Author Archive

Register for Free September 29th Webinar: Contract Negotiations for Employed Family Physicians

Thursday, September 29 – 6:00 pm (Eastern Time)
Ericka L. Adler
Shareholder – Roetzel & Andress
Health Law Group Practice Leader
Chicago, IL

Ericka Adler, JD, LLM, is a lawyer specializing in regulatory and transactional health care law. Ericka devotes a large portion of her practice to advising professionals and practices about contracts and compensation arrangements. She received her Juris Doctor and Master of Law from DePaul University College of Law. Advising professionals and practices on their contracts and compensation arrangements is a major area of Ericka’s practice. Recently, she worked with the AAFP to develop “A Family Physician Guide to Employment Contracts,” which is available for free to members. 

Handling Negotiations Professionally Including Key Goals:

  • Call
  • Location
  • Schedule
  • Duties
  • Patient Allocation/Volume
  • Benefits
  • Salaries

You must be an AAFP or GAFP member and register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please send any of your critical employment questions no later than Thursday, September 22nd so that we can cover as many topics as possible.  Email your questions to Fay Fulton (Georgia Academy’s Executive Vice President at

GAFP PAC Donor Event – Georgia Elections – What do Family Physicians Need to Know About our Looming Statewide Elections?

The GAFP PAC Board is hosting an “Inside Georgia Politics” zoom discussion with our GAFP legislative consultant, Chuck McMullen, and Atlanta Journal Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein. McMullen and Bluestein will discuss Georgia federal and state races and make a few predictions about the November elections and the 2023 legislative session.

Please donate to receive your insider link to register for this event on Tuesday, August 23 at 6:00 pm.

Chuck McMullen
GAFP Legislative Consultant/Lobbyist
Co-Lead Atlanta Office – Parker Poe Consulting

Chuck has more than 20 years of experience managing government relations for public and private sector clients in the pharmaceutical, health care provider, food and beverage, and energy infrastructure industries. He has leveraged his relationships and public policy experience to provide clients with legislative results at the local, regional, and national levels.

Prior to joining Parker Poe Consulting, Chuck was a senior director in Atlanta for two international law firms, serving as the state government affairs team lead and practice group leader, respectively. He has served in various leadership positions with law and public affairs firms for more than 15 years. He also worked in Washington, D.C., as a regional political director for the American Medical Association responsible for 127 congressional districts in the Southeast and Southwest. In addition, he served as chief of staff to former congressman and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price when he was Georgia’s first Republican majority leader of the state Senate.

Greg Bluestein
Politics/government reporter

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter and author who covers the governor’s office and Georgia politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He writes for the front-page of the AJC, contributes to the Political Insider blog and morning Jolt newsletter, hosts the Politically Georgia podcast and is a frequent guest on local and national TV and radio programs. He’s an MSNBC and NBC News contributor and the author of “Flipped,” a book on Georgia’s epic 2020 election. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and political science and lives with his wife and two daughters in Dunwoody. Order his book at:


Georgia Academy Supporting MAG Survey Research Project


Physician-reported End-of-life Decision Preferences Survey

Dear Colleague, 

The Medical Association of Georgia is collaborating with universities and physician organizations across Europe, North America and Australia on a research study entitled “Physician Reported End-of-life Decision Preferences: a multinational cross-sectional survey study” (PROPEL).  We are seeking input from: general practitioners, cardiologists, gastroenterologists, geriatricians, intensive care, oncologists, nephrologists, neurologists, gynecologists, pulmonologists, and palliative care physicians.       

The aim of the study is to gain insights: 

– into physicians’ personal preferences related to end-of-life decisions  
– into the influences on those preferences 
– into the connection between personal preferences and clinical practice

We would like to invite you to take part in this study by completing an online questionnaire.

Your participation in this study is highly important to achieve meaningful scientific results. Participation in can be completed through the link below. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes and can be started then finished later.  


For questions or concerns please contact:

Sarah Mroz, MPH, MSc 
Executive researcher, End-of-Life Care Research Group, VUB & UGent  

Bethany Sherrer, JD, MBA, MHA 
Director of Government Relations & General Counsel, Medical Association of Georgia 

Thank you in advance for your participation.  


Anna Skold, MD, MPH
Chief of Palliative Care and Physician Lead for Medical Ethics at the Permanente Medical Group

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Conference Requests for Proposals – Deadline August 15

Requests for Proposals – Deadline August 15

October 20 & 21 – Valdosta

HMHB will be focusing on using our collective strength to increase maternal and infant health outcomes in Georgia. During the conference, participants will:

  • Engage in interactive panel discussions
  • Learn about innovations in the field
  • Participate in meaningful trainings from issue area experts
  • Connect with a diverse cross-section of the community

Since 1974, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA) has been one of the strongest statewide voices for improved maternal & infant health outcomes in Georgia. Our mission is to improve maternal and infant health in Georgia through advocacy, education, and access to vital resources. We envision a Georgia where every mother and baby has the resources and support to be healthy and thrive throughout the perinatal period.

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia invites you to complete our Request for Proposal for consideration as a presenter at our 48th Annual Meeting & Conference on October 20 & 21, 2022. HMHBGA’s previous conferences have held an attendance of over 250 attendees. The audience includes: moms, birthers, supportive partners, midwives, doulas, nurses, researchers, caregivers, policy makers, social workers, public health professionals, health professionals, physicians and advocates from throughout Georgia gathering together to evoke positive outcomes in maternal and infant health within the state of Georgia.

The conference will be held at the Rainwater Conference Center in Valdosta, GA. All qualified persons are encouraged to submit proposals. Selected conference speakers must be willing to provide their services without compensation, however, speakers will have access to the conference at no cost. All sessions will be 60 minutes long, allowing for 45 minutes of prerecorded content and 15 minutes for live Q&A.

Proposals must be submitted no later than 5:00 P.M. on August 14, 2022.  Should you have difficulty uploading your materials, please email the requested documentation in a single pdf file to  with the subject line: 48th Annual Conference Proposal.

Learn more at


Dr. George Shannon: Our Bold and Boisterous Past GAFP President and AAFP Board Member

GAFP leader and Past GAFP and Georgia Healthy Family Alliance President, George Shannon, MD, FAAFP passed away in June surrounded by his family. Dr. Shannon was a vibrant force and leader in the Georgia Academy for decades.  Part of his obituary captured some of his family medicine career which includes the following:

After completing his training, he served two years in the U.S. Public Health Service in Parsons, Tennessee. Following his service, Dr. Shannon moved to Jackson, Tennessee to become the founding director of medical education at the University of Tennessee Family Medicine Residency Program until 1982 when he then moved to Columbus, Georgia to accept the position of director of medical education at The Medical Center. Dr. Shannon also served as an associate dean at Emory University and the Medical College of Georgia during this time.

In 1988, he left that position to enter private practice and was a founding member of the Horizons Physician Network/Horizons Diagnostics Group. In addition to his clinical practice and service as medical director, Dr. Shannon was an associate and assistant clinical professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Gwinnett Georgia campus, and University of Tennessee respectively.

He retired from his practice in 2015 to spend more time with family and friends, to enjoy the peace and serenity of his house on Lake Martin in Alabama, and to follow his beloved Auburn Tigers.

Among his extensive volunteer experience, Dr. Shannon served multiple roles in the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, including Chairman of the Board, and the American Academy of Family Physicians, including member of the Board of Directors. In recognition of his service, he was a two-time recipient of the President’s Award of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He was also recognized as the Family Physician of the Year in 1998 by the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and Medical Association of Georgia.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be sent to the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance, the foundation of Georgia’s family physicians, which supports local community healthcare needs and the education of young people about the harms of tobacco and vaping:  To date over $2,000 has been donated in his memory, and we have let the family know of these individual donations, including a $500 memorial gift from the GAFP Board of Directors.


Georgia Academy Responds to Request for Medicaid Innovation and Improvement Suggestions

Current contract holders are Anthem, CareSource, and Centene (PeachState), serving more than 1.9 million beneficiaries as of May 2022. Existing contracts run through June 30, 2024. The request for proposals is expected to be released in late 2022 or early 2023. The Georgia Academy responded to the RFI submitting over seven pages of how Georgia’s Medicaid system could be improved.  Chapter President Dr. Susana Ajoy Alfonso noted in our cover page the following:

On behalf of the 3,200 members of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, we are submitting suggested recommendations for consideration by the Department as you craft the new (and anticipated) request for proposals for insurance companies focusing on the Medicaid population.  Thank you for allowing us to compile suggestions for quality improvement that help our patients and brings savings to the state of Georgia.

While we are submitting separate information through your RFI process, note that we work closely with our primary care physician and OB Gyn society partners through the Patient-Centered Physician Coalition of Georgia which represents over 10,000 family physicians, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, obstetricians/gynecologists, and physicians of osteopathic medicine.

We look forward to providing continuous feedback and collaboration through this process. 

Some of the suggestions that were submitted to Georgia’s Medicaid include the following:

  • The Georgia Medicaid program should encourage innovative ideas as medicine and technology are constantly changing.
  • DCH should consider a forum whereby clinicians and/or patients and families can propose innovative ideas and best practices such as-
  • Automatic Behavior medicine assessment for all patients with uncontrolled chronic diseases
  • Coverage for standalone pharmacy services such as for uncontrolled diabetics
  • Community grants which address novel ways to combat SDoH challenges
  • Prior authorization reform needs to occur both for behavioral and physical health– similar to what has occurred in Ohio. Ohio is implementing a fiscal intermediary that will serve as a single point of entry for prior authorization requests.  

Additional information can be found here:

Uniform Preferred Drug Lists

States can establish a uniform PDL (or single PDL) across both managed care organizations and FFS. This is a strategy that states are employing for administrative efficiency and ease, to increase transparency, and maximize drug rebates.

States with a Uniform PDL

The most recent state-by-state analysis that was conducted of state policies regarding uniform PDLs was in 2019 by the Kaiser Family Foundation with support from HMA. In that survey, 16 states reported having a uniform PDL for some or all drug classes as of July 2019. Those states are:

Uniform PDL for all drug classes:








North Dakota


Uniform PDL for some drug classes:





South Carolina



Georgia Shines at AAFP’s Family Medicine Advocacy Summit (FMAS)

AAFP’s FMAS was held recently in Washington, D.C., and brought together more than 240 Academy members, who met with 220 members of Congress and their staffs to rally behind three top AAFP policy priorities: increasing access to telehealth, addressing the mental health crisis and finally ensuring Medicaid payment parity.

Georgia Academy leaders who represented the state chapter included:

  • Susana Ajoy Alfonso, MD, FAAFP – President
  • Loy D. “Chip” Cowart, MD, FAAFP – Legislative Committee Vice Chair
  • Leslie David, MD – Practice Management Committee Member
  • Casey Henritz, DO – Legislative Committee Member
  • John Gerguis, MD, FAAFP – Legislative Committee Member
  • Fay Fulton – GAFP Staff

Chapter President, Susana Alfonso, MD, accepted an award for the Georgia Academy for the GAFP’s member participation with the AAFP’s FAM MED PAC.

COVID-19’s long shadow looms over Medicaid patients as the public health emergency draws toward a close, while the ongoing pay disparity between Medicaid and other payers continues to threaten primary care practices (especially in rural and underserved communities) with financial instability. These factors, members told Congress during FMAS, mean that Medicaid payment rates must be raised, and federal Medicaid regulations strengthened.

To do these things, the Academy continues to press for passage of the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women and Children Act (S. 1833) and the Kids Access to Primary Care Act (H.R. 1025), and an increase of Medicaid payment rates to at least Medicare levels, and to urge that the Biden administration enforce and strengthen federal Medicaid access regulations. 

In advocating for improved behavioral health care integration in primary care, FMAS participants reminded lawmakers and their staffs that family physicians are often the first point of contact for patients navigating the health care system. One-third of the care for serious mental illness and a quarter of prescriptions for serious mental illness take place in a primary care setting.

Members in the News-Dr. Susan Schayes honored among Top 50 Women Leaders of Georgia for 2022

ChenMed Chief Transformation Officer is the only physician on list of distinguished Georgia business leaders.

Women We Admire, which recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of today’s women leaders across business, government, non-profits, entertainment, sports and other fields of work and interest, has just published the Top 50 Women Leaders of Georgia for 2022. 

Susan Schayes, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, Chief Transformation Officer for ChenMed, a national leader in primary care, is honored for her expert clinical and business contributions helping the hyper-growth company transform care of the neediest populations through nearly 100 centers in 12 states. 

Dr. Schayes is a long-time leader within the GAFP, having served on our Board of Directors, the Education and Research Committee, and received the Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award. Congratulations Dr. Schayes!


Georgia Winners Selected for AAFP National Conference Poster Presentation

The AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students provides one of the largest forums for medical students and family medicine residents to display research initiatives and special projects. Fifty posters have been selected for display during the conference.   Posters will be displayed onsite during National Conference, July 28­–30 in Kansas City, MO.  Poster topics include:

  • Clinical inquiry
  • Community project
  • Educational program
  • Research

GAFP members – resident Dr. Anthony Daniels and medical student Marshall Weber were selected to display their poster.  Congratulations Dr. Daniels and Mr. Weber! Winning Poster Research Topic:  Anti-NMDA-Receptor Encephalitis: Case Report and Literature Review of a Frequently Misdiagnosed Condition (Clinical Inquiry) Anthony Daniels, MD and Marshall Weber | Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Aging Resources in Georgia – Recorded Lecture – So Fine You Need to Listen One More Time

If you (or your staff) missed the education recently offered by the Georgia Academy on resources for your geriatric patient population, please click below. In collaboration with the Atlanta Regional Commission and funded by a grant from RRF Foundation for Aging, the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians will be bringing education to our members, and their clinical teams, to focus on our aging and elderly patients.

Passcode: rC85#mL+


Adrienne Mims, MD, FAAFP
Karen Nelson- Client Services Coordinator/EDWP
Mary Blumburg-Strategic Planning and Development Unit Manage