SACME Strategic Affairs Committee Update

By Joyce M. Fried and Mary G. Turco, EdD

SACME’s Strategic Affairs Committee provides support and guidance to the SACME Board of Directors regarding strategic direction, planning, and management of the Society.  The committee, chaired by Mary Turco and vice-chaired by Joyce Fried, consists of 13 additional members, eight who serve vis-à-vis their leadership position in SACME and five who are at-large members proposed by the committee chair and approved by the Board of Directors.  The committee meets monthly.  Meetings are by invitation only.

The purpose of the committee is to guide and inform the Board of Directors by: (1) developing effective process and performance approaches for advancing the strategic plans of the Society; (2) preparing recommendations to the Board of Directors on current and future strategic initiatives, as appropriate; (3) overseeing organizational and committee work plans designed to advance strategic priorities; and (4) establishing processes to guide the solicitation and management of grant funding to support the scholarship of CME/CPD in the future.

The Strategic Affairs Committee is a relatively new SACME committee having evolved over the last eight years from what had been called SACME’s Research Endowment Council. The Council had been created many years prior to enhance the work of the Research Committee by seeking large grants to create an endowment fund to promote the Society’s scholarship. 

In 2012, the Council determined that it was difficult to raise funds for an organization that does not have a strategic plan.   As a result, the Council morphed into the Strategic Affairs Work Group which carried out a strategic planning process that was built on four strategic initiatives–Scholarship, Strategic Collaborations, Leadership Development, and House-in-Order. 

In 2014 Society Bylaws changes made possible the creation of the current Strategic Affairs Committee as an official standing committee of SACME.   The chair of this committee is appointed by the president.  The committee’s first chair was Leanne Andreasen (2013-2015), followed by Moss Blachman (2015-2017), Barbara Barnes (2017-2019), and Mary Turco (2019-2021). 

The Strategic Affairs Work Group and its successor Committee have held an annual retreat to address its charge by reviewing and updating its recommendations to the Board based on the evolving status of the Society.   The 2019 Strategic Affairs Committee retreat was held in Chicago.   Attendees developed a set of recommendations to the Board of Directors categorized by issues related to mission, members, and management.  They also reviewed and made recommendations about budgetary requests and strategic collaborations.   

In March 2020, the Board of Directors asked the Strategic Affairs Committee to review and suggest updates to the Society’s strategic planning documents.   To that end, Mary Turco, with the assistance of former Board Secretary Edeline Mitton, who was advisory to the Strategic Affairs Committee, gathered and shared eight archival strategic planning documents dating back to the era of the Strategic Affairs Work Group.   The committee reviewed these documents and then met twice in May and once in June to draft suggestions to the Board for updating the four original strategic initiatives:  Scholarship, Strategic Collaborations, Leadership Development, and House-in-Order. The committee shared its suggestions and proposed recommendations in June 2020.  During its meetings in Fall 2020, the Board endorsed those recommendations. 

The Committee It is also developing an executive summary report that will contain the current SACME Strategic Plan and major strategic planning documents that have informed that plan.  The Strategic Plan will be shared with the membership once completed.  Look for more updates in future issues of CE News and other SACME publications in the new year.  

Joyce Fried is Emeritus Assistant Dean, CME, UCLA School of Medicine. 

Mary G. Turco, EdD, FSACME is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Principal for Scholarship Enhancement and Academic Professional Development, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

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