Awards & Accolades

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians (GAFP) honors members exemplifying excellence in the practice of family medicine and for their national, state chapter and community-based leadership roles and contributions to clinical research and healthcare.

2017 GAFP Award Nomination CLOSED

2017 GAFP Student & Resident Award Nomination CLOSED

2017 Award Recipients 


Resident of the Year
Awarded to the resident who exhibits dedication to family medicine through leadership and involvement in his/her residency program and in the community
Chetan Patel, MD was selected as Resident of the Year.

Dr. Patel attends the Columbus Family Medicine Residency Program and was recommended by Dr. John Bucholtz, the Program Director.  He served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Academy as a Resident Alternate Director and as a Resident Director.  He attended the National Congress of Family Medicine Residents and served as an Alternate Delegate, 2016.  In addition, he secured a seat on the AAFP Commission on Education (COE) where he currently serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Resident and Student Issues.  Dr. Patel graduates in July and we wish him much luck in his family medicine endeavors.

The Keith Ellis, MD Award
Given to a Chief Resident or Co-Chief Resident who displays excellent leadership skills in their family medicine residency program.
 Mary Keith, MD from the Memorial Health Family Medicine Residency Program in Savannah was the Georgia Academy Keith Ellis Award winner for Chief/Co-Chief Resident

Her Program Director, Dr. Robert Pallay states that Dr. Keith “embodies all of the qualities that this award is trying to recognize by naming it in his honor.”  In addition, he explains that the quote on leadership below is one that summarizes Mary’s approach to all that she has done as a medical student, developing resident, and now as one of our Chief residents this year.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” —John Maxwell

Dr. Pallay explained that Dr. Keith was one of the first two medical students accepted into the Family Medicine Accelerated Track at Mercer in Savannah, which required her to commit to family medicine during her first year of medical school and to be an ambassador for the specialty during the rest of her undergraduate medical education.  If you talk with her, she will tell you without hesitation that she has never regretted that decision for a second, and she was the perfect medical student to bring into the Accelerated Track at the very beginning. She helped a program in its infancy become a success because of her academic accomplishments and the high quality of clinical care she provided as a resident once she was done with the program. She role modeled the specialty of family medicine at the highest level possible, and that demonstrated the potential for success for an accelerated curriculum to the medical school, other residency programs, and our hospital system.  The program’s success allowed expansion to other Mercer sites for the Family Medicine Track, and then subsequently, the addition of an Internal Medicine Track because of its success. Specifically, Mary was a key part of that success.The Keith Ellis award winner receives a free trip to our annual meeting this October along with registration and attendance to the Georgia Academy’s Annual Meeting where she will be recognized.


2016 Award Recipients:

Family Medicine Physician of the Year
The highest award bestowed on a GAFP member recognizes excellence in peer leadership in professional affairs and outstanding contributions to family medicine and to the community.
Paul Forney, MD of Augusta was the winner of the 2016 GAFP Family Physician of the Year Award.   According to Dr. Julie Dahl-Smith, who has worked with Dr. Paul Forney for the past sixteen years, Dr. Forney demonstrates tremendous leadership skills in family medicine, the Georgia Regents University-Medical College of Georgia and in the community.  He is held in very highest regard by the community, patients, nursing staff, residents, medical students and faculty.  He has been involved in all areas of education and training for family medicine as Director of the Resident Education Program Department of Family Medicine since 1982.  During this time, he also did extensive work on multiple committees such as the Resident Liaison Committee, Substance Abuse Committee and Cancer Committee to name a few.  In addition to his extensive medical education work, Dr. Forney also found the time to be a very active member of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, including serving in the roles of GAFP Board Chair, President, and Vice President from 1987-1991.
Family Medicine Educator of the Year
Awarded to a member dedicated to teaching, mentoring and educating to help advance the specialty of family medicine.
Phillip Rogers MD, of Atlanta was the winner of the GAFP Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award.  Dr. Philip Rogers has been teaching Emory medical students for over 30 years.  He deserves highest recognition for his outstanding work as a physician, mentor, and human being.  Dr. Rogers provides the medical students great autonomy with regards to patient interaction, but nothing outside the scope of their abilities.  Dr. Rogers always stressed the importance of treating the patient as a whole, and not the problem. He is attuned to the subtleties of the human condition that allowed him to maintain peace of mind in all of his patients.  One of his students states that “his knowledge of such a broad spectrum of medical ailments, combined with his obvious comfort and closeness to his patients, has been incredibly affirming of my interest in family medicine. I wake up excited to head to his office and see what I am going to learn that day.”
Resident of the Year
Awarded to the resident who exhibits dedication to family medicine through leadership and involvement in his/her residency program and in the community
Edward Agabin MD was selected as Resident of the Year.  Dr. Edward Agabin excelled at Augusta University in leadership as well as clinical abilities.  His interest in being an active member of policy making and curriculum is apparent in his active roles on several committees here at the University, including the Admissions and Recruitment Committee.  In addition, he was elected as chief resident by his peers.  Dr. Agabin has published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Journal of Graduate Medical Education and the Journal of the Medical Practice Management. He has performed just as strongly in the academic arena and is an excellent physician who develops great rapport with his patients and staff.  He has consistently been referred as being efficient, thorough and knowledgeable.  In summary, Dr. Agabin has strong leadership skills and is held in highest regard by the community, patients, peers and faculty.

Community and Volunteer Service Award
Awarded to a member who excels in service to their community and makes outstanding contributions in welfare, education, health, government, or the arts.

Awarded as merited
The Keith Ellis, MD Award
Given to a Chief Resident or Co-Chief Resident who displays excellent leadership skills in their family medicine residency program.
Naheed Lakhani, MD –has earned the respect and admiration of her patients, support staff, fellow residents and faculty. Her hard work, dedication and positive attitude is reflected daily in the way she approaches her personal and professional life. She has demonstrated exceptional leadership, clinical and academic excellence throughout her residency training.The Keith Ellis award winner receives a free trip to our annual meeting this November along with registration and attendance at the President’s event where she will be recognized.
GAFP Annual Research Poster Competition Winners
Evaluated by a national and local committee and recognized by category at the GAFP Annual Scientific Assembly.
Pre-Med Category Winner:

1st Place – Language Nutrition in Action: The Impact of the “Talk with Me Baby” Program in Georgia Public Health District 2

Author/Presenter:Max Muldoon – Foothills Area Health Education Center, Gainesville, GA


David Westfall, MD, MPH, CPE – Gainesville, GA

Deenene Chandler, MPH, CHES, ATC – Special Projects Coordinator, Foothills Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Inc.

Hailey Clark – Gainesville, GA

Medical Student Category Winner:

Clarkston Community Health Center Quality Improvement Initiative: Optimizing Patient Flow

Authors/Presenters: Joyce Kim – Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA and Gina Papa – Emory School of Nursing, Atlanta, GA

Resident Category Winner:

A Case for Post-Operative Prophylactic Cardiac Monitoring in a High-Risk Patient

Author/Presenter: Hillary Dowdall, MD – Emory University Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, Dunwoody, GA

Advisor/Coordinator/Contributor: Isabell Lowell, MD

Practicing Physician/Fellow Category Winner:

Nails: A Window to Systemic Diseases

Author: Viktoria Nurpeisov, MD – Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta, GA