Newsletter – November 2019

Welcome to the November 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:





December Annual Meeting

Please join us for the AMWA North Central Chapter Annual Membership Business Meeting on Tuesday, December 17th at 11:30 am CST. The meeting will be held by teleconference and call in details are below. The meeting will be brief (likely under 20 minutes) and informative.

The agenda will be as follows:

  1. Introduction of Officers
  2. Finances of Chapter
  3. Future Events
  4. Ideas for Future Events

Participants call in: 1-302-202-1106 pin: 515249

We look forward to you joining us!

Book Club: January 27, 2020

The Egg and I, 2550 University Ave, St Paul 55114

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer


Our next book club is on January 27, 2020, at 11 am at The Egg and I, 2550 University Ave, St Paul, just west of Highway 280. We will discuss Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer. Even if you haven’t read the book, join us to have a quick lunch or brunch and meet AMWA members. See you there!

By 9 a.m. the morning of January 27, please email Book Club coordinator Paul Mamula to let him know you’re coming: paulpat (at) pclink (dot) com.


New President-Elect

Hello, AMWA – North Central members!

I’m Michele Cleary, and I will be assuming the role of president-elect for the chapter.

I have been a freelance medical writer for nearly 20 years through my LLC, Cleary Medical Intelligence. I focus primarily on HEOR, market access, and reimbursement work. I currently cover health economics feature articles for the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, as well as many pharma and device clients creating HEOR-focused manuscripts and white papers. Following my academic career in health services research, I did enjoy a brief career in pharmacoeconomic research before deciding that writing was a much better fit.

I live in Minneapolis, where I will soon join the legions of empty nesters caring for their children’s elderly and infirm pets (thankfully, my daughter has already found a new home for the snake). Some of my favorite wordsmiths include Rachel Carson, Carl Sandburg, Vladimir Nabokov, and Kacey Musgraves. My goal for 2020 – get up from my desk and move around every hour.

Please feel free to contact me with comments, concerns, or queries. I look forward to meeting you all!

Warmest regards, Michele

Take an Active Role — Volunteer!

Volunteers Needed!

AMWA North Central 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 open:

President: The President participates in a 1-year term: leading the chapter’s processes with help from the past president and president-elect.

Treasurer: The Treasurer (3-year term) manages the chapter checking account, develops the annual budget in collaboration with the president and president-elect, contributes to semi-annual 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: The Finance Committee 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.

Not ready or able to lead a committee? All 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) amwanorthcentral (dot) org


AMWA 2019 National Conference Recap – by Lisa Poppenberg, MPH, ELS

This year’s national AMWA National conference was held in San Diego from November 6th – 9th, 2019. Several hundred medical communicators from across the United States and abroad attended this year’s conference to focus on networking and continuing education. The conference had many education sessions, workshops, and roundtables that focused on Regulatory Writing, Scientific Publications, Career Development, Freelancing, Writing/Editing, Health Communication, Leadership/Management, Science and Medicine, Technology, and Health and Wellness. Slides and handouts from several sessions can be found on AMWA’s website here.

AMWA North Chapter Involvement

Two of our North Central chapter members were actively involved in this year’s conference. Amelia Young led an education session titled, “SharePoint to the Rescue! Using SharePoint as a Tool to Manage Medical Writing Teams and Client Partnerships” and June Oshiro, PhD, ELS led a workshop titled “The Medical Editing Clinic: Strategies to Hone Your Editing Skills.” Amelia’s PowerPoint slides can be found here.

Naomi Ruff, PhD, was named an AMWA fellow at this year’s conference. Congratulations, Naomi!

Chapter Networking

Nine members of our chapter enjoyed a fun dinner at Prep Kitchen in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. The chapter treated to appetizers and chapter members were able to network and catch up with each other over good food and drinks.

North Central chapter members (left to right) June Oshiro, Amelia Young, Lynelle Martinez, Paul Mamula, Naomi Ruff, Lisa Poppenberg, Ellen O’Malley, Alexa Woods, and Sangeeta Yendrembam enjoyed the chapter dinner at the national conference.

This was my fifth time at AMWA’s national conference, and I am impressed that each year they add additional formats for networking and learning, as well as expand on the workshops and education sessions offered. This year they even had animals visit from the San Diego Zoo!

I hope to see many of you at next year’s conference in Baltimore! Save the date for October 11th – 14th, 2020. If you have any questions on what it is like to attend this conference, feel free to reach out!

Have you read a good book lately?

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 jennerb (at) gmail (dot) com.