The meeting was called to order by President Jerry Putnam at 9:40 am. The minutes of the June 25, 2002, SAAHP General Membership meeting were distributed by Secretary Susan Morrison and approved without change.
Putnam introduced the new Executive Director of the NAAHP Susan Maxwell as well as the NAAHP President Hugo Lane. Susan Maxwell welcomed everyone and noted that, thanks to the leadership of NAAHP and the four regions, she had had a good experience in assuming her position. She noted that she would like to work to coordinate the four regional meetings to make it easier for her or other NAAHP leadership to attend all of them. She announced that the 16th NAAHP meeting will be held in Washington, D.C., June 28 to July 2, 2004.
Rooms at the Omni Shoreham Hotel (a 1920’s hotel recently renovated at a cost of $18,000,000, with a pool and fitness center) will be $129/night (available 3 days before and after the meeting). Potential sponsors for food and beverage will be contacted; the American University of the Caribbean has committed to sponsoring the SAAHP breakfast. She also reported on some of her activities in the NAAHP office since beginning in January 2002. Media specialist Kristin Cota was hired to upgrade the web site and work with Director of Communications Carol Baffi-Dugan. Joyce Marsh retired and Christine Klindworth resigned, and have been replaced by the new office manager Jerolyn Attwood and secretary Pamela Tenhouse. Voice-mail was instituted. One goal is to plan the national meetings much farther in advance. Thus far, there are confirmed plans to hold the 2006 NAAHP meeting in Portland, Oregon, at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, and Chicago is being investigated for the 2008 meeting. She then mentioned that the national office provides various services and publications, and emphasized their desire to serve the membership. Finally, she thanked everyone for their contributions and presented a plaque to Anne Ewing for her role in planning the 2003 SAAHP meeting.
NAAHP President Hugo Lane brought greetings from the National Board of Directors. He mentioned three important activities of NAAHP:
- providing services to individual advisors;
- working on professional development---the Professional Development Committee is asking the regions to collaborate on ways to generate professional development documents (e.g. setting up advising programs) and to provide information on the web;
- advocating for the advisor (and therefore students) interests with the thirteen different health professions organizations and their schools
He also raised concerns about third party management of the letters of reference.
Nominating Committee Report: David Pennington presented the slate of candidates for the election and introduced those in attendance:
- For president-elect:
- Tom Oeltmann (Vanderbilt)
- For Board member at large (two to be elected):
- Barbara Bell (Spelman)
- Karen DeOlivares (Southern Methodist University)
- Perry Reeves (Abilene Christian University)
- Jeanette Rundquist (Birmingham Southern College)
Members of the Nominating Committee were David Pennington, Jerry Seebach, and Frank Pinkerton. Attendees were reminded that each institution has only one vote and that patron members do not vote. Ballots were distributed, voting took place, and ballots were counted while the meeting progressed. The results were announced when complete and were as follows:
- President-elect: Tom Oeltmann (Vanderbilt)
- Board members at large:
- Barbara Bell (Spelman)
- Karen DeOlivares (Southern Methodist University)
Treasurers Report: Robert Gaunder distributed a copy of the financial report. We began the year with $30,306, received income of $2361 from dues and CD-interest, and expended $4848 leaving a balance of $27,819. The report was approved by a voice vote.
President’s Report: Jerry Putnam displayed the booklet that he had assembled which included records of the San Antonio 2001 meeting program, guidelines for planning a meeting, an update on the leadership conference, meeting programs, and additional materials. He noted that he was proudest of the leadership conference and that we had succeeded in reaching most of the goals set by the group. Among these goals were the guidelines for planning a meeting, professional development activities, updating of the membership brochure by Charles Chapman and Jeannie Thomley, and establishment of a mentor program. The web site will be managed by Kristen Cota of the NAAHP staff, and SAAHP will purchase its own URL. The President’s report was approved unanimously by a voice vote.
Jerry Putnam then read the following statement regarding the role of non-allopathic and off-shore/foreign medical schools at our joint meetings with AAMC:
- “We have a special relationship with the AAMC every four years. This meeting is a wonderful time to meet deans on a much more personal basis than is normally possible. Nothing should be done to damage this relationship.”
- “However, we do want to remain sensitive to our non-allopathic/offshore colleagues who help us significantly during the long program.”
- “Thus, the Executive Council urges future plans for programs (short programs) to effectively include them in our meeting. They can participate in Meet the Deans, special dinners held at times when AAMC/SAAHP are not collectively meeting, and setting up tables for display.”
He noted that he will take this recommendation from the Executive Council to the AAMC.
Discussion of the joint SAAHP/GSA meetings followed. Anne Ewing noted that SGSA had cooperated well with us, being especially cost conscious when they meet with us, and that limitations on other groups are due to time and space. Jean DeSaix and Tony Hilger contributed that the updates are critical for advisors and that this is especially valuable in advising the non-accepted applicant. Hugo Lane stated that there must be mutual respect between the two associations, that recent experiences have been very positive, that there is real value in having a joint meeting rather than parallel meetings, and that there must be a balance.
Hugo Lane then presented a resolution from the NAAHP Executive Committee and asked that we consider endorsing it in spirit rather than in precise wording. Susan Morrison read the resolution twice.
- Resolution: “Whereas the confidential and private nature of the content of letters of recommendation must be restricted;
Whereas the mutual trust and the special relationship advisors develop with admissions personnel is of the utmost importance in communicating accurately private and confidential information about candidates;
Be is resolved that SAAHP recognizes that the best interest of advisors, candidates to health professions schools, and the admissions offices and officers of said schools, requires direct communication between advisors and admissions officers be preserved.”
Hugo Lane presented the history for the resolution. Some associations are moving to centralized application services and, in the past, some have demanded that advisors send reference letters to them for distribution. There is a sense that confidentiality requires a direct relationship between the advisor and the admissions officer and that the advisor must maintain control of the letters. An application service or association should not intervene in the direct communication. The admissions deans and medical school admissions officers concur with advisors, while the AAMC is seeking centralization. In addition to AAMC, there are twelve associations with whom we have a close relationship. Each region is voting whether or not to endorse the spirit of the resolution; a committee composed of the NAAHP President and the four regional presidents will assemble the final document. In the discussion that followed, Tony Hilger agreed with the reasons given, and added that an advisor may send different letters to different medical schools. Phillip Green (of the American University of the Caribbean) talked about the ERAS and Residency Match formats which are uniform and result in less effective letters that are too similar; he felt the letters from advisors would inevitably carry less weight. Putnam mentioned that the Texas system simply duplicates and sends on the letters, but was concerned AAMC would implement a uniform form. David Pennington commented that they have had minimal difficulty with the Texas system, but that it is very small scale compared to a national effort. Hugo Lane stated that the resolution will deal with the issue of centralization and will be prepared by a national committee of regional representatives and forwarded to deans of all schools of the thirteen health professions with which we have contact. Ken Revis-Wagner inquired about the issue of direct submission of letters via an electronic system; Jerry Putnam replied that it would be appropriate, but only if we knew where the server was located and who controlled it; Hugo Lane added that we must have confidence in who has access to the electronic letters. Anne Ewing brought up the issue of the timing for information reaching the medical schools. Jerry Putnam called for a vote on the spirit of the resolution. It was made by Jean DeSaix, seconded by Robert Cannon, and approved by a voice vote.
Susan Morrison read four motions from the Executive Council:
- Be it resolved that the Executive Council of SAAHP express appreciation to Kathleen Nelson and Mason Thompson of the SGSA, Carol Elam of the University of Kentucky and Anne Ewing of SAAHP for the program, hotel, and general meeting arrangements in Lexington, KY.
- Be it resolved that the Executive Council of SAAHP express appreciation to Lisa Alty and Keith Garbutt as they rotate off the Executive Council.
- Be it resolved that the Executive Council of SAAHP express appreciation to Deborah Paris as she ends her term as SAAHP representative to the NAAHP.
- Whereas Jerry Putnam has provided outstanding leadership to the SAAHP and whereas he has established a high standard for future Presidents through such activities as the first Leadership Conference, the first composite biennial report and the first published meeting planning guide, and whereas Jerry Putnam has become a leader in NAAHP. Be it resolved that the Executive Council of SAAHP express appreciation to Jerry Putnam as he ends his term of service as President of SAAHP.
Anne Ewing, the incoming President, was then introduced. She said that the 2005 meeting will probably be in Nashville, and will be SAAHP by itself. She asked that everyone complete their forms evaluating the current meeting, and that they feel free to communicate directly with her about ideas for the next meeting. She then listed her priorities: (a) making the web page more effective; (b) pursuing the issue of insuring accurate mailing lists with the national office; (c) planning the 2005 meeting, and (d) continuing the mentor program. She thanked those individuals who helped with the Lexington meeting.
Lisa Alty requested that members agree to help with the 2004 NAAHP meeting if asked. Rob Cannon encouraged members to write articles, book reviews or other contributions for The Advisor (a quarterly publication) or NAAHPnet (monthly electronic publication). Pennington asked individuals to provide the new chair of the nominating committee Jerry Putnam with names of potential nominees for leadership positions. Jerry Putnam seconded Alty’s plea for members to help with the NAAHP 2004 meeting and the plea for individuals to serve as leaders, noting that his experience has been invaluable to his knowledge of both members and deans.
The meeting adjourned at 10:46 am.
Susan J. Morrison