Township Resident Named President Of NJ Academy Of Family Physicians

New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP) President Maria F. Ciminelli, MD, FAAFP (left) with American Academy of Family Physicians President-Elect Gary L. LeRoy, MD, FAAFP (right) at the NJAFP Family Medicine Forum in Atlantic City. Photo: NJAFP.

A township resident has been named president of the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Maria Ciminelli, associate director of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Family Medicine Residency Program at CentraState, was named president at the NJAFP’s Family Medicine Forum in Atlantic City, according to a press release from the organization.

The NJAFP, the largest primary care medical specialty society in the state, is a leader in health care practice transformation and advocacy, advancing the specialty of family medicine and improving access to high quality health care for patients, according to the release. As president, Dr. Ciminelli serves as the chief elected officer, representing the Academy’s membership, patients and the best interests.

In addition to serving as a motivating force for other officers, board members, committee members, staff and membership, Dr. Ciminelli will influence the establishment of goals and objectives for the organization during her term of office.

During her acceptance speech, Dr. Ciminelli outlined key issues she would address during her presidency, including defining and increasing New Jersey primary care investment, working with different state medical schools to incentivize students to choose family medicine and looking for new ways to advance physician loan redemption.

“The desire to make family medicine more meaningful and your experience better is what has motivated me to become and stay active in the Academy,” she said. “Mentoring many of you to follow that road has been so very rewarding. I love what I do.”

Dr. Ciminelli also stressed the importance of promoting the family medicine brand, advancing team-based care and continuing to be engaged with membership to ensure their voices are heard.

“I will always try to do what’s best for our organization and its members,” she said. “I will follow the legacy of my predecessors to the best of my ability and keep family medicine strong in New Jersey.”

Recognized for her steadfast dedication to family medicine for more than 20 years, Dr. Ciminelli’s tireless advocacy has supported finding new and creative ways of establishing loan forgiveness programs in New Jersey, which is an important factor in keeping graduating residents in the state. Her commitment to family medicine has helped her manage the family residency program at CentraState while simultaneously serving on several committees to advise the hospital on its growing needs.

A fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Dr. Ciminelli has received numerous honors for her efforts in teaching future generations of family physicians, including the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-CentraState Family Medicine Residency Faculty of the Year in 2011 and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-CentraState Family Medicine Residency Faculty Award of Excellence in 2007. Additionally, she was named the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians Family Physician of the Year in 2016.

Dr. Ciminelli earned her medical degree at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and completed a residency in family medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. She received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

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