Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Social Networking and the #AAHPM Board Meeting - 1st Day

You can expect a few more emails this week as we blog frequently from the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly giving you updates on all the interesting things going on in Boston. Don't forget to follow #HPMAssembly and #AAHPM on Twitter for the latest updates from the meeting!


I'll get to the board meeting review in a second.

First I have to tell a story about how important it is for our community to talk on planes.  Do you talk to your neighbors on planes?  I try to make a habit of at least introducing myself and finding out the names of the other people in my row.  I just think it is cordial.  And I have learned from experience that those people who want to talk will easily open up which may lead to some great discoveries.  Those who don't want to talk will just say their name and play with their phone or pick up their book/magazine.

Well, today I met Gary a swine nutritionist from the Kansas City area who was on his way to Lancaster, PA to chat with some accounts.  Eventually the talk turned to my job at Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care and it was a good opportunity to educate someone about our field.

But the coolest networking happened on the next leg of the flight.  I introduced myself to my neighbor Lisa and we talked about the future of Wi-Fi on airplanes, social media in the workplace (She is on Twitter too!), but eventually it led to talking about both of our jobs.  When i mentioned I worked in hospice, she noted someone in the terminal had a hospice logo on their computer.  She later pointed her out to me at the baggage claim.  I asked this stranger if she was going to the Assembly, as I was going there too.  She affirmed my questions and we went on to chat about working in hospice.  She was Dr. Lynne Nowak, the medical director of Hospice of Southern Illinois.  Small world huh?  But if I had not started talking and introducing myself (strategically, not randomly) to strangers, these connections would not have happened.  So do you talk to people on planes?  Why or why not?

After we picked up our bags, Brian McMichael (the newest Pallimed blogger) picked us BOTH up to drive us to the hotel.  I love social networking; it is kind of like a treasure hunt.

Alright on to the board meeting...

The AAHPM has two face to face board of directors meetings each year (Spring and Fall).  The sessions are split over two days with the first day being a half day spent on what Steve Smith likes to call 'generative discussions.'  This year the two aspects of the Academy we heard presentations on were 'Legal Counsel' and 'The Culture of Philanthropy.'

The first presentation a bit dry (maybe it was all the legal talk) but I find that sometimes the dry/boring stuff is sometimes the things you need to pay the most attention too.  It was a good primer on all of the potential liabilities facing an organization like AAHPM covering different contracts, and insurance policies.  It impressive how many different risks are being managed to best ensure the long term stability of the Academy. I think most members would be surprised at the nimble balancing act sometimes required to meet many different state and federal regulations, since I know I was surprised.

The second presentation on 'The Culture of Philanthropy' featured a guest speaker who did a fantastic job.  The AAHPM has mostly pursued formal grants and donations from other foundations or companies and not focused very much on individual gift giving, but for larger organizations having a philanthropic strategy is important.  Like I said earlier this was meant to generate discussions, no formal decisions were made, but if the AAHPM looked into more formal development tactics, is there anything you would want to ask?

If you see me or any of the other board members (we are wearing gold ribbons that say 'Board Member') feel free to ask questions and give us some feedback.  I know many of you already gave feedback because I read all of the comments in the recent membership survey (nearly 400 responses).  But if you still feel a need to voice your concerns, ideas or adulations, grab one of us.  And if you DON'T get a chance to talk to a board member you can always email me at ctsinclair@gmail.com or csinclair@kchospice.org

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