Public Health News

GAFP Seeking Family Physician Who is Exemplary in Supporting Georgia’s Maternal and Child Health Population

The Georgia Academy, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, is seeking nominees for members who have supported Georgia’s mothers and children above and beyond the scope of family medicine.  Last year’s awardee was Zita Magloire, MD of Cairo, Georgia who is a board-certified family physician currently in private group practice at Cairo Medical Care. In addition to practicing both inpatient and outpatient medicine, Dr. Magloire has a special interest in women’s health, and provides full obstetrical services including cesarean sections for her patients.

Our 2018 awardee was Viktoria Nurpeisov, MD of Smyrna, Georgia who is the Medical Director of WellStar Family Medicine Clinic, a service of Kennestone Hospital, a comprehensive outreach clinic for patients, including mothers with unplanned pregnancies, limited resources, and recent immigrants.

We are looking for YOU or a colleague who have gone the extra mile to support healthy moms and children in your community.  Please email Tenesha Wallace (twallace@gafp.org) with the name of your nominee and a few sentences about what makes them unique in their support of healthy moms and children.  The award will be presented at our Summer Family Medicine Weekend meeting in June.  Please send us your nomination no later than April 13th. 

Update to GAFP Members – COVID-19

To:  GAFP Members

From:  Jeff Stone, MD, MHA, MBA, FAAFP – President

During this critical time in our lives, family medicine physicians remain a vital asset to our communities and the state of Georgia.  The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians understand that in this time of uncertainty surrounding mass gatherings and travel, your safety is priority.

Close to Home 

We hope you will join us for our online CME next Wednesday evening, March 18th at 8:00 pm to get up update on AAFP and Georgia COVID-19 resources and how to best utilize telemedicine.  Register here

Our office staff is working from their homes – but they are still available to you by email – or calling the office at 404-321-7445.

AAFP COVID-19 resources (updated on a daily/hourly basis) – Click here

Georgia Department of Public Health Information and Resources – Click here

Upcoming Summer CME Meeting – Sandestin Resort – June 3-6 

We are hopeful that regularly scheduled meetings will be back on track by early summer.  We are in constant communication with the resort property, faculty and our partner (the Georgia Primary Care Association) for the June meeting.

The GAFP has made the decision to offer a full refund for this meeting if it is canceled, rescheduled or moved to a different format.

Currently, the hotel cancellation policy is to refund all required deposits for any cancellations or changes received seven days in advance of your arrival date.

We will continue to update you as we consult with both Georgia and local Florida public health officials and our faculty and will let you know if we need to postpone this meeting or move it to a different format.  We will update members by email as well as on our website – www.gafp.org

Final Thoughts 

I, along with the rest of the leadership and staff at the Georgia Academy and the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance, are here to support you during this pandemic.  Hoping that you and your family and patients are safe.

Sincerely, 

Jeff Stone, MD, MHA, MBA, FAAFP – GAFP President

Seeking Family Physician Who is Exemplary in Supporting Georgia’s Maternal and Child Health Population

The Georgia Academy, in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, is seeking nominees for members who have supported Georgia’s mothers and children above and beyond the scope of family medicine.  Last year’s awardee was Zita Magloire, MD of Cairo, Georgia who is a board-certified family physician currently in private group practice at Cairo Medical Care. In addition to practicing both inpatient and outpatient medicine, Dr. Magloire has a special interest in women’s health, and provides full obstetrical services including cesarean sections for her patients. Our 2018 awardee was Viktoria Nurpeisov, MD of Smyrna, Georgia who is the Medical Director of WellStar Family Medicine Clinic, a service of Kennestone Hospital, a comprehensive outreach clinic for patients, including mothers with unplanned pregnancies, limited resources, and recent immigrants

We are looking for YOU or a colleague who have gone the extra mile to support healthy moms and children in your community.  Please email Tenesha Wallace (twallace@gafp.org) with the name of your nominee and a few sentences about what makes them unique in their support of healthy moms and children.  The award will be presented at our Summer Family Medicine Weekend meeting in June.  Please send us a response no later than April 13th.

Member Feedback Needed: AAFP Chapter Health Equity Survey

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians need your help to improve health equity in your state.

By completing this short survey, (less than 5 minutes) you will help us better understand how to address health inequity in your communities. Our goal is to identify passionate family physicians and other “health equity champions” with whom we can develop an effective health equity plan. This short survey will ask you about you and your work, as well as your interests and expertise related to health equity.

We appreciate your time and look forward to reviewing your response.

For more information contact Kevin Kovach at KKovach@aafp.org or Lauren Vorbeck at  vorbeck@aafp.org.

Role of the Primary Care Physician and Medical Home in the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program

Congenital hearing loss occurs in 1-3 out of 1000 infants in the United States and often found in babies whose parents have normal hearing.  There is well-established evidence that early identification of hearing loss and appropriate early intervention can mitigate the potential for poor language acquisition. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing’s Year 2007 Position Statement: Principles and Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Programs, and their statement entitled, “Newborn and Infant Hearing Loss: Detection and Intervention” supports universal newborn hearing screening and outlines best practices in the timing and methods for follow up hearing screening and participation in early intervention. Early detection of hearing loss facilitates language acquisition and future opportunities for educational success.

Pediatricians and others in pediatric primary care providers play a vital role in mitigating developmental delays in infants and young children who are deaf and hard of hearing.   Those providing a medical home for children can ensure appropriate and timely referrals to providers that can perform evaluations and are knowledgeable about congenital hearing loss.  DPH provides an Early Hearing, Detection, and Intervention (EHDI) coordinator for each county to assist in follow-up services for families of infants who do not pass the initial hearing screening.  You can find your local EHDI Coordinator online at https://sendss.state.ga.us/sendss/!mch.coord_search.

Since its release, the EHDI program adopted the AAP Guidelines for Pediatric Medical Home Providers, available online at https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/120/4/898/tab-figures-data. This algorithm maps the 1 – 3 – 6 follow-up guidelines for newborn hearing screening as shown in Figure 1.   Outlined below are the key components of the physicians’ role in this process:

  1. For all newborns, obtain written results of newborn hearing screening from the birthing facility. Results are available via a web portal through the Georgia Department of Public Health’s State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (SendSS) or eReports. Physicians can register for SendSS and eReports by following these links  https://sendss.state.ga.us/sendss/login.screen; https://ereports.ga.gov/dph/eReports/weblogin.aspx?MsgNum=0&Locale=1033
  2. By one month of age, ensure that all newborns receive a hearing screening. Infants who “refer” on their initial screening, in one or both ears, must receive a follow-up hearing screen.  Infants that pass their initial screening do not need additional testing unless concerns arise.  If the initial hearing screen uses an automated auditory brainstem response (a-ABR) screener, then the same test must be performed during the outpatient, follow-up hearing screen.
  3. By three months of age, infants that refer on their outpatient follow-up screen, send for a diagnostic evaluation. Complete only one outpatient screening, as repeated screenings do not provide enough information to determine appropriate follow-up recommendations.  Repeated screenings delay the identification of hearing loss.  After three months of age, sedation may be required for testing, which can be a deterrent for parents.  EHDI coordinators can assist in locating appropriate providers, as needed.
  4. By six months of age, support referrals to early intervention, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, and genetics, after diagnosis of permanent hearing loss. A suspected or confirmed case of hearing loss in children from birth to age 5 is a notifiable disease and requires a report to the Georgia Department of Public Health.  Therefore, it is important to notify the EHDI program upon confirmation of permanent childhood hearing loss.  Send a copy of the diagnostic report to the EHDI Program or a surveillance form for reporting hearing loss for children five and under, located on the GA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics website.  EHDI Coordinators will work with the child’s physician and family to assist in linking infants with early intervention services.
  5. Otitis media with effusion can lead to permanent hearing loss. Infants and children must be referred to an otolaryngologist and audiologist.
  6. Hearing loss may develop at any age; therefore, it is important to monitor all infants for progressive or late-onset hearing loss. Referral for audiological evaluation is recommended at least once before age 30 months for infants who have risk indicators for late-onset hearing loss, such as family history of permanent childhood hearing loss, neonatal intensive care unit stay of more than five days duration, and parental concern. Included is a list of risk indicators in the attached algorithm.

For more information on the Georgia EHDI Program, please visit https://dph.georgia.gov/EHDI

or call 404-651-5482