Archive for May, 2019

Georgia Leadership Wins Awards at AAFP National Conference


The Georgia Academy recently sent 24 leaders and staff to attend AAFP’s annual leadership conferences, National Chapter Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leadership Forum (NCCL and ACLF), held concurrently in Kansas City.  The GAFP was recognized with three awards from AAFP:

  • Full Delegation to the National Chapter Constituency Leaders Program
  • 100 Percent Membership Participation of all Georgia Family Medicine Residents
  • Highest Percentage of AAFP FAM MEDPAC Contributions by a Large-Sized Chapter

A special congratulations goes to Dr. Chetan Patel, who was elected to serve as the IMG Co-Convener for NCCL 2020 and as the Constituency Alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

The Georgia Chapter also invited the New Mexico and Arizona State Chapters to attend a group dinner for additional leadership discussions.  The Academy thanks the following leaders who attended this meeting:

Omoniyi Adebisi, MD

Susana Alfonso, MD

Mike Busman, MD

Loy “Chip” Cowart, MD – GAFP Board Chair

Ellie Daniels, MD

Loretta Duggan, MD

Donald Fordham, MD – GAFP President

Wanda Gumbs, MD

Casey Heinritz, DO

Beulette Hooks, MD

Catherine James-Peters, MD

Marissa Lapedis, MD

Zita Magloire, MD

Chetan Patel, MD

Leonard Reeves, MD – AAFP Board Member

Jeff Stone, MD – GAFP President – Elect

Angeline Ti, MD

Nkiruka Udejiofor, MD

John Vu, MD


Fay Fulton – Executive Vice President

Angela Flanigan –Chief Operating Office

Felicia Kenan – Director of Education



Grace Village Clinic Awarded Community Health Grant to Support Refuge Healthcare Project in Clarkston 

GHFA Deputy Director Kara Sinkule (L) presented the grant award to Grace Village Clinic Coordinator Mike Sorrells (2L) with GHFA Director of Philanthropy Shan Hayes (2R) and Georgia Family Physician Dr. Scott Keller who serves as the clinic’s Medical Director and grant sponsor.

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) recently awarded Grace Village Clinic a grant of $5,000 from the Community Health Grant Program for their Refuge Clinic project supporting healthcare for refugees and uninsured citizens in Clarkston, Georgia.

Patients at Grace Village Clinic comprise 54 nationalities, 150 ethnic groups and speak 47 languages. The entire staff is comprised of volunteer physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, nurses, nurse aides, medical students and translators.

In partnership with Grace Fellowship Church, Grace Village Clinic will utilize GHFA grant funds to purchase an EKG and ultrasound machine for the clinic.   Funds will also be used to expand the clinic’s diagnostic imaging services via a discounted agreement with a local radiology facility.

GHFA is the philanthropic arm of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP). Our nationally recognized Community Health Grant Program exists to support and create momentum in an area of need and provide vital funds for family physician sponsored healthcare projects across Georgia.

Since launching the program in 2012, the Alliance has awarded 62 charitable organizations more than $280,000. Grant awards are made to GAFP member affiliated community organizations supporting underserved populations and community programs that promote healthy practices. For more information visit



Legal Advice: Employed Physicians Dealing with Negative Patient Reviews

To:       Georgia Academy Members

From:  GAFP Congress of Delegates Speaker, Carl McCurdy, MD

Congress of Delegates Vice Speaker, Samuel Le Church, MD

As a follow up to one of our Congress of Delegates resolutions passed last year, we are providing education on how to deal with negative patient reviews and dealing with an employer.  The Georgia Academy thanks partner Southern Health Lawyers, for the development of this article.  Rich Sanders is an attorney in Atlanta representing family physicians throughout Georgia. He can be reached at (404) 806-5575 or

Limiting the Effect of Negative Patient Reviews on Employed Physicians

In accordance with patient-centered healthcare, patient satisfaction metrics not only affect physician reimbursement levels, but are also a growing component of physician compensation formulas. Further, an employer may use a physician’s low patient satisfaction metrics to initiate adverse actions. Utilization of patient satisfaction metrics raises several concerns. Specifically, patient satisfaction metrics measures are based on patients’ expectations of care as opposed to objective measures of experience. Patient perceptions also may not be correlated with technical quality. Additionally, there may be selection and recall bias in the responses of those patients with very positive or negative experiences that inadvertently skew patient satisfaction metrics. Because patient satisfaction metrics may not accurately quantify a family physician’s skill, technical ability, or clinical outcomes, GAFP requested that we draft the following language that may be incorporated into Academy members’ employment agreements / employee handbooks:

Employer may not take adverse action(s), including reflective penalties, against an Employee that receives negative patient surveys, patient satisfaction benchmarks or online reviews, in the absence of formal procedures comporting within the minimum common law requirements of procedural due process. Employer shall notify an Employee, in writing, of its proposed adverse action(s) within five (5) business days of its decision. Employee notification must include information detailing the proposed adverse action(s), basis for the proposed adverse action(s), and formal procedures available to Employee to appeal the proposed adverse action(s). Formal procedures available to an Employee shall include but are not limited to: (i) review documentation Employer considered prior to proposing the adverse action(s), (ii) request an informal in-person meeting with Employer to appeal and negotiate the matter in good faith, (iii) petition the Employer to correct erroneous information submitted by the Employee or a third-party, and (iv) provide a written explanation, including supporting documentation, to Employer challenging the basis of the proposed adverse action(s). All formal procedures available to an Employee to appeal the proposed adverse action(s) must be received by the Employer within thirty (30) days of the notification.

While this sample language may be modified to fit a particular proposed employment agreement for family physicians, we also recommend that Academy members review their current agreements to determine if similar language is already included. If not, it may be appropriate to look for an opportunity to add it in the future.

Dr. Richardson on Top Docs Radio Show

Dr. Richardson addresses meningitis & shingles in the latest edition of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show

Eddie Richardson Jr., M.D., medical director of the Lake Oconee Urgent and Primary Care Center in Eatonton – and former past President and Board Chair of the Georgia Academy Family Physicians, discusses meningococcal and shingles diseases and vaccines. Click here to listen to the radio show.

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Launches New Video Highlighting “Women’s Breast Health” Clarkston Community Grant

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance is pleased to share a new video highlighting a recent Community Health Grant to the Clarkston Community Health Center. The grant is sponsored by GAFP member, Dr. Patrice Shongo, in support of their Women’s Breast Health Project. Click on the video below to see how your donations to GHFA help Georgians every day in communities across the state.

To view the video, visit


*Production support provided by Jackson Healthcare