The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Nominates Leonard D. Reeves, MD, FAAFP for President Elect
Leonard D. Reeves MD, FAAFP Personal Statement
Part of the beauty of being a family physician is the sheer breadth of our work. We may serve others in a clinic, hospital or nursing home. In a day, we can deliver news of a pregnancy, diabetes or a troubling mammogram. We can be the first voice of preventive care to make sense of the latest health buzzwords. Because whatever we do and wherever we are, our patients believe we are part of their team, their family.
But what about our larger family?
We are one big family as well. Yes, we have different practices, opinions and experiences. But like a family of distinctly different siblings, cousins and maybe a cranky uncle or two, we must respect each other in good times, and pull together as one during harder and frustrating times.
We’ve been through many of those challenging times together. As president of the GAFP, my first task was reuniting a membership splintered by the Affordable Care Act debate. We built consensus and moved forward together within the system we had, while continuously striving to make our profession better.
On the AAFP Board we have been met with the end of the SGR and the beginning of MACRA. We have had to deal with issues ranging from Maintenance of Certification to Healthcare for all. It remains challenging but a task I do not feel ready to relinquish. There is so much more to do to improve our profession and the lives of those who so desperately depend on us.
When I ran for the Board I said “Family is not just who we care for but it is who we are! We have to take care of our family, as there will be many trials to come. The future of family medicine can be bright, but only if we take corrective measures soon and maintain those gains we have realized while continuing to push for more.”
Leonard D. Reeves MD, FAAFP Bio
Reeves, who lives a daily battle with insulin-dependent diabetes, knows how a diagnosis impacts lives. He is uniquely aware of the great risks chronic diseases pose to our nation. As well, he’s also not only been a dispenser and teacher of compassionate care, but he learned by receiving while watching his late wife, Kathryn, lose her battle with illness.
These are the skills he insists put “family” in his family medicine practice.
Medicine wasn’t an obvious career choice when Reeves grew up in rural Georgia. The first in his family to attend college, medical school didn’t seem realistic. Instead, he channeled his talents into successful careers as a broadcaster and public school teacher. Both these areas made him a better listener and problem-solver, as he worked motivating others to reach their potential.
However, it became clear his skills could also improve other’s health. He drove 50 miles each way after teaching to finish pre-med courses. It wasn’t a sacrifice. It was a path. Graduating from Mercer University School of Medicine in 1993, he entered the Family Medicine Residency in Rome, Georgia, where he became chief resident. During that time, he discovered the family of Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and put his communication skills to work as the Board of Director’s resident representative.
After practicing in rural Hawkinsville and returning to Rome, he joined the Family Medicine Residency program where he graduated, again helping others achieve. He was named clinic director, and later founded the new Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia in Rome. Today, this campus is one of a handful of longitudinal integrated programs in the country, dedicated to teaching better care for patients, not simply symptoms and conditions.
Always dedicated to the GAFP, he led the chapter following the divisive Affordable Care Act debates. He then built national coalitions, as a member of the AAFP’s Commission on Continuing Professional Development (COCPD)/Subcommittee on Assembly Scientific Program (SASP). His work as SASP and COCPD chairs resulted in stronger AAFP educational offerings, reducing duplication and increasing coordination.
For the past Three years, he has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “I find listening to others around the table the best approach before taking action,” he says. Making sure all sides have a voice and their viewpoints are considered, have been the hallmark of his time on the board.
“You need to listen to all sides and then look for common ground on which to build consensus. That is not a bad thing, but it is the type of activity we need to pursue in order to help our patients,” he says.
The challenges before us must be addressed. We need to become the respected, honored and trusted source of information for the public and legislators on all matters concerning the nation’s healthcare crisis, and medicine in general. After all we are Family Medicine, and we take care of everyone!
“Because ‘family’ is not just who we care for, but who we are.”
-Leonard Reeves, M.D.
Nomination of Leonard D. Reeves, MD, FAAFP for the office of President-elect
It is with bold excitement that the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians has nominated Leonard D. Reeves, MD, FAAFP as a candidate for the position of President Elect!
Dr. Reeves has a rich background and has served both the Georgia Academy and the American Academy and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was President in 2009-2010 and previously served as chair of the Education and Research Committee. Dr. Reeves was a GAFP voting delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates. He has been a member of the AAFP Board of Directors since 2016.
We are enthusiastic about his ability to have a national platform to expand his leadership and vision of family medicine.
Dr. Reeves believes that the time is now to stand up for Family Medicine, and that…
- All Americans Deserve Healthcare…
- Patient Centeredness is what people want and need…
- Healthcare is a team sport, not an individualized event…
- We need more students choosing Family Medicine…
- We need more physicians in the rural underserved areas…
- We need more Family Physicians…
FAMILY PHYSICIANS ARE THE ANSWER…Family Physicians are the REAL Doctors the nation is looking for!
He says that the future of America’s health depends on taking care of the sick, comforting those in need and preventing disease. Family Medicine does all of these things!
The right thing for family medicine is to stress how essential we are to the nation’s healthcare system.
“We have seen the end of SGR and the beginning of MACRA. Now CMS wants to “simplify” documentation and reduce payments. We must stand up for Family Physicians, and most importantly, we must stand up for our patients who are being priced out of the healthcare market! There are many issues before us and I want to be the one to tackle them for you and your patients!”
He will be the voice of family medicine at the AAFP for all of us!