Leadership News

Georgia Leadership Wins Awards at AAFP National Conference


The Georgia Academy recently sent 24 leaders and staff to attend AAFP’s annual leadership conferences, National Chapter Constituency Leaders and Annual Chapter Leadership Forum (NCCL and ACLF), held concurrently in Kansas City.  The GAFP was recognized with three awards from AAFP:

  • Full Delegation to the National Chapter Constituency Leaders Program
  • 100 Percent Membership Participation of all Georgia Family Medicine Residents
  • Highest Percentage of AAFP FAM MEDPAC Contributions by a Large-Sized Chapter

A special congratulations goes to Dr. Chetan Patel, who was elected to serve as the IMG Co-Convener for NCCL 2020 and as the Constituency Alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

The Georgia Chapter also invited the New Mexico and Arizona State Chapters to attend a group dinner for additional leadership discussions.  The Academy thanks the following leaders who attended this meeting:

Omoniyi Adebisi, MD

Susana Alfonso, MD

Mike Busman, MD

Loy “Chip” Cowart, MD – GAFP Board Chair

Ellie Daniels, MD

Loretta Duggan, MD

Donald Fordham, MD – GAFP President

Wanda Gumbs, MD

Casey Heinritz, DO

Beulette Hooks, MD

Catherine James-Peters, MD

Marissa Lapedis, MD

Zita Magloire, MD

Chetan Patel, MD

Leonard Reeves, MD – AAFP Board Member

Jeff Stone, MD – GAFP President – Elect

Angeline Ti, MD

Nkiruka Udejiofor, MD

John Vu, MD


Fay Fulton – Executive Vice President

Angela Flanigan –Chief Operating Office

Felicia Kenan – Director of Education



Legal Advice: Employed Physicians Dealing with Negative Patient Reviews

To:       Georgia Academy Members

From:  GAFP Congress of Delegates Speaker, Carl McCurdy, MD

Congress of Delegates Vice Speaker, Samuel Le Church, MD

As a follow up to one of our Congress of Delegates resolutions passed last year, we are providing education on how to deal with negative patient reviews and dealing with an employer.  The Georgia Academy thanks partner Southern Health Lawyers, for the development of this article.  Rich Sanders is an attorney in Atlanta representing family physicians throughout Georgia. He can be reached at (404) 806-5575 or rsanders@southernhealthlawyers.com.

Limiting the Effect of Negative Patient Reviews on Employed Physicians

In accordance with patient-centered healthcare, patient satisfaction metrics not only affect physician reimbursement levels, but are also a growing component of physician compensation formulas. Further, an employer may use a physician’s low patient satisfaction metrics to initiate adverse actions. Utilization of patient satisfaction metrics raises several concerns. Specifically, patient satisfaction metrics measures are based on patients’ expectations of care as opposed to objective measures of experience. Patient perceptions also may not be correlated with technical quality. Additionally, there may be selection and recall bias in the responses of those patients with very positive or negative experiences that inadvertently skew patient satisfaction metrics. Because patient satisfaction metrics may not accurately quantify a family physician’s skill, technical ability, or clinical outcomes, GAFP requested that we draft the following language that may be incorporated into Academy members’ employment agreements / employee handbooks:

Employer may not take adverse action(s), including reflective penalties, against an Employee that receives negative patient surveys, patient satisfaction benchmarks or online reviews, in the absence of formal procedures comporting within the minimum common law requirements of procedural due process. Employer shall notify an Employee, in writing, of its proposed adverse action(s) within five (5) business days of its decision. Employee notification must include information detailing the proposed adverse action(s), basis for the proposed adverse action(s), and formal procedures available to Employee to appeal the proposed adverse action(s). Formal procedures available to an Employee shall include but are not limited to: (i) review documentation Employer considered prior to proposing the adverse action(s), (ii) request an informal in-person meeting with Employer to appeal and negotiate the matter in good faith, (iii) petition the Employer to correct erroneous information submitted by the Employee or a third-party, and (iv) provide a written explanation, including supporting documentation, to Employer challenging the basis of the proposed adverse action(s). All formal procedures available to an Employee to appeal the proposed adverse action(s) must be received by the Employer within thirty (30) days of the notification.

While this sample language may be modified to fit a particular proposed employment agreement for family physicians, we also recommend that Academy members review their current agreements to determine if similar language is already included. If not, it may be appropriate to look for an opportunity to add it in the future.

Georgia Academy Participates in Insurance Commissioners Stakeholder Meeting

GAFP President-Elect, Jeff Stone, MD pictured with Commissioner of Insurance Jim Beck

GAFP President-Elect – Jeff Stone, MD recently represented the Academy at a health industry stakeholder meeting convened by newly elected Commissioner of Insurance Jim Beck.  Over 50 representatives attended at the DOI headquarters which included the medical community and the largest health insurance companies in the State.

Commissioner Beck stated that his intention was to bring all the players together to see if there could be mutual communication to cut current administrative burdens on clinicians and hospitals.  The following areas were specifically discussed:

  1. Prompt Pay Compliance and Appeals
    • Prior Authorization Practices
    • Appeal Rejections
    • Prompt Pay Abuse
    • Accounts to Serve
    • Location of Service
    • Differences Between Certification and Pre-Pay
  2. Speed of Physician Credentialing
    • Delays in Loading
  3. Directory Updates/Inaccurate Information in Provider Directory
  4. Excessive Medical Record Requests
  5. Pharmacy Clawbacks
  6. Fraud Issues

Dr. Stone led one of the focus groups and staff from the Department took feedback on these topics.  Our intent is to continue to work with the Commissioner and his team and encourage him to vigorously tackle these issues that frustrate us as family physicians, and many times delay or deny care to our patients.

GAFP Nominating committee seeks candidates for 2020 Board of Directors

To:       All Active and Life GAFP Members in All Districts

From:   Donald L. Fordham, MD, FAAFP – Chair, Nominating Committee

Subject: GAFP Nominating committee seeks candidates for 2020 Board of Directors

The Nominating Committee is working to compile a slate of candidates for the 2020 GAFP Board of Directors.  GAFP leadership has a history of excelling at both the state and national levels and far outpaces other physician groups in innovative and new initiatives.

The Congress of Delegates will vote on the slate for the 2020 Board in late summer.  (Residents and Medical Students will hold their own elections in the fall.)

If you are interested in becoming more active in the Georgia Academy, please consider applying.  Your time commitment is 4 meetings a year (typically March, June, August and November) and being available to GAFP leaders, staff, and your district colleagues should issues emerge that require your leadership input and participation.

All Board members receive one free registration per year for either our Summer CME or Annual Meeting as a token of our appreciation for your hard work.

Board members are asked to be the eyes and ears of your community and bring to leadership issues important to family physicians from your hometown.  Please click this link, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TGN2JJ3  and respond by May 13th  if you are interested in applying for the 2020 Board.

Potential vacancies are listed below:


*President-Elect (automatically becomes President in November 2020 and Board Chair in November 2021)

*Secretary (3-year term)

*Vice President (1-year term)

*COD Speaker (1-year term)

COD Vice Speaker (1-year term)

*Member of the Executive Committee and must be available for monthly conference calls and four face-to-face meetings in addition to attending the GAFP Board of Directors meetings.

AAFP Delegates- (must be eligible to attend AAFP Congress of Delegates)

AAFP Delegate (2-year term)

AAFP Alternate Delegate (2-year term)

District Director and Alternate Director Available Positions

Director – District 5 (3-year term) – (Counties: Carroll; Cobb; Douglas; Haralson and Paulding)

Director – District 8 (3-year term) – (Counties: Appling; Atkinson; Bacon; Benn Hill; Berrien; Bleckley; Brantley; Camden; Candler; Charlton; Clinch; Coffee; Cook; Dodge; Echols; Emanuel; Glynn; Irwin; Jeff Davis; Lanier; Laurens; Montgomery; Pierce; Tattnall; Telfair, Toombs, Ware, Wayne and Wheeler)

Alternate Director – District 1 (3-year term) – (Counties: Baldwin; Bryan; Bulloch; Burke; Chatham; Effingham; Evans; Glascock; Greene; Hancock; Jefferson; Jenkins; Johnson; Liberty; Long; McDuffie; McIntosh; Screven; Taliaferro; Warren; Washington and Wilkinson)

Alternate Director – District 2 (3-year term) – (Counties: Baker; Brooks; Calhoun; Clay; Colquitt; Crisp; Decatur; Dooly; Dougherty; Early; Grady; Lee; Lowndes; Miller; Mitchell; Quitman; Randolph; Seminole; Sumter; Terrell; Thomas; Tift; Treutlen; Turner and Worth)

Alternate Director – District 4 (3-year term) – (Counties: DeKalb; Gwinnett; Newton; Rockdale and Walton)

Alternate Director – District 5 (3-year term) – (Counties: Carroll; Cobb; Douglas; Haralson and Paulding)

Alternate Director – District 8 (3-year term) – (Counties: Appling; Atkinson; Bacon; Benn Hill; Berrien; Bleckley; Brantley; Camden; Candler; Charlton; Clinch; Coffee; Cook; Dodge; Echols; Emanuel; Glynn; Irwin; Jeff Davis; Lanier; Laurens; Montgomery; Pierce; Tattnall; Telfair, Toombs, Ware, Wayne and Wheeler)

Alternate Director – District 9 (3-year term) – (Counties: Banks; Cherokee; Dawson; Fannin; Forsyth; Franklin; Gilmer; Habersham; Hall; Hart; Lumpkin; Pickens; Rabun; Stephens; Towns; Union and White)

Alternate Director – District 11 (3-year term) – (Counties: Clayton; Fulton and Henry)

DEADLINE EXTENDED!!! Nominate a Colleague for a GAFP Award


The deadline for the student/resident awards has been extended to Friday, April 26th!  We’d like you to think about honoring a fellow Georgia family physician, or a deserving student or resident in your program. Please help me and the rest of your Georgia family physicians in recognizing exemplary service to the profession of family medicine and contributions to our State, by nominating someone for one of the following awards:

GAFP Awards Deadline EXTENDED
Family Medicine Resident of the Year April 13, 2018   April 26, 2019
Keith Ellis Resident Scholarship April 13, 2018   April 26, 2019
T.A. Sappington Award April 13, 2018   April 26, 2019
Family Medicine Community and Volunteer Services Award May 3, 2019
Georgia Family Physician of The Year May 3, 2019
Family Medicine Educator of The Year May 3, 2019

The Membership Committee will nominate a slate to be approved by the Board of Directors, and presentation of the awards will be held during the 2019 GAFP Annual Meeting in November.

Many noteworthy colleagues may not have been considered for an award because they were not nominated.  To download an electronic copy of the awards nomination package go to https://www.gafp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019-Active-Award-Nomination-Forms-and-Criteria.pdf.  New this year is that the documents are now in a pdf format that you can fill out and email back to GAFP, which makes it easier for the Membership Committee to read your nomination.

The awards nomination package includes the awards and criteria, nomination forms and a list of past winners of each award.

If you have questions, please contact Angela Flanigan at 1-800-392-3841 or aflanigan@gafp.org.


Donald L. Fordham, MD, FAAFP

President, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians