Energy from Annual Meeting
The recently completed Annual Meeting in Long Beach California continued AUPHA’s long tradition of creating excitement and value from three days of networking, learning, and even some fun. The Global Symposium or the site visits made for nearly a full, busy week. The theme “Maximizing Health Management and Policy Education through Inclusion and Innovation” generated a great deal of interest and many applications. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee, led by Keith Benson, should be congratulated for putting the program together. We had near record attendance at 354 for Long Beach and about 76 individuals attended for the first time. Thank you for making the trip to California. While this turnout is very positive, most of our 2500 faculty in member programs were unable to attend. I want everyone to consider making every effort to attend next year by giving you some idea of what you missed.
I have been attending the AUPHA Annual Meeting more or less regularly since 1984 (yes, I was twelve that first year). Each year the Annual Meeting served to rejuvenate me and my colleagues for the upcoming year. I have learned that the wide variety of events offered during the Annual Meeting did not come about by chance but were designed to meet the diverse needs and interests of our membership. I will admit that for most of the intervening years, I did not recognize the value of this diversity of content. Only now do I appreciate the importance of having a meeting that mirrors the diverse needs and interests of our membership. The challenge in those early years and today is to find that combination of activities, events and engagement that give something for everyone.
Depending on where you are in your career, the value of the Annual Meeting varies greatly. We observed essentially four categories of primary interest by members. Naturally, many fall into multiple categories but this serves as a crude categorization.
First, for some attendees, the many small sessions with core content was most valuable. You provided AUPHA with a wide variety of content topics and examinations of teaching pedagogy again this year. While none of us was able to attend all of the offerings, there was substantial breadth of interesting topics available. From a content perspective we had education session, in the round sessions, and ignite sessions covering many of the major topics that are salient today, including
- Leadership and leadership education
- Systems thinking
- Population health (multiple)
- Innovation (multiple)
- Interprofessional education
- Post ACA healthcare finance education
- End of life issues
- Patient experience
With respect to teaching methods you offered sessions that included:
- Issues around experiential learning (multiple)
- Flipped classroom
- Cultural responsiveness education (multiple)
- Implicit gender bias
- Methods to engage adjunct in education process (multiple)
- Excessive student collaboration
- Student centered learning
- Incorporation alternative learning styles
These many topics do not even consider the scores of very interesting posters that people viewed during Poster Sessions.
Other attendees, however, were more interested in the keynote and general sessions. From the Pattullo Lecture on the first day to the AUPHA Forum on Friday, there were many opportunities to obtain a perspective on healthcare from someone outside of our fellow members. For me, the presentation by Dr. David Blumenthal was the most interesting. His varied role in both the delivery side and in government added richness to his perspective.
The third group of attendees were mainly focused on the targeted work of the Faculty Forums because of their more targeted research or teaching interests. It is great to sit in a room with colleagues that you engage with all year and put a face to a name or renew past contacts.
Finally, some folks appear to most prefer the receptions, breakfasts/lunches, and yoga. While this sounds like a snide comment, these are valuable in that networking throughout the Annual Meeting is a valuable activity. Some of this is purely social but future working relationships are begun over a diet coke during the reception or coffee at breakfast.
Next year in Philadelphia (June 13-15, 2018) we should have an equally strong program and some special events to commemorate the 70th year of AUPHA. There will be some changes in format but we plan to hold to the formulae of creating a program with value for the diverse interests of our membership. We are open to ideas for additional elements of the Annual Meeting. If there are formal or informal activities or formats that you think would add value to you and other members, please do not hesitate to contact us with suggestions. The 2018 Annual Meeting Planning Committee will start meeting soon to plan for next year. Staff have already made a trip to the hotel in Philadelphia to examine the layout for the meeting. Word is that it is an elegant and historic hotel.
Finally, we have two other events that you can use to generate energy from your colleagues before next June. The 2017 Undergraduate Workshop will be held in Orlando, October 5-7. While shorter than the Annual Meeting, the Workshop delivers content and pedagogy in the same spirit. Also, on March 26, the 2018 Graduate Program and Practitioner Workshop will be held in Chicago. This one-day event gives a glimpse of challenges and solutions program face and has the benefit of a keynote speaker jointly sponsored by ACHE and AUPHA. Please join us for any or all of these events.
Have a great summer,