Archive for the ‘GAFP News’ Category

Survey for Family Physicians on Disabilities Act – Amazon Gift Card for Participants

The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University is doing a study to understand more about Georgia healthcare providers’ knowledge about the Americans With Disabilities Act and caring for patients with disabilities. 

If you are a credentialed primary care clinician (MD, DO, PA, NP, RN, LPN, or other) who works in Georgia, you are eligible to take the survey. The survey will take no more than 15 minutes.  Everyone who completes the survey will receive a $5 gift card via email.

Link to survey:

For additional information, please contact:

Erin Vinoski Thomas, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor
Associate Director, Center for Leadership in Disability
School of Public Health
Georgia State University

2022 Immediate Needs Grants Now Available

Because many GAFP members continue to be aware of those struggling in their communities, applications for the 2022 Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Immediate Needs Community Grants will be accepted as long as funds remain.  Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to GAFP members to address immediate local needs in their communities.  Some examples of these grant needs could be urgent housing, transportation as well as food or prescription assistance for individuals that are in a fragile or dangerous situation.

To date, GHFA has awarded more than $47,000 in Immediate Needs Grants since 2020. The Immediate Needs Grant application and review process have been streamlined to allow GHFA staff to transmit funds within 3-5 days.   

See below for the application – or a downloadable application can be found on the GHFA website at . Contact Kara Sinkule – or call 404-321-7445 with any questions.

Georgia Academy Delegation Shines and Wins National Recognition

At the AAFP Annual Chapter Leadership Forum and the National Conference of Constituency Leaders, the Georgia Chapter was recognized for winning second place for the largest increase in active membership for 2021.

The meetings are held concurrently and were back in person this year after a two-year in-person “pause” because of the pandemic.  These conferences are the AAFP’s leadership development event that empowers a select group of change makers to catalyze positive change in family medicine. ACLF and NCCL bring together chapter leaders from all over the nation to leadership skills and create lasting relationships with other family physician leaders

The Georgia delegation included the following leaders and staff:

  • Susana Alfonso, MD – Chapter President – Atlanta
  • Michael Satchell, MD – Albany
  • John Gerguis, MD – Statesboro
  • Angela Gerguis, MD – Statesboro – (NCCL Representative)
  • Le Church, MD, MPH – Hiawassee
  • Mike Busman, MD – Americus
  • Christina Kelly, MD – Ft. Benning – (NCCL Representative)
  • Monique Davis-Smith, MD – Macon
  • John Vu, MD – Griffin
  • Ali Bohannon – GAFP Manager of Operations and Membership
  • Kamela Boyd – GAFP Director of Communications and Marketing
  • Alesa McArthur – Deputy Executive Vice President
  • Fay Fulton – Executive Vice President


Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity – Join Your Colleagues for Summer Fun and CME

The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians’ 2022 Summer Family Medicine Weekend is approaching rapidly. 

BOOK ONLINE HERE to stay in the brand-new Hotel Effie, or BOOK ONLINE HERE for the Sandestin Resort property to reserve a suite or villa. The hotel deadline is May 15, so be sure to secure your room, suite or villa soon as spaces are filling up.

In addition, we are putting the fun back in this year since we are all in person after two years!  Join us for the family fun event at the marina.  We’ve planned a castle-building contest where you will team up, be coached by a sandcastle master pro, build a masterpiece, and win a championship medal. 

Limited to first 20 families with a maximum of  five family members.

We look forward to seeing you in Destin this June.

Early Bird Registration also ends Sunday, May 15, 2022.  Up to 20 CME credits are pending, for summer meeting only. Meeting registration here on our website at

Sarah Bigorowski Hired as GAFP Director of Education

The Georgia Academy welcomes Sarah Bigorowski as director of education effective April 2022. Sarah will lead planning, development, and implementation of all educational activities and meetings for GAFP. 

Prior to joining GAFP, Sarah served as director of alumni services for Mercer University College of Pharmacy with a focus on improving alumni engagement efforts, managing the alumni association board of directors and planning events and programs to strengthen relationships with the college. She also previously served at the Georgia Pharmacy Association and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and has lived in Georgia since 2009. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family.

Contact Sarah at or (404) 321-7445.

National Research Project on Domestic Violence – Volunteers Needed

Dear American Academy of Family Physicians member:

My name is Courtney Chau and I am a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. I am conducting a research project to examine the actions physicians take in response to disclosure or suspicion of domestic violence in their patients’ relationships. 

This research project will fill a gap in the existing literature by describing how physicians in the United States currently respond to situations in which patients are or may be experiencing domestic violence, setting the stage to determine the best next steps to move forward in trauma-informed care.

I am reaching out to invite you to participate in this research study. I would deeply appreciate it if you would be willing to share your insights in an approximately 60-minute interview. Participation is voluntary and you are welcome to withdraw at any time. No compensation will be provided for participation in this study.

Participation is limited to emergency medicine, plastic surgery, primary care, and obstetrics and/or gynecology physicians who are 30 years old or above.

If you are willing to participate, please fill out this form and I will reach out to you to schedule an interview. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at

Warm regards,

Courtney Chau
Undergraduate Researcher

Dr. Mary Lesser
Principal Investigator

Georgia Healthy Family Alliance Welcomes Alexis Klima as Director of Philanthropy

The Georgia Healthy Family Alliance welcomes Alexis Klima as director of philanthropy effective March 2022. Alexis is a philanthropy and marketing professional with more than 13 years of experience managing and growing programs, as well as increasing exposure, involvement and revenue for organizations. She is skilled at recognizing and motivating potential in others and translating philanthropy, marketing and business ideas into strategic action.

As director of philanthropy, Alexis will support the Your Giving is Great Medicine capital campaign aimed at expanding the reach and funding of the Tar Wars Tobacco and Vaping prevention program statewide, as well as increasing support for Community Health Grants and Immediate Needs Grants in communities where GAFP members live and serve.

Alexis’ most recent philanthropy position was as the development director for the Children’s Home Society of Florida within the Sun Coast (Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater) and Lakeland regions. Within this role, she conducted the full spectrum of donor development – cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and donor recognition. She led fundraising efforts for annual and major gift donors, donor-centered events, committee management, corporate sponsorships, foundation support, media relations and local board development.

Alexis earned a MBA with a specialization in Marketing from Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Georgia College & State University.

Connect with Alexis at or 478-714-3760.

ABFM’s New Alternative to the One-Day Exam Requirement

The Family Medicine Certification Longitudinal Assessment (FMCLA) is the alternative to the one-day examination requirement for Family Medicine Certification. Launched in December 2018 as a pilot to study the feasibility and validity of this approach, FMCLA quickly earned an overwhelmingly positive reputation as the preferred option for most Diplomates and was approved for permanent implementation in April of 2021.

A longitudinal approach like FMCLA promotes enduring learning and retention. This has been endorsed by those who participated, with the predominant feedback being that physicians are learning as they go. Participants have also reported that FMCLA has reduced their stress, eliminated travel, and minimized preparation time as compared to the one-day examination. To date, over 70% of eligible physicians have chosen the FMCLA option, which becomes available for current Diplomates to select in the year prior to when their next examination is due.

As a participating physician, they would complete 25 quarterly questions over three to four years until they complete 300 questions. Clinical references can be used during the exam, and they have five minutes to complete each question. Immediate feedback is provided, and they choose the time and location that’s convenient for them. They will remain certified throughout their participation as long as they meet other ABFM requirements.

To find out more about the FMCLA process, watch the new video on Youtube or access an informational handout on the ABFM website.

Contact Ashley Webb by email with questions.

Mentors Needed for Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute

The Emerging Leader Institute ( (ELI) is seeking family physicians interested in helping shape the future leaders of the specialty. Thirty student and resident scholars are brought together for an innovative immersion into leadership development, focusing on project management and three tracks: Policy & Public Health, Personal & Practice, and Philanthropic & Mission Driven.

An integral component of ELI is mentoring. The mentor serves as a role-model, reflecting the leadership attributes that the program imparts while providing guidance and support in the execution of the leadership project by the mentee. A mentoring facilitator, volunteer ELI faculty, and the AAFP Foundation are available for on-going support and to provide resources for a successful mentorship. ELI mentors are a dedicated group of volunteers and an essential component in the growth of the program participants.

Family physicians at any stage of their career, who are current AAFP members, are encouraged to learn more about this powerful opportunity. The AAFP Foundation is committed to representing the rich diversity of the specialty and the patients served; mentors from all areas and backgrounds are welcome.

Family physicians interested in becoming a mentor for ELI should email Rachael Redler at for more information.

GAFP Thanks Governor Kemp’s Proposed $85 Million to Increase Medicaid Payments

The Georgia Academy took the lead on thanking Governor Kemp for asking the Georgia General Assembly to add $85 million dollars to bring up 112 most commonly used codes for primary care and obstetrical/gynecological services to 2020 Medicare rates.  Governor Kemp also added money and language in the budget to end the issue of attestation where some of Georgia’s primary care physicians have been ineligible to receive a higher payment from early increases.  If passed, this rate would go into effect for the State’s 2022-2023 fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2022.

In a letter signed by all of the physician associations of the Patient Centered Physicians Coalition in Georgia, the letter stated:

Dear Governor Kemp:

Representing over 7,500 family physicians, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, Obstetricians/Gynecologists, and physicians of Osteopathic medicine, we would like to thank you for your proposed State Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget and your inclusion of ending the attestation issue for primary care physicians and increasing specific Medicaid codes to 2020 Medicare rates.

We appreciate your support of the healthcare needs of Georgia families and acknowledging that our groups tend to see the bulk of the most fragile citizens, those that qualify for Medicaid insurance. From infants, pregnant women, to the aged, blind, and disabled, we tirelessly work to provide quality healthcare.

With your proposed budget, it will allow us to continue to treat Medicaid patients. We look forward to supporting your recommendations through the legislative session.

Our appreciation extends to our many patients who depend on support by the State to receive their medical care. Please do not hesitate to contact our organizations, if you or your leadership would like additional discussions on this critical issue.



Susana Ajoy Alfonso, MD, MCHM, FAAFP – Georgia Academy of Family Physicians President

Randy E. Durbin, DO, MSPH – Georgia Osteopathic Medical Association President

Cary Perry, MD – Georgia OB Gyn Society President

Waldon Garriss, III, MD, MS, MBA, MHA, FAAP, MACP – Governor, Georgia- ACP

Hugo Scornik, MD, FAAP – Georgia Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics President