Archive for March, 2019

Georgia Tornado Disaster Relief Available for GAFP MEMBERS

We are aware that several Georgia communities saw extensive damage on March 3, 2019 when multiple tornadoes traveled through Alabama and Georgia. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been impacted by these storms and for the families who lost loved ones.

Because damage is still being assessed in the impacted communities, we want you to know that the Georgia Academy’s Foundation (Georgia Healthy Family Alliance) has a Disaster Relief Fund to help our members who may have experienced damage to their practice.  We established this fund in 2007 and were able to help two family physicians who lost their practices when a tornado ripped through downtown Americus.

If you are aware of a family physician in need or if you have damage to your office don’t hesitate to contact us at (404) 321-7445.  Either Kara Sinkule ( or Fay Fulton ( can assist you with filling out a simple disaster relief application.

Click here to download the application form


Patrick “PJ” Lynn, MD


Georgia Healthy Family Alliance

Board Meets with AMA President-Elect – Dr. Patrice Harris

The Georgia Academy Board of Directors met in Athens on March 3rd and invited AMA President-Elect Patrice Harris, MD to present on leadership.  Dr. Harris, an Atlanta-based child psychiatrist, has been a long-time supporter of family physicians and works tirelessly to improve the resource gap for children with mental illness. Dr. Harris also stressed the importance of physician leadership and working within our organization to activate leaders. The Board went on to review leadership and other initiatives related to our strategic plan. Click here to review the strategic plan:

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $30,000 in First Cycle Community Health Grants to Support the Good Works of GAFP Members

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded six Community Health Grant Award applicants $30,000 in first cycle 2019 grants. Grant awards were made to GAFP member affiliated community organizations that support GHFA program priorities including underserved populations and programs that promote healthy practices. The application deadline for second cycle 2019 awards is May 14, 2019.

Visit  for more information or to download the application. The 2019 first cycle Community Health Grant Recipients are:

Grace Village “Refuge Clinic” Project, Scott Keller, DO Clarkston $5,000

Refuge Clinic patients include 54 nationalities 150 ethnic groups and speak 47 languages. Refugees are given only eight months of Medicaid after which most are uninsured with limited income. Each year 1500-2000 new refugees arrive, and many are in ill health. Grace Village Medical Clinic provides free access to doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, physical therapists and behavioral therapists, prescription medications and laboratory testing for patients. In addition to supporting prescription medication and lab fees, project funds will be used to acquire an EKG machine. Grant funds will also be used to purchase an ultrasound machine for in-house diagnosis as well as to pay for diagnostic imaging including x-rays and mammograms which, will be accomplished by a discount agreement with a local radiology facility.

MPMobile/Athens Free Clinic Lab Project, Suzanne Lester, MD $5,000 

Since March 2018, the Athens Free Clinic’s Mobile Unit has held 17 clinics, had 169 patient encounters, and provided point-of-care testing including HgA1C, rapid strep, dipstick urinalysis, urine pregnancy, glucose, and rapid HIV tests.  One obstacle identified is a lack of access to laboratory studies beyond point-of-care tests (HgA1C, rapid strep, dipstick urinalysis, urine pregnancy, glucose, rapid HIV).  To safely prescribe and dispense necessary medications for common conditions, further lab testing is needed. Clinic patients have multiple barriers to laboratory studies: cost, transportation and, lab hours to name a few. Funding for this project will greatly improve the quality of care for mobile clinic patients by collecting lab specimens in the field and delivering to the lab via a clinic account set up for MPMobile/Athens Free Clinic as costs of tests are greatly reduced in a “bill account” arrangement. Phlebotomy trained staff and the proper equipment will ensure safe specimen collection. Project goals include evaluating and treating up to 300 patients in the project year. Of those patients about 40% will need laboratory testing beyond point-of-care mobile tests.

myTEAM TRIUMPH Triathlon Project, Alice House, MD Columbus $5,000

myTEAM Triumph provides physically limited children, adults, and veterans, termed “Captains,” opportunities to take part in endurance races throughout several communities in Georgia with the assistance of specialized ASTM certified racing chairs and teams of able-bodied runners, termed “Angels.” Last year myTEAM TRIUMPH – Georgia expanded to include biking events and a triathlon. This year’s project will increase the triathlon activities by 3-5 biking/triathlon events in 2019. The aim is simple – increase the number of Captain and Angel participants in these scheduled events for 2019 with 2-3 teams competing in each event this year instead of just one team. Grant funds will buy equipment needed for these expanded activities including specialized boats and harnesses to pull more Captains in the water, specialized life vests for Captains that cannot swim and swim buoys for Captains who can.

Mercy Health Center Athens “Implementing Strategies for Improving Diabetes Control in an Underserved Population” Jonathan Mitchell Cook, DO $5,000

This project focuses on improving the health of the diabetes population at Mercy Health Center. The project includes a one-month pilot study to assess the feasibility of utilizing continuous glucose monitoring in the diabetes patient population. Results will provide information regarding the ease of use of the device, and availability of glycemic control data which allows health care providers to titrate complex insulin regimens more quickly and effectively. Funds will be utilized to purchase diabetes supplies to aid patient population in self-management as well as a Freestyle Pro Libre Reader Kit and Freestyle Libre Pro Patient Sensors. Currently, 24% of Mercy’s patient population is diagnosed with diabetes, and of that population, 47% have attended a pharmacotherapy appointment in the past two years. Despite receiving medication refills and supplies from the MHC pharmacy and accessing care from both a primary care physician and pharmacotherapy clinic, there is a subset of patients who still have poorly controlled diabetes. This lack of glycemic control is likely related to multiple factors, including but not limited to cultural, economic, social, and environmental factors. Continuous glucose monitoring devices have shown benefits in reducing hypoglycemia and improving quality of life markers in adult patients.

Clarkston Health Center, “Breast Health Initiative” Patrice Shongo, MD $5,000 CCHC’s Breast Health Initiative (BHI) aims to decrease the breast cancer mortality rate among uninsured, immigrant and refugee women in DeKalb County and the surrounding region through several activities in collaboration with local health services partners. Through a small grant, in partnership with Emory Decatur Hospital, CCHC has been providing free mammograms and follow-up, diagnostic testing for women age 40 years and older who are patients of the clinic, or eligible women who are referred.  To date 209 women have received mammograms. Project goal is to reach an additional 100 women with screening mammograms by the end of 2019.  Of the 209 women, 41 had abnormal screening mammograms.  Thirty-eight women had diagnostic mammograms and of those, 28 women had diagnostic ultrasounds, and 10 had biopsies performed. Of the 41 women, 31 had benign results, one was referred to Northside Oncology for chemotherapy for a malignancy, one was referred for surgery for a nipple inversion, and eight have been lost to follow-up.  CCHC’s volunteer physicians and nurse practitioners continue to conduct the initial clinical breast exams, identify any risk factors through a detailed medical history, and order the testing. Funds from GHFA will provide mammograms to 50 women towards overall goal of completing screening mammograms for 300 women by the end of 2019.

Physicians’ Care Clinic “Chronic Disease and Diabetes Management Program” Martha Crenshaw, MD Dekalb County, $5,000  

PCC is the oldest and largest volunteer led charitable clinic serving residents of DeKalb County providing services to 1,183 enrolled patients. Many PCC patients suffer from chronic diseases requiring ongoing care and management. In 2018 of the 1,183 enrolled patients 45% had high blood pressure, 23% high cholesterol, and 22% of patients were diabetic.  The clinic’s Chronic Disease and Diabetes Management Program is the only organized clinic program in DeKalb County offering on going prevention and education classes and monitoring supplies. This grant will support eight, two-hour diabetes management classes and scholarships for classes at Emory Decatur Hospital. Funding will be used to purchase test strips and glucometers to check blood sugar levels as well as educational materials used to help patients improve nutrition and lose weight. Passes to attend organized, structured classes offered at Emory Decatur Wellness Center will also be provided to program participants.

These are only a few of the important programs your colleagues are lending their talents and time to statewide. Please consider making a contribution so the Alliance can continue to support important projects like these. All donations are tax deductible. Make your Alliance contribution easily online at or contact Alliance staff at or calling (800) 392-3841.

The Annual Georgia Medical Student Family Medicine Day a Great Success!

Thirty-five medical students from Georgia attended the Annual Family Medicine Day in Athens on Saturday, March 2nd. The much-anticipated event brought together medical students, residents, and residency programs from across Georgia. It was a day packed with inspiration, clinical skills development, and connection building. The Georgia Academy would like to thank everyone for their participation this year, and most importantly, the Georgia residency programs and faculty for their continued support and participation in our residency fair.

Yasir Anzar (M4) says “It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in any conference of such nature. Not overly crowded, very professional staff, great food, fantastic environment and, not to mention, a stipend for medical students. I hope GAFP maintains this level of excellence in the future.”

Keshia Parker (M2) says “The conference was great! I learned a lot about the opportunities in Georgia and was able to make some great connections.”

For more information, updates and photos visit

Register Now!! April Webinar – April 18th, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Through a partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, GAFP is offering a webinar on Steps to Transition Planning.

This month’s webinar will be held on April 18th at 12:00 pm and will feature a presentation by Andrea Videlefsky, MD – Medical Director, Adult Disability Medical Healthcare and the ADMH team. Dr. Videlefsky is a family practice physician with the Urban Family Practice Associates, an active member of US Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group and serves as a Family Physician Champion for Health Care Transition. She is dedicated to serving patients through the patient-centered medical home model. She has a special interest and ability in treating teens and adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. From this webinar, you’ll learn the steps to transition planning. She will be joined by Susanna Miller-Raines, MSW, Adrienne Melnyk, M.Ed. and Janice Nodvin, Clinic Director.

Webinar Objectives:

Medical Transition

  • Background
  • Identifying the ages of transition

Education Transition

  • Assistance with IEP

Planning for life after school and options available

  • Inclusion Post-Secondary Education
  • Vocational Rehabilitation – employment
  • Medicaid Waiver

Emergency planning

Long term goals

  • Guardianship or options
  • Residential
  • Legal


Please click the link to register for the April 18th webinar.

Can’t Listen Live?  Register anyway – and we’ll send you the recording once it’s posted on our website.

Members in the News

AAFP Board of Directors member, Leonard Reeves, MD, of Rome, GA is featured in the latest AAFP Leader Voices Blog post titled Shift Health System’s Focus from Profit to Prevention. Click the link to view the post.


Throughout Black History Month, WTXL-TV News, in Cairo, GA is honoring the local heroes who change lives every day. GAFP Member Linda Walden, MD, will discuss breaking barriers, and inspiring others. Click Here to view the story on Dr. Linda Walden.

Save the Date – April 23, 2019 – Georgia Medicaid Fair in Savannah

Spring Medicaid Fair

Save the Date

Dear Georgia Medicaid Providers and Stakeholders:

The Department of Community Health (DCH) and DXC Technology encourage you to save the date for our next Medicaid Fair!


Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Savannah Convention Center

1 International Drive

Savannah, Georgia 31421

The Medicaid Fair offers important updates on emergent issues by DCH leadership and more than a dozen break-out sessions covering a variety of topics. In addition, Care Management Organizations will be onsite to answer your questions. DCH and DXC Technology are also bringing back several 30-minute break-out sessions so you can get as much out of your Medicaid Fair day as possible. Please stay tuned for additional details. Registration information will be posted soon.

Want to help shape our agenda?

To ensure our planned break-out sessions (including time for questions and answers) address relevant topics for you, please submit your suggested breakout topics to no later than Friday, March 1, 2019. The agenda will be developed based on your feedback and registration details will be posted soon.

Do you need more information about the Savannah Convention Center?

For location and directions to the Medicaid Fair, please visit the Savannah Convention Center website at:

Thank you for your continued participation in the Georgia Medicaid program. We look forward to seeing you on, Tuesday, April 23, 2019 in Savannah!


Georgia Department of Community Health

DXC Technology

Important reminder: Medicare Payment Survey

To: GAFP Members

All active members of the AAFP received an invitation to participate in the AMA/Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) survey for physician office visits (99202-99205, 99211-99215) and a new prolonged services code (99XXX). The invitation and link to the survey came from AAFP President Dr. John Cullen. The subject line of the email reads “Please Participate in Important Office Visit Survey: Deadline March 18, 2019.”  As an active member of the AAFP, please look for this email and please take the time to complete this survey.

The email also contains a staff contact should you have any difficulty completing this important survey. Please don’t hesitate to contact Angela Flanigan at should you have any issues locating this email from the AAFP.

Nominations Now Open for 2019 GAFP Awards

To My Colleagues:

It’s award nomination season and we’d like you to think about honoring a fellow Georgia family physician, or a deserving student or resident in your program. Please help me and the rest of your Georgia family physicians in recognizing exemplary service to the profession of family medicine and contributions to our State, by nominating someone for one of the following awards:

Awards Deadline To Submit Nominations
Family Medicine Resident of the Year April 12, 2019
Keith Ellis Resident Scholarship April 12, 2019
T.A. Sappington, MD Award April 12, 2019
Family Medicine Community and Volunteer Services Award May 3, 2019
Georgia Family Physician of The Year May 3, 2019
Family Medicine Educator of The Year May 3, 2019

The Membership Committee will nominate a slate to be approved by the Board of Directors, and presentation of the awards will be held during the 2019 GAFP Annual Meeting in November.

Many noteworthy colleagues may not have been considered for an award because they were not nominated.  To download an electronic copy of the awards nomination package go to  Please complete the nomination form and return it via email to Angela Flanigan at, or by fax (404) 321-7450.

The awards nomination package includes the awards and criteria, nomination forms and a list of past winners of each award.

If you have questions, please contact Angela Flanigan at 1-800-392-3841 or


Donald L. Fordham, MD, FAAFP

President, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

Sun, Fun, & CME: Registration now open for GAFP’s 2019 Summer CME Meeting!

The Georgia Academy invites you to take advantage of the only early registration discount for the Summer Family Medicine Weekend, June 6-9, at the Omni Amelia Island Resort in Amelia Island, FL.

The three-day meeting will provide an overview of clinical topics including: Case Studies on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, and Cancer Screening updates and much more!  We also balance the CME sessions with family and beach activities. The full agenda is available to preview at

Omni Amelia Island Resort give guests an authentic feel for the local flavor. Enjoy luxurious world-class resort pools, championship golf, full-service spa, endless dining options and family-friendly activities. Stroll 3.5 miles of pristine beach or spend an afternoon kayaking and paddle boarding through Amelia Island’s preserved marshlands. This event sells out every year so make your hotel reservations now!  Room rates at the Amelia Island start at $259 a night. To make your reservations, call 1-888-261-6161 and request the Georgia Academy of Family Physician’s room block or make your reservations online at the Omni Amelia Island website (GAFP room rates automatically applied). The room block closes on May 4th or when it sells out.

To learn more about the agenda and registration, visit and you can always call GAFP offices at 800-392-3841 to register by phone.

Join us at the Beach for Fun, Sun, and CME.

Click here to register today!