Jared Johnson, MD

Jared Johnson, MD

Wichita, KS

As I write this, it is the second week of March, and much is happening both locally and nationally concerning COVID-19. It has been a vivid reminder of how important public health and organized medicine are to society. As with many trends in the US, this epidemic arrived on the coasts and has steadily come our way from both sides. While this gave us time to prepare and to learn from what has happened elsewhere, it has felt largely like a waiting game up until now. But very shortly the rubber will meet the road, and we will see how ready we really are. By the time many of you read this in preparation for voting in our KAFP election, we will have a much better sense of how this is playing out.

It will be interesting to see what the mood is in the room when the election comes (assuming we are even meeting together in the same room at all).

I have said before that one thing I appreciate about KAFP is that I do not encounter the same sort of pessimism that is too often found in our profession. Instead, the mood at KAFP seems to me to be optimistic, with an approach that reflects courage and thoughtfulness. That’s an attitude that I hope is still in the atmosphere as this epidemic drags on, and that I want to reflect as I continue to advocate for our profession and the people of Kansas, hopefully as the secretary of the KAFP Board of Directors.

By way of my background, while attending medical school at the University of Oklahoma, I was involved with the Oklahoma Academy. I have attended KAFP annual meetings regularly since I was a resident. I graduated from residency at Wesley in 2010, and for the last four years I have been practicing direct primary care. I have served on the KAFP board as a district director and am currently chair of the Practice Enhancement Committee. I have also served on the Professional Development Committee and the Governance Restructure Taskforce. In the interest of addressing potential conflicts of interest head on, the transitional changes to this year’s election are the product of the nominating committee and the current officers, not the Governance Restructure Taskforce. The taskforce has been focused on the long-term plan for restructuring the KAFP board, including making our committees more robust, which is a goal I really want to work toward.

I have been very happy in DPC, and I am glad for opportunities to discuss it whenever someone asks me about it. I see DPC as one piece of the larger puzzle of reforming our healthcare system, but it is not a panacea. The current COVID-19 crisis will likely show even more plainly the cracks in our current system and, once this has passed, we will turn our attention back to fixing those cracks. I do not think there is any one idea out there that will do that. Instead, I think it will take many smaller reforms to achieve the quadruple aim and get healthcare in America where it needs to be. It will be an ongoing process; we will need many people to be involved in the KAFP and AAFP to continue that work. It is my hope to continue to be one of those people as secretary of the KAFP Board of Directors. Please know that I am available to our members who have ideas or concerns for the board. I hope you will support me as a candidate.