Newsletter-May 2022

Welcome to the May 2022 chapter newsletter. 

For May’s musical selection, I’ll resist the cliché of Vivaldi’s “Spring,” as it’s probably the most ubiquitous and overplayed classical piece in history. Try instead Malcolm Arnold’s English Dances. These are two sets of light musical pieces I discovered by accident one spring evening in Portland, as they trickled out a hotel room faux-antique radio set to NPR Classical. Arnold was an esteemed film composer, and his English Dances radiate cinematic, fairy-tale splendor while conjuring images of, perhaps, a Disney castle garden party. They remind me of a film I’ve never seen.

Continuing our musical recommendations, for April I suggest A Somerset Rhapsody by Gustav Holst. Written in honor of the folk music collector Cecil Sharp (what a name for a musician!), A Somerset Rhapsody draws inspiration from four traditional English songs. It opens to a humble “sheep-shearing song” and concludes with “The Lover’s Farewell,” as the young farmgirl’s betrothed marches off to war. The result is truly arcadian – a musical fallen paradise, beautiful precisely because it cannot last. 

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.

In this issue:



Virtual Presentation on Cybersecurity with J. Kelly Byram, June 15 at 7 PM via Zoom



New volunteers! 

Please welcome our new BOD members! They are: 

  • President-elect: Theodore Sadler 
  • Co-Treasurer: Samuel Smith  
  • Finance Chair: Melinda Swartzentruber  
  • Membership Chair: Carmen Peterson 

Volunteers make everything we do in this chapter possible. Please join us in thanking Theodore, Samuel, Melinda, and Carmen for their interest and engagement. 

Volunteer needed for Programming Chair

The AMWA North Central chapter is looking for volunteers! 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.

Please submit your interest or nominations for any of the positions to bod (at) list.amwanorthcentral (dot) org.

Programming Committee Chair: The Program Committee Chair is responsible for organizing in-person and virtual AMWA events throughout the year, including identifying topics of interest and recruiting speakers. This is an important role in the chapter and is valuable for both member engagement and education.

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, contact bod (at) list.amwanorthcentral (dot) org.


Virtual Presentation on Cybersecurity with J. Kelly Bram: June 15 at 7pm via Zoom

Save the date! On June 15, 7 PM we will hold a Zoom meeting with J. Kelly Byram, MS, CEO and Cybersecurity Lead of Duke City Consulting and Past President of AMWA Southwest Chapter. Ms. Byram conducts webinars and coaching on cybersecurity and will discuss aspects of cybersecurity for freelancers. Knowing what software to have and which steps to take to prevent data theft is critical for good business practice and avoiding identity theft. She will present tips on what to avoid during travel, while working remotely, and much more. Her booklet “Freelancer’s Guide to Cybersecurity” served as the basis for a breakfast roundtable at the AMWA National Meeting in San Diego in 2019. Please join us for her talk. 

Zoom meeting 

Meeting ID: 897 1073 2023 

Passcode: 203077 


Member Profile: Melinda Swartzentruber 

Current Role 

I work as a Registered Nurse in the Emergency Department (ED) setting at a Level I Trauma Center providing direct patient care. I provide care for patients with a variety of illnesses including critically ill individuals coming in with acute respiratory distress, cardiac arrest, strokes and traumas. Numerous other illnesses are also seen, although less critical are abnormal cardiac rhythms, low hemoglobins (requiring blood transfusions), and hypertensive crises. These are the most frequently seen critical illnesses in my ED, although this certainly is not an exhaustive list of the illnesses treated in the department. Providing care for these patient’s brings satisfaction to me as I am one of the people they see first upon arrival at our hospital and can provide care and support as our team works quickly to improve the health of the patient. 


Providing care for critically ill patients and literally watching them improve in front of my eyes is the part that always makes me remember why I chose the chaos of the ED at a Level I hospital. The atmosphere of the ED is different than any other department in the hospital, we work as a team and are all trained to remain flexible, having the ability to assess and prioritize patient care at a moment’s notice as a more critically ill patient rolls through the doors requiring our immediate attention. The fast pace in the ED setting keeps me focused and the training during the first few months prepared me with the ability to notice any abnormalities in a patient’s vitals or changes in the mental status that would indicate need for immediate treatment. Providing care for these patients, watching them improve, providing education to them is the part that brings me satisfaction because that is where I make a difference in the lives of my patients and their families. Knowing I make a difference in my patients’ lives is what keeps me going back to work each day and the fact that I also work with a great team of nurses and doctors. 

Next steps 

My next goal includes becoming a freelance medical writer/editor with the ability to reach a larger population of patients than I am able to in the ED. My writing/editing business will have a focus on patient education materials that helps improve the quality of the patient’s life while decreasing the number of ED and physician visits that end in hospitalizations. I plan on staying in the ED for the time being getting experience in emergency nursing to eventually transition to flight nursing. Staying in the ED will help me be more effective and knowledgeable in the topics I will write about in the future.