Our world today looks different than it did a few months ago, when I prepared my inaugural “Letter from the Board President” for the Spring edition of The Compass. Thanks to the miracle of science – and the possibilities presented through innovation and collaboration – we are making progress in the ongoing global fight against the coronavirus. We are not-post pandemic, but we are moving forward.
I’m grateful for the science that makes the vaccines possible, and hope we will be able to use this technology in the future to fight malaria, and possibly ebola, in countries that are not wealthy and are very much in need.
Here at home, the CDC – throughout the pandemic – has repeatedly encouraged people to contact their primary care physician if they have questions and concerns. Unfortunately, half of Americans don’t have a PCP. Millions of Americans have no health insurance and rely on free clinics, including clinics supported through the Foundation’s signature humanitarian program, Family Medicine Cares USA. Thank you for the donations that help fund this critical lifeline. We’re helping those clinics keep their doors open in economically difficult times.
Donor support is also essential for the Foundation’s other signature programs, including Family Medicine Discovers and Family Medicine Leads. You’ll find fascinating stories in this newsletter about our newest FMD RapSDI scholars and a former ELI scholar, who you’ll be hearing from at FMX this year!
Speaking of FMX 2021, we’re building off the success of last year’s event as we plan another virtual conference. Meanwhile, I’m pleased to say we will gather in person for the Congress of Delegates preceding FMX. That’s a very positive sign for all of us. Human contact matters.
With that in mind, I’m pleased to report that the AAFP Foundation team will be back together – face to face – at our Kansas headquarters by the end of the summer. I’m excited about all that the team has been able to accomplish, despite the everyday challenges presented by working remotely, in a pandemic.
For example, the Foundation’s Center for the History of Family Medicine (CHFM) has seized the possibilities presented by online communications, and is now offering a new service that gives us 24/7 access to all of the CHFM’s digitized oral histories. You can read more about that here.
As we go through these challenging days, the one lesson I come back to, time and time again, is simply this: We take nothing for granted and we take everything with gratitude. Thank you for the generous donations that keep the AAFP Foundation strong and the good work we do possible. The care you provide to patients and the support you provide to the Foundation makes a powerful difference, daily.