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Faculty and Residents present scholarly work at AAFP FMX

ETSU Family Medicine faculty and residents traveled to Orlando for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) annual Family Medicine Experience. Residents presented their scholarly work among peers. Research topics included:

  • Bias, Attitude and Knowledge about Childhood Obesity
  • Using Six Sigma Methodologies to Facilitate Process Improvement
  • Efficiacy of Implementing a Transition of Care Clinic

Pictured from left: Drs. Kelvin Lin (Johnson City FM), Jonathan Goodnight, Andrea Hopkins and Alissa Hinkle (Bristol FM)

View more photos from AAFP FMX on the ETSU Quillen Family Medicine Facebook page.

FM resdients at AAFPFMX

5th Annual Department of Family Medicine Staff Appreciation Picnic

family med bingo family med picnic

Faculty, residents and staff gathered at Warriors Path State Park for for food, fun and fellowship at the annual department picnic. Popular events included BINGO and a cornhole tournament.

View more photos on the ETSU Quillen Department of Family Medicine Facebook page.

20 Quillen students attend AAFP National Conference

QCOM students at AAFPNC 2016

20 QCOM students traveled to Kansas City, MO to attend the American Academy of Family Physicians' National Conference for Residents and Medical Students. The AAFPNC is an immersive family medicine experience that allows students to get involved with advocacy efforts and be exposed to the inner-workings of family medicine.

View more photos on the ETSU Quillen Department of Family Medicine Facebook Page.

ETSU Family Medicine participates in Expo Hall at AAFP National Conference

Family Medicine is thriving in East Tennessee - that's the message department faculty and residents took with them to the 2016 AAFP National Conference. ETSU Family Medicine was one of more than 500 exhibitors at the conference.

Faculty and resident representatives from each of our three family medicine residency programs in Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport, met and spoke with medical students from across the country. The expo hall allows our department representatives to meet potential residency candidates and to spread the word about the fantastic training and teaching opportunities available in Northeast Tennessee.

Dept of Family Med group

Three Quillen students selected to AAFP's 'emerging leaders' program

The American Academy of Family Physicians selected three Quillen College of Medicine students to attend the 2016 Emerging Leaders Institute. Only 30 participants from medical schools and residency programs across the nation are selected to attend this year-long leadership development program.

The following medical students will participate in the program:

  • Katie McCall - M3
  • Hayden Shafer - M4
  • Josh Wienczkowski - M4

More information about the AAFP Emerging Leadership Institute may be found here.

Family Medicine Resident authors journal article

Dr. Marc Rogers

Dr. Marc Rogers, a third year resident at the Kingsport Program collaborated on an article that appeared in the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics titled - A new mathematical approach to methadone conversion.

Dr. Rogers authored the article along with fellow ETSU Internal Medicine resident Dr. Manar Jbara, as well as Dr. Steven Baumrucker, an attending who works with Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Wellmont Health System.

Read the article here.

New Family Medicine residents begin orientation

incoming residents 2016
The Department of Family Medicine welcomes its newest class of resident physicians who will be practicing at our three clinical sites in Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport.  Welcome class of 2019!

Family Medicine resident authors column in TNAFP Journal

Dr. Jessica MacHue

Dr. Jessica MacHue, a third year resident at the Kingsport Program recently authored a column in the quarterly journal for the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians titled - Residents as Teachers: Why Does it Matter?

Dr. MacHue currently serves as the TNAFP Resident Board Director and is the executive chief resident for ETSU Family Medicine.

Read her article here.



Dr. Fred Tudiver retires

Dr. Fred Tudiver Drs. Franko, Tudiver and Bailey
Dr. Tudiver enjoying his new rocking chair! Drs. John P. Franko, Fred Tudiver and Beth Bailey

Dr. Fred Tudiver retired after 14 years in the Department of Family Medicine. He obtained more than $7.7 million in grant funding during his time as Director of Primary Care Research. Now professor emeritus, Dr. Tudiver has authored more than 140 peer-reviewed publications during his career, and has provided patient care in Greeneville and Johnson City.

He will be dearly missed, but always a part of the Department of Family Medicine 'family!'

ETSU HR recognizes ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport

Kingsport moving team

Beth Brennan, along with staff from ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport were recognized by the Human Resources Department. The team pulled together to ensure the move to the new facility in February went smoothly.

The nomination for the recognition included the following details:

Beth Brennan

Beth Brennan has been involved in every step of the renovation of ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport’s new facility. From the first set of blueprints to the massive move to the new location, Beth devoted nights and weekends to making sure the projects was a success. As soon as the facility was near completion, she set up a makeshift office where she worked diligently with contractors and vendors to ensure the timely completion of the project. During the busy time, Beth continued normal job duties and juggled multiple tasks often talking with workers, emailing vendors and receiving phone calls simultaneously! Even during inclement weather, Beth traveled to Kingsport to keep everything on track for the February 24th opening. Luckily, this wasn’t Beth’s first building renovation project! In 1999, she assisted with the planning and completion of ETSU Family Physician of Bristol’s new facility. Beth’s knowledge and experience is valued by the Department of Family Medicine and we are grateful for the dedication she has shown in completing this major project.

Moving Team

On February 24th, ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport moved into a new facility after 30 years at its former location. The Family Medicine Clinic was closed only two business days to complete the massive move from one building to another, which required staff to go above and beyond in order to be ready to see patients on opening day. Not to be deterred by snow days leading up to the move, Department of Family Medicine staff and faculty came together to do any task needed, from packing and unpacking boxes to cleaning and placing furniture, as well as setting up and testing computers. It was truly a team effort that everyone at ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport can be proud of. The staff takes great pride in the new facility and the moving process has brought the Family Medicine “family” closer together!

Family Medicine resident participates in interprofessional education conference

internprofessional conference

Dr. Shivali Patel (pictured on far right) is a third year resident at the Johnson City program. She recently participated in the Interprofessional Education Conference in Asheville, North Carolina where her group presented a project titled: Blueprint to Building a Successful Interprofessional Transitional Care Clinic in a Family Medicine Practice.

Dr. Patel collaborated on the project with ETSU colleagues from various clinical backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy and behavioral health.

New Department of Family Medicine job opportunities webpage available

Job opportunities with East Tennessee State University's Department of Family Medicine are now easier to locate. A new webpage lists all openings from faculty physicians to clinical and administrative positions - find them all in one place.

Applicants are still required to use the ETSU ejobs online application system -


Department of Family Medicine faculty, residents and staff receive recognition from Quillen's Caduceus Club

Caduceus Awards 2016

Dr. Jonathan Goodnight was presented the M3 Outstanding Resident Award in Family Medicine at the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine Caduceus Club Awards Banquet April 14. Dr. Goodnight is a second-year resident at the Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Jason Moore, clerkship director at Bristol Family Medicine, received the M3 Outstanding Attending Award in Family Medicine.

Several Department of Family Medicine faculty, resident and staff were nominated for Caduceus Awards including residents — Drs. Alissa Hinkle, Harirajan Mani, Theo Hensley (Bristol Family Medicine); Drs. Banafsheh Lotfi, Shivali Patel, Tyler McCurry, Veronica Carrasco (Johnson City Family Medicine); Drs. Aaron Brinklow, Alysen Carter, Jennifer Easterday, Jessica MacHue, Josh Brintle, Katie Croteau, Victor Ratazcjak (Kingsport Family Medicine);

Faculty— Drs. Reid Blackwelder,  Beth Fox, Joe Florence, Erin Harris, Leigh Johnson, Mark Brummel, Pete Bockhorst, Allan Garrett

Staff— Connie Clyburn

  Bristol residents participate in 2016 Appalachian Research Forum

Group at Appalachian Research Forum

The Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program had seven poster presentations on display at the 2016 Appalachian Student Research Forum. Dr. Joey Watson, a second year resident, won first place in Group C of Medical Residents, Clinical Fellows and Post-Doctoral Fellows for his poser presentation titled— Efficacy of Implementing a Transition of Care Clinic in an Appalachian Family Medicine Clinic. Dr. Amanda Stoltz was the faculty advisor on the project.

Dr. Angel Turner, a second year resident, won second place in Group C for her poster presentation titled—Improving MaternalOxygen Delivery for Intrauterine Fetal Resuscitation at an Appalachian Regional Medical Center. Dr. Patricia Conner was the faculty advisor on the project.

2015 POE Community Service Award Recipient


The ETSU Quillen Family Medicine Interest Group has again been chosen to receive a 2015  Program of Excellence categorical award for Excellence in Community Service, from the American Academy of Family Physicians!

Our 2014-15 FMIG group carries on the Quillen tradition by receiving this honor. Past groups have won numerous categorical awards since 2003.

Students  invested many hours in community service this year through projects such as Tar Wars, Meet the Doctor, Anatomy on Display, Nutrition, Ready Set  Fit!, Community Garden. Rural Migrant Clinics and Church Hill Free Clinic.  The FMIG group also hosted  several workshops and presentations throughout the year to enhance learning opportunities in casting, phlebotomy and sports medicine.


Each year, the AAFP recognizes FMIG groups across the country for their efforts to help increase student interest in Family Medicine and Family Medicine programming. 

Winning this award means that an FMIG has demonstrated it is well-rounded with competency in:

  • FMIG structure and operation
  • Community service
  • Exposing students to Family Medicine and family physicians
  • Promoting the value of Family Medicine and Primary Care
  • Professional development
  • Measures of success 

The FMIG must also show significant changes or enhancements, learner outcomes from the previous years’ activities, new innovations that have been or will be developed, and what elements of programming have been modified meet its member’s needs.  

Richie Gibson and Liane Gozmao served at FMIG co-presidents this year.  Project  officers also included: Scott Strickler, Peri Loftis, Kayla Wienczowski, Jack Whitehead, Justin Gagel, Tawanda Charmuka, Christopher Morris, Liberty Foye, Andrew Tyson and Faith Lindsay. Dr. Reid Blackwelder serves as faculty advisor.


HVMC Live Grand Rounds Conference



“USPSTF – Let’s Practice Prevention”


By:  Beth A. Fox, MD, MPH, FAAFP

ETSU Family Medicine - Kingsport


TUESDAY, June 9th at 12:30pm

in the Allandale/Netherland Rooms

The following educational objectives have been developed for this CME/CE activity based on identified needs.  After participating in this activity the participant will be able to:


  • State the goal of prevention and screening in healthcare
  • Discuss the origin and function of the United States Preventative Services Task Force
  • Review select “A and B” Recommendations from 2012-2014

TARGET AUDIENCE:  Hospital and office based physicians in upper East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.


CME Program Accreditation
: Wellmont Health System is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for Physicians.

CME Credit Designation : The Wellmont Health System designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

I, Beth A. Fox, MD (speakers), DO NOT have a relevant financial relationship with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients for this educational activity.

CME Disclosure Statement: The (HVMC) CME Committee members, planners, and/or reviewers DO NOT have a relevant financial relationship with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on patients for this educational activity.

It is the mission of Wellmont Health System to provide Continuing Medical Education opportunities for our own medical staff and to our neighboring physicians. This opportunity is offered to you at no charge; lunch is included and a certificate will be available upon request for your required documentation of attendance. There is no need to RSVP. You will receive an email announcing the topic, speaker and learning objectives.

Millie Wykoff and Family Medicine receives BCBS Award  06/01/2015

Millie Wykoff was given an award from BCBS at a conference in Nashville recently.  This award represents all the team work that takes place daily in our clinics!  BCBS awarded Millie and Family Medicine with, "Most improved percentages of applicable gaps in care closed."

Congrats to Family Medicine and Millie!



Dr. David Marconi presents at 2015 Appalachian Student Research Forum poster session  05/01/2015marconi

Dr. David Marconi, a second year resident at the ETSU Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program, presented a poster presentation at the Appalachian Student Research Forum, held in ETSU’s Culp Center on April 9th, 2015. The poster presentation, entitled “Developing Compliance with Opioid Prescribing Regulations in a Family Medicine Residency Program”, detailed the Bristol residency clinic’s efforts to align with Tennessee’s recently (2014) enacted narcotic prescription guidelines. Co-researchers on the project included second-year resident Jessica Visser, MD, first-year resident Jonathan Goodnight, MD, and Bristol faculty member Patricia Conner, MD.










National Rural Health Association Conference 4/13/2015

The National Rural Health Association Conference was held in Philadelphia, PA the week of April 13.   The Rural Track program was well represented by sending Dr. Joe Florence, Dr. Bill Fry, Dr. Tom Bishop, four medical students and staff Carolyn Sliger to present at the conference.  Numerous talks were held and three poster sessions. 



APhA2015: Building collaboration between pharmacists, physicians  03/29/2015

Family physician Blackwelder, pharmacist Cross deliver keynote at Opening General Session

Changes are needed in training and practice to help build a better pharmacist–physician team to care for patients, Reid Blackwelder, MD, FAAFP, American Academy of Family Physicians Board Chair, told attendees at the Opening General Session of the 2015 APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition on Saturday.

“It’s all about relationships,” Blackwelder said. “The most symbiotic relationship in medicine” is that of the physician and the pharmacist, he said. “We’ve got to find a way to sit down at the table together,” assuming good intent on both sides. Advising the thousands of pharmacists in the audience to reach “across the aisle,” he said, “Here’s the really good news. It’s all up to you—finding a way to create a relationship and a connection.”

Blackwelder, together with Brian Cross, PharmD, BCACP, CDE, delivered the accessible and down-to-earth keynote, Interprofessional Practice: Start at the Grassroots. As featured in the cover story for October 2014’s Pharmacy Today , Blackwelder and Cross collaborate in family medicine clinics in Tennessee. Their tag-team presentation—complete with an on-stage recreation of a photo in the cover story of their mid-air chest bump that symbolizes how well they work together for the patient—was punctuated throughout with situational in-joke shouts of agreement from the audience of “Amen!”

The keynote by Blackwelder and Cross was built around the visual metaphor of changing from a bowtie to a regular tie to symbolize the bringing together of physician skills and pharmacist skills into one piece of cloth that is worn by the patient. Their presentation transcended buzzwords such as “patient-centered care” and “team-based care” as, respectively, Blackwelder explained that “things are not patient-centered until the patient says it is patient-centered,” and Cross asked rhetorically, “How do we know at all what’s going on with our patients” when electronic medical records in a pharmacy don’t have interoperability with those at the hospital literally up the hill? 

Emphasizing the concept of community-based care, Cross said, “We are all community pharmacists”—regardless of practice setting—in the community “where you have been called to serve.”

APhA President Matthew C. Osterhaus, BSPharm, FASCP, FAPhA, used the connecting of puzzle pieces as an extended metaphor throughout his Opening General Session address, Advancing As One: The Pharmacy Family Is On The Move. Four puzzle pieces during the past year of his presidency, he said, were a unified profession, a unified Association, a unified health care team, and a unified patient care process.

Noting that the collective effort of the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition—of which APhA is a member—has led to the introduction of the federal provider status legislation known as the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 314), Osterhaus said to applause, “We want to see President Obama sign this legislation.” He spoke of APhA’s Pharmacists Provide Care campaign, which has garnered more than 16,500 supporters and 128 videos from 50 states. “Let’s not be afraid to foster new relationships,” he concluded, “and do the little things right in making our big dream a reality.”

The Opening General Session began with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego presenting the colors and the singing of the national anthem.

Mark Walberg, the host of “Antiques Roadshow,” was back for his seventh year as emcee for the APhA General Sessions. Osterhaus joined Walberg, and then introduced the APhA Board of Trustees to the stage. They led the audience in reciting the Oath of a Pharmacist.

Next, APhA Award winners were recognized. Osterhaus presented the Remington Honor Medal to Calvin H. Knowlton, BSPharm, MDiv, PhD. When Walberg interviewed Knowlton on stage, Knowlton discussed advances in personalized medicine and said, “The progression of what’s going on in the profession is just amazing.” Knowlton mentioned two mentors, Eugene White and Carl Emswiller, who had “set the pace” for him.

For the APhA Academies, the Linwood F. Tice Friend of the APhA Academy of Student Pharmacists Award went to Donald G. Floriddia, PhD, FASCP, FAPhA. The APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science’s Takeru Higuchi Research Prize went to Philip S. Portoghese, BS, MS, PhD. The Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award, administered by the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management, went to Cynthia J. Boyle, BSPharm, PharmD, FAPhA. The 2015 APhA Fellows for the practice and science academies were also introduced.

The Hugo H. Schaefer Award was presented to Baeteena M. Black, DPh. Todd D. Sorensen, PharmD, FAPhA, received the Gloria Niemeyer Francke Leadership Mentor Award. The H.A.B. Dunning Award went to CVS Health.

  , Editorial Director



Dr. Brooke Lucas places second at national poster competitionbrooke     3/20/1


Dr. Brooke Lucas, a third year resident physician at the ETSU Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program, took home second place at the poster presentation competition held at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians National Convention and Scientific Seminars March 13 in Las Vegas.

To be included in the contest, the ACOFP Osteopathic Clinical Research Committee selected Dr. Lucas’ abstract titled “Improving Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment Clinic Referrals in a Family Medicine Residency Clinic.” She presented her research at the national convention and was awarded second place. To complete the project, Lucas worked alongside Dr. Jennifer Phillips, a third year resident physician, and Dr. Amanda Stoltz, assistant professor at the Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program and physician at ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol. 

Dr. Lucas presented her award-winning poster at the ACOFP Convention alongside two fellow residents at the ETSU Family Medicine Residency Program who were also selected to present. Dr. Andrew Becker, a third year resident physician presented his abstract titled, “Improving Depression Care in a Family Medicine Residency Program.” And Dr. Hillary Lungren, a third year resident physician, presented her abstract titled “Utilization Of Health Management Plan Within Allscripts Electronic Health Record.”

JOHNSON CITY ( March 12, 2015 ) – A new leadership program is headed to East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine after receiving approval and funding from the national Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society earlier this month.

The “Emerging Leaders in Medicine” program will be an extracurricular fellowship allowing for the implementation of leadership development and multidisciplinary education into current extracurricular schedules for interested medical students at ETSU.leaders

“This really fills a huge void,” said Dr. Reid Blackwelder, medical professor, director of Medical Student Education for the Department of Family Medicine and faculty advisor for the project. “With medical school education, there’s a very structured process of education, a very strict curriculum. It’s a rigorous set of things that have to be done. The things that get left out are really the components of leadership.”

Through the new program, Blackwelder hopes participants will obtain a skill set that includes more educational opportunities in interprofessional work, leadership and advocacy.

A predominantly student-led effort, the program includes a community service component as well as a team-based simulation laboratory aspect and significant focus on multidisciplinary education.

“The Quillen College of Medicine and the ETSU Academic Health Sciences Center are very much committed to leadership development and interprofessional work,” Blackwelder noted. “I’m hoping this ‘Emerging Leaders’ program will help us see significant curriculum and structure change for all health sciences students. This is a great step to creating a foundation for a very large paradigm shift (in health sciences education).”

A total of $9,000 in funding from Alpha Omega Alpha will stretch over three years to get the program started, with the Quillen College of Medicine providing matching funds.

“It is a three-year project at the moment, but we want this to be something that could become sustaining in such a way that this institution can’t live without it,” Blackwelder said. “I would like to see this take off and that is what these students want, too. We need to keep moving forward with developing leaders.”

The STFM conference on Medical Student Education was held in Atlanta ,Georgia  this past week.  Our talk was titled The Implementation of a required six week community medicine clerkship in the 3rd year curriculum. florenca2

 Presenters were; Bruce Bennard, PhD, Joe Florence, MD, Susan Austin, Sevierville Coordinator, Jason Moore, MD, Carolyn Sliger, Rural Programs Coordinator, Caryn Brehm, Rebekah Rollston, Stephen Kinser, Nathan Page, all third year medical students.

We also had two posters accepted. The first one titled; Teaching Diagnosis and Management of Rural Community Health Issues with Joe Florence, MD, Fereshteh Gerayli, MD, Thomas Bishop, PsyD, and Peggy Sue Brooks, MD.  The second poster was titled, Addressing Veterans Health, with Joe Florence, MD and Leigh Johnson, MD.

There were eight faculty, four third year medical students and three coordinators in attendance. Great conference to get inspired and have fun.


ACOFP Future Leaders Conference                         Feb/02/2015

Dr. Amy Lawrence, a second year resident at the Kingsport Family Medicine Program, recently attended the ACOFP Future Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference was hosted by the American College of Osteopathic pic2Family Physicians and is available to “outstanding new physicians and residents who are interested in achieving a greater awareness of their leadership style and its impact on their professional performance.” Participants must be nominated and are chosen via an application process.






The 24th annual Rural High School Career Fair was held at ETSU on December 2nd , 2014.  Twelve Quillefairn Medical students volunteered to man the exhibit and mentor with the high school students.  President Brian Noland welcomed the 275 students to campus and all five health science college deans were represented. Students were able to get a glimpse and hands on experience in the health care fields to include Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy and Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences.  Teachers and counselors attended a panel of experts in the health sciences and other disciplines on campus.         





Ebola precautionary measures

Ebola preparedness has been a priority of ETSU Department of Family Medicine recently with the outbreaks of the Ebola Virus Disease within the United States. Our goal is to provide a safe environment for all our patients and staff within our clinics with early recognition and screening of all patients for assessment of symptoms, travel history, and exposure to Ebola in the last 30 days.  We have been collaborating with East Tennessee Regional Health Department, Sullivan County Health Department, and local hospitals to develop our Ebola preparedness plan.

Symptoms of Ebola typically include:wash

•Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)

•Severe headache

•Muscle pain



•Abdominal (stomach) pain

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus, although 8-10 days is most common.

Screening Questions:

  • Have you traveled to an Ebola-affected area or been in contact with anyone who has traveled to an Ebola-affected area (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea) in the last 30 days?
  • Have you been in contact with anyone who has Ebola in the last 30 days?

For any concerns, questions, or if you suspect you may have Ebola or been exposed to someone with Ebola, please contact your Regional Health Department for instructions.

The CDC website is an excellent resource for updated information on the Ebola Virus Disease and locations of outbreaks.

 Millie Wykoff RN, Care Specialist

Smoking in pregnancy, childhood obesity researchers named 'Notable Women" at ETSU

November 5th, 2014 1:30 pm by Contributed - ETSU

East Tennessee State University’s Women’s Studies Program has announced Drs. Beth Bailey and Karen Schetzina as the 2014 recipients of the Notable Women of ETSU Awards.Bailey

The two will be honored at the annual Notable Women of ETSU Colloquium on Wednesday, Nov. 19, from 5-7 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center’s East Tennessee Room.

The awards and colloquium highlight the expertise and accomplishments of women academicians at ETSU; provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, research and projects generated by women faculty; and identify women faculty whose work advances understanding of women and their lives.

The public is invited to this free event, and current and former students of the honorees are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Bailey is an associate professor and director of primary care research in the James H. Quillen College of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine. Her nomination highlights her dedication to both the university and the community that is evident in her service and research efforts.

Bailey has been involved in numerous research committees in the community, including holding the position of director of research for the Appalachian Center for Translational Research in Health Disparities. She was also instrumental in acquiring funding from the Tennessee Department of Health for the regional Tennessee Intervention for Pregnant Smokers (TIPS) program from 2007-2012. This program improved birth outcomes in six regional counties with the highest rates of smoking during pregnancy by reducing rates of smoking and smoke exposure.

“Dr. Bailey is an extremely hard-working teacher, mentor, researcher and advocate for women’s health,” her nominator wrote. “She has impacted the lives of women in Tennessee and across the Appalachian region through her teaching, research and service.”

Schetzina, an associate professor and chief of the Division of Community Pediatrics Research in the College of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, is recognized as a local, regional, state and national expert on childhood obesity and breastfeeding.

Throughout her career, Schetzina has worked to improve the lives of children and their families not only through her research but also by developing strong community partnerships. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Breastfeeding Coalition: BABE (Breastfeeding Advocacy Benefits Everyone). BABE provides a support group for breastfeeding mothers as well as support for fathers.

“Dr. Schetzina goes to great lengths to consider the total health of the child, which includes the family unit,” her nominator wrote. “She is one of the most influential physicians in our community and state. (She) organizes events that promote health and well-being by … educating and informing families of the importance of healthy nutrition, reading, exercise and safety.”

For more information, contact the Women’s Studies Program at 423-439-4125 or . For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.


Dr. Reid Blackwelder recently participated as a Prescriber’s Letter panel member. In this edition,  Dr. Blackwelder adds his expertise on treating hypertension. Prescriber’s Letter is a resource for clinicians, providing them  with unbiased recommendations on new developments in drug therapybw

Please click to see the audio-video of this interview




Two ETSU doctors return from medical outreach trip to India

JOHNSON CITY (October 31, 2014) – Two East Tennessee State University physicians with the Quillen College of Medicine recently returned from an outreach program in India. While there, Drs. Joseph Florence and Beth Fox taught physicians in the south central part of the country valuable lessons in how to treat and respond to emergencies related to the heart.indian trip

“We’re teaching the physicians there, when you’ve got a heart condition or stroke, how to get help, how to access an emergency medical system, how to set up a code team in a hospital that is a routine part of the facility and can respond in these situations,” said Florence, who has made at least eight trips to India since 1999 to teach Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support. “We’re training the people that can make the changes in the hospital, and they are very receptive to us.”

Florence first went to India after meeting Dr. Ravinder Reddy Surakanti, a doctor practicing in the United States whose family lives in rural India. Surakanti began his journey in the late 90s to bring Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support to the region after both his father and brother died suddenly from heart issues.

“They just died. They didn’t have defibrillators there to shock them. They didn’t have an ambulance to call,” said Florence, professor and director of rural programs for Quillen’s Department of Family Medicine. “Here, you just expect those things to be available. When you went over there, it wasn’t there. They had never really gotten into the concept of emergency medical care. They didn’t have ambulances running routinely.”

Over the past 15 years, Florence has seen that change some in certain regions.

“They have carts set up and ready at hospitals now, Basic Life Support training is required in hospitals there now and they have set up an EMS station with ambulances more readily available,” he said. “It’s really rewarding to see that all actually happening now.”

In addition to the advancement in health care, Florence said it is amazing to see the level of appreciation shown to him and his colleagues from those they are teaching.

“I don’t know how to describe it. As a teacher, sometimes you’re not sure of what good you are doing. You don’t really see it,” he said. “There, you can see it. What we’re doing over there is such a standard level of care here, but they get so excited to be able to do it. When you are able to talk to them – after that first patient they were able to save because they have a defibrillator they can use to shock the individual – that is just amazing.”

For Fox, professor and director of graduate medical education for Quillen’s Department of Family Medicine, the September trip to India marked her first time ever traveling abroad. She joined Florence on the journey to offer her expertise in the realm of simulation training.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for me to talk about something I am passionate about and to do it in a place where it might be even more appreciated,” she said. “It’s an everyday thing here, but it’s all brand new over there.”

The experience left Fox with a new appreciation for the level of health care available here in the United States.

“We don’t think about it here because it is always seemingly available,” she said. “I don’t think we truly realize there’s so many people out there that do not have these things that we have here.”

Fox and Florence have been asked to return to India early next year to continue their efforts there.

Dr. Fox elected president TNAFP

Family Medicine faculty, Beth Anne Fox, M.D., MPH, FAAFP was recently sworn in at the Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians 66th Annual Scientific Assembly, October 29th, 2014, at the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, FoxTennessee.  

Dr. Fox is the Director of Graduate Medical Education and Associate Professor in the ETSU Dept. of Family Medicine.  The Tennessee Academy of Family Physicians  (TNAFP) exists to support and advocate for Tennessee family physicians as leaders and providers of quality, comprehensive, patient-centered medical care.




As our health care delivery transforms, it has become clear that strong primary care is essential to enhaprimary Carencing the value and improving the quality of health care Americans receive.

That is why we support Health is Primary, a major national campaign to advocate for the values of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care and drive patient activation.

Health is Primary embraces a vision of doctors and patients working together, where everyone has access to primary care, and where prevention and health are as important as treating disease.

Health is Primary was launched in Washington, DC on Oct. 23, to support the future of primary care and a health care delivery system that puts patients back at the center of care. America’s family physicians will join forces with patients, employers, policymakers, community leaders, and other key stakeholders to demonstrate how primary care keeps people healthy, improves population health and reduces health care spending.

The Health is Primary campaign will travel to cities to showcase the success stories of primary care and to ensure that we can make the promise of primary care a reality for all Americans. The campaign will also work to increase the collaboration between physicians and patients and to communicate about important health issues, including smoking prevention and cessation, nutrition and fitness, immunizations and chronic disease management.

Through these conversations, Health is Primary can support efficient and effective health care delivery with higher quality care and better patient experiences at lower costs. This is what happens when health is primary.

We believe in the power of primary care and invite you to join us in making health primary today! Visit to join us.

Blackwelder and Cross collaborate in family medicine clinic

(L to R): Reid Blackwelder, MD, and Brian Cross, PharmD

When Brian Cross, PharmD, first went to work for the Indian Health Service (IHS) on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in eastern Arizona in 1991, he believed that the physician–pharmacist collaboration that he encountered there—a model pioneered by the IHS and a handful of other federal agencies and private health care systems—was common across the country.

“As you can imagine,” Cross told Pharmacy Today , “I was alarmed to find out that this was not the way it was done almost anywhere else in the United States, other than closed-loop systems such as Kaiser Permanente, Intermountain Health, and the Veterans Health Administration.”

Three years later, his next career stop was at a small VA ambulatory care facility in north-central Florida, where he oversaw the cardiovascular risk reduction clinics and had full prescribing privileges in collaboration with cardiologists and an internist.

It was around that time that Cross vowed to himself that whatever professional changes came later, “I wouldn’t do anything that didn’t allow me to practice like this.”              

Three primary care clinics

He kept his word. Today Cross is a pharmacotherapy specialist with East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Family Physicians of Kingsport, TN, and Associate Professor in the Departments of Pharmacy Practice and Family Medicine at ETSU’s Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy and James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, TN. The ETSU Family Physicians run three separate comprehensive primary care clinics that provide community-focused medical education as well as patient-centered care for the medically underserved population of rural southern Appalachia. Besides the Kingsport clinic, where Cross practices, the others are in Johnson City and Bristol, TN.

Working with American Academy of Family Physicians President Reid Blackwelder, MD, Professor of Family Medicine and Director of Medical Student Education at ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, as well as other medical team members, Cross has not only been able to practice his vision of collaborative primary care but also to help pass on that vision to scores of young pharmacists, physicians, and nurses at ETSU. Blackwelder told Pharmacy Today that the clinics have worked hard to foster a collaborative culture “where everybody has a voice. We’re all there to make sure our patients get the best outcomes,” he said. The Family Physicians clinic at Kingsport has approximately 12,000 to 13,000 patient visits a year, Blackwelder said. They include individuals of all ages—“from cradle to grave” is the way he put it. Many of them have multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). And most are on complex medication regimens. Read More

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Carver Community Center held a health screening on Saturday September 27th

We had seven first year Quillen Medical students volunteering along with Dr. John Franko, Chair of family medicine and Dr. Joe Florence, Director of Rural Programs. Dr. Franko participated in a patient question panel.  They saw around 65 patients.  Next September Quillen will be collaborating with Carver Center in conducting a full health fair for area residents.

Quillen ETSU Physicians to launch FollowMyHealth™ Patient Portal                                                    09,22,2014

Convenient Online Service Allows Patients Access to their Personal Health Information

In order to comply with parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare), physicians nationally are adopting electronic health records (EHRs) and participating in federal incentive programs to fund the implementation. Giving patients electronic access to their health records and helping them become more involved in the management of their healthcare is one outcome that these programs hope to attain.FMH  

As an early participant in the Meaningful Use incentive program, which requires that the patient population be offered electronic access to their medical information, Quillen ETSU Physicians will be offering its patients a new online tool that provides 24-hour access to their personal health records. With the new patient portal, patients can manage their health, communicate with their providers, and make more informed decisions about their care from any computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Quillen ETSU Physicians is one of several other physician's groups in the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia regions to offer the FollowMyHealth™ patient portal. As regional providers begin to provide the service, patients will have the added benefit of being able to combine their medical records into one portal site.  

Patients who enroll in the FollowMyHealth™ patient portal will be able to

  • Review their medical records online in a safe, secure environment
  • Communicate privately with their physicians’ office or their healthcare team via secure messaging
  • View test and lab results
  • Update health information (allergies, medications, conditions, etc)
  • Request medication refills
  • Receive email care reminders
  • Request, reschedule, or cancel appointments
  • Create proxy accounts for children or dependent adults

The FollowMyHealth™ product is user friendly for the patient and offers many benefits for enrollees:

  • Patients save time. They can avoid waiting on hold to speak to staff or schedule appointments.
  • Patients are offered more choice and more convenience. Patients can communicate on their own time.
  • Patients can set and track goals. The portal can be used to track health conditions, wellness goals, and chart progress.
  • Patients are in control. The patient owns their portal and all of the data within it and controls who sees what.

Quillen ETSU Physicians plans to launch the FollowMyHealth™ patient portal on Monday, September 29th. On and after that date, patients who are seen in one of the Quillen ETSU Physicians offices will be offered access to the portal. For patients who elect to sign up for the free portal account, an email will be sent to them with registration instructions. 

For more information, please visit .

Quillen ETSU Physicians is a multispecialty group affiliated with the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University. The group is comprised of more than 150 doctors in more than 30 specialties and subspecialties including Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fertility and Women's Services, Cardiology, Surgery, Psychiatry, Geriatrics, Dermatology, and Endocrinology. Offices are located in Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol, and surrounding areas.

ETSU physician to speak on acupuncture

BRISTOL, Va. (September 5, 2014) – On Thursday, Sept. 11, Dr. N. Anton Borja, of East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, will give a talk at the Bristol Public Library about acupuncture.

Borja is an osteopathic family physician trained in traditional Chinese medicine with expertise in acupuncture and integrative medicine. He serves as the director of the Integrative Medicine Clinic at ETSU Family Medicine Associates in Johnson City.

His lecture is part of the Health Education Series 2014, which is hosted through a partnership between the Bristol Public Library, ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol and Wellmont Health Systems. The series is designed to help educate and inspire people to be more proactive about their own health.

The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room. The Bristol Public Library is located at 701 Goode St., Bristol, Va.

For more information, call the Bristol Public Library at 276-821-6149.

The doctor is in stable condition, officials said Friday.

On Thursday we found Dr. Sacra's ties reach all the way to the Tri-Cities area. We found a handful of people who had worked with Dr. Sacra over the past few decades.

Dr. Raymond Feierabend, a former Program Director at ETSU Bristol Family Medicine Residency, is one of those people who knew Dr. Sacra well. Rick

"Rick came to us as a resident physician in 1989, he had finished medical school at the University of Massachusetts. We worked very closely together from 1989 to 1992 when he finished residency. As I recall when he came to Bristol, he had practice in Liberia in mind," said Feierabend.

ETSU was able to dig up a 1996 SIM NOW magazine which featured Dr. Sacra working in Liberia.

"Rick is just a wonderful, very confident, compassionate, dedicated physician," said Feierabend.

We also spoke with Dr. J. Scott Ries. He is a part of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations.

"I spent six hours in a car with him in route from here to the global missions health conference in Louisville, Kentucky," said Ries.

Dr. Reis says Dr. Sacra's actions are admirable, and show how dedicated he is to his mission to help others.

"Here when everybody is running out of Liberia, he is running right into it," said Ries.

For Dr. Ries, this is the second Ebola story he has been personally touched by.

"It's a little bit of a roller coaster, here we have had doctor Brantley who is one of my friends, one of my medical students at Indiana University, Dr. Brantley had come with me on a mission trip to Nicaragua years ago, now we find out that another doctor and even another friend and another CNDA member has Ebola virus," said Ries.

Dr. Sacra's wife also spoke at a press conference on Thursday. She says her husband is in good spirits, and she is excited for his return to the United States.


Sep. 03, 2014


Welcome Rural Primary Care Track class of 2018


Dr. Joe and Kaye Florence welcomed the Rural Primary Care Track class of 2018, students at their home for an open house with other students, faculty and staff.  About 40 people were in attendance, great food and fellowship.




Family Medicine On Air

Family Medicine On Air is a series of live social media events that gives medical students across the country a chance to learn about hot topics in health care from family medicine leaders -- all in 15 minutes or less. Each episode streams live on Google Plus and YouTube and is archived so that you can view it later or even stream to share with your medical student colleagues at an FMIG event.

Episode 1: "What Med Students Need to Know About the Patient-Centered Medical Home"

Join AAFP President Reid Blackwelder, MD, as he discusses what you need to know about the patient-centered medical home model and how it provides comprehensive primary care for all patients.

Supplemental Resources

  • "How PCMH Is My Clinic?" activity for FMIGs(2 page PDF). This worksheet can be used to aid discussion about what elements of the patient-centered medical home medical students have witnessed or worked with during their clinical experiences, and the benefits to patient care, lowering cost, and health outcomes from those practices. Combine the Family Medicine On Air episode on PCMH with this activity for a complete FMIG event--just add your own food!
  • Learn more about the patient-centered medical home and access a PowerPoint presentation and handout from the AAFP to use in your FMIG programming

View episode on YouTube

 Raymond “Robin” Feierabend  

Raymond “Robin” Feierabend, M.D. is retiring from the Department of Family Medicine after 32 years of service. Dr. Feierabend joined the faculty at the Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program in 1982 and became acting program director the following year. He was program director from 1985 to 1990 and again from 1998 to 2005. Dr. Feierabend taught about 200 resident physicians during his time arot Bristol Family Medicine.

In 2010, he was named Director of Graduate Medical Education for the Department of Family Medicine and in this role mentored senior department leaders in revising and improving the process of resident education. He has truly served Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia with integrity and heart, and provided us a fine example of a life of service.

A reception was held Aug. 12 to celebrate Dr. Feierabend’s many achievements and impending retirement. There were several notable speakers at the event, including Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Health Affairs at ETSU, Dr. Robert T. Means, Dean of the Quillen College of Medicine, Dr. John P. Franko, Department of Family Medicine Chair, Dr. Greg Clarity, Program Director at Bristol Family Medicine Residency Program, and Dr. Feierabend’s wife Margaret.

Click here to read more about Dr. Feierabend’s career and dedication to family medicine.


Wednesday Jul 30, 2014

Keeping It Real: Preceptorship Exposes Students to Importance of Rural Family Medicine

Roughly 20 percent of Americans live in rural areas, but only 11 percent of U.S. physicians live in those same communities. In fact, the Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA) has designated more than 6,000 Health Professional Shortage Areas for primary care, and 67 percent of those are in nonurban areas. According to HRSA, it would take 17,000 additional primary care health professionals to achieve a ratio of one clinician per 2,000 patients in these locations.

So, how do we convince more medical students to first choose family medicine and then practice it in the places that need them the most?


I recently had the opportunity to talk to students during the Appalachian Preceptorship, which exposes students from around the nation to rural family medicine in Tennessee. Ten students from seven medical schools participated in the four-week program.

Let them experience it first-hand.

Nearly 30 years ago, Forrest Lang, M.D., retired vice chair of the Department of Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University (ETSU's) Quillen College of Medicine in Johnson City, created the Appalachian Preceptorship to introduce students to rural family medicine in a highly relevant and culturally sensitive way. Since then, hundreds of medical students from all over the country have come to Tennessee to experience first-hand the delivery of primary care in Appalachia.

It is critical that we find ways to connect with medical students early in their first and second years, and this year all of the students participating in the program were sophomores. We know that in the first 18 years of the program, more than 80 percent of the students who participated matched to residencies in primary care, including 60 percent who matched to family medicine programs.

Students are called to medicine to help people, and there is no better way to do so than practicing family medicine in rural, underserved America. In the Appalachian Preceptorship, students participate in one week of didactic sessions at ETSU before spending three weeks with a physician practicing in a rural Appalachian community.

These dedicated family physicians allow students to become part of their practices, and the students see patients, participate in the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic diseases, practice preventive medicine, and enjoy a wealth of other experiences.  

The experience is invaluable for both the students and the preceptors. In fact, we dedicate significant resources at ETSU to connecting with our preceptors throughout the year, and we devote a special weekend session to allowing them to offer feedback on our educational methods and identify and address the resources they need.  

Another key aspect of this program is the opportunity it gives us to show students that it is possible to not only survive but to thrive in small-town practices. Some of the preceptors are from individual physician practices, and most of the rest belong to small groups. The students are able to experience how health care is provided in these communities and to really understand the nature of physician-patient relationships. In addition, each of these preceptors and the communities in which they work are great examples of different types of patient-centered medical homes. This reinforces to the students that team-based care is not about having everyone located under the same roof; but rather the resources that are available within the community to care for its residents.

Another advantage of this process has been the chance it offers to expose students from all over the country to our school's residency programs. Almost every year, students who have participated in the preceptorship interview with at least one of our three family medicine residency programs. These are outstanding students, and we are frequently blessed that at least one of them matches with us. This is important because data from the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care indicate that up to 75 percent of physicians will practice within 100 miles of their residency. In this way, the ETSU programs are consistently fulfilling their mission to provide rural family physicians for our patients.  

On a personal note, I had the privilege of talking with students about a number of issues, including the importance of herbal medicine in Appalachian culture, bedside manner and patient-centered communication. I encourage each of you to consider how you can be a part of such a process in your community.

If you are academician, are there ways you could create student or even resident experiences that can mirror some of these goals of exposing students to underserved areas?  If you are in private practice, is there a school or residency in your area that you could connect with to create a unique and transformative experience for learners?

Although we struggle nationally with physician pipeline issues, this is how we can walk our talk and directly influence students. This is a great opportunity to remember that the root word of doctor is docere -- to teach!  

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is president of the AAFP.


Employee Recognition

What's the best thing about working at East Tennessee State University? Our people-students, faculty and staff! Our quality reputation! Our beautiful campus! Our emphasis on caring for the needs of every member of the ETSU family! ETSU is a student-centered community of learning that employs more than 2,000 faculty and staff. Our personnel are a constant source of enthusiastic service that makes us a leader in regional universities.mi

When the doors open each morning at ETSU Family Medicine, Michelle Goodman, RN, Nurse Supervisor is there greeting employees, residents and faculty physicians as we ready the center to provide Patient Centered Medical Home care to our patients. As Supervisor, her door is always open as she is known as our “go-to” person. She is welcoming, patient, helpful, and just an overall exemplary staff member. She regularly rolls up her sleeves and assists the patients, physicians and residents by taking vital signs. She is our first line of defense for emergencies, safety and assistance. She provides a teaching atmosphere and sets an example for our nursing staff and residents by demonstrating effective communication skills with the healthcare team. Her compassionate and positive attitude is evident as she truly focuses on the care and treatment of our patients. She often worries about patients who may be having a difficult time and will call them after hours to see if they are doing okay. Her staff also experiences her care and compassion as she daily assists them, fills in for them when family emergencies arise, encouraging and supporting them, and providing the tools and information needed so they can be successful in their job roles. It is a pleasure and an honor to work with Michelle and we are so grateful to have her here at ETSU Family Medicine!



ETSU physician to speak on the perils of summer

From Lyme disease and West Nile Virus to snakebites, sunburn and sunstroke, the perils of summer have arrived.
On Thursday, July 10, Dr. Raymond Feierabend of ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol and director of Graduate Medical Education for the Department of Family Medicine at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine, will give a talk at the Bristol Public Library about ways to make the summer safer.

 Feierabend’s lecture is part of the Health Education Series 2014, which is hosted through a partnership between the Bristol Public Library, ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol and Wellmont Health Systems. The series is designed to help educate and inspire people to be more proactive about their own health.

 The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room. The Bristol Public Library is located at 701 Goode St., Bristol, Va.

 For more information, call the Bristol Public Library at 276-821-6149.


High School Medical camp 2014

In an effort to increase the number of primary care physicians who choose to practice in rural areas, the Department of Family Medicine has sought to have a greater influence upon high school students during a period which is critical to their career determinations. Rural high school students eyeing a career in medicine and the health sciences can get an early glimpse into the field by entering the 13th annual Rural High School Medical Camp, hosted by the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. The camp encourages the students to consider a career that previously may have appeared out of reach and gives them a set of experiences to guide them for preparation for entering

The camp is from Sunday June 15-June 20, 2014.  There are 27 high school students participating in the camp and 6 second year medical students serving as chaperone’s for the medical camp.  Some of their favorite activities thus far are Pharmacy, Human Simulation Lab, Standardized Patient Lab, Phlebotomy, Gross Lab, Johnson City Medical Center, working out at the CPA gym, hiking Buffalo Mountain.  The camp will end Friday with a suturing workshop and closing session with our College of Medicine dean, Dr. Robert Means and Student Affairs Associate Dean, Doug Taylor.

The families of the students are all invited for the closing session.

2015 camp will be in June next year.



Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

It Takes a Village: Become a Breastfeeding Advocate

Over the years, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) has received significant leadership contributions from AAFP members, including past ABM officers Anne Montgomery, M.D., Julie Wood, M.D., and Tim Tobolic, M.D. AAFP member Anne Eglash, M.D., in fact, was a founding member of the ABM. But no AAFP officer had ever been invited to participate in the ABM's Annual Summit on Breastfeeding, even though our colleagues from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics have routinely attended.

But this year, for the first time in the event's six-year history, all the specialties that care for newborns and mothers were represented at the recent two-day summit in Washington.


Family physicians, including president-elect Julie Taylor, M.D., M.Sc., (right) have played an important role in the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. I met with her at the recent Annual Summit on Breastfeeding.

This breakthrough represented an important opportunity for the AAFP because attendees at this event included not only representatives of the medical professional organizations noted above, but also leaders from CMS, HHS and other governmental agencies; federal legislators; representatives from such diverse stakeholder groups as the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the March of Dimes, as well as academics, state health officials and others.

Unfortunately, many of these groups have not coordinated their efforts with one another and were not aware of other groups' activities. In particular, these other stakeholders were not familiar with the important work the AAFP has done in the areas of breastfeeding support, advocacy and policy. Therefore, I saw at least part of my role in attending the event as helping to break down existing silos.

I found it encouraging that everyone present seemed to readily recognize this need. We forged new relationships, connecting to the right people to improve our collaboration. In between agenda sessions, people were talking, exchanging cards, and sharing resources and links. I felt a great deal of enthusiasm and energy throughout the entire event.

Best of all, this summit provided me another opportunity to help other groups understand who family physicians are and what we do. I was able to point to our unique role in taking care of these special patients, noting that because we are the only specialty that truly does cradle-to-grave care, we have multiple opportunities to talk not only about breastfeeding, but also the many diverse issues relating to rearing children.

An especially important message for attendees to hear was about our ability to educate not just the mother, but also the father and, perhaps even more essential, the maternal grandmother! Family physicians are truly the medical specialists who can pull everything together after the blessed event, because we see both mother and baby together at subsequent visits. With this kind of postpartum follow-up, we can directly impact the sad decrease in breastfeeding rates that occurs after women go home from the hospital. At the time of discharge, about 75 percent of U.S. women are breastfeeding, but that rate drops to roughly 28 percent within a few weeks of going home.

Family physicians can take the lead in addressing this critical public health issue because we understand that breastfeeding is really a family matter, not just a personal one. We witness the powerful role of relationships within families and with our practices every day, with every patient.

The ABM has a number of resources to support breastfeeding, just as the AAFP does. One of our resources, the Academy's breastfeeding position paper, is even now being updated as part of a regular evidence review by our Breastfeeding Advisory Committee. That update likely will be published in the fall and will be accompanied by an education campaign aimed at helping to create breastfeeding-friendly family physician offices.

Other resources family physicians may find helpful include the Baby-Friendly USA initiative and its 10 steps to creating breastfeeding-friendly hospitals. Even for family physicians who don't work in hospitals or provide obstetric care, it's still important to advocate on patients' behalf to ensure that that the first exposure during and after delivery reflects strong support for "the first food" and not formula.

It's also worth noting that 28 percent of all medical students in this country are members of the AAFP, so we have a unique opportunity to begin emphasizing breastfeeding benefits early on regardless of what specialty each student eventually selects. Moreover, our residencies are working to become breastfeeding-friendly for our trainees. This new policy is the result of resolutions passed by the 2013 Congress of Delegates that initially were brought forward by our students and residents.

Finally, I was able to share the critical need for all of us to network better with each other. Even in this meeting that focused on an issue of common ground, I still saw evidence of our fragmented health care system. Different groups don't always share as well as they could. This is one of our challenges in these days of advanced communications technology -- we can forget the power of face-to-face discussions. That is one reason I am so eager to say "Yes!" to these kinds of invitations. Nothing can beat actually talking with people in person.

That said, we need to recognize that the mothers and families of today are different, and I challenged everyone at the meeting to get comfortable with social media because it's one more avenue to increase awareness about breastfeeding.

One final note: Just as family physicians were critical to the founding of the ABM, so we are to its leadership now. The current president of the ABM is Wendy Broadribb, M.B.B.S., a family physician from Australia. Julie Taylor, M.D., M.Sc., a family physician on faculty at Brown University, will be taking over next year. I look forward to future opportunities for the Academy to interact and grow together with other stakeholders on this important issue.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D. , is president of the AAFP.


ETSU researchers to be a part of effort to reduce number of babies born addicted to drugs

June 3rd, 2014 9:56 am by Nathan Baker

East Tennessee State University researchers will be a part of the state’s continued efforts to reduce the number of babies born addicted tobaby narcotics, awarded one of five grants in the state to study the problem of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.

ETSU’s Ivy Click, an assistant professor of Family Medicine at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, and Nick Hagemeier from the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, are leading a one-year study funded by the Tennessee Department of Health to help better devise an education program for those able to prescribe and dispense drugs.

According to state DOH statistics, 386 infants have been born this year so far showing signs of NAS, which is defined by withdrawal symptoms that can occur in babies exposed to illegal or prescription drugs while in their mothers’ wombs.

That number is 22 percent higher than the same time period last year, continuing a trend that health officials are calling an epidemic-level health crisis.

“If you look at the statistics, we don’t see the problem going away,” Hagemeier said Monday. “It’s going to take work on multiple fronts to impact change, and I think the Tennessee Department of Health is asking some good questions and spending some money on good research.”

For the study, the two doctors plan to target four different groups: pharmacists, primary care physicians, pain management clinic physicians and those prescribing buprenorphine, a drug commonly used to treat opioid addiction.

Hagemeier and Click plan to ask the physicians how they talk to patients about the risks of NAS, especially when the patients are women in their prime childbearing years.

“We want to know if they’re educating them about the risks associated with these drugs and, even if they may not be pregnant, if they’re having conversations about contraceptive use,” Hagemeier said. “These are the kinds of things prescribers and dispensers should be talking to their patients about, we want to know if they are and how we can make those conversations more effective.”

Today, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other state health officials are expected to unveil a seven-point plan designed to curtail rising prescription drug abuse.

The plan’s revelation follows new guidelines set by a panel of physicians appointed by the state commissioner of health putting limits on doses doctors can prescribe, defining procedures for giving the drugs to women of childbearing age and setting new requirements for certification for pain medicine specialists.

Last month, Haslam signed a controversial bill into law that sets up penalties for women who birth children with NAS, allowing them to be charged with misdemeanor assault and face jail time.

Lawmakers say the law could help to encourage pregnant women addicted to prescriptions or illicit drugs to seek treatment, but opponents said similar laws did not work in the past, and could drive women away from seeking treatment at hospitals.

Hagemeier said the study is likely a part of the efforts planned by the administration, and he hopes more extensive surveys will be conducted in the future.

“We have a year to get it done, the end-date is next year,” he said. “My hope is we can use the results to help the state better understand how to best develop interventions and to seek additional funding to do a larger project.”



Monday Jun 02, 2014

White House Invitation Shows Importance, Recognition of Family Medicine

In our advocacy efforts, we often talk about the importance of being "at the table" when important discussions are taking place. The Academy is getting a good seat at that proverbial table more and more often.

Last week, I had the opportunity to represent the AAFP at a White House event for the second time in less than 18 months. This most recent trip was prompted by an invitation to attend the president's Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, which brought together select medical experts and representatives from collegiate and professional sports organizations to address this serious problem.


   I attended the Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion
     Summit May 29 at the White House.

My previous White House invitation stemmed from the first lady's request that an AAFP representative attend a meeting about Joining Forces (a national initiative to support military service members and their families) along with the representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other stakeholders. At that meeting, we addressed the challenges of providing care to special groups within our armed services, including service women and veterans needing mental health services.

I'm pleased that the administration is demonstrating an increasing recognition of the critical, foundational role that family physicians play in our health care system. Concussions, traumatic brain injury, mental health and women's health needs are significant health issues. Unfortunately, it is common for legislators and administrators to view these issues strictly in terms of subspecialty services, which can easily lead to fragmented care.

Family medicine is the only specialty that doesn't limit itself based on organ systems, disease groups, specific problems or age of patients. Instead, we are on the frontlines of managing all of these issues in our patients every day. One of the Academy's goals is to help those in leadership positions better understand who family physicians are and what we can provide. The fact that the AAFP is repeatedly being invited to meetings like these indicates our message is getting through.

During his remarks at the concussion summit, the president mentioned that although U.S. emergency rooms see roughly 250,000 children each year for head injuries, that doesn't include the number of children who are taken to see their "family doctor." I appreciate his recognition that family physicians are instrumental in the care being provided to children for such health issues. We are able to address the acute issues of affected children and the appropriate concerns of their families. We can educate these families and discuss how to prevent these injuries.

Perhaps even more important are our relationships within our communities. Family physicians provide numerous community services in many different venues, and 40 percent of our members provide some sports medicine services. Many are right there on the sidelines to educate coaches and teams.

Moreover, the direct connection we have with patients allows us to be there for the challenges created when someone has a severe concussion and its sequelae -- such as post-concussion symptoms and even career- or life-changing events. We are the only physicians with the combination of comprehensive education, extensive training and skills to handle complexity that allows us to care for all of our patients’ needs and help manage the impact on their families.

One of the promises that our officers and Board made to all Academy members was to continue to advocate that we be at the table and, thus, off the menu for such keenly important health care issues. I think we are well on our way in this regard. Our invitation to, and attendance at, these high-level meetings allow us to continue to educate those in health and government administration not only about the need for family physicians to be right at the frontlines, which we already are, but also to be respected in that critical role.

Thank you for all of your service and for all that you do. More and more people are recognizing the important work family physicians have always done, and they are starting to value those contributions appropriately.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is president of the AAFP.


 fc fc2

    The free clinic in Mt. City was held on May 22nd. We have held the clinics since December 2012 and word is getting out based on the cars in the parking lot.  Our clinic is becoming quite successful and feel we are making a difference in the community.

World Family Doctor Day Celebrates Family Medicine on May 19

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA*) will celebrate World Family Doctor Day around the globe on May 19. First declared by WONCA in 2010, World Family Doctor Day is a day to highlight the role and contribution of family physicians in health care systems around the world.

Family medicine has long been the preferred model of care outside the United States and is the cornerstone of an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

“Family medicine is comprehensive in its focus — caring for an individual’s health across the life span,” said Julie Wood, MD, AAFP vice president for health of the public and interprofessional activities. “World Family Doctor Day highlights family medicine for adaptability, brings attention to the important work family physicians do, and encourages medical students to make a contribution in the global community by choosing family medicine as a specialty.”

Multinational employers and insurance companies are realizing more and more the importance of family physicians and their focus on a long-term patient-physician relationship, preventive care, chronic disease management and care coordination across sub-specialties.

WONCA has an impact on the world of family medicine and general practice through its World Council and its seven regional councils. In addition to its governance structure, WONCA has working groups on the classification of problems encountered in general family practice, rural practice, quality assurance, informatics, education, communications and publications, research, health behavior change, tobacco cessation, women and family medicine, mental health and respiratory diseases. Since inception many of these groups have carried out groundbreaking studies and research, and have produced a variety of important publications.

The American Academy of Family Physicians is a longstanding member of WONCA. The 115,900 AAFP members join with the126 WONCA member organizations in 102 countries to celebrate World Family Doctor Day.

###About the American Academy of Family Physicians

Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 115,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care. 

 Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. 

 To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions, and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,

 * WONCA is an unusual, yet convenient acronym comprising the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians.

WONCA's short name is World Organization of Family Doctors .



James H. Quillen College of Medicine graduation was held May 9th .  Fourteen Rural Primary Care Track students graduated from the program.  Many walked away with numerous awards and Rural Programs are very proud of each and every one of them.  US News and World report ranked Quillen Medical School Rural programs 6th in the nation.


Modern Healthcare has announced 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders and we are proud to announce

our own Dr. Blackwelder is included in this prestigious list, please click to view the entire list.



Thursday was the last day of Rural Primary Care Track for the first year medical students. We decided to do something fun and went to Watauga Lake, Carolyn Sliger's cabin.  We had a great picnic and weather was hot and sunny.  Students and Faculty, Drs. Joe Florence and Jim Shine competed in the RPCT "Olympics" with a mean game of corn hole and washers.  Champions were Wade Davis, MS 1 and Grayson McConnell, MS 1. 





Two 4th year Rural Primary Care Track students traveled to Guatemala for their rural rotation in March.  Laurie Bennie, MS 4 and Sean O' Connor, MS 4 presented their medical experiences and shared pictures to 20 first and second year medical students who are also vying potential international travel as fourth year medical students.  





Fourth year Rural Primary Care Track students were recertified for ACLS training to go forward with their residency programs.

Dr. Joe Florence, Rural Programs Director certified 9 fourth year medical students and he is the only faculty who is certified to teach ACLS within the College of Medicine.

He also certifies second year RPCT students in the spring of their classes.


the certification course was a three day course on 4/15/14

and the certification course was on May, 06, 2014




 Congratulations to the 4th graduating class of the STFM Behavioral Science/Family Systems Educator Fellowship
( Shout out to Dr. Tom Bishop
of the ETSU Johnson City program, who was one of the graduates. And thanks to STFM leadership for the wisdom to support it,
and for being present to celebrate its ongoing growth.                                                                                             May,05, 2014


Wednesday Apr 30, 2014                          Main

Medical Student Advocates Make Big Impression on Legislators at FMCC

When I sat down at my state's table at the Family Medicine Congressional Conference (FMCC) earlier this month, I was quite surprised to find two of my Quillen College of Medicine students already sitting there.


Melissa Robertson, left, and Jessica White,   right, seniors at East Tennessee State University's James H. Quillen College   of Medicine, met with legislators from their state -- including Rep. Marsha   Blackburn, center -- during the Family Medicine Congressional Conference in   Washington.


The AAFP provides two scholarships for students and two for residents to attend this annual advocacy event in Washington, which trains family physicians (and future FPs) to advocate for their patients and for family medicine. The AAFP Foundation also awards a student scholarship, so I thought perhaps these students -- Jessica White and Melissa Robertson -- had earned scholarships to attend. But as it turns out, they decided to make the trip from Tennessee at their own expense because they thought it was an important learning opportunity.

In fact, 55 students and residents from around the country attended FMCC this year. Their spirit and efforts give me great hope for our future.

FMCC provides a remarkable blend of advocacy education and skills development along with the chance to immediately put those learnings into action. On the first day of the conference, we heard from advocacy experts, representatives of federal health agencies, congressional staff and two legislators.

On the second day of the event, more than 200 students, residents and practicing physicians took what they had learned on day one to Capitol Hill to talk with legislators and staff about issues such as physician payment, education and workforce. One of the best parts of this conference is the opportunity to share personal stories with our legislators. There is no question these conversations have a big impact and are one of the reasons face-to-face meetings have such potential to make a difference in promoting our interests.

Legislators and congressional staff hear from the AAFP Board several times a year, but stories from members can be so important because they speak directly to legislators who are elected to represent their state and district and tell them how constituents are being affected by the various challenges family physicians face.

For example, Jessica and Melissa, two seniors who have matched into family medicine residency programs, were able to talk about important education issues during our visits. As we reviewed the key points from the previous day's advocacy training sessions, we realized their presence was especially serendipitous given their paths to family medicine.

Jessica matched in Asheville, N.C., just across the mountains from Quillen. She will join the family medicine residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), which is a teaching health center. These centers provide creative approaches to training family medicine residents based in the communities that most need them.

Under the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program established as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, GME funds go directly to the centers. However, the THCGME program, which started in 2011, is only funded through 2015.

The program is now completing its third academic year, graduating its first cycle of residents and sending almost 300 primary care physicians into the workforce. It should come as no surprise, then, that extending funding for the teaching health centers program is one of the Academy's top legislative priorities during this congressional session.

Without such an extension, Jessica's residency program cannot guarantee her salary for all three years of her training. Accepting this offer represents a remarkable leap of faith on her part. It also provided a great example to the people we talked with about the importance of extending funding for these programs.

Melissa is a nontraditional medical student and former elementary school teacher, so she brings a critical, real-world perspective to both medicine and medical education. She came to the AAFP's National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students two years ago and got the advocacy bug there. During that conference, she was elected to the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine's Board of Directors and now is serving her second term.

Melissa, who matched to our East Tennessee State University residency program in Bristol, has a real knack for asking common-sense questions that help cut through administrative layers. Her particular path has made advocacy issues such as student debt and the primary care salary gap extremely important in her world.

Together, the three of us considered the day's congressional visits and how to tell these stories in meaningful ways. First up was Tennessee Tuesday, which is a weekly breakfast during which Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., welcome everyone visiting from our home state to Washington. They are always excited to meet their constituents and were especially eager to meet these medical students.

Next, we met with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. Jessica's family lives in Blackburn's district, so this connection immediately lent relevance to our advocacy stories in a way that had not happened in my previous conversations with the congresswoman. Our legislators certainly pay attention to their constituents, and we were able to get some unscheduled time and a photo opportunity with Blackburn.

Moreover, during a subsequent meeting with Blackburn's health aide, we were able to talk about topics in a totally different light because of the students' circumstances. This latter meeting also showed Jessica and Melissa the critical role legislative aides play in setting agendas for elected members of Congress.

We then met with Rep. Phil Roe, M.D., R-Tenn., who represents Quillen's district. Originally, we had been scheduled to meet his legislative aide, but when he heard there were two medical students from his district present, he immediately made time to meet with them. In fact, their stories were so compelling that he asked if we would walk to the Capitol with him because he had to vote, but he did not want to cut short his discussion with Jessica and Melissa.

Jessica's story about her uncertain financial situation at the residency program in North Carolina grabbed Roe's attention in a way my previous discussions with him could not, in part, because Christ Community Health Services in Memphis is one of more than a dozen residencies that are expected to start receiving THCGME funds beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.

As a nontraditional student who made a huge financial sacrifice to become a physician later in life, Melissa's story also sparked his interest immensely. He specifically asked her about her medical school debt and how that influenced her and other classmates in their specialty choice.

Roe also took notice when Melissa addressed another of our advocacy points -- the need to renew and increase commitments to GME, such as through Title VII funding, and to consider how we can increase the number of students choosing primary care specialties.

As he prepared to walk to the Capitol, Roe asked Melissa and Jessica whether they would come back to his office after he returned from the vote because he wanted to talk more with them.

After we finished talking with Roe, I left for a media interview and then headed out of town for the Minnesota AFP meeting. By this point, Melissa and Jessica were seasoned advocates, and I knew our messages were in good hands and would be heard in powerful ways. They went on the next visit on their own and later went back to Roe's office.

The three of us texted about the overall experience later, and we made plans to improve how we present the need for advocacy to students and our residents. In fact, Melissa is meeting with the Quillen Family Medicine Interest Group this week to talk about how to prepare for the Academy's resident/student conference scheduled for Aug. 7-9 in Kansas City, Mo. That is the "pay it forward" concept in action.

So, what can you do to pay it forward? In addition to the scholarship opportunities mentioned above, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors sponsors 10 scholarships for residents to attend FMCC. But we could do more. Family medicine residencies, departments of family medicine, state chapters and even individual practices can help send students and residents to FMCC. Exposing students and residents to advocacy, a critical part of how we can improve the care of our patients, can pay huge dividends for those FPs-in-training and for our specialty.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is president of the AAFP.


Family Medicine Recognized at Caduceus Club Awards Banquet

Dr. Jason Moore and Dr. Reid Blackwelder took two of the top honors at the 2014 Caduceus Club Awards banquet on April 25th.

Dr. Moore was selected as Outstanding Attending in Family Medicine. Dr. Blackwelder was awarded Mentor of the Year.

Outstanding Residents awarded were Dr. Shyam Odeti, PGY 3, Johnson City Residency Program, and Dr. Travis Groth, PGY 3, Kingsport Residency Program

Blackwelder, M.D.
Moore, M.D.
Groth, D.O.
Odeti, M.D.

Several faculty, residents and staff were nominated for categories such as outstanding attending, outstanding resident, outstanding staff and mentor of the year. The event, held at the Carnegie, is student led and organized. Quillen students in all classes select the nominees and winners in all categories.

Family Medicine Caduceus Nominees:

Outstanding Resident (nominees) –

Bristol Residency Program -- Drs. Andrew Becker, Ricky Bhimani, Brian Daniels, Barnabas Hines, Bob Schwendeman, Jennifer Smithers

Johnson City Residency Program -- Dr. Chenna Kummathi

Kingsport Residency Program – Drs. Travis Groth, Brandon Lancaster, Isaac Miller , Rodolphe Taby.

Outstanding Attending (nominees)–

Bristol – Drs. John Culp, , Jim Shine and Tom Townsend. Jason Moore

Kingsport - Drs. Reid Blackwelder, Peter Bockhorst, Mark Brummel, Mark Dalle-Ave, Beth Fox, Paige Gilbert-Green, Erin Harris

M1 Professor of the Year (nominee)– Dr. Jason Moore

Subspecialties Outstanding Attending (nominee) – Dr. Jason Moore

Mentor of the Year (nominees) – Drs. Joe Florence and Jose Velasco, Reid Blackwelder

M1/M2 Staff of the Year (nominees)– Connie Clyburn, Carolyn Sliger

M3/M4 Staff of the Year (nominee) – Connie Clyburn

Clerkship of the Year (nominee) - Family Medicine
                                                                                                                                                            April, 28, 2014


Free clinic, Mt. City site visit fr

A group of ETSU folks visited Mt. City TN. Dr. Wilsie Bishop, Vice President of operations, Dr. Robert T. Means, Dean College of Medicine, Dr. Wendy Nehring, Dean College of Nursing met with several second and third year medical students to see what their projects were in the community and how they have benefited from being in a rural community and giving back.

Several Johnson County residents and dignitaries were invited and showed their support for the students being in the community. A suture workshop followed.

                                             Wednesday, April 23


 rpct The graduating class of 2014 Rural Primary Care Track students were recognized  and congratulated on a job well done over the past 4 years in medical school. We gathered at the home of Kaye and Joe Florence.  Words of encouragement were given by Dr. Joe Florence, Dean Robert Means, Carolyn Sliger and Connie Clyburn. Fourteen students will be graduating May 9th in the RPCT program  and we wish them luck with their residency's and future careers.





Residents in AOA Program attend national conference

The AOA residency program, which is integrated within the three family medicine residencies, was well represented at the 2014 American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Convention in March. Dr. Joann D'Aprile-Lubrano, the AOA Program Director, joined five residents in attending this national event held in Philadelphia.dr


Dr. Heather Carter, a third year resident at the Bristol Residency Program, presented a poster titled "The Health of Healthcare." She along with fellow Bristol residents Drs. Brian Daniels and Robert "Bob" Schwendeman, plus Johnson City resident Dr. Elizabeth Saylor Lucas and Kingsport resident Dr. Travis Groth, learned new Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy techniques.


Before the convention, Drs. Carter and Daniels each completed and passed the Practical OMT Exam necessary for obtaining certification by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians.



Please click to see the video

If you consider yourself as healthy as the proverbial horse, you should still get a yearly check up. But with all the different kinds of doctors, which one should you see? Dr. Leigh Johnson, from Quillen College of Medicine, is here to help us make that decision.



Years of hard work, and a lot of studying, paid off for dozens of graduating medical students across the county.

Annual Fire safety drill - Spring 2014 f

Learned the use of fire extinguishers and work place safety. The presenter set a test fire and everyone had to extinguish the fire using fire extinguishers, also we all learned how to properly pull the pins and aim to get the best results in putting out fires.




Dr. Fox putting out fires for fire safety in Kingsport

High schoolers get glimpse of medical field pic

March 25th, 2014 10:37 pm by Max Hrenda

Tennessee High School sophomore Victoria Good listens for simulated breathing in the Human Patient Simulation Laboratory during ETSU's Health Careers Leadership Summit Tuesday evening.

This week, area high school students were offered a chance to learn the mechanics — sometimes literally — of how a medical school class operates.

On Tuesday evening, a select group of 40 students from regional high schools participated in East Tennessee State University's Health Careers Leadership Summit at the Academic Health Sciences Center of the Quillen College of Medicine.

please click the title to see the full article.

March 25, 2014 g

Gold Humanism Honor Society

Quillen College of Medicine Chapter

We are pleased to inform you that Dr. Travis Groth was recently elected into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) honors senior medical students, resident physicians, and faculty for demonstrated excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service. Election to membership in the GHHS is a significant honor.

Each year, resident physicians chosen to receive the Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award are inducted into the GHHS chapter at QCOM. Third and fourth-year medical students select six residents for the Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award based on their commitment to teaching and compassionate treatment of patients and families, students, and colleagues.

We are proud to have physicians of Dr. Groth's caliber at ETSU. Congratulations on attracting highly qualified and humanistic physicians into your residency program.

Friday Mar 14, 2014

For This State Chapter, It Truly Is a 'Family Affair'

One of the characteristics that truly defines family physicians is that we recognize everything is about relationships. We certainly understand this when to come to our patients.

I worked with a medical student recently, and she was impressed by how much I knew about patients I hadn't seen for months. I told her that it's because we family physicians know our patients, and we value their stories. This is how we help take care of folks and how we put everything into context. It's one of the things that make family physicians special.hh

We walk our talk in so many other ways, too. This relationship aspect is something I see regularly, and thoroughly enjoy, as I travel around the country and talk with Academy members. One of my responsibilities -- it's an opportunity, really -- as AAFP president is to attend state chapter meetings. Often, I am there to install new officers, provide educational opportunities and update members on what the AAFP is doing for them.

But I think what I am really doing is reinforcing the power of relationships. The connections I am making are phenomenal. Many of the physicians I see at chapter meetings are people I have met at other meetings because we often travel the same paths. However, each state chapter also has physicians who are not involved at the national level. These are the dedicated family physicians on the front lines who are often coming together for their own networking and education.

Behind all of this activity are the chapter executives who do outstanding work for their members. These are truly compassionate and remarkable individuals who help each chapter be the best version of what it can be.

I recently traveled to South Lake Tahoe, Nev., for the Nevada AFP's annual meeting. I was invited to the chapter's meeting last year, but I had to cut that trip short to make an unplanned, but very important, other meeting. I was thrilled that the Nevada AFP asked me and my wife, Alex, to come again this year. We were eager to get the full experience this time.

What was remarkable is that you would never know that this actually is a small chapter. A large number of people attended the very well-put-together CME sessions in a beautiful location. However, what was most powerful to me was how much of a family affair this event was. The moment I arrived, executive director Brooke Wong welcomed me into her bustling command center.

Brooke is a staff of one, but her family provided plenty of help to make the meeting run smoothly. Her young daughters helped with a silent auction. Her husband, Conrad, provided IT support and took photographs. He was everywhere, making sure that the CME came off without a hitch and documenting all of the events.

At registration, Brooke's mother and father greeted people with a smile, offered chocolate and signed attendees up for all of the various events.

As soon as we walked in, we were part of the Nevada AFP family. There is truly no better example of the power of relationships than what occurs at these chapter meetings.

Thanks to all of the chapters I've had a chance to visit, and I look forward to those coming up. It is an incredible opportunity, and I value being a part of each of your families.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is president of the AAFP.


First year medical students Pooja Jagadish, Brandon Seaver, Gorcia Svalina and Greg Wykoff talked to Daniel Boone High School Medical Therapeutics class under the instruction of Crystal Fink.  The students brought organs from the medical school discussing each organ, its use, placement and how to take care of our bodies through good nutrition and exercise.  The medical students provided power point presentations to cover the subject for the high school students.

March 11, 2014

Prescription Drug Abuse at the Primary Care r

Logan Williams, Quillen College of medicine, second year medical student, presented his research on Prescription Drug Abuse at the Primary Care and Prevention Research Day held at the Millennium Friday February 21st. Rebekah Rollston and Caryn Brehm both second year medical students, also helped with the research and were in attendance to support Logan who did a great job on his presentation.


Friday Feb 21, 2014                                                                                                             Main article    

Building the Family Medicine Pipeline

When I was running for AAFP President-elect, I said during a question-and-answer session at the Congress of Delegates that I would try to say yes to every opportunity that came my way. This can be daunting because there are so many opportunities to represent the Academy each week.

However, being president truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I have tried hard to follow through on my promise. I do everything I can to jump at invitations from state chapters, to medical student functions and other opportunities to meet with AAFP members all over the map.

Family Medicine Interest Group advisers discuss ways to increase student interest in our specialty during a recent meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

I recently had one such opportunity on my way back from the Nevada AFP meeting. I was invited to stop in Nashville, Tenn., to be a part of a 1234dynamic workshop for Family Medicine Interest Groups (FMIG) faculty advisers. This leadership summit was an opportunity to bring together medical school and residency faculty and staff from all over the country who serve in adviser or support roles to the student-run FMIGs at their own or an affiliated medical school. One of the most important reasons for doing so is to develop relationships and create a sense of family in this group.

There is a significant turnover in this group because the role of student group adviser often falls to the newest faculty member in a department. In fact, many of the folks present had been involved with their FMIG's for less than a year. This makes it important for us to bring people together so we have an exchange of information as well as support systems for this incredibly important work.

FMIG's are remarkable. There is a great deal of direct student leadership involved for each medical school's group, with a select group of medical students elected or appointed to serve in roles to connect and coordinate between FMIGs. The AAFP recently selected its 2014 FMIG Network Regional Coordinators, who hail from Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. These dedicated students work tirelessly to share information with FMIG student leaders at each institution and to provide opportunities for those leaders to connect and share best practices, much like what was done at the FMIG Faculty Adviser Summit.

The advisers all play different roles in this process, depending on their institution, environment and engagement of leaders. They have the responsibility for finding ways of sharing the excitement and passion for family medicine with students during their first two years of medical school, through the FMIG and other department efforts.

Most FMIG's are mainly made up of, and led by, first- and second-year students. Third-year students are on their clinical rotations and have less free time, and fourth-year students have often already committed to specialties. The group of advisers focused some of its discussion on how to keep third- and fourth-year students engaged in FMIGs to help support a family medicine specialty choice among the third-years and to use the fourth-years as mentors for the junior students.

This is a huge and critical aspect of addressing our pipeline challenge. The more we can tell medical students about the joys of family medicine, the more we may maintain their interest as they begin choosing specialties. In these challenging times, the message that our country truly needs primary care physicians is one that medical students need to hear, alongside the message of what's in it for them, which is the opportunity to have the greatest impact on population health and a specialty that provides variety, excitement and deep patient relationships.

This meeting allowed us to discuss the frustrations and the opportunities of a rapidly changing health care system and environment. I promised to take what I heard from the advisers back to the AAFP Board of Directors to help inform our deliberations related to developing our workforce pipeline.

I hope all of our active members work with medical students when given the opportunity. When students are early in their training, they are eager to see true patient encounters. At the same time, we have to recognize how impressionable students are. We need to make sure that our love of our patients and our thankfulness for the opportunities to answer our calling is what comes through. The more we do this, the more students will see that no other specialty creates the opportunities to get to know patients, make a difference and to truly impact families the way family medicine can.

Active AAFP members who would like to be connected with an FMIG faculty adviser at a medical school in their area may contact student interest strategist Ashley Bentley. Thanks for being a part of the learning process.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is President of the AAFP .

Faculty, staff and students representing Quillen College of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine attended a reception Feb. 18 to honor Dr. Reid Blackwelder on his recent election as President of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).group


More than 100 well-wishers greeted Dr. Blackwelder at the event held in Stanton- Gerber Hall on the VA Campus. Dr. Wilsie Bishop, ETSU Vice President for Health Affairs and Chief Operating Officer, offered comments about Dr. Blackwelder's achievements and contributions to the University. Dr. Ken Olive, Interim Dean of Medicine and Dr. John Franko, Chair, Family Medicine also spoke at the event. Rounding out the program, Dr. Blackwelder thanked the group, and recognized his wife, Alex, for her support throughout his career achievements.

Dr. Blackwelder is a Family Medicine physician at ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport and serves as Director of Medical Student Education for the Department of Family Medicine. He received his M.D. degree from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his residency and a teaching fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia.

The AAFP represents over 110,600 physicians, residents and medical students. It is one of the largest medical organizations in the country. Learn more at

Feb/ 17/ 2014

ETSU Family Medicine is now offering extended clinic hours one night per week to better serve patients.

ETSU Family Physicians of Bristol and ETSU Family Medicine Associates in Johnson City are open Mondays until 6:30 p.m.

ETSU Family Physicians of Kingsport is open Thursdays until 6:30 p.m. Please call for an appointment.

Thursday Feb 06, 2014                                                                                        Main article

Dedication to Lifelong Learning Reflects Specialty's Heritage

I recently attended a meeting of the Family Medicine Working Party, which is a convocation of the seven organizations that represent our specialty.

These groups are led by outstanding family physician volunteer leaders, and these biannual meetings allow these leaders to ensure each organization is aware of what the others are doing. Often, a focus area for one group affects the other groups as well. Even if our initiatives don't directly overlap, it is important to hear updates about what is happening.ll

It also is a great opportunity to talk about some of the remarkable things that we see in family medicine. I was particularly inspired by a story from James Puffer, M.D., the president and CEO of the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). One topic that we routinely review with the ABFM is the process of maintenance of certification, and the exam all diplomates are required to take. This conversation allowed us to review the commitment to lifelong learning that has exemplified family medicine.

It is important to recognize that when family medicine began as a specialty, we were the first and only specialty that challenged our members to continue to recertify. Other medical specialty organizations had lifelong certifications in place that allowed a physician to take one exam, one time. Our specialty's founding fathers knew that lifelong learning was a critical aspect, and that certifying only one time would not guarantee that a physician was at the top of his or her game throughout his or her career. We now have data showing that recertification maintains a knowledge base over time, whereas taking a single exam one time allows a person's knowledge base to decline.

However, the inspirational part of this story has to do with a group of family physicians who continue to recertify well into their 80s and even 90s. In fact, the oldest family physician who recently sat for the recertification exam was 93. Puffer personally calls all of these physicians to let them know their scores and to ask an important question. He was especially pleased to call the 93-year-old physician to inform him that he had indeed passed. Puffer asked the man if he was still practicing. The family physician replied that he had not practiced for many years. So, Puffer asked why he was recertifying. This member said that he could not imagine letting his certification lapse. He has always been board-certified, he said, and he always would be.

I think this comment is a testament to something unique about family physicians. This is a dedication to true lifelong learning. This member is going to continue to challenge himself to learn more about his craft even though he is no longer practicing. It also speaks to the pride and work ethic of this member that I think exemplifies family physicians. We recognize that board certification means something. We recognize that in family medicine, we have made a commitment to continue to challenge ourselves to be the best that we can be in order to give the best possible care to our patients.

This kind of story challenges me to continue to do everything I can to help our organization be the best that it can be so it can serve members like this extraordinary family physician in the way they deserve. I hope that I, too, am continuing to recertify until it is time for me to go to my next great adventure.

Reid Blackwelder, M.D., is president of the AAFP.