• With the new year upon us, reflecting on gratitude and giving back is important for our souls. During the long time spent in isolation, and as we look forward to gathering again, this truth holds constant: Doing meaningful work for our most vulnerable around the planet is vital to making a difference.

    Your time and support matter. Your work, your contributions to our world, matter. You matter.

    Being a part of the AAFP Foundation and supporting the essential work of Family Medicine Cares USA, Family Medicine Discovers, and Family Medicine Leads offers us all the chance to extend our impact in exciting and important ways. Thanks to the Foundation, we have the opportunity to do everything from mentoring tomorrow’s family medicine leaders to caring for people without the safety net of insurance. 

    Year-end inspiration

    Dr. Tochi Iroku-Malize, president-elect of the AAFP, is one of many Foundation supporters to volunteer at free clinics and help those with precious few resources. Why? Read the inspiring profile on her in this newsletter and find out. I will also give you a tip: If you are on Twitter, her daily #YouveGotThis messages deliver a much-needed positive start to the day.

    It is also encouraging to see how Dr. Lauren Ciszak, one of the initial researchers in our Family Medicine Discovers RapSDI research program, made a pandemic pivot and kept her plan to provide meal kits and nutritional education to patients with chronic heart disease moving forward. Family physicians are nothing if not resourceful! This edition of The Compass shares her story, the latest from the Center for the History of Family Medicine, and more. 

    Thank you!

    While I certainly would have enjoyed seeing all of you in person during my time as president of the AAFP Foundation, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to support the Foundation and gain an even greater appreciation for all the work our donors and the terrific staff make possible. As I hand off the baton to Dave Smith, MD, MPH, FAAFP, incoming president of the AAFP Foundation, let me simply say thank you for all you do, in your offices, clinics, and for the Foundation. Here is to a happy, healthy 2022!

    Together in gratitude,