News & Media

MSMS Alliance: Once upon a time...

Friday, November 3, 2017

...there was a North Central States Leadership Development Conference. This is the story of what happened and what really happened.

By Karen Begrow, Kent County, Michigan

Chapter1: What Happened

The North Central States Leadership Development Conference was held in Novi, Michigan September 15 - 17. There were 33 attendees and 6 of those attendees were first timers. An agenda of solid presenters gave the conference goers some great information to share with their own State and County Alliances.

  • Keynote Speaker, Tim Wessel from Thrive Coaching discussed necessary disciplines for successful leadership. On his list of disciplines were self-awareness, self-management, self-preparedness, character, relationships, generosity, learning, opportunity, and missional living.
  • Suzanne Manning, from South Carolina and AMAA Secretary, stressed the importance of connecting via Facebook -- the most used social media platform. She reminded us that a Facebook Page is public and a Facebook Group is private.
  • An energetic Jacqueline Nguyen-Lee, from Nevada and AMAA Director-Member Council, shared the events leading up to the collapse of her Alliance and how it was rebuilt in her talk on Membership. She said that task forces and committees are the "breeding grounds" for future board leadership.
  • AMA Alliance President, Kim Moser updated us on the issue of opioid misuse. She said facts and figures can tell us where we are but the question is what to do about it? In her home state of Kentucky, a Heroin impact task force was created to put together a 4 year action plan of community initiatives.
  • AMAA leaders Kim Moser gave an AMAA update, Beth Irish discussed DACA and the DREAMERS and Grace Wellman facilitated a Hot Topics discussion.

Chapter 2: What Really Happened

This was no ordinary Leadership Development Conference. A group of Alliance members came together (some as far as Oregon!) to know each other better, support one another, share knowledge and experiences and ended up getting better connected in a most meaningful way. A little magic occurred that weekend, but how? Why? Was it due to some excellent planning by 2 Michiganders, Donna Lake, past state President and Janie Gugino, current state President along with super support from Grace Wellman and Marty Vibul from the AMAA? Or was it the participants themselves who represented a wide range of medical life from residency to retirement? (Shout out to a senior member wearing a leopard print suit! You go girl!) Perhaps it was the time for self-care, Pilates and stretching before lunch. Or maybe the opportunity to hear first-hand from a group of 12 - 14 year olds what being bullied feels like. The kids' pop rock band played their original music live to tell that story. There was time for casual chat in comfy clothing around the hotel fire pit after dinners that included more delicious food than one needs to eat in a week! And if that wasn’t enough, snacks and homemade cookies were plentiful. Conference goers were pampered and able to relax which created an ideal environment where everyone felt heard, supported and surrounded by friends -- some old and some new. This was quite an accomplishment for a group who gathers for a couple of days on an infrequent basis -- maybe 2 times a year at best. I hope our 6 conference newbies felt the love and camaraderie that is what being an Alliance member is all about.

The End.