President's Message

April 21, 2021

Guest Written by WAFP Executive Director, Larry Pheifer

In July of last year, the WAFP published a position statement on racism as a public health crisis.  Since then, we have spoken publicly on the issue and have signed on to statements with other health care associations addressing the disparities and injustices in this arena in Wisconsin.

Earlier this year the WAFP board of directors initiated the formation of a workgroup to bring forward specific recommendations as to what and how WAFP can and should be doing to address health disparities and racism. 


1. Identify areas within public health to recommend the WAFP focus on with this issue (i.e. health disparities/inequities, education, member resources)

2. Identify how and where to address racism and health equity in existing WAFP strategic plan (what areas of focus and/or goals) and determine what are the measurable, desired outcomes and who’s accountable.

3.  Develop a statement and WAFP position for internal and external use.


Conduct a member needs assessment to determine how we can provide support and develop resources for members.

Workgroup Members

·      Rod Erickson, MD

·      Lisa Dodson, MD

·      Taylor Boland, MD

·      Kathleen Farah, MD

·      Michelle Minikel, MD

·      Beth Pyne, MD

·      Anne Drolet, MD

In March, the workgroup met and began to identify how to begin to address this charge. The group agreed to begin by addressing the following:

1.     Get an inventory on what educational opportunities are out there for our members in the areas of health equity and racism?

2.     Identify who our members are and who they’re serving from a health equities point of view.

3.     Identify what the medical schools and residency programs are doing in this arena.

4.     Since Wisconsin health care is driven by health systems, determine what the systems are doing to address health equity.

5.     Identify 1-2 areas to begin to address.

            a.     Diversity & health equity (focus on public health)

            b.     Provide member education and access to resources

Once the workgroup defines the direction for the above, they will reach out to people who have interest and experience in these areas to ask for help and collaboration. In the meantime, the workgroup has assembled some resources to share with the membership.


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