Pub. 7 2023 Issue 1

President’s Message

Feature Photo Caption: UAFP hosted an EDIB social at the President of Black Physicians of Utah, Dr. Richard Ferguson’s house.

My goal as President of the UAFP Board of Directors this year was to better connect us as family physicians by emulating the compassion we show our patients to support each other and encourage future generations of family physicians. One year was not long enough to do much with our busy schedules, but it was plenty of time to build a foundation and develop new relationships, and it was the beginning of what we can accomplish when we come together as a group.

We started the year by making new friends, working with our colleagues at Black Physicians of Utah to create the UAFP Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee. We gathered as physicians, residents, and medical students in our members’ homes to share our experiences and discovered the multitude of allies among us. We hope to continue getting to know our members and providing an avenue to hear underrepresented voices. We also hope to engage in community service activities with our members and your families, so please apprise us of any events or ideas to come together for a meaningful cause.

We are fortunate to have in our CEO, Maryann Martindale, someone adept at interacting and negotiating with our lawmakers in the state legislature and able to skillfully represent the broad bipartisan interests of our members with admirable aptitude. Guided by the UAFP Legislative & Advocacy Committee, we were able to expand Medicaid coverage for adult preventative care visits and to extend post-partum care for up to a year. As lawmakers attempted to limit the rights and freedoms of our patients and physicians, we partnered with other medical specialty organizations to limit their interference into the trusted physician-patient relationship.

While our CEO was engrossed with the legislative session, our Associate Director, Barbara Muñoz, worked tirelessly to produce an informative and engaging CME & Ski. With assistance from the CME & Ski Planning Committee made up of member physicians, she assembled expert speakers to provide an affordable educational and recreational opportunity. Participant surveys were quite complimentary of the event and set a new standard for future educational offerings.

Our delegates and alternate delegates did an exceptional job representing the needs of Utah family physicians and our patients at the AAFP Congress of Delegates. Our new delegate Dr. Nikki Clark and alternate delegate Dr. Katharine Caldwell will continue this important work. Interested members can join the calls to discuss resolutions for the upcoming year or submit resolutions of their own that UAFP can take to AAFP Congress of Delegates in the fall.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to represent you on the UAFP Board and am excited to see our organization move forward with President-Elect Dr. Michael Chen, who has been whole-heartedly engaged with the UAFP since his time in medical school and residency and brings with him a wealth of knowledge. We are continuously seeking new ways to broaden our scope and engage our members. Let us know how we can help you and your patients.