Building Member Community in Challenging Times

by Karlene Ketola, MSA, CAE, Chief Executive Officer
A noted philosopher once shared, “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.” This is applicable today, as the past six months have taught us valuable lessons about the necessity of community. As COVID-19 required us to Stay Home, Stay Safe and now Mask Up Michigan, we’ve come to appreciate the importance of being together—even if it needs to be by phone or video—to maintain social distance.

With sincere appreciation, I thank our Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) board members and Family Medicine Foundation of Michigan trustees for their steadfast leadership in governance, policy, and finances, especially during this new world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you, also, to our committees for continuing their work to support our family medicine community. And, I must say, the MAFP staff team has handled the virtual office transition exceedingly well. I commend them for being nimble and creative as we work through these unprecedented times.

As you know, MAFP is the state’s largest specialty physician association. With more than 4,200 members, MAFP is dedicated to assisting family physicians and their practices as they work to ensure high-quality, cost-effective healthcare for patients of all ages. Our mission is to support family physicians in the state through leadership, collaboration, and innovation to achieve the best patient outcomes. Whether you’re a life member, practicing physician, resident, or student, I hope you consider MAFP as your profession’s community. Here are just six ways that exemplify how MAFP supports you, a valued member
of our family medicine community:
  • Advocates to protect family physicians’ scope of practice—in the recent past, MAFP successfully prevented efforts of advanced practice registered nurses and naturopathic providers to increase their autonomy
  • Advocates for a positive practice environment, which includes investing in primary care and reducing administrative burden that detracts from patient care
  • Works to preserve the physician-patient relationship by opposing legislative interference in the practice of medicine
  • Provides opportunities for relationship-building and mentorship among family physicians and physicians-in-training across the state
  • Hosts virtual professional development events for earning continuing medical education necessary for state licensure, board certification, and Academy membership
  • Increases awareness of the role, expertise, and value of family physicians among legislators, payers, partnering organizations, and families across the state
Our sights are focused on the year ahead and the robust agenda before us. I encourage you to mark your calendar to join your colleagues at the 2021 Michigan Family Medicine Conference & Expo, Aug. 5-8, where we hope to once again convene in person at the Detroit Marriott Troy.

As always, I encourage you to reach out and share your point of view. We are stronger together and learning lessons each day as we continue evolving and innovating through this public health crisis, connecting members, and furthering the mission of your Academy.