The annual Family Medicine Congressional Conference (FMCC) convened April 18-19 and drew nearly 250 family physicians and students to Washington, DC, to learn about and advocate for legislative issues affecting family medicine.
- Tom Houston, MD – president
- Ryan Kauffman, MD – president-elect
- Suellywn Stewart, MD – attending as key contact
- Randy Wexler, MD – attending as FamMedPAC chair
- Sarah Sams, MD – attending as chair, American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Governmental Advocacy
- Julie Petersen, DO – attending as resident member, AAFP Commission on Governmental Advocacy
- Marcus Wing, DO – attending as Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors resident scholarship recipient
- Valerie Good – a Pennsylvania student member who will soon be in Columbus, OH, doing her residency at Grant Family Medicine Residency Program, Columbus
- Anna Askari – medical student at The Ohio State University, Columbus, attending as AAFP medical student scholarship recipient.
On April 18, attendees heard from political and policy experts on issues including new payment models under MACRA and the value of teaching health centers in the training of family physicians for rural communities and the importance of a steady funding stream to support them. Over lunch, Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), co-chair of the Primary Care House Caucus, discussed the value of having a caucus to discuss the many issues facing family medicine and primary care. The afternoon session included breakout sessions on chronic disease management, direct primary care, mental health reform, and lobbying 101. The day concluded with state visit planning and a reception.
On April 19, attendees met with legislators in the House and Senate and their staffs to share federal policy recommendations concerning opioid abuse, primary care research and training, and graduate medical education. In a report filed by OAFP President-Elect Ryan Kauffman, MD, he reported meeting with Congressman Jim Jordan and staff from Senator Rob Portman’s office and Congressman Pat Tiberi’s office relative to funding for teaching health centers and policies to help with the opioid crisis including increasing the number of patients allowed for medically-assisted opioid treatment therapy. Members of the Ohio delegation also met with Congressman Steve Stivers (two photos in common folder).
Sponsored by the AAFP and the Council of Academic Family Medicine, the FMCC educates participants on family medicine’s legislative priority issues, trains attendees on how to lobby on Capitol Hill, and allows participants to put these skills to use with federal legislators and their staff.
Thanks to the Ohio delegation for taking the family medicine message to Capitol Hill!