I realize that it's only November, but for those of us in ASRM, and more specifically the MHPG, that means it's the start of the New Year. Time to celebrate quickly and then get down to work!
What I would like to do at the start of this "year" is to recap our ASRM Annual Meeting and set an agenda for the upcoming year.
So, at the business meeting I put forth my goal of reaching out to our brand new members and our newish members. This worked just great! So many of you introduced yourselves to me, which is a great way to start building connections within the MHPG. Please, if you are new or newish and were not able to make it to Orlando, send me an email and introduce yourself...I'd love to know who you are, how the MHPG might help you, and I'd like to look into getting you involved with MHPG activities. I also want to remind you newish members of the excellent mentoring program that has been such a valuable asset of the MHPG. Look for emails about this terrific opportunity on the listserv. On the flip side, I want to thank our "seasoned" MHPG members who have served as mentors; your contribution to your mentee and the field in general is worth more than words can express.
Also, at the business meeting, there was a call for ideas for roundtables, symposia, and PG courses. We need to put together two year's worth of programming in the next month or so...so please be generous and quick with your ideas! You can send your ideas directly to Claudia Pascale (firstname.lastname@example.org or CPascale@sbivf.com) and Piave Lake (email@example.com), or you can send them to me and I will forward them. I am confident that the MHPG offerings at the San Diego ASRM 2012 and the Boston ASRM 2013 Annual Meetings will continue the tradition of excellence. Claudia Pascale is our representative to the ASRM Scientific Program Committee for the 2012 meeting in San Diego, and Piave Lake fills that role for the 2013 meeting in Boston. As such, they each will be working hard to develop symposia, roundtables, clinical consultations, and additional learning and professional activities such as the research mentoring that was offered this year in Orlando. Again, please do not be shy about sharing your ideas regarding these activities. Of course the tradition of excellence with regard to the postgraduate courses will be continued in San Diego as well. We are still tinkering with this a bit, so please look to the MHPG listserv and the newsletters for updates on the postgraduate courses.
Another business meeting item was a big push to encourage involvement in our committees and task forces. You can find the list of our committees and task forces on our MHPG webpage, or you can email me directly to ask about them. This is a great way to increase your networking and involvement in the MHPG. Please do not be shy about pursuing this...don't wait to be asked, come forward with your interest. That said, as Mary said in sharing her own experience, sometimes you run a few times before it works out...don't let that deter you! I would be remiss if I were not to take a moment to thank the many, many members of our MHPG who have so generously volunteered their time and talents to our committees and task forces. These are, of course, volunteer activities, yet they provide challenge and they do require commitment. So, thanks, thanks, thanks to all of you who have been so generous to the MHPG!
It goes without saying, (but I'll say it anyway!) that we had excellent programs this year at ASRM! I don't think it would be possible to have come away from Orlando without new and helpful insights and information. Generous, generous thanks go to the faculty of our PG courses, symposia, and roundtables! No less appreciation goes out to all of those who ran our clinical consultation and our research mentoring sessions (these were tweaked and/or completely new this year.). I'd list all of you fantastic contributors, but that would make a super long message...so please know how much we appreciate your outstanding efforts and contributions to the MHPG!!!!
So, the agenda for the upcoming year is to continue with the goal of increasing member participation. I'd like to reach out in particular to those MHPG'ers we don't get to meet at the Annual Meetings. Please consider making plans to attend the meetings ... although great work is accomplished throughout the year and our connections through the listserv are rewarding...the true "gold" is gathered at the yearly meetings. That is where we all profit from each other's knowledge and make our contributions to the field of reproductive medicine.
I think that's enough for now. I'm going to try to reach out to all of you....seasoned MHPG'ers and newbies throughout the year to keep you in the loop and solicit your ideas. I hope that I'm coming across loud and clear when I say that I welcome you to reach out to me....here's my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to a great year for all of us,
Julianne Zweifel, Ph.D.
MHPG Chair 2011-12