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


July 22, 2019

Hope everyone is enjoying summer!

Annual Meeting & Program Update

Check the website for the most current information on the Annual Meeting scheduled in Phoenix, AZ on November 7-8. The hotel information is listed, and please use the meeting code to make reservations at the AAHSL block rate. Once again, the Program & Education Committee has organized a great Matheson Lecture and Education Program!

Membership Year Reminder

The new annual membership year is October 1 – September 30. Dues have gone back to their full year rate. Information and pricing can be found here.

Credit Card Fees

A 3% processing fee for credit card payments is being assessed for all dues payments; if you intend to pay your AAHSL membership dues by credit card, please call the office and they will process your payment.

New AAHSL Task Force Formed

A new task force on academic health sciences libraries’ support to affiliated hospitals and health systems is charged with identifying AAHSL libraries that have successfully developed funding and/or service models and policies for library services their affiliated hospitals/health systems, and composing brief case studies describing these models. The Task Force, co-chaired by Megan Von Isenburg (Duke) and Melissa DeSantis (U Colorado) welcomes the following members: Daniel Burgard (UNT Health Sciences Center), Susan Kendall (MSU), Clista Clanton (U South Alabama), Amy Allison (soon to be at Geisinger), and Linda Van Keuren (Georgetown). Thanks to all those who volunteered to serve on this newly formed group.

CFAS Society Summit

Thanks to Ann Linton (GWU), who represented AAHSL at the Council on Faculty and Academic Societies (CFAS) Society Summit in Washington DC in June on behalf of AAHSL CFAS representatives Chris Shaffer (UCSF) and Liz Lorbeer (WMU). The goal of the summit was to create and reinforce a stronger connection between AAMC and its member societies. An overview, summary materials, and speaker presentations are available for download and viewing.

AAHSL Sign-on to the Dream Act letter

Coordinated by AAMC, AAHSL was one of 70 health professions organization that to Senate leadership urging passage of the Dream Act.

The health professions letter states that legislative action “would ensure that members of the health care workforce approved for DACA and other undocumented young people are able to continue their employment, education, training and research in the health professions.” It also highlights how diversity in the health professions increases access to care in underserved communities and how a diverse health professions workforce helps promote a culturally competent workforce.

The letter reiterates, “Our organizations are dedicated to promoting a culturally competent, diverse, and prepared health and biomedical workforce that leads to improved care and health equity. A permanent legislative remedy to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people would help us achieve this goal.”

Stay cool.

 June 18, 2019

Hope everyone’s summer is off to a good start!  Please take note of reminders and upcoming deadlines.

DEI Webinar Series starts tomorrow, Wednesday, June 19th

Participate in the 1st of 9 webinars with Jessica Pettitt, entitled “Diversity and Social Justice: A Starting Place.” The webinar series, supported by AAHSL, MLA and the NNLM, requires registration, but is free. Each webinar is 1 hour in length and begins at:

12:00 PM ET | 11:00 AM CT | 10:00 AM MT | 9:00 AM PT | 8:00 AM Alaska | 6:00 AM Hawaii

IPEC Summer Meeting Summary

The summer IPEC meeting was held last week in Washington DC and featured a terrific program demonstrating linkages between interprofessional education and linking it to collaborative practice. Compelling examples presented by speakers describing examples of team-based care and community engagement were from George Washington University’s ISCOPES Program and VCU’s collaboration with Beacon Communities caring for aging urban community members in a program called iCubed

Reflections on association leadership and the development of interprofessional education over their careers were shared by 4 major leaders transitioning to retirement. The panel did a deep dive sharing lessons learned leading change within the health professions education community, thoughts about the future of IPE and Collaborative Practice, and reflections on association leadership.

Panelists included:

  • Darrell Kirch, MD, President and CEO, Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Timi Agar Barwick, MPM, CEO, Physician Assistant Education Association
  • Stephen Shannon, DO, MPH, President and CEO, American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Richard Valachovic, DMD, MPH, President and CEO, American Dental Education Association

An awards presentation for the 2019 USPHS IPEC winners was another highlight of the meeting. See last week’s announcement to the listserv of the first place and honorable mention awardees.

Leadership Fellows Program Applications Open until June 22nd

The application period for becoming an NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellow is open until June 22.  Information about the application for the 2019-2020 year and Leadership Fellows Program are available on the AAHSL Website.    

Both fellows and mentors have reported how valuable the program has been to them for their own personal growth as a leader and for shaping their career as an academic health sciences library director.  The program has also had a high success rate with 52% of fellows being hired as academic health sciences library directors or interim directors, and many others being promoted to positions with higher administrative responsibilities.

The Leadership Fellows Program recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching and supporting the mission of academic health sciences libraries, and actively seeks applications from individuals with varying identities and backgrounds.  

We are also seeking AAHSL directors who are willing to be mentors for this new cohort.


Fellows:  Candidates for Fellow should have a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries, as well as prior management experience. The program welcomes applications from professionals working in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings. Applications from qualified minority candidates are encouraged.  In its commitment to diversity and inclusion, the program actively seeks applicants from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

More information on program design, the program schedule, and the application are available here. Please help us continue this successful program by sharing this information with prospective applicants you know; and consider sharing your expertise as a mentor.

Please contact the Program Director if you have any questions or need more information:  Patricia (Pat) L. Thibodeau, Program Director, NLM/AASHL Leadership Fellows Program, [email protected], 919-619-6906.

AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program:

Make Your Voice Heard – Participate in Upcoming Strategic Planning Calls

You will shortly receive a list of dates and times to provide input to the new AAHSL Strategic Plan. Several of you attended an early AM session at MLA, which was engaging and provided very valuable feedback. Over the summer, there will be a series of 1-hour Zoom calls to provide opportunities for members to share their perspectives on AAHSL’s direction for the next 3 years. Stay tuned….

Data Scholarships Coming Soon

AAHSL will partner with the NNLM to offer data scholarships to AAHSL members to increase knowledge, skills and competencies through continuing education about data management in order to continue building a skilled workforce of academic health sciences librarians and professionals who will build and create platforms for data-driven discovery and data-powered health. Meetings, classes, or conferences held in the United States and Canada, focusing on topics of data literacy, data management, data visualization, clinical research data, and data science are examples of the types of professional development opportunities eligible for these scholarship awards.

The AAHSL Research Services Committee, in consultation with the Board, AAHSL Headquarters will administer the application and awards process.  Appreciation goes to Tania Bardyn, Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region for leading this process.

AAHSL Annual Meeting – Save the Date!

Plans are coming together for AAHSL programming for the Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, November 7-9.  The Educational Program and Matheson Lecture will be announced soon.

All best, 


 April 22, 2019


Over the past few months, AAHSL has signed on to support several issues put forth by the AAMC and MLA including:

  • AAHSL is included among the founding members of the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment. In addition, we joined in a Multi-Society Letter on the Department of Education’s Title IX Policy. The establishment of the Societies Consortium reflects a shared understanding that professional societies have a unique responsibility in their role as standard-setters for STEMM fields to address the pervasive problem of sexual and gender harassment.
  • In addition, we signed onto a letter of support advocating for an increase to the NDD United, which is circulating a letter advocating for an increase to the discretionary budget caps for FYs 2020 and 2021. Without relief from the discretionary spending caps, nondefense discretionary programs face a steep, $55 billion funding cliff that would reverse many of the funding gains made in the last few years and hamper efforts to continue investments in medical research, health professions workforce programs, and other priorities. You can find NDD United’s letter linked here.
  • AAHSL endorsed the recommendation by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research for its FY2020 recommendation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For FY 2020, the coalition recommends at least $41.6 billion for the NIH, a $2.5 billion increase over the FY 2019 program level, or a 6.4% increase.
  • Additionally, AAMC staff has developed a new infographic to highlight the value of NIH-funded research at medical schools and teaching hospitals. Please feel free to use it in your own advocacy!

Inter-Professional Education Collaborative (IPEC)

Sandra Franklin and I represented AAHSL at the Winter 2019 Council Meeting of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) on February 5, 2019 in Washington DC. IPEC, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is comprised of member organizations representing 21 national associations.  Highlights of the meeting included presentation of IPEC’s Comprehensive Evaluation Report and creation of a new strategic plan to establish priorities moving forward gathering input from attendees.  Since its inception, IPEC’s focus is on training health professions educators via its Interprofessional Leadership Program attended by over 429 teams comprised of over 1800 individual participants.

Leaders representing the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education provided an overview of their recently issued publication, “Guidance on Developing Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions.” The document, endorsed by 24 accrediting bodies, including the LCME, is a consensus report that supports the development and implementation of quality IPE. The guide does not replace an organization’s accreditation standards. Rather, it seeks to encourage increased communication and collaboration around IPE.

February AAHSL Board Meeting

The AAHSL Board had a productive 2-day meeting in New Orleans on February 7-8.

Some highlights of the meeting include:

  • Acceptance of the charge for the Competency Based Medical Education Task Force, Part 2
  • Approval to move the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force to a standing committee
  • Do a more formal introduction to AAHSL, its history, structure, and committees at the Annual meeting dinner for new directors.
  • To explore offering AAHSL/NLM Data Scholarships for Librarians in coordination with NNLM Pacific Northwest Region.
  • Approval to create a new task force focused on academic health sciences libraries’ support to affiliated hospitals and health systems

AAHSL Strategic Planning

Plans to update the AAHSL Strategic Plan are taking shape. Input has been gathered from the Board and in the coming weeks and months, calls for member input will be going out. If you’re not familiar with the existing plan, you can view it here. We’ll be holding a number of Zoom calls over the spring and summer and conducting a survey to gather your input. Our goal is to roll-out an updated plan in Fall 2019.

Stay tuned for opportunities to provide input!

MLA & AAHSL Joint Legislative Task Force

The JLTF just completed a very positive meeting followed by a day on Capitol Hill visiting legislators, meeting with and dropping off packets for Senate and House representatives advocating for increased support for: 

  • Fiscal year 2020 funding for NLM and NIH
  • Recommending that the Institute for Museum and Library Services not be eliminated as proposed in the President’s budget, 
  • recommending to keep the Agency for Health Research Quality remain open and funded at least at the FY2019 funding levels,
  •  and asking for support for the Net Neutrality: Save the Internet Act to restore the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality rules.

Questions and comments welcome!