AMWA Board of Directors Meeting Summary — April 2014

American Medical Writers Association Board of Directors Meeting

April 11-12, 2014

Report from the

North Central Chapter Delegate

Nissa Mollema

The spring board of directors meeting convened on April 11th in Bethesda, Maryland and the event was filled with energy and enthusiasm about the current state of our association and new changes to come. As with previous meetings, this meeting offered opportunities to network with fellow medical writers and to discuss successful events that AMWA members are holding at the local level. Chapter delegates represented their region to weigh-in on changes affecting the AMWA National Headquarters.

Some of the top plans and priorities for 2014-2015 include:

  • Increase educational/product offerings

o   New online courses

o   New Certification program in medical writing

  • Enhance member resources and expand membership

o   Develop educational programs based on the 2013 needs assessment survey

o   Expand AMWA Journal to serve a broad audience

o   Increase communications with members regarding ongoing and new projects

o   AMWA 75th Birthday Celebration in 2015

  • Improve infrastructure and organizational capacity

o   New online learning management system for online courses and webinars

o   Recruit new workshop leaders for online courses

AMWA Executive Committee members led the meeting (Pictured from Left to right: Stephen Palmer (Secretary), Karen Potvin Klein (President-elect), Brian Bass (President), Christine Wogan (Treasurer).

AMWA Executive Committee members led the meeting (Pictured from Left to right: Stephen Palmer (Secretary), Karen Potvin Klein (President-elect), Brian Bass (President), Christine Wogan (Treasurer).

There was extensive discussion about the plan to generate more educational offerings that are of interest to AMWA members and lacking in the currently available curriculum. Extensive work is underway to implement online learning programs, and to improve and expand on the current course and product offerings. The plan is to release a new online learning system in 2015 and begin by offering courses currently available in the workbook series (for the essential skills certificate). AMWA hired a new staff member to help convert our currently available courses to an online learning format and aid in the development of new online courses and webinars. Additional online courses covering areas of business, regulatory writing, and specialty areas will be coming in the near future.

The Chapter Delegates met for a lunch session to discuss topics of interest to each chapter. My discussion table talked about ways to improve chapter websites, ideas for hosting chapter conferences, and plans for online/webinar-based programming. Delegates from the Northern California chapter received feedback from members about a preference for one-day conferences versus multi-day events. One chapter reported that its members are interested in more business-themed offerings applicable to running a freelance business.

AMWA President, Brian Bass, led a lively session about new products and services that AMWA is interested in bringing to members.  Chapter delegates were divided into groups to discuss additional ideas.

AMWA President, Brian Bass, led a lively session about new products and services that AMWA is interested in bringing to members. Chapter delegates were divided into groups to discuss additional ideas.

 

The Online Community Department discussed the successful release of the new AMWA community forums. The forums are a place to get feedback from and communicate with other AMWA members in a topic-based format. Traffic on the forums increased steadily from their inception in June 2013 and increased sharply after the October AMWA National Meeting. Any AMWA member can post to the forums.

The board of directors meeting concluded with a great sense of excitement about the upcoming year. Newly-made friends exchanged contact information, delegates continued to brainstorm ideas about potential chapter events, and plans were already underway for the next meeting at the 74th annual AMWA conference in Memphis. I felt incredibly honored to represent the North Central Chapter and share in this excitement by volunteering with AMWA.

The Board of Directors Meeting coincided with the Cherry Blossom Festival and the peak bloom date for the cherry blossoms. North Central delegate, Nissa Mollema, visited the National Mall with Empire State delegates, Bob Kirsch and Barbara Saldinger, after the conclusion of the meeting.

The Board of Directors Meeting coincided with the Cherry Blossom Festival and the peak bloom date for the cherry blossoms. North Central delegate, Nissa Mollema, visited the National Mall with Empire State delegates, Bob Kirsch and Barbara Saldinger, after the conclusion of the meeting.