the Indiana Academy of Family Physicians on “Family Practice Stories,” Feldman became the first recipient of the now-named Sandra L. Panther Fellowship in the History of Family Medicine, enabling him to conduct research at the Center for the History of Family Medicine. The book and the accompanying study guide won the 2017 AAFP Foundation Outstanding Program Award.
The endowed lectureship will offset travel (when we travel again!) and honorarium costs for a speaker to provide an annual session on a topic reflective of the lectureship name. His talk at the virtual 2020 AAFP National Conference is titled, "Family Practice Stories: Teaching Professionalism Through Storytelling."
Thank you to this outstanding doctor and the more than 25 colleagues and friends who donated in his honor, making this legacy and learning opportunity possible! If you are interested in creating a family medicine legacy, please contact the AAFP Foundation.