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Patricia C. Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI
Special Message from the AMIA President and Board Chair
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I hope you are well as we are gearing up for the Virtual Annual Symposium next month. I would like to provide a brief update about what is happening at AMIA since my last message in August.

There are a few key items I would like to report to you from our Board of Directors meeting last week:

Governance Task Force: The work will begin soon for this newly-formed task force. The purpose of the Governance Task Force is to revamp AMIA’s governance and organizational structure. The Task Force will guide and execute strategic goals and objectives related to governance through recommendations to the AMIA Board of Directors. A few of the charges of the task force include:

  • Develop a model for AMIA’s future governance structure that leverages and represents the interests of all members.
  • Clarify the Board’s role in governing.
  • Evaluate the elections and voting procedures at the end of each Association year. Make recommendations for changes as needed. Report to the board on any policy-related issues.
  • Oversee the Nominating Committee and ensure the committee has the necessary tools and resources to develop the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors.

This work is critically important as it supports our new strategic plan goal to optimize our infrastructure and provide more opportunities for member leaders to engage in governance. I will keep you informed as the work continues.

Executive Search Task Force

Our task force is in the final stages of selecting a firm that will assist the Board with our search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Stay tuned for an announcement in an upcoming member communication.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force

The DEI Task Force has met three times since receiving Board approval. They are currently doing an environmental scan of other associations to learn about DEI initiatives in the professional space. They will participate actively in the Governance Task Force mentioned above and will guide AMIA on DEI-related content and initiatives for programming at future conferences. The DEI Task Force has a late breaking session at the Virtual Annual Symposium on Monday, November 16. The session will discuss how diversity, equity and inclusion are essential for advancing scientific excellence (including health disparities), and how it supports AMIA’s new 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

AMIA 2020 Virtual Annual Symposium

The AMIA staff gave an update on their progression with the Annual Symposium platform. They are working diligently to assure you have the best possible virtual experience. If you have not yet registered for the Virtual Annual Symposium, I encourage you to do so. There will be communications in the coming weeks with platform access instructions. I encourage you to plan your days now. We all know the commitments of working from home in addition to attending virtual events. With more than 150 sessions and engaging speakers such as Ruha Benjamin, Anthony Fauci and Josh Denny, we will deliver the full conference experience for you.

I invite you to attend the State of the Association on Tuesday, November 17. We will announce the Board of Directors election results, as well as provide updates on AMIA’s growth and direction throughout the year. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and we have certainly had to adapt and adjust along the way. The collaboration between the AMIA membership, Board of Directors and staff continue to make me proud to lead this organization, and I am confident 2021 will bring even more success and innovation.

As you may have seen, we announced the recipients of various honors within the last week: Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence to Zak Kohane, the Signature and Leadership Award recipients, and the new classes of ACMI and FAMIA Fellows. I offer my sincerest congratulations to all being honored this year and commend you on your exceptional accomplishments. I encourage all of you to support your colleagues and register for this year’s Virtual Awards Gala where we will formally acknowledge these informatics leaders. We are asking for a $100 donation for the continued endurance of the AMIA LEAD Fund which supports future informatics leaders.

Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference (VCIC)

As recently announced, the AMIA Board voted to shift the 2021 Clinical Informatics Conference to a virtual event. The Call for Participation is open through December 1. This community has nearly doubled in size year after year. I expect 2021 will be no different.

I hope that you and yours remain safe and healthy. The AMIA membership renewal season is upon us. 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 to advance health care through informatics.