• July 15, 2014 5:04 PM | Michelle L. Myer

    It appears that folks have been quite busy since we wrapped up our annual meeting in May.  The Shoe Drive was completed with nearly a ton of shoes collected and over $500 raised towards Association activities.  Special thanks go to Chair Lillie Hall, and to the entire family of our President-elect Johnese Bostic for storage, labor, and logistical support.

    The Golf Tournament Committee has set a date and venue for this event in September.  A save the date flier has been sent from the website and the website is getting final tweaks to start registrations.  Even if you are like me and have no clubs or skills in golf, there may be a way for you to support this very worthwhile project.  Go ahead and put in your leave requests for that Friday, and enjoy your long weekend after the tournament concludes.

    Our President-elect, whose report I look forward to reading, has hit the ground running on our Health Inequities Grant and our Annual Meeting for 2015.  We will have an abstract-submissions process for the annual conference, which should allow us to get speakers who are interested in and invested in sharing their knowledge and discoveries with our Association’s membership. 

    Myer & Bostic @ APHA President Elect Training

    Like our Program Committee, our Convention Coordinators are already working on next year’s meeting.  They are in the negotiations process for meeting space – any may soon have a venue and proposal upon which to vote.  

    Tentative dates are Wednesday through Friday, May 20-22.  GC meeting on May 19, followed by Early Bird Reception. 

    Many, many folks gave input into the development of our final budget accounting for the annual meeting.  Thanks to those who assisted Lillie with this difficult task.

    So, this sounds like a recitation of what other folks are doing.  What have I been doing? 

    • Watching email traffic and being again amazed at the amount of coordination needed to manage this Association.  Also, continuing to be amazed at the stamina of our volunteers.
    • Figuring out how to conduct polls from our website.  We will be using this functionality frequently in the next year.
    • Responding to APHA emails.
    • Working to identify chairs of committees.  Encouraging long-time chairs to start a mentoring process for some of our more challenging roles.
    • Sending thank you notes to speakers from May’s Annual Meeting.
    • Strategizing with lots of you.
    • Determining what is feasible to try to implement from the wonderful President-elect training in Washington in June.
    • Preparing a draft calendar of emails to go to the membership.
    • Working on the draft of a revision to the Bulletin.  After the Summer 2014 issues, which Gloria is completing (may have completed by the time this meeting is held), we will be experimenting with a monthly emailed newsletter of infinitely variable length, with as much info as is submitted or needed.  I have created a portal on the website for committee chairs and section chairs to use to share information that others need.  I will demo the page during our meeting for those present in N200.
    What is next?  Glad you asked.

    Many of our Governing Council members will meet for s leadership and strategic planning retreat on Saturday, August 23.  We have a strong leadership core, many of whom could present the Association overview blindfolded (and still advance the slides correctly…!)  

    During the retreat, we will review what is critical for newer leaders, and then work hard on the existential question -- why are we here?  What I hope we get from this day is the start of an answer to Joyce Gaufin’s question: What do you do that would be missed (or greatly missed) if you suddenly ceased to exist?  What value do we bring to others in our professions and areas of interest?  Our Association leadership each has parts of the answers to those questions; we need to discuss honestly where we go from where we are.

    Thank you again for your support.

    Dr. Myer
  • July 01, 2014 5:24 PM | Michelle L. Myer

    As I re-write and edit this message, I am smiling thinking about our recent annual conference.  Thanks go (in this and many more paragraphs) go out to so many folks.  If you have a copy of the Conference Program, I encourage you to turn to the back pages and read the names of the members of the Program Committee, Convention Committee, Silent Auction, etc.  High-five these folks when you next see them. 

    Leadership kudos especially are extended to our 2013-2014 President, Leah Dorman, and Vice President, Johnese Bostic.  Both of these women provided steady, enthusiastic, wise, creative leadership for our Association in this past year. 

    As your President-Elect in 2013-2014, I spent much of the year marveling at the amount of work that is required to maintain a professional association, and to plan for educational programs such as our Winter Conference, our Public Health Month Kick-off, and our Annual Conference.  From venues to menus, from selecting speakers to plugging in electronic speakers so that the human speakers can be heard, from budget planning to belt-tightening, there is more work than can be done by just a few folks.  What I have also noticed, however, is that I see the same group of folks, whom I might describe as loyal, faithful, and hard working, and whom others might describe as over-committed and exhausted, doing the bulk of the work of the Association.

    In working with the Program Committee, which is the major role of the President-elect, I was lucky enough to find myself with an assemblage of these faithful hard workers.  Whenever I felt hesitant about making an assignment, I actually found someone who (1) could probably do a better job than I would because (2) the person cared deeply about the task, because (3) the person cared deeply about the success of the conference. 

    I have also been lucky enough to discover that, hidden out there like Easter eggs, were YOUNG professionals who were just as committed to the Association and its success as were those of us who started our careers decades ago. 

    Association and professional membership are looked upon differently now than they were when many of us in this room were starting out in our professional lives.  Decades ago, there was no question about whether or not you would join your professional association, and no question about whether or not you would attend any meetings that your association sponsored.  If you were asked to chair a committee, be a worker bee, or man a table -- you did so. 

    Persons entering Public Health now, whether as an initial profession or as a second or third career, are less likely to be "joiners."  Associations all over are dealing with this new reality. 

    Our Association is at a crossroads, with smaller numbers of members, with members who have less ability to support their own professional development without employer contributions, and with over-extended members who have many competing priorities.  I look forward to working with our in-coming President-elect and new/continuing Governing Council members as we look at ways to strengthen our Association.  We need to find out how to meet the changing needs of professionals in Public Health, and to explore how to recruit, retain, and revive membership. 

    I am grateful for the literal "vote of confidence" you extended to me last year in electing me as your President-elect.  (Just so you know, I have once before been the only name on the ballot, and I lost that election to a write-in candidate.  I took nothing for granted in last year's election.)  I look forward to working next year with the other returning and new members of the governing council, with currently active and reviving sections, and with the many, many committees that are needed to put on a conference. 

    If you are reading The Bulletin or our SCPHA.com website, I know you are committee to Public Health.  If you came to one of our events in this past year, and probably spent your own money to do so, then I know that you are committed to Public Health.  If you came to the annual meeting and sat through the business meeting, not in the coffee shop across the street or in the lobby bar, then I know you are committed to Public Health.

    I hope in the next year, I can also get you to be COMMITTEED to Public Health. 

    As the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes, “And though a man might prevail against him who is alone, two will withstand him.  A threefold cord is not quickly broken." 

    More later on “Public Health: Telling Our Story.”

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