I hope this message finds you, your families, and your friends in good health.
It has been some time since we last communicated and you may be wondering how ISMPP is doing as we continue to weather the global pandemic. While it has, indeed, been a challenging time, today I deliver an upbeat message of strength and fortitude, as your professional Society continues to persevere and adapt to our new reality. In my last message to our membership, I recall blissfully predicting a live gathering for the US Annual Meeting of ISMPP in April 2020, my first as President and CEO. You can imagine my surprise that nearly a year later, we gathered virtually for ISMPP US, ISMPP West, and most recently the ISMPP European Meeting, and we now have had to make the decision to again hold our US Annual Meeting as a virtual event this coming April.
While I miss meeting with all of you in person, it has become an easy “reframe” to conceptualize our virtual gatherings as different, yet highly valuable opportunities to learn, network, and engage with friends and colleagues. In a time of adversity, I am proud of our members, our staff, and our Board of Trustees for adeptly navigating present-day challenges into opportunities to connect in ways we did not even realize possible. My sincere gratitude to everyone who has helped ISMPP to advance as the premier global Society for medical publication and medical communication professionals during this unique period of difficulty.
“Over the past 12 months, ISMPP has risen to the challenge in finding novel ways to deliver education, ensure our members stay in touch with one another, and share best practices.”
Over the past 12 months, ISMPP has risen to the challenge in finding novel ways to deliver education, ensure our members stay in touch with one another, and share best practices. I encourage all of you, our valued members and sponsors, to play a central role in continuing to champion our professional Society into the future. I offer the following suggestions:
- Connect. If you have not already or if it has been some time, log into ISMPP Connect from the ISMPP website. Scan the questions, ask your own, and interact with your peers across our profession.
- Learn. Tune into our InformED podcasts. We launched 4 last year, with many more to come in 2021! Attend our ISMPP University webinars, which always feature compelling education, top speakers, and best-in-class education.
- Attend. Participate in our “live” ISMPP Educational Meetings, whether virtual or in person, and benefit from the excellent presentations, engaging roundtables, interactive workshops, and broad networking that have become a foundational element of ISMPP’s value.
- Volunteer. Our numerous Committees and Task Forces form a key component of the engine that drives ISMPP. Our members demonstrate a passion for our profession that is simply unparalleled. Consider joining your colleagues in growing our Society and setting the path for the future of medical communications.
- Certify. Interest in the ISMPP Certification Program has never been stronger. Achieving your credential as a CMPPTM provides the basis for conveying your credibility and demonstrating your strength, aptitude, and experience in our field.
Looking ahead, we are making significant strides on many beneficial and practical initiatives, such as the Authorship Algorithm, a Plain Language Summary (PLS) guidance, a new Joint Position Statement on pre-publication, and much, much more. Did I fail to mention GPP4? This well-respected document now enters its fourth iteration and is on track for release later this year. You will not want to miss the 17th Annual Meeting of ISMPP (virtual), where this and many other initiatives will be showcased. In short, our members and our Society rose to the challenges presented by COVID. We developed greater strength and resilience, future-proofing our profession and our association for many years to come.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace your professional Society, to stay engaged and connected, to get active and be proud of the critical role you play in health care decision-making.”
You may be wondering, what’s next for ISMPP. We are fortunate, as a professional association, to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to new projects, initiatives, and modern ways to engage with one another. For now, I want to highlight two notable projects. ISMPP will continue to embrace and leverage our acquisition of Medical Publishing Insights & Practices (MPIP), carrying this important torch that ties communication professionals and journal editors together. Further, under the leadership of Todd Parker with MedThink SciCom and our current Chair of the ISMPP Board of Trustees, we have further refined and laser-focused a short-term strategy for ISMPP that will enhance the value proposition and quality of education for our members. I would be remiss in not acknowledging and thanking Todd for the forward steps that ISMPP has taken during a very unconventional year in his tenure as ISMPP Chair.
Finally, ISMPP recognizes the changing environment for our members ̶ now characterized by novel poster formats, digital communication, virtual conferences, remote work, etc. We have and will continue to tailor our educational offerings to meet the evolving needs of our profession. Now, more than ever, is the time to embrace your professional Society, to stay engaged and connected, to get active and be proud of the critical role you play in health care decision-making.
I look forward to seeing all of you virtually at our 17th Annual Meeting of ISMPP, April 12-14, and I truly hope that it will soon be safe to gather and connect the “good old-fashioned way” – live and face-to-face!
My warmest wishes for continued health, personal and professional growth, and success throughout this year.
Robert J. Matheis
ISMPP President and CEO