Author Archives: Stacy Brungardt

Two Decades of Memories and a Crystal Ball

50anni_headerpresentfutureCelebrating STFM’s 50 years. I’ve been a part of the Society for nearly half of that.


Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

There have been moments when I can’t move from my chair. Like the time our Leland Blanchard Lecturer Bill Strickland told us how he partnered with the Pittsburgh community to create an arts and technology center for disadvantaged kids. I experienced the same chair paralysis when Peter Coggan, MD, shared his personal story of perseverance and why he gives back to STFM. I was too moved to move.

I see many faces from the past and present when I look back on my 23 plus years of memories and emotions.

Joy. I can still picture where I was and the amazing feeling of the phone call from Search Committee Chair John Rogers, MD, MPH, offering me the job as STFM executive director. That was a moment.

Pride. I appreciate watching excellence unfold. Like the time Mary Hall, MD, nailed her incoming president’s address or when I’ve witnessed the brilliance of Jerry Kruse, MD, as he connects the dots between disparate ideas that no one else sees.

Inspiration. During her presidency, Jeri Hepworth, PhD, talked about STFM moving big rocks. This terminology inspired our current strategic plan and reminds us that STFM and family medicine have the power to do great things if we believe and expect that of ourselves.

Perseverance. We heard for years that it was too hard to get the family of family medicine to reach consensus on a national family medicine clerkship curriculum. These folks didn’t know Scott Fields, MD, or Heidi Chumley, MD.

Adventures. My job has taken me to Italy, Prague, Singapore, Cancun, and all over the United States. I saw the world through a different lens when given the opportunity to join John Saultz, MD, and his team on a trip to Japan. I enjoyed being Stacy-san for the week.

Friendships. I’ve had countless dinners and visited the homes and families of Perry Dickinson, MD, Betsy Garrett, MD, MSPH, Sam Cullison, MD, Melly Goodell, MD, and Larry Green, MD, among others. What a gift to have these friendships and be invited into their personal lives.

STFM’s Future: Here’s What I See

The STFM leadership has created a culture of innovation within the Society that accepts risks and invests in the future. We celebrate the lifespan of activities to make space for something new. The Society is well positioned to embrace change and adapt to the future.

Terry Steyer, MD, was the STFM president who inspired the creation of our Emerging Leaders program. Deborah Taylor, PhD, Victoria Gorski, MD, and Julie Schirmer, MSW, built a leadership infrastructure that embraces and develops our behavioral science community. Katie Margo, MD, seized an opportunity to nurture young leaders in the medical student educator world. STFM has invested in developing our next generation of leaders. I imagine a future when the majority of the voices in our leadership are today’s millennials.

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Celebrating 2015 and Looking Forward to 2016

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

Stacy Brungardt, CAE
STFM Executive Director

As we begin a new year, I’m proud to report on the Society’s 2015 accomplishments. Early in the year, we unveiled a new strategic plan that will guide the organization over the next 5 years. One of the decisions in the development of the plan was that STFM would identify a few big rocks: the most critical areas the organization must address.

You can expect to see your Board, committees, and task forces honed in on providing faculty with skills to train learners to achieve the triple aim; identifying strategies to transform training sites into models of excellence; and engaging members, residents, and students in activities related to Family Medicine for America’s Health.

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Election Paradox

Stacy Brungardt, CAE STFM Executive Director

Stacy Brungardt, CAE
STFM Executive Director

If you read the actions from the August Board meeting, you saw a list of governance changes the STFM Board approved, including the move from a contested election to a slate. The reasons behind this change are complex and have been debated in robust fashion over the past year. Ultimately, the Board thinks it is better for STFM, its members, and the discipline for STFM to expand its Nominations Committee, have a more open and transparent election process, and move to having members vote on a slate.

A wise member, John Franko, MD, explained that the issue is not a problem, it is a paradox, ie, two different ways to approach an issue, neither of which are entirely right or wrong. This was a key learning from Ralph Jacobsen’s book about organizational processing of paradox. Jacobsen’s perspective is that leaders need to manage the tension created by paradox and use it to create and innovate.

What great insight to help us consider this issue.

There will be members who like the change to a slate and some who disagree. We heard both sides in our discussions with members, committees, Board members, and task force members. Each side has its pros and cons, and as we weighed both approaches, the opportunity to be more intentional about getting the best talent and the appropriate diverse composition on our Board won out. At a minimum, I hope it is apparent that this was a thoughtful process that recognizes the tension created by this paradox.

You’ll be seeing the specific bylaws changes related to these issues in early November.

As always, we welcome hearing from you.