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Special Message from the AMIA President and Board Chair
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I hope you are enjoying your summer. As we approach the holiday weekend, I would like to give a few updates since my last message, including an official welcome to our new CEO, Tanya Tolpegin, who started with AMIA June 21.

As many of you know, we formed our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force last summer. It has been a busy and productive year for this group of dedicated AMIA members.

In May, as part of their charge, the DEI Task Force presented their official recommendations to the Board including the request for the Board to approve the motion to make the task force an official AMIA Committee. I am pleased to announce the Board approved this motion.

The Board also approved the DEI Task Force’s additional recommendations:

  1. Fortify existing outreach programs with broader scopes and partnerships.
  2. Build a multifaceted DEI communications strategy to promote, attract, and advance diversity and diverse research.
  3. Design a leadership training and mentorship program.

To move forward with these recommendations, the DEI Committee will branch into these subcommittees:

  1. Recruitment: External outreach to marginalized or historically excluded groups to build awareness of AMIA and the informatics profession.
  2. Retention and Advancement: Internally focused on growing a diverse set of AMIA leaders.
  3. Communications: Promote diverse informatics voices, research, and activities through AMIA communications channels and advocate for more inclusive research in informatics journals.
  4. Education, Governance, and Policy: Build DEI practices into AMIA’s structure; contribute to policy responses; support DEI member education activities.
  5. Advancement of Health Equity and Antiracism in Healthcare: Position AMIA to become a thought leader in addressing these topics at the intersection with informatics; serve as an organizational convener for education, research, and policy.

Please look for a call for volunteers from DEI Committee Co-Chairs, Tiffani Bright and Oliver J. Bear Don’t Walk IV, to appear in your inbox soon. I hope you consider participating in this integral strategic initiative.

Governance Task Force: The Governance Task Force continues meeting to review member input from our strategic visioning work. The task force has divided into three groups that are focused on enhancing and strengthening the way we support our member groups (working groups, communities of practice, etc). The task force recommended to the board that we consider adopting some of the “low-hanging fruit” actions immediately and the Board agreed. Accordingly, members will see some changes to committees, working groups and Board materials to provide additional transparency into discussions which includes publishing minutes and agendas. We are also going to limit members to serving in one working group leadership role at a time to encourage more individuals to participate. Additional information about these actions will be communicated to members once they are implemented by our staff. The task force will also review election and nomination procedures, and other governance to support an inclusive and member-driven society. We have been increasing AMIA-wide and personalized messaging about nominations and encouraging individuals to consider leadership. I hope you consider volunteering for an AMIA leadership position in the future.

AMIA 2021 Annual Symposium: Just announced this morning – registration is officially open for the AMIA 2021 Annual Symposium with Eric Topol as our opening keynote! Please take advantage of your exclusive members-only early bird savings. The early bird deadline is August 12. I look forward to seeing many of you in person in San Diego.

AMIA 2022 Informatics Summit: We are accepting your science for the AMIA 2022 Informatics Summit! The Summit is in Chicago – our first time out of San Francisco. Submissions are due August 19.

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.