In the December address, we have a guest post by Dr. Hannah Biederman chair of the Public Health Working Group for the MassAFP with a brief moment of inspiration by Dr. Abraham Verghese and some thoughts by some of our family medicine colleagues. Thank you to you all for everything that you do!
In the spirit of the new year, let us all think about what aspirations we have for our professional selves. It has been easy in this last year to feel like we have little control over the policies and politics that govern our health care system. Immigrant rights, women’s health care, and the future of insurance coverage have been in the news nearly every day. It is no surprise that so many of us feel frustrated. But if this year has shown us anything, it is that movement often occurs locally and can be powerful coming from a state level. Massachusetts is an incredible place for health care and we are lucky to be providers in a system that embraces the importance of public health. 2019 has proven to be very eventful. In the fall, Governor Baker proposed a bill that would seek to boost all primary care and behavioral health spending. This is a wonderful step forward but there will undoubtedly be many conversations about the nuances of his bill and what this will actually mean for our patients, if passed. The Roe Act has been hotly debated and will likely continue to be on the forefront of healthcare agendas at the state house when the session resumes.
If you find that your new year’s resolutions align with improving public health services and becoming involved in advocacy at the state level, then please consider joining the MassAFP Public Health Working Group. The goals of this work-group are to identify public health issues and specific legislative bills that should be considered for MassAFP legislative advocacy, member education, and overall leadership. Our collective voices can play an important role in healthcare advocacy. The working group kicked off its session with a meeting December 18th and is hoping to expand its point of view with members joining from across the state. For anyone interested in joining the Public Health Working Group, please reach out to me by email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you with the next meeting time.
Jennifer Sparks, MD, FAAFP
Bio: Hannah Biederman currently serves the community of Somerville, MA.Public health interests led her to do her residency training at a Federally Qualified Health Center in New York where she was chief resident. After residency, Hannah completed a reproductive healthcare and advocacy fellowship in Massachusetts. Hannah has been working on integrating women’s health services into her community-based practice, with the aim of increasing access and helping to prevent patients from needing to seek care outside of their primary care home. She is currently the chair of the MassAFP Public Health Working Group and can be contacted at email@example.com