Michigan Represented by Full Delegation at National Leadership Conference


A full delegation represented MAFP at the American Academy of Family Physicians’ 2018 National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL), April 26-28, in Kansas City, Missouri. This annual event convenes Family Physicians from across the country to share perspectives and concerns on behalf of minority, international medical graduate, women, LGBT and new physicians, and help shape Academy policy.

“NCCL was an incredible experience for me. As a first-time attendee, I gained valuable leadership experience that will help me grow as a Family Physician. Having the opportunity to learn and share ideas with young Family Physicians was truly inspiring. The future of our profession is bright, and NCCL is an excellent conference for future leaders of our specialty," said Brandon Karmo, DO (Southfield), Michigan's 2018 delegate to the new physicians constituency.

He and his fellow 2018 Michigan delegates—Harshini Jayasuriya, MD (Holt), minority physicians constituency delegate; Libby Pionk, DO (Bay City), LGBT physicians constituency delegate; Srikar Reddy, MD, FAAFP (Novi), international medical graduate constituency delegate; and Jessica Heselschwerdt, MD (Okemos), women physicians constituency delegate—wrote resolutions and delivered testimony aimed at bringing about change. Click here for an AAFP summary of issues discussed and debated.

Also attending from Michigan were Tina Tanner, MD, FAAFP (Montague) and Kristi VanDerKolk, MD (Kalamazoo), who were elected during the 2017 NCCL to serve as co-conveners of their respective constituencies, women physicians and LGBT physicians, respectively. Dr. Tanner was then appointed by the 2018 NCCL Convener, Shani Muhammad, MD (San Ramon, CA), to chair the Health of the Public & Science Reference Committee at this year's NCCL. This committee heard testimony on resolutions addressing the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, as well as sexual education and sexual harassment.

MAFP's women physicians constituency delegate, Dr. Heselschwerdt, was among the co-authors of a resolution that calls on, among other things, expanding AAFP's policy on violence, harassment, and bullying to include information about the negative impact of sexual harassment of Family Physicians and medical trainees. It also proposes that the Academy provide resources on its website for physicians who are dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace, and to include sessions on the topic during Family Medicine Experience and the National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.

"The AAFP isn't going to stop sexual harassment, but it needs to be a resource for our traineesresidents and medical students—as well as for our physicians in providing them resources education, and avenues, to deal with this problem," said Dr. Heselschwerdt.

During NCCL, Dr. Hershey was elected by her peers to serve as as member constituency alternate delegate to the AAFP Congress of Delegates and will attend this year’s meeting of the Congress in New Orleans, October 8-10. She was also elected to serve as co-convener of the minority physicians constituency at the 2019 NCCL, April 25-27 in Kansas City. 

“Thank you to these physician leaders for sharing their perspectives to advance Family Medicine, and for representing Michigan and their member constituencies,” said Mary Marshall, MD, RN (Grand Blanc), MAFP President-elect who will be voted on by the membership at the Academy’s annual meeting, July 14, during the Michigan Family Medicine Conference & Expo in Kalamazoo.

Dr. Marshall attended this year’s Annual Chapter Leader Forum (ACLF)—which AAFP hosts concurrently with NCCL—on behalf of the Michigan chapter along with MAFP President Loretta Leja, MD (Cheboygan); MAFP CEO Debra McGuire, MBA, CAE, IOM; MAFP Director of Business Development & Operations Michael Macias; and MAFP Administrative Coordinator Denna Fleming.

“These two events provide a wealth of opportunities to grow Family Medicine leaders for the future, and they serve as platforms for discussing the challenges facing Family Physicians today,” said Ms. McGuire, who also highlighted the camaraderie, networking, and idea sharing as equally invaluable benefits of attending NCCL and ACLF.

For pictures from NCCL and ACLF, visit MAFP’s Facebook page.

If you are interested in representing Michigan at the 2019 NCCL, watch for MAFP’s delegate application period to open in December 2018.