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Governors agree on expanding membership input

From the July/August 1996 ACP Observer, copyright 1996 by the American College of Physicians.

By Cynthia Heller

The Board of Governors agreed at its April meeting in San Francisco that the personal and local method used to gather input from members in the recently completed Relevance Project was an important process that should be expanded--primarily by use of electronic communications.

The project sought to identify the concerns of specific ACP members: internists in the military, academic subspecialists and generalists, and practicing subspecialists and generalists. Governors used surveys, telephone interviews and focus groups to ask local members about their constituencies' needs and their views of most-valued ACP resources. All groups recognized as highly valuable the Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP Journal Club, MKSAP and CME.

David Case, FACP, Governor for New York Downstate Region I, presented a summary of the project's findings. The possibilities for boosting electronic communications with members include e-mailing information to groups within the states and creating chapter home pages with message centers on the Internet.

The exercise was managed by the following Governors: Stephen C. Beuttel, FACP, U.S. Navy; John B. Bass Jr., FACP, Alabama; Keith I. Marton, FACP, Northern California; Marvin J. Stone, FACP, Texas Northern; Richard B. Perry, FACP, District of Columbia; William L. Medd, FACP, Maine; and John D. Barker Jr., FACP, South Dakota.

The meeting also allowed attendees to share their thoughts on such issues as planning regional meetings, getting more members involved in local activities and examining how chapter subsidies are distributed.

In other discussion, Rowen K. Zetterman, FACP, Chair of the BOG, moderated a lively panel discussion on retraining.

John Tooker, FACP, the College's Deputy Executive Vice President, updated Governors on ACP's managed care activities and reviewed preliminary findings of a recently conducted survey of ACP members on managed care. (Details of the results were not available at press time.)

Robert B. Gibbons, FACP, Colorado, and Joseph E. Johnson III, FACP, Senior Vice President for Membership, announced that more than 6,000 students belong to ACP and are engaged in a variety of initiatives, including Primary Care Day, community-based teaching, discussion groups and internal medicine clubs.

In other news, the Board of Governors voted to forward with amendments the following resolutions:

  • Educating the public about the College's mission and philosophy (Arizona);
  • Chapter dues (Wisconsin);
  • Nicotine regulation and smoking reduction (New Hampshire, New York Downstate I and Wisconsin);
  • Ethics and contracts and third-party payers (New Hampshire, New York Downstate I and Wisconsin); and
  • Disparity in medical care (New Hampshire, New York Downstate I and Wisconsin).

If you would like the name and address of your Governor so you can get more involved, call ACP's customer service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600.

Cynthia Heller is a Senior Associate for Governor/Chapter Activities.

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