What's New

ICD-10 Educational Webinars from the Department of Community Health Continue; Register Now

From the Georgia Department of Community Health:

The ICD-10 implementation delay should not delay your transitioning initiatives. The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) recommends that you keep moving forward with your transition plans.

Take this additional time to educate members of your organization. As we move forward with the transition, we encourage you to register today for our upcoming ICD-10 webinar sessions.

Register Today!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Prepare for Tomorrow Today

10:30 a.m. ET

Please register here.

Don't put a halt to your transition activities. Continue to move ahead with your 
ICD-10 transition plans and prepare for tomorrow today.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Out With the Old, In With the New

10:30 a.m. ET

Please register here.

ICD-9 codes will be replaced by ICD-10 codes no sooner than October 1, 2015. Join 
the ICD-10 Communications team as we discuss the value and rewards 
of the transition to ICD-10.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Ramping Up for ICD-10 and Open Discussion

10:30 a.m. ET

Please register here.

DCH and the ICD-10 Team want you and your organization to be prepared for the 
transition to ICD-10. Bring any ICD-10-related questions so they can be answered 
during our live discussion.

July 9, 2014

Voices of Meningitis Event in Atlanta Promotes Vaccination with Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres

GAFP President, Dr. Brian Nadolne and GAFP Manager of Communications and Marketing, Mary Claire Leverett represented the GAFP at the Voices of Meningitis campaign on Tuesday, May 20 to help educate and motivate parents to speak with their teen’s health care provider about the importance of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis.  To raise awareness, Dara Torres, 12-time Olympic Medalist and mother, spoke to more than 350 teens and parents at the Mountain View Aquatic Center in Marietta, Georgia. 

Dara Torres challenged local swimmers to join her in completing 24 laps in the pool– signifying the 24 hours in which meningococcal meningitis can potentially take a life.  Additionally a local school nurse spoke about vaccination, while a father who lost his daughter to disease spoke about the impact it can have on a life. 

Let’s help by reminding our patients, colleagues and communities about the importance of vaccination against this potentially fatal disease.  Learn more at http://www.voicesofmeningitis.org/ or join the conversation online using #DaraSwims and #TeenHealth.

Dara Torres, GAFP President Dr. Brian Nadolne and Sanofi Pasteur Medical Science Liaison Maria Martin at the Voices of Meningitis Atlanta event.  

Dara Torres, Voices of Meningitis spokesperson, conducting an interview at the Atlanta event.

Dara Torres, Voices of Meningitis spokesperson, and the winning teen swimmers at the Atlanta event.

July 9, 2014

FREE webinar on Extended-Release/Long-Acting Opioids: Achieving Safe Use While Improving Patient Care

Full Schedule with registration links:

GAFP Leaders Attend AAFP's Family Medicine Congressional Conference

Board Chair Mitch Cook, DO (Athens), AAFP Key Contact Thad Riley, MD (Statesboro), and President Brian Nadolne, MD (Marietta) attended the recent AAFP’s Family Medicine Congressional Conference in Washington, DC.

They visited with several of our current Georgia delegation including Congressman Paul Broun, MD and Tom Price, MD. Thank you to our leaders for attending this important event. For more information about the conference click here

GAFP Partners on AFIB Social Media Campaign

President Brian Nadolne, MD and Board Chair Mitch Cook, DO kicked off our partnership with Pfizer on raising awareness on the prevention of atrial fibrillation. Yesterday, there were several media events. Dr. Cook spoke at the event in Athens, and Dr. Nadolne was part of a press conference in Atlanta at the State Capitol.

Dr. Nadolne stated, in part:
As Family Physicians, we view ourselves as the first line of defense for the prevention of atrial fibrillation. Once we identify certain risk factors or conditions that make them more prone to a stroke, such as tobacco abuse, thyroid disease, alcohol abuse and heart disease then it is time for the Family Physician to educate patients on these risks and work with them to create a plan of action. What are patients willing to do about their modifiable risk factors, such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, poor eating habits or high alcohol consumption? If patients are willing to partner with their Family Physician team leader and properly manage their blood pressure and cholesterol levels and other risk factors then the disease of atrial fibrillation and the consequences, specifically stroke, (according to the American Heart Association), can be avoided up to 80 percent of the time! Wow.

Follow us on Twitter @GAFamilyDocs, and retweet or favorite our tweets about atrial fibrillation and stroke on the 4th, 14th, and 24th of each month. Look for the messages with #StopAFIBinGA.

Georgia Sends Strong Leadership Delegation to AAFP’s Annual Leadership Forum and Conference on Special Constituencies

Thanks to each of our delegates who took time out of their practice and away from their family to represent the Georgia Academy at AAFP’s recent leadership meetings (ALF and NCSC). The key note speaker John O’Leary encouraged the over 400 attendees to “lead with love”. As a nine year old, John was burned over 90 percent of his body. To see a brief snippet of his talk about the “power of one” click here.

Thank you GAFP members who attended this meeting (#GeorgiaStrong #AlwaysBrave):

  • Cecil Bennett, MD – NCSC Minority Co-Convenor
  • Mitch Cook, DO
  • Samuel “Le” Church, MD
  • Chip Cowart, MD
  • Wayne Hoffman, MD
  • Beulette Hooks, MD
  • Bruce LeClair, MD
  • Jimi Malik, MD
  • Brian Nadolne, MD
  • Zachariah Overby, MD
  • Leonard Reeves, MD
  • Susan Schayes, MD
  • Barbara Walker, MD
  • Fay Fulton – Staff
  • Angela Flanigan – Staff
  • Mary Claire Leverett – Staff

Final Free CME Lunch Lecture April 25th in Augusta! Transitioning Youth with Special Health Care Needs from Pediatric Care to Adult Care Grand Round

The Georgia Academy of Physicians and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Public Health, is proud to offer The Transitioning Youth with Special Health Care Needs from Pediatric Care to Adult Care lecture series via a grant from the Maternal and Child Health Section of the U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Services. The presenter will be Peter Scott, MD, a specialist in Pediatric Pulmonology. This exciting lecture includes a family component, in which one of Dr. Scott’s patients shares their personal experience of transitioning from pediatric to adult care. Below, you will find the final date and location for the grand round. The lecture will count as one AAFP or prescribed CME credit. Additionally, resources to support transitioning young adults with special health care needs to adult care can be found at http://www.gottransition.org/providers-resources. By the end of Dr. Scott’s presentation, the audience will have an understanding of the key components to transitioning care from pediatric to adult care and the overall effect on the family unit.

Georgia Regents University (Augusta)

April 25, 2014, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Department of Family Medicine

1467 Harper Street

4th floor, Family Medicine Conference Center, Room 4010

Augusta, Georgia 30901

RSVP to ttyler@gafp.org by Friday, April 4, 2014

The first two presentations were held at Emory in Atlanta on Thursday, March 6, 2014 from 11:10 am – 12:00 pm and at Medical College of Central Georgia in Macon on Friday, March 14, 2014 from 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm.

Dr. Peter Scott is an expert in transitioning youth with special health care needs from pediatric care to adult care. Dr. Scott received his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his medical degree, pediatric training, and pediatric pulmonary fellowship from Indiana University. He completed additional pediatric pulmonary training at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Scott founded Georgia Pediatric Pulmonology Associates. Dr. Scott is skilled in all areas of Pediatric Pulmonology. He has special expertise in pediatric asthma and cystic fibrosis. As the Cystic Fibrosis Affiliate Program Director at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite, Dr. Scott is an expert in the area of transitioning care.

March 21, 2014

Welcome to our Newest GAFP Staff Member!

Mary Claire Leverett

Mary Claire Leverett

Mary Claire joins the GAFP after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Masters in Public Health and a focus on Health Promotion and Behavior. In addition to her masters, she received a Certificate in Gerontology and completed an internship with the Athens Community Council on Aging working on the marketing and promotion of a new senior hunger campaign. Mary Claire also volunteered for a research project with the Division of Aging Services at the Georgia Department of Human Services. Mary Claire comes from a family with various different healthcare providers, which led to her interest in working in the healthcare field.

"I am so grateful and excited to get to work here at the GAFP," said Mary Claire. As Manager of Communications and Marketing, she will be the staff liaison for the GAFP's outreach to our members and to the media. Mary Claire will also serve as the newsletter editor and the staff contact for medical students. In addition, she will work closely with the Student and Resident Recruitment Committee on their programming and member needs.

Mary Claire will be your main contact for any questions regarding upcoming meetings or outreach to the media.

A native of Georgia, Mary Claire enjoys spending plenty of time with her family, friends, and her dog, Duke, especially exploring parks around town. She loves reading fantasy and science fiction novels in her spare time.

Mary Claire can be reached at 800-392-3841 or mleverett@gafp.org.

Welcome Mary Claire!

February 15, 2014

2013 PCMH U Practices Show Improvements in Care

The recently concluded class of 10 practices in the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians' Patient Centered Medical Home University (PCMH U) posted some impressive improvements as a result of transforming to patient-centered medical homes. The participating practices had coaching from Discern and the Physicians' Institute through PCMH U, which is sponsored and funded by the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and Wellcare of Georgia. It's not always possible to move the needle on quality over a short 14-month period, particularly for outcomes. However, the samples of measurements taken from these practices listed below indicate positive results.

Process Improvements

A multi-physician practice reduced the number of female patients who had not had DEXA scans by more than 20 percent.

A multi-physician practice reduced the number of patients with COPD who had not had an annual spirometry test by 31 percent.

A small practice raised its rate of screening for depression in the elderly from 11% to 56%, having begun using the PHQ-2 at every visit.

A solo physician practice saw a 16 percent improvement in female patients who had needed breast cancer screenings.

A solo physician practice improved the rate of pneumococcal vaccinations for patients 65 and older by 11.6 percent.

A small physician practice achieved a 6 percent improvement in the rate of tobacco cessation counseling to patients who smoke.


A multi-physician practice achieved a 2.6 percent increase, to over 70 percent, in the number of hypertensive patients whose blood pressure was below 140/90.

A large multi-site practice reported a 15 percent reduction in hospital admissions for its population in its first year of PCMH implementation, accompanied by an increase in primary care visits and revenue.

Vulnerable Patients

A multi-physician practice reduced the number of vulnerable patients needing colonoscopy by 7 percent.

A solo physician practice assisted under-insured patients receiving therapy for osteoporosis, ensuring that 100 percent of patients received therapy.

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians would like to congratulate the 2014 PCMH University's 10 practices that graduated in December 2013. All of the graduate practices have either applied for NCQA PCMH recognition or plan to apply within the next six weeks!

Habersham Family Medicine of Demorest

Albany Internal Medicine of Albany

Urban Family Practice of Marietta

Mt. Yonah Family Practice of Cleveland

Terry A. Cone, MD of Columbus

Horizons Diagnostics of Columbus

Family Health Center - MCCG Family Medicine Residency Program of Macon

Essential Medical Care of College Park

Medical Center of Dublin

DeKalb Family Medicine on Candler of Decatur

At least two new classes of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians' PCMH U will be starting in 2014. Contact Fay Fulton at 800-392-3841 or ffulton@gafp.org for more information.

February 15, 2014

Be our Friend! Connect with the GAFP on Twitter and Facebook

We are revamping our social media pages, and we would like you to follow us!

Through our Twitter (@GAFamilyDocs) and our Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Facebook Page, we can give you the most current and up-to-date information that you need to know. Not only can we send out pertinent health-related news, but we often send legislative updates, links to upcoming webinars or other resources for physicians and their staff members, information on GAFP events, and updates from state health officials.

On top of our updates, we want to start hearing from you! If you think something we post is interesting or helpful, tell us and share it with your friends, colleagues, or staff.

Or if you find something you'd like to share or have an idea for our social media pages, send us a message or tweet us. We would like for our Twitter and Facebook pages to be as interactive as possible.

Click the icons below to go to our Facebook and Twitter pages, follow us today, and share our pages with anyone who may also be interested in following us!

Follow Us on TwitterFollow Us on Facebook

Contact Mary Claire Leverett directly at (800) 392-3841 or (404) 321-7445 or mleverett@gafp.org if you have any specific questions.

February 15, 2014

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Launches A New Website

Great News! The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (formerly the Foundation of the GAFP) is excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website: www.georgiahealthyfamilyalliance.org.

The new site will allow the Alliance to begin to tell the powerful stories of low-income Georgians who have benefited from your generosity through the Community Health Grant Program, whether they faced an urgent health crisis, a devastating disease, or sought to improve their overall quality of life.

The deadline to apply for a second cycle 2014 Community Health Grant is May 14th! We invite you to visit the new site today to download an application, learn more about previous projects, or review grant criteria. Visitors to the site can also volunteer to present Tar Wars, a tobacco prevention and education program, to elementary schools in their community and more.

While you are reviewing the new website, please consider making a tax deductible gift so that we can continue to fund these lifesaving grant projects. If you would prefer to mail your donation, please contact Kara Sinkule via email at ksinkule@gafp.org or by phone at either 404-321-7450 or 800-392-3841.

February 1, 2014

Georgia WIC Departmental Formula Shortage Notice to GAFP Members


Nestle had unforeseen manufacturing problems at the plant that produces the Nestle Complete Pediatric line including both the Reduced Calorie and Standard Calorie products. This problem occurred in November. However, this has not been a problem for clients until warehousers/shippers like our supplier in the state of Georgia, Cardinal, ran out of the product. Nestle does not have these products to ship directly either.

What does this mean for our Physicians and Families?

Complete Pediatric Product Line:

1.) Nestle does not have an estimated end date for the shortage caused by the problem in one of its manufacturing plants.

2.) Cardinal (our GA WIC State Ordered Formula Supplier) has 0 cases of Complete Pediatric Reduced Calorie in stock, and Nestle is unable to fill orders for this product at the present time.

3.) Cardinal has 11 cases of Complete Pediatric in stock. However, once this product is out of stock at Cardinal, Nestle will not be able to fill any orders until further notice.

4.) 1000 ml is the minimum volume to reach 100% of the DRI recommendations for a child age 1-8 y/o for the following products from Nestle: Nutren Junior, Complete Pediatric, and Complete Pediatric Reduced Calorie. Please note that since Complete Pediatric is a Reduced Calorie formula (.6kcal/ml vs. standard 1kcal/ml), a decision will need to be made for the best way to manage kcal and DRI needs for each child for the duration of this shortage. In addition, it is not mandatory that a physician continue with the same manufacturer.

An alternate temporary product for these tube fed participants will need to be identified, new MDF will need to be obtained, and new orders will need to be completed if there is a need or desire for state ordered product. We know this will be challenging. WIC representatives remain available to assist physician offices and staff through the process.

There are currently no other reduced calorie pediatric formulas that meet 100% of the DRI recommendations for these children. Physicians will need to consider that as they choose an alternate formula. In addition, parents will likely have their concerns about switching formulas around. Please have your staff use their counseling skills to help parents get through this challenge. The Georgia Department of Public Health has registered dietitians available to assist staff with any questions and concerns by calling the nutrition unit at 404-657-2884.

January 16, 2014

Gwinnett Medical Center receives $1 million donation

By Deanna Allen Thursday, December 19, 2013 Gwinnett Daily Post

LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett Medical Center has received a $1 million gift designated for family medicine residency education.

The donation was made by Lawrenceville residents Clyde and Sandra Strickland, and the hospital’s new family medicine teaching facility will be named the Strickland Family Medicine Center in their honor.

“The noticeable shortage of family medicine doctors in the state and the county touches the community and the economy,” Clyde Strickland said. “This new family medicine center will further Gwinnett’s viability by attracting skilled medical talent while improving the community’s overall health through increased individualized care.”

The new 9,400-square-foot facility will be located at 665 Duluth Highway, across the street from the GMC’s Lawrenceville campus. It will include 10 exam rooms, with two rooms that will be equipped for procedures. According to the hospital, a range of treatment options will be available at the family medicine center, from newborn care to geriatrics, including maternity care.

“In the challenging healthcare environment, the Strickland Family Medicine Center offers families access to medical care from trusted physicians who can meet all their needs in one location,” said Phil Wolfe, president and CEO of Gwinnett Medical Center. “As a community hospital, GMC is able to further its mission of accessibility through the humbling generosity of Clyde and Sandra Strickland.”

As the primary clinical teaching site for the new Family Medicine Residency Program, the center will provide educational opportunities for residents, medical students and other allied health professional students. Graduate medical education faculty will work alongside the residents at the family medical center to provide exceptional patient care.

“The Stricklands have given us the opportunity to develop a state-of-the-art family medicine teaching facility that will help us transform the health of Gwinnett County,” said Kevin Johnson, GMC’s residency program director.

The new facility is scheduled to open in the spring.

“Our gift is about helping the community by offering an additional medical resource that’s close to home,” Sandra Strickland said. “We are hopeful that this medical center will help address one of our greatest needs — healthcare.”

The Stricklands also donated $1 million toward the hospital’s heart and vascular center, which is also named in their honor.

January 15, 2014

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians announced today it is endorsing Senate Bill 141, the Patient Protection Act as legislation that would improve patient care, allow for expedient payment when necessary and reduce healthcare costs by eliminating the current practice of defensive medicine.

"Family physicians are not legal experts. But we are experts in taking care of patients in Georgia and we recognize that it’s time for a change in the current system," said Brian K. Nadolne, MD, FAAFP, President of the Georgia Academy.

"This plan would eliminate the need for unnecessary testing, remove the fear of being sued and the lengthy procedures associated with years of uncertainty when your integrity and honor are being challenged," further noted Nadolne.

The state Senate is expected to take up the plan in January when the General Assembly convenes. Under the proposal, no doctor or hospital would ever be sued again as Georgia would replace its current medical malpractice legal system with one similar to the workers compensation model. Patients who have been harmed would file a claim before a panel of healthcare experts that would determine if avoidable harm had occurred. If so, then payment would be made expeditiously – unlike the current legal system which can take years and which compensates few harmed patients.

The Patients Compensation System would not require a tax increase and would be funded with current medical malpractice premiums.

"This plan would eliminate the need for physicians from ordering unnecessary tests and procedures for fear of being sued,” Nadolne added. “It would do wonders to improve the doctor-patient relationship."

The Gallup organization estimates that one in four healthcare dollars can be attributed to defensive medicine.

December 11, 2013

GO! Diabetes 2013 Webinars Available

GO! Diabetes seeks to make continuous strides in the way people with diabetes are educated and cared for in family medicine. To assist practice staff and residency program participants, GO! Diabetes has seven webinars available on the program's website: http://www.godiabetes.org/Resources/Webinars.aspx. To learn more about the GO! Diabetes program, visit: godiabetes.org.

October 18, 2013

Motivational Interviewing for Diabetes

Webinar by Saria Saccocio, MD, MHA, FAAFP on evidence-based interviewing techniques to create behavioral change. Are you frustrated with the progress a patient is able to achieve with their diabetes condition and their willingness to change? Using motivational interviewing provide opportunities for dialogue and active/reflective listening rather than taking a paternalistic approach. Using the techniques discussed also help you recognize the barriers to change and the discrepancies between current behaviors and desired targeted behaviors.

October 18, 2013

Counseling for Diet Change: What can the Family Doctor Do?

Webinar by Sheryl Thouin, MPH, RD, CDE. Learn key diabetes nutrition skills to discover your patients' "world of food." Sheryl's patient-centered nutrition counseling strategies help you screen your patients, ask revealing questions, conduct a brief intervention, and make a referral to a Registered Dietician/Certified Diabetes Educator for more in-depth counseling. Learn what to ask to find your starting point to help patients make appropriate dietary changes for better diabetes self-management.

October 18, 2013

Carbohydrates, Calculations and Correction Factors

Webinar by Margaret Crossman, MD, FAAFP. Medical nutrition therapy is more than losing weight and cutting out sugar. Learn how to improve interpretation of blood glucose logs in light of carbohydrate content of meals, calculate basal-bolus insulin dosing, manage hypoglycemia, use the insulin: carbohydrate ratio and sensitivity (correction) factors to determine bolus dosing and more.

October 18, 2013

Management of Diabetes in the Hospital Setting

Webinar by Margaret Crossman, MD, FAAFP. Increase your team's familiarity with the current 2013 guidelines addressing the care of patients with diabetes in a hospital setting and review critical elements of discharge planning. Dr. Crossman teaches how hypoglycemia management differs in an intensive care setting versus a non-intensive setting within the hospital and other important factors of inpatient diabetes management.

October 18, 2013

Tobacco Cessation

Webinar by Saria Saccocio, MD, MHA, FAAFP. What are some tried and true tips to help motivate patients to stop smoking for good and avoid relapse? Are they convicted and motivated to quit and believe they will be successful? Dr. Saccocio presents educational content from the American Academy of Family Physicians to help you prepare your patients for the opportunity to quit and help implement a plan to quit and manage withdrawal with resources and a proactive, supportive network.

October 18, 2013


Webinar by GO! Diabetes Program Director Susan Reichman, BSN, provides an overview of the METRIC Diabetes Module and how to use it to track data to measure your residency program's improvements in the care of patients with diabetes.

October 18, 2013

Giving a Local Program

After the Train the Trainer workshop, giving a local program is the next GO! Diabetes milestone. Learn how by Program Director Susan Reichman, BSN.

October 18, 2013

Dr. Leonard Reeves, a GAFP past president, was quoted in the Equal Voice article, "Southern Leaders Opt to Exclude 2.7M >From Health Care" (available at http://www.equalvoiceforfamilies.org/southern-leaders-opt-to-exclude-2-7m-from-health-care/). Dr. Reeves discussed his support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act with examples of how patients without health insurance lack preventive care. Dr. Reeves also detailed the impact of the Act on free clinics.

October 18, 2013