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Participants:  Geri Baumblatt, Dave DeBronkart, Judy Danielson, Peter Elias, Nancy Finn, John Grohol, Matthew Holt, Sarah Krüg, Janice McCallum, Jan Oldenburg, Parika (Pinky) Petaipimol, Burt Rosen, Danny Sands, Linda Stotsky, Joe Ternullo, Sue Woods

Approve minutes from last full board meeting—Janice McCallum

Minutes from February 27, 2018 approved.

Treasurer’s Report (financial and membership numbers)–John Grohol

Danny asked about a decline in funds, which John explained was due to outlay for HIMSS travel funds that have outstanding invoices from sponsors.

Related to travel funds, HIMSS Health 2.0 in Cleveland has a request for 1 patient travel award. Board agreed that Matthew can award travel award to that 1 patient.

Momentum—Danny Sands

Danny revisited the theme of keeping the momentum going and holding ourselves accountable to carry out our commitments. He emphasized the need to submit progress reports a week in advance of upcoming meetings. Note, new team folder for posting the updates is now available on Google Drive.

Burt pointed out that we need to be careful to not overcommit & to understand how much work is involved in all of the ongoing initiatives. Geri spoke of her experience with the Sips with the Society Chicago event and said part of challenge results from not fully understanding in advance the amount of work that will be required to complete some projects.

The question of “are we trying to do too much with limited resources?” remains an open issue. We want to be ambitious and be able to take on projects/initiatives that arise opportunistically, but we need to realistic about how much time board members can commit to carrying out projects, given our other commitments.

A couple of suggestions came out of this discussion. 1) we need to keep core mission and overarching goals for 2018 in mind when evaluating opportunities—and we need to clarify those goals for the board members; and 2) we should be seeking more volunteers and collaborators in order to accomplish some objectives. Collaboration across current teams will help in some cases.

Action item: Joe volunteered to put together a one-pager that summarizes our goals/mission for the year. He’ll work with Danny Sands, Sue Woods, Sarah Krüg and Burt Rosen on the document and will circulate it before the April board meeting.

Wins —Joe Ternullo

The successes we achieved in the past month include:

Sips with the Society in Chicago:  Geri Baumblatt has signed up 3 sponsors, has negotiated to have an SPM table at the Beryl Institute event, and has attracted a good number of Chicago area SPM members to register—and has even attracted new members to the Society as a result of the promotion of the April 17 event.

Danny Sands is working with the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM) to create an orientation guide for patient ambassadors/advisers that SGIM has selected to attend the SGIM annual conference in April. Danny’s working with other SPM  members to create the guide, which will be useful for other medical conferences, too.

Danny also mentioned an upcoming cocktail reception that will be held in Boston in conjunction with Inspire (John Novack). Details will be forthcoming.

John Novack also connected us with Bill Doherty, who is producing an event in Revere in May. Joe will circulate details.

Finally, SPM will be featured on the program of the New England Healthcare Executive Network (NEHEN) on Monday, May 7. Joe will moderate a panel on the topic “Transforming the Culture of Care” that includes Danny Sands, Dave deBronkart, Naomi Fried and Jan Walker (co-founder, Open Notes). SPM members receive a 25% discount with code “NEHENSPM,” which enables entrance for $30. Register here:

Marketing and Social Media—Judy Danielson

Marketing is creating a “hold the date” sticker for SPM2018 and hopes to have it ready for Geri’s Chicago event on April 17.

Judy also reiterated that we will be receiving helpful data from the Membership survey we will be conducting with DSS.

Membership–Burt Rosen

Tyson Ortiz updates our membership analytics once a month. For January, we had a 43% retention rate and a 6-month rolling rate of 42%. We need to focus on improving the retention rate. In response to question, Burt said we haven’t had a process for contacting people who don’t renew, but we plan to add a program to do that in the future.

Burt also suggested that by engaging members in SPM activities, we’ll increase the likelihood that they’ll remain members. He recommends we focus on improving the effectiveness of our volunteer list and how to encourage members to sign up for activities.

Member engagement (Connect, Town Halls)—Peter Elias/Linda Stotsky

Peter pointed to the two reports on the Town Hall and on Connect in the progress reports folder for updates.

Peter suggests that we could better utilize Connect for events & registrations and community management, but we need volunteers to explore how best to use Connect.

Fundraising/Pipeline/Lead generation—Danny Sands – Tabled due to time constraints.

Doc Tom Ferguson Award for 2018—Dave deBronkart /Nancy Finn

Conversations with founders of SPM continue to ensure that the award reflects Dr. Tom’s vision.

Danny mentioned that we should consider an award to both a provider and a patient. Nancy suggested that the awardee could also be an organization, but we should probably just award one recipient who has moved the needle toward participatory medicine in that year.

Governance/By-laws–Dave Dolton

Tabled since Dave couldn’t make the meeting.

Fall Conference—Sarah Krüg

Sarah reports that planning is well underway for SPM2018; the basic structure for the day has been laid out, with the morning focused on current data issues and afternoon focused on “reimaging health care of tomorrow”. Master classes are possible, too. Draft document can be found on Team Drive under Conference (or click here). Recommendations for speakers are welcome; speaker recruitment will start soon.

Organizational alliances—Jan Oldenburg

Jan reported that the team is still in the phase of framing objectives and understanding where we already have relationships. She’d like to create a process for setting up alliances where the goal is to broaden reach and exposure.

Currently, there’s a lack of clarity between alliances, partnerships, sponsors, and corporate members. Danny asked Jan to take the lead on proposing definitions that serve to distinguish between the categories.

Metastasizing SPM Activities –Danny Sands

Danny praised Geri for the work she’s done to organize Sips with the Society event & observed that it seems to be easier to attract sponsors for a specific meeting/event than for general membership purposes.

Following this theme, Danny raised the possibility of building a chapter structure where regular get-togethers are planned. Matthew Holt has great experience with building & funding chapters, considering that Health 2.0 has 100 chapters. Matthew emphasized that chapters rely heavily on volunteers who can commit to organizing & managing local chapters.

Geri, Jan, Janice & Matthew have some expertise in organizing regional events and are willing to advise & help out. Jan said that she would take the lead. Danny, who has organized multiple successful Sips with the Society events, suggests creating a blueprint for how to run this type of event.


There will be a tutorial on Google Drive on April 24 at 7 pm, following the Board meeting. Please review the current agenda and suggest topics to cover.                                                                      

Next full board meeting April 24, 2018 at 4pm

Respectfully submitted,
Janice McCallum
SPM Board Secretary