Executive Director’s Message
November 4, 2021 – I have had the opportunity to attend and participate in a number of association leadership webinars, conferences, meetings and discussions. At the forefront of every meeting is: “How do we engage our member and how do we get them involved”. This is the same question we as your Family Medicine chapter have been asking for years. As you might expect, there are no easy answers.
Over the past 20 years I have seen how dedicated and driven family physicians are to the spirit and practice of family medicine. I have also witnessed unbelievable commitment and enthusiasm for positions taken by MDAFP over the years. But I have also witnessed something else: Being a family physician is hard. It involves constant stress and time. It involves putting patients above everything else and it is tough balancing work, family and a professional association.
I have had the absolute pleasure to talk and interact with many of you and I leave overwhelmed by your commitment and drive. But I also understand the struggles on priorities and I am so appreciative of your commitment to the Maryland Academy.
The purpose of this article is twofold: First – Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you do for Maryland and your patients. Secondly, thank you for being a member of MDAFP. Thank you for whatever engagement you have been able to undertake. We have a lot going on legislatively, scope of practice, health equity and work force right now. Secondly, we need you. If you see something in our communications and dialog that motivates and triggers a need to get involved – please – let me know. I and the MDAFP leaders will work with you to get you involved at an acceptable level of engagement for you.
We have a lot going on and we need you – our member – to simply read our correspondence or to become actively involved with a committee or work group. So, if something the academy is engaged in stirs a little something inside you, please reach out to a leader, me or a staff member. We will welcome your engagement. We will be respectful of your time and we will together keep family medicine in Maryland a priority and a success.
Reach me at:
July 15, 2021 – As today’s members of MDAFP, we recognize you are seeking more than just knowledge, training and community. You want individualized needs and preferences met, too. We need you to voice those needs, wants and preferences so that we can provide you with a high value, quality membership experience. We need your voice to make sure we provide you with relevant benefits and services and also represent you well at the Maryland State House. We need to hear how you prefer to be communicated with and how to engage you.
As family physicians, you have the flexibility to choose from a large variety of practice options – different scope of your practice, academic positions, administrative roles, non-traditional settings such as DPC, full or part-time, and a large variety of specialty areas of focus in Family Medicine. As a result, we need your engagement and voice to make sure we are taking care of your wide range of needs and provide value. One way to do so is to complete the annual membership survey. This is a good way in which we collect important feedback from you and make improvements to your Academy. We genuinely care about your thoughts and happiness! Your board will be holding a very important meeting later this year when President-Elect Dr. Shana Ntiri leads the board in a strategic planning session. We will be using this session to determine what is crucial to serving you, our members, and by extension represent the profession of Family Medicine. It also provides a means of quantifying and measuring organizational and programmatic success. Not only will a strategic plan be developed to determine our focus for the next 3 years, we’ll be looking further out into the future (10-20 years) to help ensure the overall financial health and growth of the MDAFP. The long-range plan is important because it sets the process by which the strategic plan will be achieved – aligning our long-term goals and developing appropriate action plans. The annual membership survey will be out in the Fall. Watch for it in your email inboxes along with reminders in upcoming issues of the Capsule.
Another way to be involved and influence the activities of your Academy is to join a committee or workgroup or nominate yourself or someone you know to serve on the board of directors. You can join a committee anytime and board nominations open up next month. We’re looking for members with demonstrated leadership commitment and experience, positive leadership attributes, emotional intelligence, ability to work collaboratively and engage in appropriate debate and discussion. Additional qualities of a board member are visionary and strategic thinker, in order to incorporate strategy, leadership, future focus and entrepreneur spirit. Does this fit your skills and interests, or does it make you think of a family physician colleague? We hope you apply or nominate a colleague to serve.
Advocacy is also another important way your voice can be heard and contribute to make the collective voice of Family Medicine stronger in Maryland! Share personal testimony by participating in MDAFP’s annual Family Medicine Advocacy Day. Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Volunteer to become a part of the Key Contact Program or connect with your legislator on issues affecting Family Physicians utilizing AAFP’s Speak Out tool which can be used for state issues as well as federal. With the help of our highly effective and well-connected lobbying firm, led by Steve Wise, we have a strong presence at the State House and with your added influence provided through your engagement and personal stories, our Academy impressively advocates in the legislative arena.
Lastly, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here for you! You also have a strong team of association industry experts to support you and help MDAFP achieve its mission and vision. Our goal is to provide value and benefit to meet your unique needs and the diverse practice types and special interest of all members. We need you to take a partnership approach to maintain value for you and your specialty.
MDAFP Executive Director
Thursday, May 6, 2021 – Last week, your chapter officers and I just attended AAFP’s Annual Chapter Leadership Conference (ACLF) – this conference is a time to focus on and find new ways to address the issues that affect the members of your chapter and state, by engaging in important dialogue. ACLF draws more than 200 attendees each year and features targeted breakout sessions on chapter governance, advocacy, communications, meetings, and leadership. Many thanks to President Jocelyn Hines, MD; President-Elect Shana Ntiri, MD; Vice President Ariel Warden-Jarret, MD; Treasurer Amar Duggirala, DO for their dedication to serving as leaders of our chapter and taking the time to attend this conference.
We also sent a full delegation to the National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL). NCCL AAFP’s leadership development event that empowers a select group of change makers to catalyze positive change in family medicine. NCCL will inspire you to build on your leadership skills and create a lasting impact for current and future generations of family physicians. Our 2021 Special Constituency Leaders were:
Adora Nwosu Otiji, MD, FAAFP
Kelly Ryan, DO, FAAFP
Ariana Martin, DO
Kisha Davis, MD, MPH, FAAFP
Novella Papino, MD, FAAFP
Mozella Williams, MD, FAAFP
Resolutions were vetted at NCCL and Dr. Davis authored and presented her resolution, “Increasing Diversity on the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Board of Directors through the National Conference of Constituency Leaders”.
Watch for next month’s Capsule which will feature takeaways and reports from your representatives from both conferences. Please be sure to read about the take-aways your officers and delegation brought back as well as the issues and resolutions your constituency delegation worked on.
Becky Wimmer, Executive Director
Important Message from MDAFP President & Executive Director (January 8, 2021)
Our Dear Members and Allies,
As we draw to the end of this week, entirely aware of the indelible mark it has made in the history of our country and on the precious lives that reside therein, we reach out to you with words of support and comfort, for we have survived an attempted insurrection of our democracy during a time at our lowest collective physical, emotional, and mental health. Most of us are coming out of shock, having a mixture of emotions that are hard to reconcile and name.
To our MDAFP members who live or work in and around D.C, the images most of us witnessed through our screens may be especially vivid to you, your secure and healing spaces tainted with the stench of violence and fear. We extend care and solidarity to you.
In ten days our nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, to both honor the remarkable man and the promise of peace that comes with open discourse, humility, honestly, accountability, and reconciliation. May it be so in our time and for our future generations.
The leadership and staff of the MDAFP stand for respect and dignity to all persons and believe that the collective and powerful impact of Family Physicians can change our society for good. Thank you for continuing to join us in this good work.
In utmost sincerity,
Mozella Williams, MD MBA FAAFP Becky Wimmer
President Executive Director