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  • Writer's pictureFrances Roen

Inclusive Conversations: Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP)

Updated: 10 hours ago

Welcome to Inclusive Conversations! Once a month, we'll talk with our partners about the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their organizations. In this blog post, meet the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP), the largest physicians specialty organization in Minnesota supporting more than 3,100 passionate family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students as they provide high quality, comprehensive medical care for patients of all ages.

What does it mean for the MAFP to have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Part of our mission is to support family physicians as they provide high quality, comprehensive, and continuous medical care for patients of all ages, and one of our priority areas is to reduce health disparities in Minnesota. Neither of those things—supporting family physicians as they care for patients or working to reduce health disparities—can happen without a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Our member-led Health Equity Committee has developed an Equity Lens Tool to help our staff, leaders, volunteers and members evaluate internal and external policies and decisions to incorporate a DEI lens into all of the work we do. We will also be rolling out an equity lens/decision tree in 2024 to further support our leaders in using a DEI perspective when making decisions.

Describe how MAFP’s work has been enhanced by a team of diverse people from diverse places and life experiences.

We are a member-led, member-focused organization, made up of 3,100+ family physicians, resident physicians and medical students from across Minnesota. Our members and the communities they serve represent a wealth of experiences, perspectives, cultures and histories. We value drawing from a variety of voices, experiences and knowledge for our continuing medical education offerings, advocacy work and more—all with the goal of supporting Minnesota’s family physicians in improving the health of patients and communities by better equipping them to care for a variety of patient populations, advance health equity, address racism and reduce barriers for patients in accessing care.

Tell us about one or two specific things that MAFP has done to promote diversity, equity and/or inclusion?

We have improved our governance structure and leadership pipeline to better reflect the variety of perspectives and experiences of our members and ensure those perspectives and experiences are reflected in our decision making. We have also identified and removed barriers experienced during our policy-making process to increase member access, engagement and participation.

What is the biggest myth or misconception about DEI that you'd like to bust?

Myth: Organizations can be too small or not have enough staff to be able to reasonably incorporate DEI initiatives into their work. Truth: Impactful change can happen one step at a time. Don’t know where to start? Evaluate vendors and how they prioritize equity, or download a DEI checklist and determine what is doable for your organization and start working through the list one item at a time.


Frances Roen is a Georgia girl at heart, and has been graciously adopted by beautiful, snowy Minnesota. She is a forty-something daughter, friend, mom, wife, and entrepreneur, and is always on the look-out for a perfectly fried piece of chicken.

Frances is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) with nearly 20 years of experience fundraising and has raised over $200M for nonprofits. She has held fundraising positions at The Bakken Museum, Augustana Care Corporation, and YouthLink and consulted with dozens of nonprofits clients across the globe. In these roles she has been responsible for all aspects of fundraising including comprehensive campaigns, major and planned gifts, annual funds, events, communications, corporate partnerships and volunteers.

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