San Francisco – Shannon Connolly, MD, a family physician who practices in Orange County, this month begins a one-year term as president of the more than 10,000-member California Academy of Family Physicians (CAFP). In this role, Dr. Connolly will champion the importance of primary and preventive care in keeping Californians healthier and shaping the future of the state’s health care system. Health equity, public health and access to care are primary areas of focus for Dr. Connolly.
As CAFP president, she will help set the Academy’s health policy priorities; work with colleagues, educators, lawmakers and others to advocate for system transformation; address racism and health inequity; and help to raise awareness of the important work of family physicians.
“With our broad training in providing primary care regardless of age, gender or condition, family physicians are an essential component of building a better health care system. Family physicians are at the frontlines of improving the health of our patients and communities.” Dr. Connolly said.
Dr. Connolly will bring her experience as a leader at the national and state level as well as her experience in a clinic that serves low-income patients to help lead CAFP through this next year. “We are in the midst of a national reckoning about racism and health inequity in America. We are at a moment where change is possible if we are brave enough to take it on as the work of family medicine” said Dr. Connolly. She adds, “a ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built to do. Family doctors were trained to navigate difficult journeys. While this year was extraordinary in what family medicine achieved, I believe our best work is still yet to come.”
Dr. Connolly is Associate Medical Director at Melody Health in Orange County where she also sees patients. Dr. Connolly received a B.A. in Biomedical Ethics from Brown University and an M.D. from University of Southern California. She did her medical residency in Family Medicine at the University of California Los Anegles and completed a fellowship in Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of California Irvine. She has held numerous leadership positions at the American Academy of Family Physicians, including currently serving as Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Equity and as a member of the Commission on Health of the Public and Science.
For more information about Dr. Connolly, see www.familydocs.org/connolly.
About the California Academy of Family Physicians: With more than 10,000 members, including active practicing family physicians, residents in family medicine, and medical students interested in the specialty, CAFP is the largest primary care medical society in California. Family physicians are trained to treat an entire family’s medical needs, addressing the whole spectrum of life’s medical challenges. FPs serve a broad base of patients in urban, suburban and rural areas, often in California’s most underserved areas.