Submitted by: Edward Akelman, MD, Angie Legaspi, CMP, Jennifer Gremmels, Tara Havenga and Mark Anderson, CAE
The Hand Society has always been known for its excellence in educational programs; and our publications program has grown significantly over the years, but now is the time to get excited. Recently, there has been significant activity in the Education Division. The Chairs of two task forces, Kevin Chung, MD of the Course Planning Task Force and Andy Lee, MD of the Program/Product Review Task Force, have made great strides in an effort to update our processes and bring you the innovative products and courses you need in a more efficient manner. Here are our immediate priorities in elevating the Education Division to the next level of excellence:
• To provide high quality/high value educational products to our members and customers
• To revitalize CME and publication committees by improving function and processes so that we can be the best at what we do
• To develop a cohesive plan for all educational products that uses our intellectual property, financial, and staff resources efficiently
Courses and Meetings
To better understand our member’s educational needs, a CME Needs Assessment survey was circulated to members and nonmembers to identify learning gaps. We are using this information to create courses with formats and topics that better suit your needs. Courses and Meetings Advisory Committee (CMAC) Chair, Peter Murray, MD, has worked diligently with his committee to develop a three-year CME course plan (2009-2011) which carefully addresses our current schedule of CME courses, future needs, and the current offerings of other organizations.
CMAC is also providing more “hands on” oversight in the planning and development of courses to help ensure that the CME activity is adhering to all ACCME Essentials and Standards. They are developing instruments that course planners can use to document ASSH compliance of the ACCME updated accreditation criteria.
Products and Publications
As our publications department has grown significantly, we believe it is vital to stream line the process to be more efficient in procuring relevant, high quality educational publications and products (e.g., surgery videos). Products and Publications Advisory Committee (PPAC) Chair Ghazi Rayan, MD, has been essential in this effort. His team has created a master list of topics and editors to be considered for future publications.
ASSH Staff is working closely with PPAC to create a project management template for developing publications. The template outlines the most efficient and cost-effective way of producing print and digital products. Our goal is to provide guidelines to help authors, editors, and staff understand and accomplish their responsibilities throughout a project. Now we will begin planning our books differently with a longer development schedule that will allow us to take advantage of optimal publishing and printing technologies which will ultimately save costs. PPAC is creating a process for prioritizing publication projects based on demand/need for the topic, product type, availability of volunteers, timing with courses and staff capacity.
Perhaps the most exciting advancement taking place is the integration of our publications and courses. I will be working with Peter Murray, MD, Ghazi Rayan, MD, and staff to explore ways to link the development of publications with courses and meetings to optimize the effort from faculty and authors who create our intellectual content, providing the greatest value for members. We will pilot this idea with a 2009 course chaired by Randi Bindra, MD. This course will lead to a book based on the course’s content. In the future, I will be exploring the development of publications based on some of our most successful Annual Meeting precourses, allowing us to preserve the intellectual content and enhance our overall educational goals.
We plan to implement several recommendations in the near future. Here’s a quick overview:
• Committee Representatives with overlapping education responsibilities will meet on an ongoing basis to review ongoing and future projects and provide feedback on these activities. This will help identify intellectual content projects with potential overlap and it will help decide the appropriate medium for delivering all of our educational products.
• We would like to continue to recruit inventive and energetic new members for the Education Committees. The new members should understand that these are very active, hard-working committees that produce important work for the Hand Society.
• An evaluation process for courses and Annual Meeting sessions will be created to provide an unbiased assessment on presentations and speakers. This will help future planning committees determine topics and speakers to invite for courses and meetings.
• Products and Publications Advisory Committee will conduct a needs assessment and market research survey analogous to the CME Needs Assessment to determine which topics from their master list are most important to our members and customers to help prioritize our projects.
Everyone on the education team is striving to provide a mechanism where ongoing and future projects of Education Division committees can be shared with each other to produce high quality, high value educational products (courses, meetings, publications, DVDs, and online education).
Thank you to all those dedicated chairpersons and committee members who have made this effort to improve our education possible. Coordination of the priorities and goals of the Education Division started a year ago, and remains a work-in-progress. As a member, your thoughts and insights are always welcomed.
Ed Akelman, MD