Archive for August, 2019

Is your practice breastfeeding friendly?

Tarayn Fairlie, MD, MPH, Chair – EPIC Breastfeeding Education Program Advisory Committee

Have you noticed that more of your patients are breastfeeding? You aren’t imagining things-breastfeeding rates in Georgia are increasing. However, many mothers still don’t reach their breastfeeding goals, and studies cite lack of support from health care providers as one of the reasons for not meeting them. Georgia families need physicians who can actively support breastfeeding them.  Yet between 43% and 50% pediatricians, neonatologists, obstetricians/gynecologists, and family medicine physicians don’t feel they were adequately prepared for clinical evaluation of breastfeeding problems, and a similar proportion feel that they were inadequately prepared for clinical treatment of breastfeeding problems. This isn’t surprising, as there is little or no formal instruction on breastfeeding and human lactation in medical schools.  The EPIC Breastfeeding Program is here to help fill this gap for practicing physicians and can either jumpstart a big shift for your practice or be the impetus for small improvements. The modules and resources of the EPIC program can help you develop your skills and further develop your practice. EPIC has resources available to assist you to develop, enhance and/or update your skills. Here are some ways EPIC can help you better support breastfeeding families:

Start at the beginning! We know that a mother’s prenatal intention to breastfeed is strongly influenced by input from and support of her physician.  If you see expectant parents, encourage them to breastfeed and answer any questions they might have about breastfeeding. Another good place to start is to track breastfeeding rates in your practice. Knowing what your patient population is doing can be helpful at setting practical goals to help mothers adhere to AAP recommendations for breastfeeding: exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and then continued breastfeeding until at least age 1. Through our modules, we can help train support staff and providers to have open-ended conversations about infant feeding that assesses an expectant mother’s breastfeeding intention in a comfortable, non-pressured way.

Look at your practice environment. What are you currently promoting? Do parents see formula companies represented in your practice? Do you still provide free formula gift packs or have formula marketing materials from your waiting area? Ensuring that your patient education is free of commercial influence is an important step in supporting informed feeding choices for all new families, whether breastfeeding or not.   Our resource kit includes samples of well- designed and up-to-date patient education materials in English and Spanish.

Put it in writing. Collaborate with staff to develop a written breastfeeding policy for your practice.  We can provide examples and guidance. A clear policy can ensure that your staff are supported when they return to work by providing space, time and supplies to express milk for their babies, increasing both their job satisfaction and performance.

Offer culturally competent feeding care. Different cultures have varying beliefs and customs relating to infant feeding.  Knowing them and providing appropriate anticipatory guidance can improve your practice and your customer satisfaction ratings. Do you and your staff encourage breastfeeding in the waiting area and provide a private place if desired? Having posters and signs welcoming and encouraging breastfeeding can help parents feel comfortable and supported.  We provide samples in our Resource Kit.

Triage breastfeeding concerns easily. Your phone triage nurses should be provided with training and resources to provide evidence-based recommendations to families calling for advice.  Our Resource Kit includes the AAP published Breastfeeding Telephone Triage and Advice book, 3rd edition.  Our one-hour breastfeeding education programs can provide this education, as well as continuing education hours for nurses and physicians, at no cost to your office.

Make it part of the visit. Our training will also help guide you in incorporating breastfeeding into routine care.  Learn what effective breastfeeding looks like, what mothers’ common concerns are, and what strategies to employ that preserve breastfeeding and milk production if/when problems arise.  Learn about milk expression and how to support mothers when they return to work or school. Our program also provides resources on coding, billing, and documentation so you can be paid for the work that you do!

Learn who else can help. When further breastfeeding expertise or peer support is indicated, it’s helpful to be familiar with lactation support in your community and where families can find it.  Also, more and more pediatricians, ob/gyns and family practice physicians whose practices see many newborns are directly hiring or contracting with lactation consultants to provide care in the office.  Accessible breastfeeding support can help your practice attract new and growing families, and Georgia is one of the first states to license lactation consultants.

Schedule your EPIC Breastfeeding Program today.  Let us provide you with resources to make your practice more breastfeeding friendly.  We offer convenient, physician-led, peer-to-peer breastfeeding education in your office or hospital. Our modules are one-hour sessions held during lunch or any time that is more convenient. Each program site receives a free Breastfeeding Resource Kit as part of the presentation, with resources for you, your staff and your patients. There are three topics to choose from: Breastfeeding Fundamentals, Supporting Breastfeeding in the Hospital, and Advanced Breastfeeding Support. Free continuing education is provided.  Complete an online program request form at or call the program office at 404-881-5068. The EPIC Breastfeeding Program is brought to you by the Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics with support from the Georgia Department of Public Health.


Registration Now Open: GAFP Fall Family Medicine Weekend, November 14-16, 2019

The GAFP invites you to take advantage of an early registration discount for the 2019 GAFP Fall Family Medicine Weekend to be held Thursday, November 14- Saturday, November 16, 2019 at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain!  Early registration is $445 for GAFP and AAFP members and covers up to 46 AAFP Prescribed credits and up to 21 AMA PRA Category 1 credits over three days, with exhibits and networking opportunities. Take advantage of the early bird discount and register before September 19th.

Please note: The lowest price is the early bird registration.

CME Opportunities:

This year’s meeting will cover current topics and workshops that highlight conditions and diseases that affect our communities.  We will provide four Knowledge Self-Assessment Modules (KSAs), on Women’s Health, Care of Vulnerable Elderly, Childhood Illness and Hypertension. In addition to lecture tracks and workshops, there is education on diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, child immunizations, cancer updates, and women maternal health. There is something for everyone who attends the meeting.

Networking/Social Opportunities:

Kick off the GAFP Fall Family Medicine Weekend experience at the Welcome Reception, November 14th at 5 pm. Enjoy food and drinks and get exclusive access to the exhibitors you’ve been waiting to meet; while networking with your colleagues from around the state. We will also present two of our members with special awards.

All Member Party: The Magic of Family Medicine:

The All Member Party “The Magic of Family Medicine” will take place Friday, November 15th from 6:30- 10:00 p.m. Network with members and experience the Magic of Family Medicine in a night filled with fun, food and feats of magic. Tickets are $75.00 and are available to purchase online through the regular meeting registration process, or by calling the GAFP office at 800-392-3841.

Discounted Group Lodging Information:

Rates at the Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort begin at $159. For reservations call 770-879-9900. Request the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians room block-available until October 22, 2019. You may also book a room online. GAFP room rates are automatically applied.

To learn more and to register, visit and click on the event slide on the homepage. The full brochure will be coming to your mailbox very soon!

If you have any questions about the meeting schedule, registration or other concerns, feel free to contact GAFP staff Ciera Mitchell at 800-392-3841.

Best Regards,


Theresa Jacobs, MD                                   Ken Howard, MD

Chair                                                              Vice Chair

Education & Research Committee          Education & Research Committee

*Application for CME credit has been filed with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Determination of credit is pending.

Members in the News  

Dr. Walkitria Smith and Dr. Maria Dinh discusses being a millennial physician and the importance of patient-centered care in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Dr. Smith is a primary care physician and serves as Medical Director of Telemedicine for Morehouse Health Care at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Dr. Dinh is a family medicine physician at WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, who is opening her own family medical practice later this month.

To review the article visit the Atlanta Business Chronicle:


The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is seeking resolutions for the 2019 Congress of Delegates (COD) meeting. Last year, the COD tackled issues such as online patient reviews and surveys, uncompensated afterhours physician care, and determinants of maternal mortality in Georgia.

What is the Congress of Delegates, you ask?  The GAFP Congress of Delegates is a governing body of the Academy that can set policy. It meets annually at the GAFP Annual Meeting to vote on and ratify decisions that are made by the Board all year, as well as to hear and vote on resolutions from all members.

We are soliciting your ideas and leadership in proposing resolutions for this year’s Congress of Delegates, the first session will be a live webinar/conference call on Thursday, October 17, at 6:00 pm and the final session will meet on Saturday, November 16 in conjunction with the Annual Meeting held at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain.

Do you need help writing your resolution? Staff and speaker Carl McCurdy, MD and Vice- Speaker Samuel “Le” Church, MD, MPH, FAAFP are available to assist you, contact Angela Flanigan at or 800.392.3841. You can submit your resolution online at  The deadline to submit resolutions is Friday, September 13.

Join us as a delegate!  If you are interested in serving your district by being elected as a COD delegate for your district, please reach out to Angela Flanigan and she will confirm your district number, then send you a survey to complete to nominate yourself and others from your district.

Did You Miss the Webinar, Primary Care Management of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease? Watch Now and Earn Valuable CME!

In July, the GAFP, in conjunction with Alliant Quality, hosted a live webinar on Primary Care Management of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease.  The 2-hour webinar with presenters, James Eckman, MD, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Hematology and Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine and Jeanette Nu’Man, MEd, Operations Manager of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Georgia and Director of Camp New Hope, offered attendees an in-depth look at adults with sickle cell disease who have multiple conditions that impact the entire body. The educational activity focused on primary care physicians and their care teams, by empowering them with the knowledge and resources needed to give evidence-based person-centered care.

Additionally, the presenters provided foundational knowledge and discussed the availability of new regional assessments for care plan development, with telemedicine follow up. The live webinar audience consisted of physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and medical assistants.

If you missed the live webinar you have an opportunity to learn more about this important topic and earn AAFP Prescribed credits.  Please click the link to register and view the July 2nd webinar.

At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to care for the patient with sickle cell in the primary care setting.
  • Understand how to manage pain in Sickle Cell Disease.
  • Understand best practices in care coordination through the use of Community Health Workers and the clinical care team.
  • Understand the process of telemedicine follow up.

AAFP Prescribed Credit: This Enduring Material activity, Webinar: Primary Care Management of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease, has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 2.00 Prescribed credit(s) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. AAFP certification begins 07/02/2019. Term of approval is for one year from this date. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AMA Credit: The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians is accredited by the Medical Association of Georgia to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The GAFP designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.