Archive for July, 2019

GHFA Thanks our Donors!

GHFA Thanks our Donors!

Last week at the GAFP’s 2019 summer CME meeting, some of our leaders with the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance took a break from meetings and classes to thank GHFA’s top donors. GHFA hosted a Thank-A-Thon in Amelia Island and personally called on all donors who made a pledge of $5000 or higher to our Your Giving is Great Medicine capital campaign.

With “thank-a-tinis” in hand, our family physician leaders had the opportunity to simply express gratitude to their peers for their support. To date, the Alliance has awarded $280,000 and counting, in community health grant awards, and educated thousands of youth on the harmful effects of smoking and vaping. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors and we are so grateful. A huge thank you and shout out to Dr. Patrick “PJ” Lynn, Dr. Loy “Chip” Cowart, Dr. Mitzi Rubin, and Dr. Collyn Steele for joining us at the Thank-A-Thon and making a few calls to fellow family physician members and donors.

If you would like to make a pledge or one time donation supporting our Your Giving is Great Medicine campaign, please contact our Director of Philanthropy, Shan Hayes, at 404-321-7445, or visit the website

GHFA Donor and GAFP Member Dr. Collyn Steele enjoying a Thank-A-Tini while making calls.


Donors Called During Thank-A-Thon



Dr. Chip and Elizabeth Cowart Statesboro

Dr. Patrick “PJ” and Lindsey Lynn Rome



Dr. John Bucholtz Columbus

Dr. Mike and Dianne Busman – Americus

Dr. Samuel “Le” Church – Hiawassee

Dr. Evelyn Lewis & Clark – Newnan

Dr. Lanny and Mica Copeland – Brentwood, TN

Dr. Donald Fordham – Demorest

Fay Fulton – Atlanta

Dr. Gene and Ivy Jackson – Hawkinsville

Dr. Susan Margletta Harmon and Jack Harmon- Roswell

Dr. Dayle Hawthorne – Ft. Oglethorpe

Dr. Thaddeus Lynn – Atlanta

Jim and Patti Lyons – Jasper

Dr. Carl and Melanie McCurdy – Jasper

Dr. Howard and Janet McMahan – Ocilla

Dr. Rolf Meinhold and Caryn Bains – Alpharetta

Dr. T.J. Miller – Claxton

Dr. Adrienne Mims – Atlanta

Drs. Monica and Wylie Newton – Gainesville

Dr. Mitzi and Jeremy Rubin – Atlanta

Dr. Eddie Richardson and Dr. Jameelah Gater – Eatonton

Dr. Michael Satchell – Albany

Dr. George Shannon – Columbus

Dr. Daniel Singleton – Buena Vista

Dr. Collyn and Nick Steele – McDonough

Dr. Harry and Karen Strothers – Macon

Dr. John Vu Griffin

Dr. Rick and Alice Wherry – Dahlonega 



Dr. Susana A. Alfonso

Dr. Karla Booker – Lilburn

Dr. Mitch Cook Athens

Dr. Denise Crawley Rome  

Dr. Elvan Daniels Atlanta

Dr. Daniel Grizzle Athens

Dr. Thomas Fausett Adel

Dr. Jay and Adelene Goberdhan Adel

Dr. Emily J. Herndon Decatur

Dr. Audrey and William Hodge – Union Spring, AL

Dr. Wayne Hoffman and Thomas Torrey Atlanta

Dr. Beulette Hooks Columbus

Dr. Theresa Jacobs Conyers

Dr. Kevin and Connie Johnson Lawrenceville

Dr. Bruce LeClair Augusta

Dr. Sherma Peter Sylvania

Dr. James and Harriet Ray Swainsboro  

Dr. Leonard Reeves and Terri Brown Rome 

Dr. Susan Schayes – Marietta

Dr. Jeff and Holly StoneCanton

Were You a Part of History? More than 200 Attended the 2019 Summer CME Meeting!

Were You a Part of History? More than 200 Attended the 2019 Summer CME Meeting!

June 6-9, 2019 marked the GAFP’s second joint meeting with the Georgia Primary Care Association (GPCA).  This year we hosted more than 200 family physicians, FQHC/CHC members and other health care professionals at Omni Amelia Island Beach Resort.  The Summer meeting offered CME content, leadership workshops, exhibits, family fun activities and numerous opportunities to network with colleagues.

With an expansive number of lectures and workshops, attendees were able to claim as many as 36 AAFP prescribed credits derived from a variety of topics pertinent to the practice needs of our members. Click Here to view all the presentations from the summer meeting! All AAFP CME credits will be posted by July 15th to your AAFP transcript. If you have any questions about the CME submission process, please feel free to contact Felicia Kenan at

In addition to lectures and workshops, the GAFP offered three Knowledge Self-Assessments (KSAs) to attendees, to fulfill the Maintenance of Certification Part II – Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning.  More than 60 attendees successfully completed the assessments.

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

“Amelia Island is our favorite location for the summer meeting. This year, the Omni staff were especially friendly, and the resort restaurants and all food events were outstanding. As always, GAFP staff were all wonderful, and provided another great meeting.”

“I really enjoyed the leadership lectures and ABFM updates”

“Great presentations and good arrangements”


“Great job!!! Excellent attendance at meetings”

The meeting’s success was based on the hard work, time, and effort of the Education Committee.  The 2019 Education Committee members are 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 and Loy D. “Chip” Cowart, MD – Executive Committee Liaison.

Thank you to the Education & Research Committee for all the hard work that went into making this meeting a success.

Mark your calendars now with the dates of the 2019 Annual CME Meeting!  This year’s Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, November 14 – Saturday, November 16 at the Marriot Evergreen Conference Resort in Stone Mountain, GA. We look forward to seeing you there!


Dr. Natalie Britt Wins Double Award from the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

Pictured: Dr. Keith Ellis and Dr. Natalie Britt

Dr. Natalie Britt Wins Double Award from the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

Congratulations to Dr. Natalie Britt, Chief Resident, Savannah Family Medicine Residency Program Memorial Hospital, for being chosen as the 2019 Dr. Keith Ellis Resident Scholarship Award winner as well as the 2019 Resident of the Year Award from the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians.

These prestigious awards recognize the individual efforts of family medicine residents who demonstrate leadership and academic skills, participate in professional affairs, and contribute positively to the community. Dr. Britt exhibits exemplary leadership skills within the residency program, her local community as well as provides dedicated service to the American Academy of Family Physicians as a Resident Delegate and Resident Member of the Commission on Education.

Dr. Britt received notification of her awards at a reception hosted by Dr. Robert Pallay, Program Director, Savannah Family Medicine Residency Program Memorial Medical Center in June. On a special note, Dr. Keith Ellis, for whom the Keith Ellis Resident Scholarship Award was named, was in attendance and helped congratulate Dr. Britt on her awards.

We look forward to many more years of commitment and leadership from Dr. Britt!

Thrive – Coding & Reimbursement Practice Improvement Project 2019: Turn Your Practice Around Within Three Months!

Thrive – Coding & Reimbursement Practice Improvement Project 2019

Turn Your Practice Around Within Three Months!

Click here to register online

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is launching a new, innovative practice transformation project that focuses on helping family medicine practices increase reimbursements by identifying under-used codes and procedures and counts as an ABFM Self-Directed Performance Improvement Activity where you earn up to 20 points towards your overall 50-point activity requirement.

Thrive is designed to help practices survive and thrive in today’s changing healthcare environment by assisting independent practices by educating the clinical and business team  to ensure their patients are taking advantage of all the benefits that their health plans allow.

The GAFP is seeking up to 16 independent practices to participate in the Thrive pilot (up to 8 practices for each workshop). The workshops will be held in Macon and Gainesville to try and offer this program to more of our members who are based in more rural-settings and might not have the ability to attend city-based CME.

Participants will attend two one-day workshops (held three months apart) on Coding and Documentation  and complete a rapid cycle improvement project related to workshop material. The sessions will be led by Bob Addleton and Adele Cohen, Leadership in Practice consultants, and longtime GAFP partner and coding expert, Steve Adams.  Over the three-month learning cycle, practices will make immediate changes to their practices to improve outreach to their patients and increase the financial well-being of their practices. At least one physician and one staff member with billing responsibilities should attend each session.

Meeting Dates:

  • Gainesville Workshop

            Thursday, July 18, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

            Thursday, September 12, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

  • Macon Workshop

            Thursday, October 3, 2019 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

            Thursday, January 9, 2020 (10:00 am – 4:00 pm)

We have found that the most successful practice change activities include:

  • Practice care team members who are vested in making a change within the practice.
  • The opportunity to learn from experts
  • The use of adult learning methods, putting more emphasis on well-constructed group problem solving than lectures

If you’re tired of losing money because you’re not being reimbursed for the work that you and your team do in your practice, and can answer YES to the following questions, please submit the request for participation below.

  • Is your practice independent?
  • Are you tired of leaving money on the table by under-coding your patient interactions?
  • Are you willing to attend both workshops (along with at least another member of your practice) and participate in an interim month one-on-one consultative conference call/webinar?
  • Are you and other family physicians in your practices members of the Georgia Academy?

Registration:  This CME activity will offer your practice hours of individualized practice management advice.  The registration fee of $500 per practice will be reimbursed to you after completion of the Thrive Workshop if your practice attended BOTH workshops and participated in the interim-consultative conference call with the Thrive Team.

If you answered YES to ALL of these questions, please complete the information below and return to GAFP staff at the Registration Desk.

Please note, this is a small pilot project and will be offered to only 5-8 practices. There will be a vetting process that will help us determine the final 5-8 participants. Click here to register online or complete the form below and return to


Name: ________________________________        Practice Name: ______________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

City, State, Zip: _______________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________          Email: ____________________________

Number of clinical providers in this practice (physicians and mid-levels): ________________

Number of administrative and billing/coding staff in this practice: _____________________

Your electronic health record (EHR) System: _______________________________

GHFA Awards Disaster Relief Grant to GAFP Member Impacted by March 3rd Tornado

GHFA Awards Disaster Relief Grant to GAFP Member Impacted by March 3rd Tornado

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) Board of Trustees recently awarded a Disaster Relief Grant to GAFP Member Dr. Daniel Kosobucki Jr. after a tornado touched down in Waverly Hall, GA on March 3, 2019. The tornado caused extensive damage to Dr. Kosobucki’s property, and grant funds will be used to mitigate a portion of Dr. Kosobucki’s losses including time away from his practice.

GHFA’s Disaster Relief Fund was established in 2007 to assist two family physicians who lost their practices when a tornado ripped through downtown Americus, GA. If you are aware of another GAFP member who sustained damage during a recent storm, please contact us at (404) 321-7445.  Either Kara Sinkule ( or Fay Fulton ( can assist you with completing the application. For more information visit

Potential New Member Benefit – Group 401K Retirement Plan

To:       Georgia Academy of Family Physician Members – Life, Active, Supporting and Residents

From:  Donald L. Fordham, MD, FAAFP – President

Re:  Potential New Member Benefit – Group Retirement Plan

The leadership of the Georgia Academy are constantly seeking ways to support our members with ongoing benefits to enhance your practice, career and support your patients.  We would appreciate your participation in this survey, if you have a retirement plan, would like to participate in a retirement plan – and would like to reduce costs and administrative hassle by joining forces in a multiple employer plan.

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is considering establishing a Multiple Employer 401(k) Plan or MEP for its members who are business owners.  The goal of the GAFP MEP would be to allow Academy members to join forces to:

– Simplify plan administration
– Lower record-keeping costs by combining assets with other members plans
– Reduce fiduciary liability by using 3rd party plan level fiduciaries for investment selection and monitoring as well some administrative functions.
– A MEP with a larger asset base would potentially have access to investment options not available to smaller retirement plans

In order to see if a Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Multiple Employer 401(k) Plan would be viable we are collecting some additional information from our members. Please complete the following survey by July 22nd  so our Board will have the information it needs to pursue this further.  If you have already responded – no need to complete the 3 minute survey again.

Click Here to Complete Survey.

Recent Articles About the Need for Retirement Savings for Physicians:

Georgia Academy of Family Physicians: 2019 Student Award Winners

Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

2019 Student Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients of the T. A. Sappington Award. This prestigious award is given to student members who have demonstrated their commitment to family medicine by choosing to attend a Georgia Family Medicine Residency Program.  We had a strong year with many of our graduates electing to remain in Georgia for residency.

This year we recognize:

Mr. Michael Land, a student from Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM), Macon Campus, was nominated by Drs. Monique Davis-Smith, Program Director and Department Chair, Harry S. Strothers. He has been accepted and enrolled in Medical Center Navicent Health Family Medicine Residency Program.  Michael is the first student from the MUSM Macon campus to graduate in three years through the Accelerated Track Program and enter into the MCNH Family Medicine Residency. His other student activities include the Diversity in Medicine Interest Group-where he served as Treasurer; President, Genders and Sexuality Alliance, Treasurer of the Family Medicine Interest Group; President of the Kappa Mu Alumni Association (Honorary Society for college band members); and a member of the University of Georgia Alumni Pep Band.

Ms. Macy McNair, a student from Morehouse School of Medicine, was nominated by Dr. Dolapo Babalola.  She has been accepted into the Morehouse School of Medicine Residency Program.  Macy was very active during her medical school career at Morehouse.  She served as the Student Government Association President for the Class of 2019 and was the FMIG 1st and 3rd year liaison as well as an FMIG Ambassador.  She also proudly served as a Student Director of the GAFP’s Board of Directors.  Ms. McNair is known for greeting people with a bright smile and always offering a helping hand to students, administrators and faculty/staff.

Mr. Joseph Coppiano, a student from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, was nominated by Dr. David Kreigel.  Joseph served as Academic House Senator and was Education and Advocacy chair for the Latinio Medical School Association. He also served as the clinic supplies and lab coordinator for the student run free clinic, Clinica Latina.  His outgoing and friendly personality made it easy to see that Joseph cares about people and enjoyed being helpful to his fellow medical students, faculty, and patients.  He has served on several committees during his medical school tenure of particular note was his work with the tissue and MSK system module and the Augusta University High School Academy.  He has been active in GAFP activities since 2017 and plans to continue his involvement as a resident at the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University Family Medicine Residency Program.

Ms. Jordan Moss, a student from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Georgia was nominated by Dr. Michael Sampson and has been accepted into the Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program in Rome.  Ms. Moss was very active during her medical school career at PCOM where she served as the President of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians chapter.  She is dedicated to practicing primary care in underserved areas with a focus on preventative medicine in adolescents and other at-risk populations.

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $25,000 in Second Cycle Community Health Grants to Support Local Health Projects 

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Awards $25,000 in Second Cycle Community Health Grants to Support Local Health Projects 

Final 2019 Grant Application Deadline is July 9th

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) awarded five Community Health Grant Award applicants a total of $25,000 in second cycle 2019 grants.  Grant awards were made 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. The application deadline for third cycle 2019 grants is July 9, 2019.

Visit  for more information or to download the application. Second Cycle 2019 Community Health Grant Recipients are:

  1. Athens Nurses Clinic “Free From “C” Project,” $5,000 sponsored by Farris Johnson, MD                                                                                           

The Athens Nurses Clinic “Free from C” project identifies individuals who have been infected with hepatitis C in outreach populations (through a quick finger stick test) and in new patients to the clinic (through blood draws). Most outreach individuals and all clinic patients are uninsured and low income. Subsequent tests identify those still infected with the virus, tests of liver function, and evaluation of lifestyle identify those very likely to complete a 12-week course of drug treatment to cure the virus. Forty-three patients have been cured in the last 18 months. This program has had a significant impact on community health in underserved populations and has helped to restrict the spread of this disease.


  1. Free Clinic of Rome’s “I’d Like To Speak to The Manager” Project $5,000 sponsored by Leonard Reeves, MD

The Free Clinic of Rome’s “I’d Like To Speak to the Manager” project addresses the need to educate patients and at the same time continue to give them the tools to manage their own health and well-being. This is a continuum of the grant received from GHFA the past two years under the Log It-Learn It-Live It program.

Over sixty-five percent of clients consist of patients who were referred from area hospitals/emergency departments with a diagnosis of diabetes and/or hypertension. Since patients have no insurance (a criteria for enrolling) there is seldom a documented medical history to help establish any prior information or details of their diagnosis. Education regarding their diagnosis is usually minimal if at all. This grant provides patients with a means to measure blood pressure and/or blood glucose at home on a consistent basis by providing them with home monitors/supplies and a log in which to keep record of the results daily.  Physicians would then have much more detailed daily history to assess when patients come for appointments and are able to adjust medications according to an extensive history versus one measurement taken the day of visit or what the patient can remember.


  1. Dahlonega Community Helping Place “Free Medical and Dental Clinic” Project $5,000 sponsored by Allison Turk, MD

The Community Helping Place seeks to address the dilemma of Appalachian poverty and break the cycle of generational poverty. They provide basic needs to their clients, including emergency assistance and food as well as prevention, care, and treatment to medical and dental patients without insurance. The Free Medical Clinic has been providing care since 2008 and has recently expanded services to cover Women’s Health for existing patients. The clinic has a provider in place and has secured volunteer services from two nurse practitioners from University of North Georgia. They will be collaborating with the Women’s Health Clinic to provide testing and treatment of gynecological issues. Sixty-five percent of the clinic’s client population is female.

The Free Dental Clinic provides professional dental care to uninsured Lumpkin County residents. Each patient receives needed antibiotics, dental exams, x-rays, cleanings, needed extractions, and customized treatment plans.


  1. Adult Disability Medical Home (ADMH) Marietta “Get Fit and Be Healthy Project” $5,000sponsored by Andrea Videlefsky, MD

Over the past two years the Adult Disability Medical Home has expanded their patient population to include multiple complex developmental disabilities including Autism, Fragile X, Microcephaly, and Cerebral Palsy, and piloted a program called Get Fit and Be Healthy (GFBH) which includes group visits, nutrition, exercise and health education. The program was successful in providing health and nutrition information with 78% of patients losing weight in just 3 months.

The 2019-2020 program will expand to serve an additional 16 individuals and their caregivers. One of the most exciting expansion plans is to include patient graduates of the Get Fit and Be Healthy Project as leaders and role models in future GFBH sessions for new participants.  The ADMH also hopes to include individuals with disabilities who do not necessarily meet the definition of BMI obesity levels, but who need guidance and education regarding healthy eating, cooking, lifestyle and shopping habits that will help to improve their overall health status. These are important guidelines in transitioning and maintaining independence in one’s own community.


  1. Shifa Clinic Athens “Free Community Flu Vaccines and Cardiac Screening for High Risk Population” Project $5,000 sponsored by Irshad Syed, MD

Athens Clarke County is one of the poorest counties in the country and there are many medically uninsured people who lack access to basic medical care. Shifa Clinic Athens, a project of ICNA Relief USA, a 501(c) non-profit organization, has been reaching out to the underserved population of Athens-Clarke county for the last 2 years and providing essential medical care to them. Many patients suffer from hypertension and other cardiac-related issues.  However, due to resource constraints, Shifa Clinic has been unable to provide essential cardiac screening and evaluation to these patients. Funding for this project will provide free flu vaccines to more than 100 children, women, and men for the 2019-20 flu season and enable Shifa Clinic to buy an EKG machine which will facilitate cardiac screening/evaluating services to about 70 members of the community within the year.