By: Nicole Heath Bixler, DO, MBA, FACOFP
ACOFP President

What a year 2020 has been—for our world, for this organization, for each other and for the communities we serve. Within a matter of weeks, it will all be over, and we will be able to officially look back on it, learn from it and move forward.

Personally, I am looking forward to a time when it is safe to visit our families in Ohio and Pennsylvania, when we can send our children to school without masks and when I can visit my mom in her assisted living facility without being in full PPE. Professionally, I am eagerly anticipating the widespread distribution of a safe vaccine, hugging my patients and reconnecting in-person with my ACOFP family.

For ACOFP, I can’t wait to continue moving forward with positive changes and an increased focus on you, your needs and how the organization serves you, as a member. Here are a few things I am particularly excited about:

New priorities. 2020 has challenged us and our practices to change, pivot and adapt. ACOFP leadership is in the process of redeveloping its advocacy priorities and principles to ensure our continuously developing needs are represented in Washington, including protecting patients—and ourselves—during the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased focus on telehealth, addressing the family physician shortage and preserving the family medicine model of care. 

New initiatives. We are adding new task forces to drive new initiatives. For example, the Governance Task Force will provide recommendations to the Board on ways ACOFP can be more nimble, responsive and inclusive in developing initiatives to meet the needs of our diverse membership. The Task Force on Racism & Health will drive our organization to play an increased role in ending health disparities due to racism and discrimination, and ensure that ACOFP policies, programs and efforts address this issue. The Task Force on Convention Innovation assessed our current and past CME offerings and provided actionable recommendations that will start being implemented in 2021 to ensure our events lead the field on content, structure and experience.

New innovations. I miss seeing my ACOFP family at our in-person events (I know you do too)—so we are working hard to keep you as connected and engaged as possible through technological innovations. Our new platform for ACOFP ’21 Virtual will give attendees the opportunity to connect in forums and provide opportunities to rethink the traditional presentation structure, as well as new ways to deliver learning. 

In case you missed it, we have also implemented technology that allows you to pay your dues on a quarterly or semi-annually basis. If you are interested in taking advantage of this option, please contact the ACOFP Membership Department at 847-952-5100 or membership@acofp.org.

New opportunities. We are constantly developing new opportunities for members to learn and get engaged—from free CME options on our eLearning platform and the launch of new recognition programs, like the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award; to our membership plus ACOFP ’21 Virtual registration bundle special that saves you $100 and gives you access to more than 30 hours of AOA Category 1-A CME. 

We are also enhancing our organizational opportunities by developing partnerships, expanding resources and exploring new relationships. We are optimistic about how these new opportunities will strengthen our current offerings and bring more value to ACOFP members. More to come in the new year…

There is no telling what 2021 has in store for us, but ACOFP has a clear vision for what we have in store for you in 2021, and I could not be happier or feel stronger than I do with my ACOFP family beside me. Let’s embark on the new year together. If you have not already done so, please renew your membership today.

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