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We're Moving in the Right Direction
Since my last President’s Message, I received many emails and phone calls of support and encouragement from AAMSE members. The Board and I thank you for your genuine concern for our association and for your willingness to play a part in moving the organization forward.
YOUR AAMSE Board is taking the right steps to ensure that AAMSE thrives for future generations of medical society execs and staff. Some of these steps include:
AAMSE President Receives Proclamation
AAMSE President Susan D'Antoni was presented with a Proclamation from The County Council of Montgomery County on October 21 in recognition of her current term serving as AAMSE president. Susan serves as executive director of Montgomery County Medical Society.
The proclamation, presented by County Council Member George Levanthal, acknowledged Susan as an "accomplished, creative, progressive, visionary professional" with expertise including knowledge of medicine and medical practices, strategic planning, governance and policy development, membership recruitment and retention, relationship development with and service to physician leaders.
Congratulations, Susan– and thank you for serving as an ambassador to AAMSE!
Click here to see the full-size AAMSE membership infographic.
As part of its commitment to sharing great ideas and the innovative programs and campaigns of medical societies across the country, AAMSE will highlight several Profiles of Excellence (PoE) Award winners and nominees. Featured this month is the winner of the Excellence in Education, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.
Organization: American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Program: Parenteral Nutrition (PN) Safety
American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) envisions an environment in which every patient receives safe, efficacious, and high quality patient care. Our Society champions the best evidence-based practices that support parenteral nutrition (PN) therapy in varying age populations and disease-states. Approximately 350,000 patients in the U.S. receive PN during hospital stays and many more at home and in alternative care settings. The appropriate use of this complex therapy aims to maximize clinical benefit while minimizing the potential risks for adverse events. Complications can occur as a result of the therapy and as the result of the PN process.
The objectives of A.S.P.E.N.’s PN safety initiative are to effectively translate recommendations into practice and educate all members of the healthcare team who work with PN, which requires coordination with other medical societies whose members need access to A.S.P.E.N.’s important and timely PN resources.
In February 2014, A.S.P.E.N. complemented that document with A.S.P.E.N. Clinical Guidelines: Parenteral Nutrition Ordering, Order Review, Compounding, Labeling, and Dispensing. From open access documents, A.S.P.E.N. developed and compiled a series of tools and resources clinicians need to use to bring optimal PN therapy to their patients. Those resources, such as checklists and related publications, can be found in the PN Safety Toolkit.
A.S.P.E.N. also developed the PN Safety Series and Certificate of Training Program to educate all members of the healthcare team who work with PN to optimize their knowledge base of safe PN practices. The training series has been incredibly successful, with over 1,000 members and nonmembers registering. Once the series is over at the end of March, the webinars will be converted to enduring content and will be available for purchase through A.S.P.E.N.’s eLearning Center.
The results have been measured by downloads of the PN Safety Consensus Recommendations and Guidelines (827 full-text downloads in the first four days of release; 6,666 full-text downloads in the first month; 10,065 full-text downloads in 3 months), number of people who access the PN Safety Toolkit (7,593 since December 5, 2013), participants in the PN Safety Series and Certificate of Training Program (over 1,000), and relevance to other medical societies’ members.
A.S.P.E.N. wants to be the leader in PN safety information and resources, so we will continue to monitor results by purchases of the enduring content and requests to collaborate from other organizations. Other organizations such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Infusion Nurses Society, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have held or are planning sessions at their national meetings on these PN Safety recommendations and guidelines.
A.S.P.E.N. is also very fortunate to have engaged and seasoned volunteers who are willing to devote much of their time to the organization. One Board member specifically served as a crucial liaison to another organization which was one of our most beneficial strategic partnerships. He even presented on PN safety during the other organization’s mid-year meeting, and that was a great kick-off to our entire initiative.
Due to the knowledge on staff and through our volunteers, A.S.P.E.N. did not have to devote significant financial resources to the program. We conducted a lot of marketing via emails and social media, and through our partnerships with other organizations.
The complete PN Safety Toolkit can be found here:
To view additional materials for this program, download the full submission at aamse.org/PoEWinners
For more information on the Profiles of Excellence Awards, visit www.aamse.org/PoE.
Kate Mahler, CAE
It's true - I bleed Scarlet and Grey. As a kid growing up in the shadow of The Ohio State University, nearly half my wardrobe consisted of some sort of garb that paid homage to the Buckeyes. Now, as an adult and firmly indoctrinated to the greatness of being an OSU fan, I find myself standing in the grocery check-out line with a horde of strangers - each proudly wearing a sweatshirt, pin, or hat with the same insignia. Holding a pint of peanut butter chip ice cream, it dawned on me - we belong to the same community and feeling the sense of belonging is a powerful thing.
AAMSE membership is also a powerful community. Together we represent the future of medical societies; a time-honored profession that America’s physicians rely and trust. It’s membership in AAMSE that advances our skills and develops our network of association peers from across the country. It’s AAMSE that focuses our attention on trends in the industry and provides resources and opportunities for leadership enhancement.
Just like the Buckeye hoodie that I (and about a million Ohioans) pull out of their closets on any given fall Saturday, AAMSE membership binds all of us and it’s important that we take the opportunity to share the benefits of AAMSE membership with our peers whenever appropriate.
Topics to feature in conversation could include:
AAMSE has put together a handy guide of AAMSE member benefits and a one pager that can be easily copied for distribution at medical society meetings. All potential new members should contact Ann Shay at (414) 221-9275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, AAMSE is also looking for engaged and energized members to serve on the membership recruitment committee. If you have a knack for networking and making meaningful connections – we need you! If interested in serving AAMSE in this important capacity, please contact me directly (Kate Mahler, CAE) at email@example.com.
We may not have a common flag to wave but our fight song is one we all can get behind. Our lyrics include words like advancement, innovation, friendship, and collaboration. Go on...sing it loud...sing it proud… AAM-SE! AAM-SE!
Kate Mahler is the Deputy Executive Vice President of the Ohio Academy of Family
Adam Woznicki, CPA
Due to the scope of work involved, preparing an organization for a financial audit can be a challenging time for an association executive. Your board, staff, and the accounting firm the board engaged to perform the audit have high expectations related to the process. Board members want efficient results in a timely manner. Staff will want direction on the duties you expect them to perform. The accounting firm will require a laundry list of information with supporting documentation. If you understand the tasks you need to handle yourself and those you need to delegate, the audit process will be much more efficient.
The Executive's Role
Your main responsibilities during the audit process focus on providing (and explaining) the association's organizational and governance documents. This includes all board and executive committee minutes, contracts, and bylaw changes. During this process, ask yourself: Are all minutes up to date? Are all contracts properly executed? Are all bylaw changes properly noted along with an updated clean copy? If certain documents are not available, it may change the audit opinion due to limited information. If there are significant delays in providing information, the auditors may question its reliability (which means more questions or follow-up).
The best way to ensure you have all the information you need during the audit process is to take a proactive approach throughout the year—not just when the audit begins. This way, you are not scrambling for documents when your auditor hands you a list. For example, complete minutes within a few weeks after the respective meetings. Since bylaw changes require board approval, highlight any motions that include bylaw changes as you finalize your minutes and update your clean version of the bylaws. If bylaw changes are extensive throughout the year, preparing a summary document would be preferable.
Contracts should be saved electronically whenever possible and archived so they are easy to access when someone requests the information. If you save contracts in paper form, at least maintain an electronic list in a spreadsheet or Word document so you know what to search for at the end of the year. A little extra management on the front end will save hours during the audit.
Though it may seem obvious, it is important to note that you should keep the board and finance committee involved with periodic updates during the audit process. The audit is technically an engagement between the board and the accounting firm, so it is important that those charged with governance are aware of bigger matters besides the standard perfunctory tasks as part of the process. Board members do not have to be actively involved during the entire process, but transparency adds another layer of comfort and confidence that you are conducting the proper due diligence. It could be as simple as a weekly email update letting your Treasurer and President know that staff has begun sending grant confirmation notices to donors or announcing that the auditors will be beginning their in-house fieldwork.
Delegate Tasks to Staff
When it comes to association staff involvement during the audit process, treat the audit as you would any other project. As soon as you receive your audit checklist from your accounting firm, schedule a meeting with your staff. Assign tasks based on job responsibility. Let your marketing director compile sponsorship data. Let your bookkeeper or internal accountant compile bank and investment confirmations for signature. It all depends on your staffing pattern, but delegate anything on the checklist you typically do not take on as part of your day-to-day responsibilities. Set clear deadlines for completion of all tasks so staff members clearly understand your expectations. All data should be stored (electronically if possible) in one place for final review. If you have an internal accountant dedicated solely to your organization, he should be heavily involved with the final review of all items on the initial audit checklist.
Always keep in mind why you are conducting the audit in the first place. Its goal is to provide the highest level of independent assurance that your organization's financials are properly stated. Besides satisfying any statutory or legal requirements, the audit provides an additional level of comfort on the general state of the organization's finances for your board, members, and donors. By being proactive during the year with your own responsibilities and defining your staff's responsibilities for the audit process, you'll find the process to be a more smooth and efficient endeavor.
Adam Woznicki is the Associate Director of Finance at Executive Director, Inc.
Working towards your CAE?
AAMSE is a CAE Approved Provider* and AAMSE educational programs related to the CAE exam content outline, may be applied for credits toward your CAE application or renewal professional development requirements.
Keep your eye on your inbox for more information on our next CAE applicable webinar on December 3.
More information and registration coming soon! - applicable for 1 CAE credit.
*Note: AAMSE programs are not endorsed, accredited, or affiliated with ASAE or the CAE program. Applicants may use any program that meets eligibility requirements in the specific timeframe towards the exam application or renewal. There are no specific individual courses required as part of the applications – selection of eligible education is up to the applicant based on his/her needs.
AAMSE Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a benefit of membership and make your life as a medical society professional easier by helping you:
9 areas of interest to choose from
Join the conversation
Learn more about AAMSE SIGs and how to join at aamse.org/SIGs.
©2014 American Association of Medical Society Executives