- American Association for the History of Medicine: Report of the Eighty-Ninth Annual Meeting
The eighty-ninth annual meeting of the American Association for the History of Medicine was held in Minneapolis, MN, April 28–May 1, 2016, at the Minneapolis Marriott Center City. The following summary has been prepared by Jodi L. Koste and is intended for the information of the members of the association. The official minutes and reports are preserved in the Office of the Secretary. The final meeting program, featuring the titles of the papers and the names of all the presenters, may be found on the AAHM website at http://histmed.org/meetings.
Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council of the American Association for the History of Medicine, Inc
April 28, 2016
The regular meeting of the AAHM Council was called to order by President Margaret Humphreys at 12:50 p.m. in the St. Croix II Room of the Minneapolis Marriott Center City. All officers and council members were present except Paul Berman, Erica Dyck, Mike Flannery, Beth Linker, and Joel Braslow. Stephen Casper and Alan Kraut, candidates for council, were welcomed as observers.
Council approved the minutes of the 2015 council meeting as published in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine Vol. 89, No. 3, 2015: 557–91. [End Page 491] The council reviewed, discussed, and accepted the reports of the secretary, treasurer, and the association’s standing and ad hoc committees.
Report of the Secretary (Jodi Koste)
The focus of the Office of the Secretary for the past year was improving the AAHM’s working relationship with the Johns Hopkins University Press, orienting the new meeting planner, developing a volunteer speakers bureau, and responding to questions posed by the membership on all facets of the association’s activities.
Following a less than satisfactory handling of the 2015 meeting registration process, the officers addressed their concern to the management at Johns Hopkins University Press (JHUP). The secretary alone received seventy-five separate complaints about the 2015 registration process. The 2015 Local Arrangements Committee for New Haven and other officers heard criticisms as well. After several conversations with the secretary, the management at JHUP became aware of the depths of the association’s dissatisfaction with their services. JHUP has taken several steps to improve service, and our relationship is much improved. A new association liaison at JHUP assisted with the 2015 membership renewal process, resulting in several email reminders as well as renewal forms sent by first-class mail in a timely fashion. Inquiries to JHUP from the secretary are now addressed promptly, and there has been significant improvement in our regular communication. In the past year, the JHUP staff developed a FAQ document that may be found on the AAHM website. It is designed to help individuals navigate the members’ only portion of the website to renew memberships, register for the annual meeting, and consult the membership database. Even with these enhancements and overall improvements in customer service, the JHUP member interface remains a major source of frustration for many. The interface is not sufficiently customized for an association such as ours, nor is it particularly easy to use. JHUP is open to suggestions, and we will continue to work with them to obtain a more user-friendly and useful members’ only section of the website.
During last year’s annual meeting the officers interviewed three meeting planning firms in order to make a suitable selection for the association. The officers checked references and reviewed proposed contracts. In August, after email approval from council, the association signed a contract with the Chesapeake Health Education Program, Inc. (CHEP), a small firm based in Maryland with experience handling CME and conference and workshop planning. Carly Spiewak is our meeting planner. She traveled to Minneapolis to view the 2016 meeting venue and meet Jennifer [End Page 492] Gunn and others from the Local Arrangement Committee (LAC). She has been a tremendous help in preparing for the upcoming meeting, relieving the LAC of many tasks including working with the hotel, handling CME, and coordinating the book exhibit. Following the 2016 meeting, the officers will evaluate her work and the services of CHEP.