Political Conventions Offer Opportunities to Deliver Our Message
This isn't a story about partisan politics. Rather, this is another example of the AAFP taking its message wherever it needs to be heard.
Although the AAFP does not, and should not, support any one political party, I was in Tampa, Fla., this week for the Republican National Convention. This was another opportunity to continue our advocacy efforts to improve our family physician workforce and align payment to support transformation of our practices to patient-centered medical homes.
Along with my wife, Washington AFP president Anne Montgomery, M.D., (pictured with me here); Mark Cribben, director of FamMedPAC, the Academy’s political action committee; and Thomas Hicks, M.D., a member of the FamMedPAC board of directors, I had the opportunity to represent the Academy at one of the most high-profile political events of the year.
Next week, AAFP Board Chair Roland Goertz, M.D., M.B.A.; FamMedPAC board member David Carlyle, M.D.; and Cribben will represent the Academy at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
These conventions -- and the numerous receptions, luncheons and other events that go along with them -- provide visibility to our cause through contact with legislators and key members of their staffs. We are able to remind lawmakers that we have important issues to discuss with them when Congress returns to work Sept. 10.
For example, the AAFP was one of eight medical organizations that sponsored an event on Aug. 29 that was attended by several members of Congress and congressional staffers. That event led to conversations like this one between Dr. Hicks (on the right in this photo) and Rep. John Flemming, (R-La.) who also is a family physician.
The Academy and many of the same physician organizations -- the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Radiology, the American Dental Association, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American Society of Anesthesiologists -- will sponsor a similar event next week in Charlotte.
The campaigning is nearly over. The elections are almost here. Regardless of the outcomes, we will continue to take our message on the road and deliver it to those who are willing to listen.
Glen Stream, M.D., M.B.I.,is president of the AAFP.