| Although the presidential election grabs much of the spotlight this year, keep an important AAFP election on your radar as well.
Earlier this year, the Georgia Academy announced the nomination of its own Leonard Reeves, MD, FAAFP as a candidate for the AAFP Board of Directors. With that nomination, the chapter declared that Reeves’ unique background gave him invaluable tools for responding to the changing healthcare atmosphere on the national, state and local levels.
Reeves built solid careers as a radio broadcaster and public school teacher before returning to medical school at the age of 38. These media skills benefit a board position where both internal and external communication is key. Georgia Academy members witnessed this firsthand as Reeves guided the state chapter in the challenging months following passage of the Affordable Care Act.
“Each of us – no matter where or how we practice today – didn’t want to be stuck in a lab or see patients briefly, then never again,” Reeves said in his personal statement recently published by the AAFP. “We want ‘family’ in our title. These things that pull us together, keep other forces from tearing us apart.”
Reeves notes that payment schedules, recertification and training the next generation of family physicians continue to be principal issues for family physicians. Reeves would also like to see family physicians prominent in shaping how the nation deals with the looming crisis of a growing diabetic population. Reeves feels he can uniquely speak on this issue not only a family physician, but also as an insulin-dependent diabetic.
“Lawmakers know the rising number of diabetic patients is a gigantic topic – and an issue eagerly covered by the media,” Reeves said. “It involves public health, coordination of chronic care, economics and, at the essential core, our culture. It’s vital for our patients that family physicians play a leading role determining how healthcare policy will shape diabetes care.”
Reeves also believes changing healthcare delivery systems and expanding healthcare technology require a renewed emphasis on physician-patient connections during training. Reeves founded the new Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia in Rome (Northwest Georgia), which stresses patient relationships through a longitudinal training design.
“Students follow patients for a year to see how healthcare, or the lack of it, impacts a person’s life,” Reeves said describing the program. “I often tell them you can’t follow a pregnant woman to term in six weeks … it takes a little longer.”
We urge you to actively follow this campaign and support Reeves in his efforts to steer national leadership. Please review his campaign materials on the Georgia Academy’s website here: http://bit.ly/GAFPReeves or the American Academy website here: http://www.aafp.org/candidates.html
Elections for the AAFP Board of Directors takes place this year on September 21 in Orlando. Please contact Alesa McArthur (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Georgia Academy if you’re planning on attending the 2016 American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates as we would love to have you as part of Team Georgia (September 19-21).