I am thrilled to be writing to you from my new role as ISMPP’s President and Chief Executive Officer! Our Society is an amazing resource for medical publication and communication professionals, and it is an honor to lead an organization that provides the foundation for our profession. Indeed, ISMPP has a rich 15-year history comprised of education, advocacy, and the establishment of best practices and guidance to support the success of medical publication professionals. It is my intention to continue the legacy of excellence that has been a hallmark of the ISMPP organization and, in close partnership with our Board of Trustees, evolve ISMPP to meet the current and future needs of our members.
As we begin to think about our future, I would be remiss in not reflecting on the outstanding contributions of our outgoing President and CEO, Al Weigel, who capably led ISMPP for nearly six years. Thanks to Al’s leadership, we have a professional society that is positioned for sustainability and is ready to begin its next chapter in history. On a personal note, Al has been a colleague, supervisor, mentor, and friend, and I am genuinely grateful for his guidance and support in transitioning the organization to my leadership. On behalf of ISMPP, I extend Al a heartfelt congratulations on his retirement and a sincere thanks for his contributions to our profession.
So, what is the future for ISMPP? I explained to the ISMPP Board during a recent strategy session that I feel like a “kid in a candy store.” Truly, there are so many directions that we can grow and evolve our society. Which do we choose? To answer that question, Catherine Skobe, MPH, MT (ASCP), current Chair of the ISMPP Board, and I locked the Board members away for eight hours at Pfizer headquarters in New York City to discuss the future of our profession and the Society. We brainstormed many ideas about how to continue to support our members and advocate properly for our profession. Overall, we decided on a few primary areas of focus:
- Fully support our current members and grow our geographic reach
- Launch into the medical communications space and provide the resources our members need to succeed
- Address the opportunities made available through new communication technologies and innovation
- Expand our partnerships with other groups and societies that have parallel interests
- Extend our reach and consider the needs of publication professionals working in other settings, such as academia
- Evolve our governance and structure to ensure ISMPP remains well positioned to resource future growth and innovation
As I am sure you will agree, while we crafted a focused list of strategic priorities, there is much great work to be done! In the coming months, our members will begin to see these priorities come to life. Most immediately visible will be our transition to address a broader set of medical communication needs. We know that in modern times, our members do more than medical publishing, and our education, meetings, and communications will be augmented to fully support our expanded profession. Please keep your eye out for these new offerings!
In closing, our profession has a very bright future ahead. Likewise, ISMPP is both destined and well positioned to continue to be the professional society for medical publication and communication professionals. It is my absolute honor to lead our organization, and I look forward to working closely with the talented ISMPP staff and all of my colleagues as we move towards realizing our goals and new directions.
Rob Matheis, ISMPP President and CEO