President's Message

Judy Cohn
AAHSL President
Assistant Vice President for Information Services, and Director of Health Sciences Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


November 6, 2018

I'm honored to have served as AAHSL President for the past three months, and look forward to the opportunity to serve the membership in the coming year. I will work to sustain our momentum and communicate with you. It was wonderful to see so many of you at the annual meeting in Austin!

Annual Meeting Highlights:  Congratulations to Shannon Jones and the Program & Education Committee for planning the stimulating Matheson Lecture. Atul Butte, MD, PhD, delivered a dynamic presentation entitled “Translating a Trillion Points of Data into Therapies, Diagnostics, and New Insights into Disease.”  Dr Butte is the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor and Inaugural Director of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) He is also the Chief Data Scientist for the entire University of California Health System.

The afternoon workshop on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), presented by Sharon Hayes, MD, FACC, FAHA, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic, and Director of DEI from the Mayo Clinic challenged our beliefs and implicit biases, and laid out strategies for overcoming them.

Awards: Cornerstone Awardees, recognized at the evening reception for their vision, diligence and commitment to the AAHSL Statistics program, included Rod MacNeil (Jefferson), Steve Squires (retired/UNC), and Jim Shedlock (retired/Northwestern). Jane Blumenthal received a Presidential Award for her contributions to the association. Congratulations to all.

New Board Members: Sandra Franklin (Emory), President-Elect, and Debra Rand (Hofstra), Board Member, were elected to the AAHSL Board at the annual business meeting. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming them to the Board. Departing AAHSL leadership and Board members, thanked for their service, are Ruth Riley (USC), President-Elect (X2), and Nadine Dexter (UCF).

Due to retirements and departures, other newsworthy appointments include Paul Schoening (Wash U) stepping in as Past-President for 2018-2019; Jerry Perry (U of AZ) moving into the role of Secretary/Treasurer for 2018-2019; and Nadine Dexter (UCF) staying on the Board for the coming year. Thanks to all!

Appointments: Committee Chairs for 2018-2019 include: Matt Wilcox (Quinnipiac), Assessment & Statistics; Cristina Pope (SUNY-Upstate), Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Heidi Heilemann (Stanford), Future Leadership; Joint Legislative Task Force, Neville Prendergast (Tulane); New & Developing Health Sciences Libraries, Fay Towell (USCSOM-Greenville); Program & Education, Shannon Jones (MUSC); Research Services, Gabe Rios (Indiana); and Emily McElroy (Univ of Nebraska), Scholarly Communications. Chris Shaffer (UCSF) and Elizabeth Lorbeer (Western Michigan University) are AAHSL representatives to the AAMC-Council of Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS).

Task Force Updates: The work of the Competency-Based Medical Education (CBME) Task Force will be completed by the end of calendar 2018.  Their most recent poster, “Enabling Self-Directed Life-Long Learning through EPA-7: The Educator’s Role,” was displayed for member viewing. The Board recommended charging a Phase 2 Task Force to continue the important work of the CBME TF. Thanks to Judy Spak (Yale) and formerly Heather Collins (U of Kansas) for leading the Task Force.

Bylaws:  The membership approved two (2) changes to the AAHSL bylaws at the annual meeting. The first changes the AAHSL fiscal year from January 1 – December 31 to October 1 – September 30. This change provides the Board and Committee Chairs with a more complete picture of how they used their allocated resources as plans for the upcoming year are developed. The second approved change is to create member categories for New Medical Schools and Developing Medical Schools.

Leadership Development: The 2018-2019 class of fellows and mentors convened for their orientation and introduction to the program. New fellows and mentors were recognized at the annual business meeting.

Other:  Stay tuned for an email call to directors as we seek to fill a proposed liaison position to the AAMC – Group on Information Resources (GIR) Steering Committee.

In closing, it was great to see all of the networking at the Annual Meeting! What a wonderful group of colleagues.

Best, Judy