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.


2014 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.
William Bina, MD, FAAFP –  Dr. Bina is Dean of the Mercer Medical School and although heavily burdened with administrative duties, he still provides ongoing clinical care and support for the medical program.  His credentials as a Master of Public Health-International Health and a naval officer, ultimately retiring as Captain, demonstrate the wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge that he brings to the community.  Dr. Bina is also a past president of the GAFP.
Family Medicine Educator of the Year
Awarded to a member dedicated to teaching, mentoring and educating to help advance the specialty of family medicine.
Emily Herndon, MD  –   Board certified since 1992, Dr. Herndon is an extremely compassionate physician who excels at bedside teaching with learners of all skill levels.  Regarding her teaching style, one of her students sums it up: Once the “patient” visit ends, Dr. Herndon helps the students work through the patient plan, thoroughly explaining why she has chosen to prescribe certain treatments.  After leaving clinic, students invariably express more excitement to study classroom material.  Even when we are in the midst of a hectic exam week, going to clinic with Dr. Herndon motivates students to try harder.  Dr. Herndon is currently the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, Emory University.
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.
David Westfall, MD, MPH -  Instrumental in starting the Good News Clinics, now the largest free clinic in GA, Dr. Westfall has continuously provided volunteer services there for Hall County patients without insurance or other options for medical care.  He was involved in the start-up of Elachee Nature Science Center in 1978 and has continued to volunteer, including service on the Board and Advisory Board.  Dr. Westfall also has served on multiple non-profit boards and received several awards recognizing his volunteer work and exceptional contributions to the community. Dr. Westfall is a long time member of the GAFP Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Public Health Committee.
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.
Patrick J. Lynn, MD  - Dr. Lynn is a natural born leader whose leadership abilities continue to develop and grow in his residency training, says Dr. Don Diego.  Chosen as the next Chief Resident, his leadership style is very unassuming and consensus based with his classmates looking to him for advice and representation.  His honors and awards are impressive, including two Distinguished Service Awards from the University of Florida.  Dr. Lynn also serves on GAFP’s Board of Directors as a Resident Board Member and also is active on the Membership Committee.
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.
Jennifer Burkmar, MD, MBA – Dr. Burkmar, a current Co-Chief Resident of the Emory Family Medicine Residency Program, is an outstanding resident demonstrating exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills as well as a strong desire to become involved in organizations which are meaningful to her and her patients. Among her many activities and accomplishments is her work with the GAFP.  Dr. Burkmar is a member of the Student and Resident Recruitment Committee, a trustee on the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Board and a member of the Emory University Transitions of Care Task Force.   She attended the American Academy of Pediatrics Leadership Advocacy Training for Protecting Children and Families from Tobacco in 2013 and, recently, the Chief Resident Summit on Diabetes sponsored by the Primary Care Education Consortium.
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: 1st place:   Self-Reported Factors Affecting Medication Compliance – Cameron Baxter, Ethan McBrayer, and Morgan Smith (Pathway to Medical School Students)

Tie 2nd place: Factors Associated with Patient Perception of Quality of Primary Care – Kendra Hogan, Chijioke Ohamadike, and Stephen Yarbrough (Pathway to Medical School Students)

Tie 2nd place: Perceived Risk of Lung Cancer and Willingness of Patients Who Smoke Tobacco to Receive Lung Cancer Screening with Low-Dose CT Scan – Jennifer Ahweyevu, Leah Ellis, Rob Land, and Lindsey Wells (Pathway to Medical School Students)

Medical Student Category:

1st place:  Combined abuse of clonidine and amitriptyline in a patient on buprenorphine maintenance treatment – Erika Sigman, Trent Dittmer (Medical Center of Central Georgia/Navicent Health and Mercer University School of Medicine)

2nd place: Improving the Hepatitis B Birth Dose Rate at UNC Hospitals - Susan Piggott, MPH (Emory School of Medicine; University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Care & Prevention Program)

Resident Category:

1st place:  POEMS Syndrome: A Case Report of a Rare Disease and Difficult Diagnosis – P.J. Lynn, MD; Natalie Nekouian, DO (Floyd Family Medicine Residency Program)

2nd place: Smart-7 Study: A Pilot Study to Evaluate a Patient Self-monitoring Intervention to Improve Cardiovascular Health – Ambar Kulshreshtha, MD (Emory University School of Medicine)

3rd place:  Neuromyelitis Optica – Early neurologic symptoms with absence of ocular manifestations – Venkat S.
Manubolu, M.D (Emory University School of Medicine)

Practicing Physician Category

1st place:  High Risk For Obstructive Sleep Apnea But Negative Sleep Study: What is the possible diagnosis? Khaldoon Al-Moosawi, MD, MPH (Atlanta Medical Center)

2nd place: A Brief Educational Intervention to Improve Staff Management of Disruptive Behaviors in the Nursing Home – Nikki Lorene Rodriguez, MD (Emory University School of Medicine)

3rd place:  Can Cola Soda Be Used as a Gargle for Sore Throat? – Marc Berger, M.D (Blue Ridge Integrative Health Care)