A Message—and a Thank You—from MAFP President

March 25, 2020

Friends and colleagues, thank you.

Our state, our nation, and indeed, the world are in the midst of a public health crisis brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this crisis, your work, your expertise, your training, and your care are making the difference between life and death for your patients.

With headlines and news channels prognosticating all scenarios, your offices have seen an uptick of calls and potential visits from sick, worried patients and family members. The same patients with whom we have had ongoing relationships are now concerned about COVID-19. As we continue to manage their new illness, we are also in the forefront of managing their chronic medical problems, which might have exacerbated, while providing compassionate care to all. With alternative forms of care delivery—including virtual care and telephone visits—we are able to care for many of these patients who are most vulnerable.

Michigan’s family physicians—each of you—are truly serving on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Michiganders are waking up and appreciating in new ways the work you do each day. They’re watching you on the news, they’re listening to your advice, and they’re counting on your expertise.

Our state couldn’t be in better hands.

There is comfort—and tangible benefit—in knowing that Michigan’s family physicians are all in this together. The work we do each day with our own patients won’t just improve their health and their family’s outcomes, it will also have a profound effect on their friends and neighbors. Limiting the spread of COVID-19 and even the seasonal flu means keeping our colleagues’ patients and their families healthier, too.

That’s why Michigan Academy of Family Physicians exists, and it’s why we’re standing with you—standing together—today, as we did yesterday and we will tomorrow.  
 

MAFP IS WORKING WITH YOU TO BATTLE COVID-19

MAFP is also on the frontline of the state’s battle against the novel coronavirus. We hope and trust you’ll find your Academy’s work to be a meaningful daily resource for you and your practice. To that end:

  • Because we know you are busy caring for patients, MAFP is updating, in real-time, our COVID-19 webpage—a “one stop” compilation of resources from state and national experts like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, American Academy of Family Physicians, and more. You can access the latest data, strategies, and professional guidance online day or night at mafp.com.
     
  • MAFP has launched a member-exclusive online COVID-19 discussion portal to facilitate peer-to-peer discussions among members. Michigan’s family physicians are an incredible and talented community. Working together, we can make a bigger difference and faster. Because we take our members’ privacy very seriously, we ask that you sign up to join this discussion portal (AAFP ID required), after which you will receive an access link via email.
     
  • The student representative on the MAFP Board of Directors, Shelby Owens, has prepared a video message we are sharing with student members. Coming soon is a video message to residents from the resident representative on the Board, Dr. Julie Thai. If you work with residents and students, please make sure they see these videos on MAFP's YouTube channel so they know their Academy supports them and they are aware of resources available to them. We will also post these on MAFP's social media channels and kindly ask that you share our posts.
     
  • MAFP has launched a WhatsApp group chat as a platform where family medicine residents can share with each other their anxieties, wins, losses, and even jokes to keep each other smiling. We know that community is so important during times like these! Again, residents are asked to sign up (resident member log in required) so we can protect members' privacy.
     
  • To help you better focus on the crisis at hand without falling behind on other obligations, MAFP has suspended all current Academy events, meetings, and Member Mixers. Updated information will be posted at mafp.com/events. Check out the Physician Education tab on MAFP's COVID-19 webpage for coronavirus-specific online education / CME opportunities, such as AAFP's COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall, taking place every Wednesday evening at 8 pm ET.
     
  • Your Academy is advocating on your behalf to press Congress to take action to ensure family physicians have the equipment, supplies, and financial resources needed to be successful in responding to COVID-19. We need your voice! Please click here to contact your members of Congress to ask them to support family physicians (you may choose to edit the pre-written).
     

LET US KNOW HOW ELSE WE CAN HELP

This is your Academy. Staff is working remotely during and outside of business hours to support the critical work you are doing on behalf of your patients.

Our goal is to be a help and a resource. If there is any way—big or small—that your Academy can support your work during these critical days, please reach out to MAFP at any time, at 517.347.0098 or info@mafp.com with your requests, ideas, suggestions, and/or stories from the frontline.

These are days of crisis. We will carry Michigan through them. Together.

Sincerely,
Keerthy Krishnamani, MD, MBA
MAFP President