2015 Annual Scientific Assembly

Mitzi Rubin, MD, FAAFP – Marietta Family Physician Inducted as 2016 President

Drs Blair and RubnDr. Mitzi Rubin (left) and AAFP Representative Dr. Mott Blair (right)

Mitzi Rubin, MD, FAAFP was sworn in as the Georgia Academy’s president during the President’s Gala held in conjunction with the Annual Scientific Assembly in early November.  Dr. Rubin is in practice with the WellStar Medical Group Family and Internal Medicine/Pediatrics in Marietta.  Dr. Rubin is a proud Georgia Bulldog having completed her BS from the University of Georgia.  She graduated from Chicago Medical School and completed her family medicine residency from Emory University.

President Rubin challenged her GAFP colleagues to continue to remember to care for themselves as much as family physicians care for their patients.  She stated during her inaugural address (in part):

I am here today because of hard work and diligence. I grew up in a medical family. Dad is a gastroenterologist and mom a nurse. Medicine, for me was a part of life, spending time at the doctors lounge, working in my parents office.  After, I joined a practice in Kennesaw- along with Dr Catherine Andrews- we had a Patient Centered medical home before there was a “name for it”- She was my mentor. I am grateful for her asking me to “get involved in the Academy.”  Remember, you don’t ask to be a mentor but by leadership you are a mentor.

We have said again and again that there has never been a better time to be a family physician- and I believe this is still true. We are the only specialty that cares for the whole patient, from birth to death, treating over 90 % of all illness if not more.   We are not just their doctor- we are part of their families- they trust us with information that they wouldn’t tell anyone else, their greatest fears, weaknesses, pains, their joys.  We have been at every milestone from baby namings to funerals.  We take care of multiple generations within a family. 

I LOVE what I do, just as many of you do.  This week alone I was reminded of why I love what I do.  I welcomed in the next generation, newborn baby girl (I see 4 generations of that family) and unfortunately attended a funeral Thursday morning of a patient of whom I see 3 generations of his family.

Some of you may have heard that the AAFP has an initiative “Family Medicine for America’s Heath- Health is Primary.”  This is a chance for us to tell our story.  I highly recommend that you go to the website and sign up for their updates – http://fmahealth.org/

What concerns me is what is not often talked about is our health- your health as a family physician! Our health, both physical and mental needs to be primary as well.  If we are not doing well, then we can’t take care of our patients, families, communities.  More and more physicians suffer from depression and are not necessarily seeking treatment.  I argue that we love caring for our patients, we love what we do, but it is the external forces on medicine that bring the added stress, depression and dissatisfaction with the current state of healthcare.

I urge all of you to take the time to disconnect to reconnect- find your passion, what brings you happiness, remind yourself why you do what you do.

The 2015 Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Second Annual Draw Down Fundraiser Raises More Than $16,000 for the Community Health Grant Program and Tar Wars!

Dr. Rolf Meinhold (left) and Dr. George Shannon (right)

Congratulations to the 2015 Second Annual Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Draw Down winners: Dr. George Shannon, Dr. Rolf Meinhold and Dr. Jessica Malmad who agreed to split the $10,000 Draw Down grand prize three ways during a fun-filled GAFP Scientific Assembly Welcome Reception November 6th at the Buckhead Westin in Atlanta. Each of the winners will receive $3,333. Dr. Shannon donated his portion of the winnings to support the 2016 George Shannon Leadership Lecture Series and Dr. Meinhold donated $1,000 of his winnings back to the Alliance.  Five other lucky ticket holders received valuable door prizes including a Coach bag donated by Affinity Bank and gift certificates to the Hilton Head Omni Hotel,Callaway Gardens and the Lake Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge.

The Alliance Board of Trustees would like to thank our presenting sponsor Brian Bibb with  CircleLink Health as well as our silver sponsors Affinity Bank, Georgia Hospital Association, Graymont Associatesand Med Mal Direct without whom the $10,000 Draw Down would not have been possible!

2015 Legacy Club Members Honored For their Generous Support of the Alliance at 9th Annual Legacy Dinner

The 2015 Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) Legacy Club Members were recognized during the 9th Annual Legacy Club Dinner held following the GAFP Scientific Assembly Welcome Reception November 6, 2015 at The Palm Restaurant inside the Buckhead Westin. During dinner Georgia Academy of Family Physicians President Dr. Wayne Hoffman presented a President’s Award to Dr. John Kludt for his many years of service to the GAFP and the GHFA Boards. AAFP Board Member Dr. Mott Blair joined the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Board Members in attendance to convey their appreciation to the 2015 Legacy Club members and their families who donated $1,000 or more to the Alliance this year.


Dr. John Kludt (left) accepting his award from Dr. Wayne Hoffman (right).

2015 Legacy Club members are:

Legacy Club Level ($1,000-2,499)

  • Dr. Bruce and Sheila LeClair
  • Dr. Lanny and Mica Copeland
  • Dr. Loy and Elizabeth Cowart
  • Dr. Denise Crawley
  • Dr. Wayne Hoffman and Tom Torrey
  • Dr. Beulette Hooks
  • Dr. Kevin Johnson                            
  • Dr. John and Denice Kludt
  • Dr. Patrick J. Lynn
  • Dr. Adrienne Mims
  • Dr. Thomas J. Miller
  • Drs. Brian and Marnie Nadolne
  • Dr. Mitzi and Jeremy Rubin
  • Dr. Harry and Karen Strothers
  • Dr. George and Barbara Shannon

The Legacy Club is a special membership of the Alliance consisting of family physicians who contribute $1,000 or more to our programs – all of which is fully tax-deductible. As a Legacy Club member, you will receive acknowledgment in the GAFP and GHFA newsletters, special recognition at the Annual Assembly and an invitation to our exclusive event during the November Annual Meeting. Payments can be made in monthly installments starting at just $83. For more information on the Legacy Club contact ksinkule@gafp.org  or call (404) 321-7445.

2015 Annual Scientific Assembly Deemed a Huge Success by Attendees

November 5-8, 2015 marked the GAFP’s 67th Annual Scientific Assembly and Exhibition in Atlanta, Georgia.  Hosting more than 500 family physicians and other health care professionals at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta Hotel, the GAFP offered a myriad of CME and exhibits to attendees while offering many opportunities to network with colleagues.

With a wide variety of clinical lectures attendees were able to attain up to 29.75 AAFP prescribed credits on a wide variety of topics pertinent to the broad range of practice needs of our members.

This year, the GAFP offered a pre-conference workshop on PCMH best practices for clinical teams from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina who have achieved NCQA recognition as a patient centered medical home.  The teams came together and shared tools and tips for sustaining transformation.  Additionally, PCMH University graduates presented tools they have developed to maintain their medical home and enhance patient care, and participants heard from local and national experts about changes on the horizon and how it will impact the medical home.

Again this year, we offered four Self-Assessment Modules to attendees in an effort to fulfill the Maintenance of Certification, Part II – Self-Assessment and Lifelong Learning.  More than 65 attendees successfully completed the Maternity Care, Pain Management, Health Behaviors, and Care of the Vulnerable Elderly modules.  In addition to the SAMs workshops, we also offered a workshop on using disease registries and care protocols to improve patient care in diabetes and hypertension, which educated participants on how to successfully use hypertension protocols; offered information on the considerations when developing and implementing a registry; and offered tools on how to successfully use a diabetes registry in their practice.

Last year, the Department of Transportation implemented changes to the Medical Examiner requirements.  The GAFP took another opportunity to offer a DOT Training Course to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other clinical staff involved in the examination process.  More than 20 people received updates on the new medical examiner requirements and tips on taking the test.  They walked away ready to conquer the new exam requirements and armed with the knowledge needed to successfully pass the DOT test.

Throughout the Annual Meeting, attendees had the opportunity to win several prizes by simply interacting with our Industry Partners when visiting the Exhibit Hall.  Of particular note this year were the PAC and the Annual Georgia Alliance for Healthy Families Raffles.  The GAFP PAC gave away complimentary Smart Phone Chargers if you made a nominal donation to the PAC.   The big raffle drawing at the PAC booth was the 3M Littman Electronic Stethoscope with Bluetooth Technology.  Dr. Eugene Jackson walked away with this great prize, valued at $350!

The most buzzed-about activity in the Exhibit Hall was the Alliance’s $10,000 Draw Down Raffle.  The goal of the raffle was to be one of the last numbers called by the Master of Ceremony.  With $10,000 on the line the competition was fierce!  Ultimately the last three players on the board decided to split the jackpot.  Congratulations to Dr. George Shannon; Dr. Rolf Meinhold; and Dr. Jessica Malmad.

Thanks to everyone who donated to the GAFP PAC and all who purchased Draw Down Raffle tickets!

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

Was a very good experience. I appreciate very much your efforts.

Enjoyed the meeting

Great conference overall! A weekend well spent!

All of the sessions were very good!

Really enjoyed the Women’s Health Forum. One of the best group of lectures at the conference


The meeting’s success was based on the hard work, volunteer time, and efforts of the Education and Research Committee, and the 2015 Annual Meeting Working Group.

The 2015 Education and Research Committee members were:

Susana Alfonso, MD (Chair)

Gurinder Doad, MD (Vice Chair)

Karla Booker, MD

Mike Busman, MD

Angelina Cain, MD

Audra Ford, MD

Wanda Gumbs, MD

Jason Hatcher, MD

Ken Howard, MD

Linu Joseph, MD

Yuan-Xiang Meng, MD

Oguchi Nwosu, MD

Wilhelmina Prinssen, MD

Harry Strothers, MD

Clark Gillett, MD


The Annual Meeting Working Group consisted of:

Daisy Anyakudo, MD

Carl McCurdy, MD

Yuan-Xiang Meng, MD

Adrienne Mims, MD

Sylveria Olatidoye, MD

Chetan Patel, MD


We would like to thank all of our attendees for their continued support of GAFP educational activities as we strive to offer quality CME to our members and guests.

Mark your calendars now for the 2016 Summer Family Medicine Weekend, which is scheduled June 9-12, 2016 at the Omni Hilton Head Hotel in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Additional meeting information will be available in early 2016.

GAFP Annual Research Poster Competition Winners Announced at the GAFP Meeting November 7th in Atlanta

The GAFP Annual Research Poster Competition was held during the GAFP Annual Meeting and Scientific Assembly November 5-8, 2015 in Atlanta. Posters were displayed in the GAFP registration area of the Westin Buckhead Atlanta Hotel for all attendees to view, and were evaluated by Dr. Monica Parker, Dr. Sylveria Olatidoye, and AAFP Representative Dr. Mott Blair.  Residents and Pre- Med students from throughout the state participated in the competition. Results were as follows:

Pre-Med Category Winner:

1st Place – Perceived Risk of Breast Cancer and Important Reasons Affecting Mammogram History

Authors: Emily Graf, Brian Jordan, and Brooks Anne Mitchell

Advisor/Coordinator: Melissa Brown, Pathway to Medical School


Among women, breast cancer leads all other cancers, and is the second leading cause of cancer death. Ninety percent of breast cancer cases can be treated into remission, however, only if the tumor is discovered early, at stage 1. Women fifty years of age and over who receive yearly mammograms can reduce mortality rates by as much as forty percent. With these statistics in mind, the study was designed to determine patient perception of breast cancer risk and how it affects regular mammography screenings among women in southwest Georgia. A survey of 100 female patients between the ages of 40-74 was conducted at five primary healthcare clinics within the Phoebe and Albany Area Health Care Systems, and evaluated patient willingness to be screened for breast cancer and their attitudes and beliefs about breast cancer screening. The most common reason women answered as to why they had not had a mammogram in the last two years was they had just not gotten around to it. It is possible the women did not know the importance of mammogram screening or know about their risk. Of the various clinics used for data collection, 13% of women surveyed had never received a mammogram. Of this 13%, 77% said they would be more likely to have a mammogram if they could receive it locally. The knowledge obtained will help determine how receptive patients in this region are to mammograms and the extent of awareness and education that is still needed.


Resident Category Winner
1st Place – Healthcare Provider Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Acceptability in African American and Hispanic Adolescent Males and Their Caregivers

Author: Nicolle Martin, MD, MPH

Advisors/Coordinators/Contributors: Trudye Young, MD; Venice Haynes, MSPH; Sunny Onyeabor, MD; Katrina Brantley, MPH; and LeRoy Reese, PhD


African Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately affected by HPV-related diseases. The HPV vaccine prevents genital warts, cervical and anogenital cancers. Previous research has demonstrated that health care providers’ recommendations greatly influence HPV vaccine acceptability and uptake; however, barriers to uptake identified by providers are not well understood or considered in uptake efforts.

This study assesses healthcare providers’ perspectives regarding the identification of barriers to vaccine acceptability for low-income minority adolescent males and identifies provider practices for overcoming these challenges.

Four focus groups of health care providers (n=29) serving low-income adolescent African American and Hispanic males were conducted.  The focus group protocol was based on the Health Belief Model to assess factors that may influence providers’ beliefs about potential barriers to vaccine acceptability.

Preliminary data analysis of provider focus groups suggests that adolescent African American and Hispanic males are willing to receive the HPV vaccine after healthcare provider counseling. Preliminary data also demonstrate that African American caregivers are less likely to provide consent for HPV vaccination, while Hispanic caregivers are more likely to provide consent for HPV vaccination after provider counseling.

Provider observations reflect comparable research in that the target populations demonstrate limited knowledge regarding HPV, the HPV vaccine, and HPV related diseases, which all serve as obstacles to vaccine acceptability.  Study results will be used to identify provider practices that can be used to develop interventions to improve HPV vaccine acceptability in these male populations.

In addition, we would like to recognize the participants who placed 2nd and 3rd in each category.

Pre-Med Student Category

2nd Place – Primary Care Physicians and Providing Sexual Counseling to African Americans Age >= 65

Authors: Tameka Lawrence

Advisor(s)/Coordinator(s): Foloshade Omole, MD; Gregory Strayhorn, MD; and Ashley Davis – Morehouse School of Medicine

3rd Place – Factors Influencing Appointment Compliance in Southwest Georgia Clinics

Authors: Russ Hopper, Sachin Kothari, Taylor Schwarzkopf, and Cole Wilkes

Advisor/Coordinator: Melissa Brown, Pathway to Medical School

Resident Category

2nd Place – The First Care of HIV/AIDS Associated with Pulmonary Embolism in Southwest Georgia

Author: Nazia Moiz, MD

Advisor(s)/Coordinator(s): Emantavius Williams, MD; Gurinder J S Doad, MD, PhD

3rd Place – Extracranial Aneurysm Secondary to Cocaine Abuse Presenting with Horner’s Syndrome

Authors: Naheed Lakhani, MD; Tony Bullon, MD; Priya Gulati, MD; and Sanjay Manubolu, MD

Advisor(s)/Coordinator(s): Teresa Beck, MD

Congratulations to the GAFP 2015 Research Poster Winners!  We wish them continued success in their research efforts!