The Disney magic was alive and well as the Southeast Chapter met for dinner and networking at the Medical Writing and Communication Conference 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Twelve members attended the dinner, including five who were first time chapter event attendees. There was plenty of lively discussion and excitement about more local events in the coming year!
The annual business meeting for the Southeast Chapter was held Thursday, November 2 immediately preceding the Chapter Dinner at the AMWA annual conference.
Kim Korwek (Immediate Past President) summarized the key achievements of the 2016-2017 year. Notably, the chapter achieved its governance goals, becoming a registered non-profit organization and meeting all chapter affiliation requirements with AMWA. The chapter held 5 networking events (3 in Nashville, 1 in Memphis and 1 in Birmingham). The chapter also helped facilitate 3 educational events. This included an educational presentation about statistical concepts for writers (online and in Nashville), a roundtable discussion in Atlanta, and the chapter book club. The chapter has secured programs for many back-office functions to help volunteer leaders with chapter duties, including a new bank account and accounting system, a mass emailing system, and a new website. Finally, the chapter has a full slate of volunteer officers and is recruiting local networking coordinators to help facilitate connection with members in all geographic areas.
Whitney Smalley-Freed (Treasurer, 2016-2017) provided a summary of the chapter’s financial status. Expenditures were below budget due to fees for incorporation being less than anticipated. The largest portion of expenditures (38.6% of total spend) were related to incorporation and aligning with the requirements of the chapter agreement. Approximately 33% of expenditures were related to sending a chapter delegate to the spring Board of Directors meeting; this cost will not be incurred next year due to changes in the board structure. The remaining expenses were for educational and networking events and maintaining the website.
Eva Stabenow (President) introduced the 2017-2018 officers: Rebekah Koutny (President-Elect), Callie Compton (Treasurer) and JoAnna Pendergrass (Secretary). Eva introduced the goals for the chapter, including more local programming. She stressed the importance of local volunteers for event organizing, and solicited volunteers to serve as Local Networking Coordinators (LNCs) to facilitate this process.
The Southeast Chapter has elected a new board to represent the chapter for 2017-2018. The new board members are
President: Eva Stabenow
President-Elect: Rebekah Koutney
Secretary: JoAnna Pendergrass
Treasurer: Callie Compton
Many thanks to the previous board for their service, and for these new volunteers for their willingness to lead.
The new board begins their term on September 30, 2017.
Three AMWA members met in Nashville to discuss the current book club selection: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Discussion topics included racial disparities in health care, informed consent, how medical writers can tell patient stories, and the responsibilities of scientists to balance the “common good” with individual rights.
Additional discussion is planned for the book club google group.
Emily J. Woodward, PhD Clinical Development Scientist and Regulatory Writer at Synchrogenix, presented about the fundamentals of statistics for medical writers. Email invitations were sent to all members with information on how to attend in person or online. The presentation was live-streamed on Periscope and archived for later viewing by members unavailable to attend the in-person presentation.
A replay of this event is available on Periscope.
Due to technical difficulties, the video replay is in two parts:
Five current members of AMWA Southeast and three prospective members met for a networking event at Fidos Coffee Shop in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Over coffee, tea and cookies, we discussed the benefits of AMWA membership and attending the annual conference.
Prior to the event, three of our members had volunteered to launch a book club for medical writers. They presented their concept and thoughts on moving forward, all received and discussed with great enthusiasm.
Due to professional and personal commitments, our chapter secretary had to resign from her position. Fortunately, the chapter board has identified a new and enthusiastic candidate to join the board. Per the chapter bylaws, the board has appointed Rebekah Koutny to serve as chapter secretary effective January 1, 2017. Welcome, Rebekah!