Archive for 2019

The EveryONE Project™: Using the Neighborhood Navigator

The EveryONE Project™: Using the Neighborhood Navigator

By Kevin Kovach, DrPH, MSc

The Neighborhood Navigator is one of the successful tools provided through The EveryONE Project™ to help family physicians address social determinants of health (SDOHs) at the point of care.  Neighborhood Navigator is equipped to accommodate more than 100 languages and is integrated with Google Maps to offer users step-by-step directions to community resources. Family physicians and their practice teams can use this interactive tool during patient visits to connect them to social services in their area that can provide help with such needs as food, housing, transportation, employment, and legal or financial issues. Physicians also can refer patients to a patient-facing version of the tool — Neighborhood Navigator tool on — to enable them to locate services that meet their social needs on their own.

The EveryONE Project™ offers a series of training videos to walk family physicians and their practice teams through using the Neighborhood Navigator tool. Family physicians can create a practice account (Figure 1) that all staff members can use to connect patients electronically and bidirectionally with a community resource and create resource profiles that can be easily accessed.

Figure 1

In addition, through the “Support” button on the website (Figure 2), users can suggest additions or updates to the database if they are aware of new resources or updates for programs and resources. Patients can also create their own profile on Neighborhood Navigator which can be used to highlight specific programs and resources they would be using more frequently.

Figure 2

Neighborhood Navigator is a valuable resource that can help family physicians and their practice teams extend their care for patients beyond the walls of their practice by providing the next steps in care using additional community-based programs. For more information on the Neighborhood Navigator and other AAFP tools to address social determinants of health and improve health equity, visit The EveryONE Project (

GAFP Member Volunteers Needed to Score 2020 Community Health Grant Program Applications

Georgia Academy of Family Physician (GAFP) members are needed to score the growing number of applications submitted to the nationally recognized Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) Community Health Grant Program.

First cycle 2020 grant applications are due by February 1st and scoring will begin the second week in February, with grant awards announced in early March. The second cycle application deadline is May 14, 2020 and the final application deadline for 2020 grants is July 9th.

Volunteer scorers will be asked to participate in a conference call orientation the first week of February, but all application reviews can be done electronically with no in person meetings required. Scoring Committee members will score a maximum of 5 applications each cycle and are not eligible to apply for grants while scoring.  Please contact Kara Sinkule at or (404) 321-7445 if you are interested in scoring 2020 grants.

Over the last seven years, the Community Health Grant Program awarded than $326,000 in grants to GAFP members, residency programs, FMIG groups and their communities.

The program awards up to $5,000 to GAFP member affiliated community organizations that support GHFA program priorities including underserved populations and community programs that promote healthy practices consistent with the principles of Family Medicine. Current GAFP members including medical students, residents and active/ life members are eligible to apply for grants. Visit  to view a list of previously funded grant projects, download an application to learn more.

Thrive 2020 Dates Announced

Continuing in the success of the inaugural Thrive Practice Transformation Project workshops, GAFP is pleased to announce dates for the 2020 cohorts.  Thrive is designed to help practices survive and thrive in today’s changing healthcare environment by assisting independent practices by educating the care team on ways to find hidden or underutilized coding to help receive the highest possible reimbursement rates.  Thrive will also help the practice ensure their patients are taking advantage of all the benefits that their health plans allow.

There will be three cohorts of two-day workshops (held three months apart) on Coding and Documentation. Cohorts will take place in Albany, Statesboro, and in the Atlanta/Metro area.  Each session will be led by Bob Addleton and Adele Cohen, Leadership in Practice consultants, and longtime GAFP partner and coding expert, Steve Adams.  The workshops will include education on missed coding opportunities, proper documentation tips and techniques, and rapid-cycle improvement processes.  Please note, the Atlanta/Metro cohort is open to employed physicians as well as those in private practice. Applications will be accepted for up to 8 practices.

To register for a session in your area, please visit

Registration closes 30 days prior to first workshop!

2020 Cohorts

Albany: February 13 | May 14

Statesboro:  April 1 | July 9

*Atlanta Metro: July 16 | October 15

*open to employed physicians

GAFP’s Independent Practice Legal Service Start Up Kit Now Available to Recent and Future Family Medicine Resident Graduates

The leadership of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is proud to offer GAFP residents a new member benefit if their intention is to remain in Georgia upon graduation and open their own practice.

The GAFP would like to support newly graduated residents who would like to open an independent practice by highlighting the AAFP’s practice start up information as well as providing a toolkit of legal resources that a new practice routinely needs to get up and running.

Recent research shows that approximately 10 percent of all family medicine residents graduate and plan to open their own practice.

We have partnered with the Southern Health Lawyers and Rich Sanders to offer the start-up legal services needed to start a new practice.  GAFP members who take advantage of this benefit are asked to contribute $500 to participate in this pilot program and agree to remain a member of the GAFP/AAFP for a minimum of three years.  This is a significant cost savings to you as you begin your career as an independent family physician in Georgia.  We are proud to offer you this member benefit.

Click here to review the program information and complete the program application form.  Return your completed form to Chief Operating Officer – Angela Flanigan at or via fax at (404) 321-7450.  We can’t wait to help you get your practice launched in Georgia!

GAFP 2019 Annual CME Meeting deemed a Huge Success!

November 14th – 16, 2019 marked the GAFP’s 71st Annual CME Meeting and Exhibition in Stone Mountain, Georgia.  Hosting more than 350 family physicians and other health care professionals at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Resort, the GAFP offered countless CME and exhibits to attendees while offering many opportunities to network with colleagues.

With a wide variety of clinical lectures attendees were able to obtain up to 46 AAFP prescribed credits on topics pertinent to the broad range of practice needs of our members.

This year, the GAFP offered CME lectures on Prevention of Influenza, Heart Failure Management, and Type II Diabetes in Children & Adolescents.  The interactive lectures provided attendees the opportunity to discuss challenges, best practices, and strategies related to these conditions.

Again, this year, we offered four Knowledge Self-Assessment Modules (KSAs) to attendees to fulfill the Maintenance of Certification, Part II – Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning using the ABFM’s new point system.  More than 100 attendees successfully completed the Childhood Illness, Care of the Vulnerable Elderly, Hypertension, and Women’s Health Care modules.

Throughout the Annual Meeting, attendees had the opportunity to win several prizes by participating in the passport game and simply interacting with our Industry Partners when visiting the Social & Information Hub.  Also, the GAFP PAC raffled off the chance to win a gift certificate for a Big Green Egg, valued at $900.  Congratulations to Dr. Earl Martin of Waycross on his big green win!

GAFP Members Shared A Magical Night Celebrating Family Medicine

The Magic of Family Medicine filled the air during the 2019 All Member Party. President-Elect Dr. Jeff Stone set the mood by making a magical appearance and saluting his peers for the magic they perform everyday as family medicine physicians.  The audience was further memorized by Bob the Magic Man’s mind-blowing tricks and gravity defying acts of levitation.  Laughter and tons of networking provided a magical night for members.

Overall, attendees deemed the meeting a success and offered the following comments on their post-meeting evaluations:

Conference and lecturers were excellent!

Thank you for an excellent meeting.

Quality of presenters excellent. Content appropriate and up to date. Immediately useful to my practice

Food at the event was excellent

Research Poster Competition Winners

Special Congratulations go to the winners of the 2019 Research Poster Competition.  This year the Education and Research committee received over 40 submissions from pre-med and medical students, residents and fellow physicians.  For the first time, top winners of each category were provided an opportunity to present their research on the main stage to all meeting attendees.  All submissions were exceptional and deserve recognition.  To review all submissions, visit

Pre-Medical Student Winners

1st: Assessment of the Relationship Between Healthy Literacy and Diabetes Self-Management Among Patients Served by Federally Qualified Health Centers in Southwest Georgia

Authors: Chase Cottle, Darshti Patel, Everett Jackson, MPH, Henry N. Young, PhD

Affiliation: Southwest GA Area Health Education Center


2nd: Associations Between Perceived Barriers to Papanicolaou Testing at Federally Qualified Health Centers in Southwest Georgia

Authors: Kristi Guerrero, MaKayla Paulk, Abby Unger

Affiliation: Southwest GA Area Health Education Center


3rd:  Assessing the Relationship Between Health Literacy, Asthma Self-Management Knowledge, and Asthma Control

Authors: Macy Rowan, Slater Cruz,Trey Doss,Bree Green

Affiliation: Southwest GA Area Health Education Center

Medical Student Winners

1st: Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Practices related to Chronic Diseases Among Caribbean People in Metro Atlanta

Authors: David E. W. Daniels, Jennifer Rooke, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, FACPM, Folashade Omole, M.D., FAAFP

Affiliation: Morehouse School of Medicine


2nd: Dalton Middle School Medical Camp

Authors: Maria Westerfield, Millie Foster, Giang Ha, Bailey Kernea, Sehar Lalani, Evan Miller

Affiliation: Mercer University School of Medicine


3rd:  Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Related to Sex and STI Prevention in the Elderly Population

Authors: Amore Jones, Folashade Omole, MD, FAAFP, Chivon Brown Stubbs, MD

Affiliation: Morehouse School of Medicine

Resident Winners

1st: Improved Pain Control and Interpersonal Relationships Among Older Adults Receiving Buprenorphine Therapy: Result of a Pilot Study

Authors: Antonio Gobenciong, Amanda Abraham, S. Harris, J Aaron Johnson, Keerthika Ravikumar, Omar Ahmad, Mansi Amin, Jorge del Rio, Parth K. Patel, Huma Rahman, Kirk Von Sternberg, Mary Marden Velasquez, J. Paul Seale

Affiliation: Navicent Health Family Medicine Residency Program


2nd: Mental Health Needs in Older Patients with Opioid Use Disorder: Concurrent Illness Rates and Interest in Telehealth

Authors: Hubert Pare MD, Amanda Abraham PhD, Samantha Harris MPA, J Aaron Johnson PhD, Keerthika Ravikumar, Omar Ahmad MD, Mansi Amin MD, Jorge del Rio MD, Parth K. Patel MD, Hma Rahman MD,Kirk Von Sternberg PhD, Mary Marden Velasquez PhD, J. Paul Seale MD

Affiliation: Medical Center of Central GA, Mercer University


3rd:  Example of an Eerie Ear Examination in the Elderly

Authors: William Hartley PGY III, Tiera Barron, MD and Peggy Bergrab, MD

Affiliation: Phoebe Family Medicine Residency

Fellow Physicians Winners

1st: Consider Improving Cognitive Impairment with the Revival of Neurosteroid Supplementation

Authors: Sarah N Choo-Yick, MD, Florence T Baralatei, MD

Affiliation: Navicent Health / Mercer University Department of Family Medicine


2nd: Barriers in obesity management: A Comparison of CERA survey and our current practice.

Author: Linu Joseph, MD

Affiliation: Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Family Medicine Residency

The meeting’s success was based on the hard work, volunteer time, and efforts of the Education and Research Committee…

The 2019 Education and Research Committee members were

Theresa Jacobs, MD – Chair

Ken Howard, MD – Vice Chair

Dolapo Babalola, MD

Wanda Gumbs, MD

Ambar Kulshreshtha, MD

Carl McCurdy, MD

Oguchi Nwosu, MD

Kuna Okong, MD

Monica Parker, MD

Dean Seehusen, MD

Harry Strothers, MD

Susan Thomas, MD

Johnathan Henderson, MD

Loy “Chip” Cowart, MD – Executive Committee Liaison

We would like to thank all of our attendees for their continued support of GAFP educational activities as we strive to offer quality CME to our members and guests.

Mark your calendars now for the 2020 Summer Family Medicine Weekend, which is scheduled June 5-7, 2020 at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Miramar, Florida. Additional meeting information will be available in early 2020.

Georgia Academy of Family Physicians elects, Jeff Stone, MD, MBA, MHA, FAAFP as president at the 2019 Annual Meeting

Georgia Academy of Family Physicians elects, Jeff Stone, MD, MBA, MHA, FAAFP as president at the 2019 Annual Meeting

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians inaugurated Jeff Stone MD, MBA, MHA, FAAFP during their 51st Congress of Delegates, in conjunction with the Annual CME Meeting on Saturday, November 16th.  The 2019 Annual Meeting was held at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, November 14th through November 16th. Dr. Stone joins other physician leaders who inspire and mount initiatives, education, resources, and advocacy efforts in service to fellow family physicians and Georgia families.  Dr. Stone is a native of Latham, New York but now resides in Canton, Georgia.

Dr. Jeff Stone received his bachelor’s degree in Biology and Russian from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. He obtained his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, W. I. and completed his residency program in family medicine at the Albany Medical Center Affiliated Hospitals in New York. In 2014, Dr. Stone obtained his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Georgia State University. Dr. Stone is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Stone is currently a family physician at WellStar Health Systems in Marietta, Georgia. Prior to joining WellStar Medical Group, Dr. Stone was a managing partner with Latham Medical Group in New York. He has more than thirty years of experience treating patients for a wide variety of “cradle to grave” conditions. Dr. Stone is passionate about providing cost effective, value and evidenced based medicine.

In addition to his clinical background, Dr. Stone is heavily committed to community and professional leadership. He is a graduate of the 2017 Georgia Physician Leadership Academy. He served as the Treasurer of the GAFP Board of Directors for three years, and he previously served as the Speaker of Congress of Delegates. Prior to that, he was the Finance and Practice Management Committee Chairman for the GAFP. In 2017, Dr. Stone was awarded the Preceptor of the Year Award at Mercer University School of Medicine and Georgia Regents University (MCG).

“I look forward to a year supporting our members and advancing our strategic initiatives,” said Dr. Stone.

Dr. Stone will serve as the GAFP President 2019-2020 and will subsequently become Board Chair in 2021.


MCG at Augusta University Family Medicine Residents Present Tar Wars to Laney High School Students

MCG at Augusta University Family Medicine Residents Present Tar Wars to Laney High School Students

Family Medicine Residents from MCG at Augusta University recently presented the Tar Wars tobacco and vaping prevention program to Laney High School students in Augusta, GA. In addition to learning about the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes/vaping use, the students also received information on hookahs and secondhand smoke.

Pictured (L-R) are Laney H.S. Coach William Wallace, Dr. Sara Myers, Dr. Mark Beckman, Dr. Christian Bramwell and Dr. Bilal Fiaz. To learn how you can present the Tar Wars program in your community contact Kara Sinkule at


Support for Tar Wars in Georgia provided by the W.G. Raoul Foundation

Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.

Commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Health

November 19, 2019

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed 11 cases of measles in the past 10 days. That brings the total number of confirmed measles cases in Georgia to 18 so far this year – more than in the previous decade combined.

As physicians and health care providers, we must be ever vigilant for patients presenting with febrile rash illness and clinically compatible measles symptoms. If you suspect measles in a patient, notify Public Health immediately at 404-657-2588 (during business hours), or 1-866-PUB-HLTH after hours or weekends.

Please follow the guidance below in assessing patients for measles.

  • Healthcare providers should consider measles in the initial differential diagnosis of patients presenting with the following symptoms, particularly those who have a history of recent international or domestic travel, exposure to international travelers, or exposure to a possible measles case:
    • Fever ≥101˚F (38.3˚C) AND
    • Generalized maculopapular rash lasting > three days AND
    • Cough, runny nose or conjunctivitis
  • Isolate persons with suspect measles immediately (negative pressure room, if available). Patients should be managed in a manner that prevents disease spread in the healthcare setting
  • Report suspect cases of measles immediately by calling either the District Health Office or Georgia DPH at 404-657-2588 (during business hours), or 1-866-PUB-HLTH after hours or weekends. Do not wait on laboratory results before reporting.
  • Obtain appropriate clinical specimens. Laboratory testing for measles is required for confirmation. This includes two throat swabs and urine for measles PCR and culture, and blood for serology testing. Detailed specimen collection and shipping guidelines are available at the DPH measles website. DPH will assist in coordinating measles testing at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory.
  • Ensure patients are up-to-date on their vaccinations according to CDC’s recommended schedules for children and adults.

The number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to increase almost daily. Just a few weeks ago, the country was very close to losing its measles elimination status – a very sobering thought in this day and age.

The current measles outbreak in Georgia is small compared to other outbreaks documented around the country. However, the toll even a single case of measles takes goes well beyond physical illness – impacting economies, work forces, education, health care systems, and creating a public health burden to protect vulnerable populations. As such, our role becomes even more critical in identifying every case of measles and preventing transmission and strengthening vaccine confidence among parents and patients.

Thank you for all that you do to keep Georgians safe and healthy.


Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H.

Get Involved in Committees! GAFP seeking member participation in its committees

Committee Recruitment 2020

The GAFP is now soliciting new members to our 2020 Committees! We are looking for GAFP members to join various committees in support of the GAFP’s mission to promote the health of the citizens of Georgia by advancing the specialty of Family Medicine through education, advocacy and service to family physicians in the State of Georgia.

The GAFP has implemented several successful initiatives in past years, all because of the dedication and commitment of our volunteer committee members.

All Committee members are appointed by our president, Dr. Jeff Stone.  He will evaluate each person’s volunteer application and make every attempt to have you serve on the Committee of your choice.

Committee membership will be held to no more than 15 members. For most committees, this will include one slot for a resident and a medical student. The expectation is that each member selected for a committee will have the ability to 1) attend the three committee conclave meetings, 2) respond to emails, and 3) review committee materials and be ready to offer advice and guidance.

We ask that you only volunteer to serve on a Committee if you can attend either in person or by phone all three meetings in 2020.  Although several committees meet more than 3 times a year, here are the dates for the 2020 Committee Conclaves:

  • Saturday, February 29                    Atlanta, GA (Le Meridian Atlanta Perimeter)
  • Thursday, June 4                              Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort (Miramar, FL, in conjunction with the GAFP Summer CME Meeting)
  • Saturday, August 1                         Pine Mountain, GA (Callaway Resort & Gardens)


Following is a list of the opportunities for service. You will find a more detailed list of Committee descriptions and Committee Recruitment Application by clicking here.

  • Bylaws Committee
  • Education and Research Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Legislative Committee
  • State Legislative Session Working Group (unlimited # of members and has a shorter time commitment):
  • Membership Services Committee
  • Practice Management Committee
  • Public Health Committee
  • Student and Resident Recruitment

We encourage your interest and participation as this is certainly an important and pivotal time for family medicine. We are only as strong as the commitment and involvement of our members.