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Patricia C. Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Special Message from the AMIA President and Board Chair
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Happy 2021! I hope you all had a restful and rejuvenating holiday season. I would like to provide a brief update about what is happening at AMIA.

We held a Board of Directors orientation meeting this month, welcoming several new members: Julia Adler-Milstein, William Brown, Susan Hull, Josette Jones, Eileen Koski, Laura Heermann Langford, and Genevieve Melton-Meaux. There are a few key items I would like to report to you.

Governance Task Force

The Governance Task Force has had several meetings to review member input from our strategic visioning work, and is currently discussing opportunities to enhance and strengthen the way we support our member groups (working groups, communities of practice, etc). The task force will guide and execute strategic goals and objectives related to governance through recommendations to the AMIA Board of Directors. In addition to structure, the task force will also review election and nomination procedures, and other governance to support an inclusive and member-driven society. I will communicate regularly with updates throughout the year.

Executive Search Task Force

The task force has partnered with WittKieffer to assist with the search for AMIA’s next CEO. The future CEO should have expertise in nonprofit management, and corporate and academic partnership development. The Board expects this person to focus on new revenue streams and accomplish the three major goals of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan: promote and build the field, empower our members, and optimize infrastructure. A job description is available here.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force

The DEI Task Force has completed an environmental scan of other associations to learn about DEI initiatives in the professional space. They are actively working on presentations for the Virtual Informatics Summit (March) and the Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference (May). They will also deliver a report to the Board in May on their efforts and goals moving forward.


The eligibility criteria for the AMIA Health Informatics Certification will be released in March. Stay tuned for an upcoming message. The commission and its committees have made significant progress and we are excited to share it with all of you.

A Year of Change

2020 was a challenging time for everyone and I want to acknowledge your support and dedication to AMIA. 2021 will also be a year of change:

  • Internal changes: The AMIA National Office will physically close. The lease for the building is ending soon and the Board made the decision not to renew. Most of the staff have been working virtually since March 2020 and, as evident, pivoted seamlessly to continue to provide the exceptional service AMIA members have come to know and appreciate. This change may not be permanent – the Board will continue to evaluate.
  • AMIA will invest in new staff to continue to move forward with the robust initiatives and goals to advance our mission. In 2020, AMIA was placed on a hiring freeze. I am pleased to announce the freeze is lifted and we will add new staff to assist with marketing, membership, and technology.
  • We will also implement new website and email marketing technology. These changes take time and significant effort from the staff. You should expect to see a version of the “new” AMIA over the summer.
  • We will continue to hold membership engagement opportunities at each meeting – whether live or virtual. We will hold a special session at the Informatics Summit: Turn Right Here: A Journey through the Pathways of AMIA Q&A Session for Students. This interactive session will feature several AMIA leaders discussing their journeys through AMIA and their paths to AMIA leadership. Student Working Group members will receive more information in the coming weeks.
  • The AMIA Clinical Informatics Community of Practice will expand to welcome all physicians in AMIA. We hope this will enable further engagement and collaboration across the membership. Additional detail on this change will be sent to members in February.

Virtual Informatics Summit (VIS)

We are gearing up for our first meeting of the year. The Virtual Informatics Summit has a robust program including keynotes by Abigail Echo-Hawk and Ned Sharpless. Register by February 18 to receive your exclusive member rate.

Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference (VCIC)

The VCIC Call for Participation is now closed and brought in nearly 400 submissions! Submissions are currently under review and decisions will be sent by the end of February. Registration will open soon.

AMIA 2021 Annual Symposium

After a tremendously successful virtual event in November, we are already in preparation for our next Symposium. The Call for Participation is open through March 10. We are currently planning for a live event in San Diego with a limited component of live streaming. We are actively monitoring the science surrounding the pandemic and the AMIA Board of Directors will finalize this decision in June.

I hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy. Just a reminder: AMIA member benefits expire January 31. Keep your member benefits going and renew now.

Please reach out to me or any of our board members with questions, concerns, and your suggestions for AMIA’s role as we work together to advance health care through informatics.