Newsletter – January 2019

Greetings, North Central Members!

Welcome to the January 2019 chapter newsletter. Let us know what you think, and remember, you can also read it on the chapter website. You can find previous newsletters on the website as well. And we always welcome suggestions for newsletter topics.

In this issue:




Book Club: Monday, January 28, 2019, at 11 a.m.

The Egg and I, 2550 University Ave., St. Paul, MN

The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization

Details: For our winter meeting, we will be discussing The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization by Martin Puchner. You are warmly invited to ask a colleague or a friend to come along with you. Your guest need not be an AMWA member (yet!), just someone who loves books and language-oriented, medically inflected discussions.

The Egg & I, at 2550 University Ave., is just west of Hwy. 280, near the Minneapolis-St. Paul border. If you (and a guest) plan to attend, please let Mary Knatterud know: knatt001 (at) umn (dot) edu or 651-645-3858.

Even if you haven’t started or finished the book by then, feel free to come and chime in anyway. Our small group varies: new and/or returning AMWA Book Club fans are always welcome.

For those of you who like to read ahead, we have chosen these books for later in 2019:

  • April 29, 2019: Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce by Douglas Starr
  • September 30, 2019: Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande

Read Another Good Book?

Whether you’ve read a professional/technical, biomedical/science nonfiction, or fiction book that you think other chapter members may enjoy, share a short review with us. Write a paragraph or a few about what you liked about the book, how it might be good for medical writers to read, or how it might fill a need. Send your submissions to jean (at) imagesmythe (dot) com.

SE Minnesota Writers and Editors Discussion Group

February 8,  2019: 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Details: These quarterly gatherings are informal, and lunch is provided by the chapter. All AMWA members and guests are welcome. To ensure an accurate head count for the lunch order, RSVP one week before the meeting (email June Oshiro at oshiro (dot) june (at) mayo (dot) edu).

We have no formal discussion topic for this meeting — let’s talk about whatever’s on your mind! If it’s been a while since you’ve attended, come on back, don’t be shy! If you’ve never joined us before, please consider coming by and introducing yourself. Nonmembers are welcome, too.

Directions to our meeting are at  Hope to see you there!

Networking Happy Hour

Grumpy’s, 2801 Snelling Avenue North, Roseville, MN

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Details: Join the North Central chapter for a friendly, informal networking event. Members and nonmembers with an interest in medical communications are welcome. Appetizers are on the chapter! RSVP to Messac Che Neba, mcheneba (at) gmail (dot) com so we can get a ballpark number for the reservation (walk-ins are welcome, too).


Volunteers Still Needed for the New Year!

Already several months into our new programming year, we still have some missing links in leadership and some gracious previous volunteers working beyond their term. As you know, our North Central chapter is a volunteer-based organization. If members don’t take an active role, the chapter will cease to function, and members will lose access to programming, news, and networking opportunities.

Consider taking your turn to lead (or join) a committee or serve as a chapter officer. These positions are still open:

  • President-Elect: The president-elect participates in a 3-year term: learning the chapter’s processes as president-elect, then serving as president, and finally continuing on as immediate past president to ensure continuity.
  • Treasurer: The treasurer (3-year term) manages the chapter’s checking account, develops the annual budget in collaboration with the president and president-elect, contributes to semiannual reports, completes IRS filing, and when needed, helps other committees establish a budget for large events. The current treasurer’s term will overlap with the incoming treasurer’s term to teach you about the position.
  • Finance Committee Chair: This chair coordinates the annual audit of the chapter’s financial records at the close of the fiscal year (July) and reports the findings to the chapter treasurer.
  • Publications Committee Chair: This chair keeps chapter members informed by writing, and asking others to write articles for our monthly e-newsletter (e.g., profiles of members, “What We Do” articles, and news items).

Not ready or able to lead a committee? All of our committees welcome members to share ideas and keep the workload light.

In addition to keeping our group viable, volunteering with AMWA is a great way to network with your fellow members. It’s also a good way to fortify your C.V. with an extra line showing how you give back to your profession! If you can volunteer a few hours a month to help, contact our president, Lisa Poppenberg: president (at) Thank you!

Call for Proposals

Share your expertise on a timely topic related to medical communications! AMWA’s national office is now accepting proposals for sessions to be held at the 2019 Medical Writing and Communication Conference. The conference occurs on November 6–9 in San Diego, California.

Sessions involve one or multiple presenters and run from 10 to 90 minutes depending on format. The formats include roundtable discussions, poster presentations, topic sessions, MedWrite Talks (AMWA’s take on TEDx Talks), and panel presentations. In addition to indicating your preferred session format, you will need to provide the topic, title, description, and learning objectives.

Submit your session proposal online before February 28. You’ll find a planning document, more information, and the online submission here:

AMWA North Central Chapter Officers

President: Lisa Poppenberg, MPH, ELS, president (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org

President-Elect: vacant

Past President: Kendra Hyland, PhD

Co-Treasurer: Ellen O’Malley, MS, treasurer (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org

Co-Treasurer: vacant

Secretary: Amelia Young, BS, secretary (at) amwanorthcentral (dot) org

AMWA North Central Committee Chairs

Finance Committee: Co-Treasurer Ellen O’Malley, MS

Membership Committee: Lynelle Martinez, MBA

LinkedIn Manager: Mary Van Beusekom

Program Committee: Messac Che Neba

Publications Committee: vacant

Chapter Representative to AMWA National: Mary Knatterud, PhD

Questions? Ideas? Email the officers listed above or visit our website at