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Hi Fellow SPM Members,

As a follow up to the note from Danny Sands on Monday, I would like to provide you with an update on some of the exciting strategy work a group of board members and others undertook this summer and fall.

Much has changed in the world at large and in healthcare, specifically this year. The pandemic abruptly altered how medicine is practiced and experienced, how many think about the healthcare system and of course, the lives of patients, healthcare professionals and caregivers. The practice of participatory medicine has never been more important. The opportunity for SPM to play an even bigger role in spreading that practice is tremendous. I am heartened by the strategy work done to reignite the energy and direction of SPM at a time when it could not be more important.

There will be more to come, but some of the developments to date resulting from the strategy work in addition to the organizational changes Danny referenced are as follows.

Formation of three strategic work groups, each focused on distinct areas

  1. Nexus Group: Building a sense of SPM community and raising visibility of SPM by creating a nexus of support and organization for activities and initiatives proposed by organizations and members. (Team members: Helene Clayton-Jeter, Jan Oldenburg, Sarah Krug, Lynne Becker, Danny Sands, Joe Ternullo)
  2. Galvanize Group: Galvanizing our members and others around the practice of participatory medicine, at first creating awareness of the Participatory Medicine Manifesto through pledges solicited in an awareness and spread-the-word campaign. (Team Members: Eric Bersch, Judy Danielson, Kevin Freiert, Matthew Holt, Amber Soucy)
  3. Energize and Retain Group: Retaining members and energizing the board by regularly and transparently sharing strategies and plans with members, revamping the governance and management structure and solidifying the image of SPM. (Team Members:  Brian Mack, Geri Baumblatt, John Grohol, Lynda Mitchell, Debbie Cobb, Peter Elias, Mary Hennings)

Hiring an Executive Director

Thanks to the continued generosity and support of the Mitchell Foundation, SPM is able to bring an Executive Director onboard to help grow SPM’s impact, thought leadership, and its value to members. A search is about to begin, overseen by a search committee that we are forming. Expect to hear more as we reach out to members for referrals and leads and to provide updates. A position description will soon be posted on the website.

Formalizing SPM committees and committee structure, including:

  • Membership, led by Brian Mack and Mary Hennings
  • Marketing, led by Judy Danielson
  • Nexus [Content and Programs] led by Joe Ternullo

As a part of our strategy work, we are reviewing SPM’s governance structure, to be sure we have the structure we need to increase SPM’s impact.  We will add committees as needed to get the important work of this volunteer organization done.  Organizations like SPM often have a Governance Committee, and that is an example of a committee we could add.  We will be doing outreach to solicit volunteers from the SPM community with the skill sets and energy to serve on the committee.  Please keep an eye out for that outreach.

To conclude I would like to acknowledge Danny’s transition to the role of Chief Advocacy Officer and Chairman Emeritus. As we look to position SPM as a thought leader in Participatory Medicine and put a leadership face to the world, Danny is the perfect choice. [He will be great!] His tireless work in co-founding and advocating for SPM, his distinction and reputation in healthcare and his background in medicine and medical technology will well serve SPM as we grow in numbers and influence. As the interim chair, I look forward to working with Danny in his new, exciting role.

I wish all of you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season and thank you for your dedication to SPM and its commitment to transform the culture of healthcare.

Mary Hennings
Interim Chair


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