Happy 2017—four months until our biennial conference in Rochester!
We are actively recruiting new board members, as well as volunteers to join a Team/Committee or project. (Board applications are due February 15th, and can be found here.) This letter addresses questions received regarding board member duties, and highlights some of the amazing accomplishments of our 2015-2017 board.
AMPHL could not function without the support of dedicated volunteers who give their time and their skills to our mission. Most of the labor of our national organization is shouldered by a few volunteers on our board. We’d love to have more manpower. Anyone can join our board: deaf health care students/professionals, interpreters, teachers, parents, friends, lawyers, accountants, business owners, tennis players, world travelers, trapeze artists—anyone with a passion for our mission is welcome! We’ve also had international board members (hello, Canada and Australia!)
Our bylaws and policies catalog the duties of AMPHL’s board members and officers in more detail but, here, in a nutshell, is the magic behind the curtain…
The president governs the whole board, coordinates the quarterly online meetings, runs the biennial in-person meeting at our conferences, and keeps online discussions on point.
The vice president works in tandem with the president and Team/Committee chairs to achieve forward progress on all Teams/Committees and projects.
The secretary takes minutes of the meetings, is the first point of contact for all messages sent to AMPHL through our website, acts as a record-keeper, and manages tracking of any votes the board undertakes.
The treasurer monitors AMPHL’s nonprofit bank account and supervises financial transactions. While the treasurer is also the natural chair of the Financial Plan team, this role is not mandatory.
All board members and officers attend quarterly meetings (in an online chatroom), contribute to email discussions, and participate in required voting. All board members must join at least one Team/Committee such as Mentorship & Outreach, Conference, Financial Plan, Organization Restructure, Digital Strategy, or any newly created Team/Committee.
Each Team/Committee has a chair (or co-chair) who is responsible for the vision of that Team/Committee, enumerating project goals, overseeing team members, and reporting advancement to the whole board at quarterly meetings. While some Teams are ongoing, such as Digital Strategy, other Teams will wrap up when their mission is complete, such as Organization Restructure and the Conference Committee.
We also encourage board members and team members to have self-initiative, but this is not a requirement. We cultivate new ideas and projects that contribute to AMPHL’s mission.
Much of AMPHL’s evolution during the 2015-2017 board term was self-initiated by board members. For instance, under the Digital Strategy team, the website underwent a major overhaul (the genesis of co-chairs Marcie & Megan). We increased blog posts, reported on relevant news and major legal victories for our community, and expanded website content. We launched AMPHL’s Facebook Fan Page, reinstated the AMPHL Facebook Group Page (moderated by Julia), and connected our Twitter page to our website’s newsfeed. Our team established AMPHL’s LinkedIn page (tip of the hat to Amber). In response to the single most FAQ AMPHL receives, we pioneered a stethoscope section on the website (many thanks to Amber, Megan, Michael A., and Marcie).
Mentorship & Outreach inducted a new mentorship program, connecting numerous mentors and mentees. (This brainchild was born out of a long-standing, passionate interest of Sarah’s. Shout-out to Sarah and Julia!)
Organization Restructure has been actively streamlining AMPHL’s outdated bylaws and policies, bringing AMPHL into the present digital age while looking ahead to the frontiers (a four-way bow of gratitude to Chris, Wendy, Michael A., and Marcie.)
Our Conference Committee (chaired by Scott) has been hard at work putting together AMPHL’s largest and most ambitious conference to date. We can’t wait to experience the innovative outcome of all the phenomenal support from RIT/NTID in Rochester in June—save the date!
Pssst! Among other things, our president Mike M. has been in touch with potential enterprises for the 2019 conference. Stay tuned…
In the spirit of AMPHL’s mission, two of our board members (Mike M. and Michael A.) produced articles for the American Medical Association’s Journal of Ethics on Health Professionals with Disabilities, focusing on the ethics of narrow technical standards that may limit admissions of deaf students to medical schools—and, consequently, all health care programs.
Some of our board members were invited to a panel on deaf health care professionals at AHEAD & pepnet 2’s international conference in Indianapolis. (Congratulations to Amber, Sarah, Chad, and Marcie, for representing AMPHL and our community.)
An article to promote AMPHL in NADmag was the successful joint venture of three board members (Michael A., Sarah, and Amber).
Other fledgling projects include, but are not limited to: an Advocacy project, Interpreter section, and online resource library.
All of our board members pool together advice and feedback for community members who reach out to AMPHL with questions or concerns.
We’d love to have you join AMPHL. In addition to board members, we are looking for our next Officers: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. We are also looking for the next Digital Strategy chair (or co-chairs) as well as volunteers for different Teams/Committees, so please apply if you’re interested!
Since I joined the board in 2011 right after attending my first AMPHL conference, it has been both an honor and a tremendous joy to contribute to AMPHL’s growth and evolvement. I look forward to witnessing AMPHL’s next chapter.