The 22nd Annual Conference of the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education takes place from January 29 to February 2 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Educational sessions will be scheduled for presentation on Thursday, January 30 through Sunday, February 2, and each session will be 90 minutes long. Poster sessions will take place February 1 and 2. This year's theme: "Today's Innovations-Tomorrow's Successes: Educational Outcomes Research, Measurement And Management." To register, contact the Southern Medical Association, P.O. Box 190088, Birmingham, AL 35219-0088. The fax number is (205) 945-1548. Or, call (205) 945-1840 to speak with Kathy McLendon, coordinator for education and program development. This year's registration fee: $395 for members, $540 for nonmembers. These prices are good until December 13. Alliance members can expect to see a registration package in the mail by mid-September.
CME Information Services, Inc., Mt. Laurel, NJ, a medical education multimedia production company, has acquired the Chicago-based National Center for Advanced Medical Education, a major player in the provision of continuing medical education. With the acquisition comes a new concept in providing CME, according to company president Louis J. Bucelli. He plans to launch CME Learning Centers, which he describes as "regional resource centers offering instructor-led, personalized, customized, intensive educational programs, designed for all physicians." The centers will be linked via the Internet and satellites, delivering medical information in a variety of alternative media and interactive formats.
With the acquisition, the National Center also has a new president, and one with impeccable CME credentials: none other than Sue Ann Capizzi, who comes to the job from her position as associate executive director of the Accreditation Council for CME.
Association Notes The American Hospital Association (AHA) has eliminated its national convention and will replace it with regional meetings. "People wanted programs more tied to problems in their region or marketplace," says Rick Wade, senior vice president for communications at AHA. "We had two choices-innovate now and move in tune with members, or keep plugging away and eventually let the body die in our hands." Attendance has been declining at the national meeting, in part, says Wade, because the focus has shifted to a narrower audience: chief executives, trustees, and healthcare leaders. For those new customers, regional meetings are more manageable. "When you're trying to attract people away from busy workplaces, you must make highly efficient use of their time," points out Wade. "That's what they pay dues for." AHA will continue to hold its annual membership meeting built around an advocacy agenda, and is looking at ways to make that meeting more productive as well. Wade doesn't completely rule out the possibility of future national conventions. "If, in 1998, a huge, major healthcare reform bill was passed, we would probably create a national event to give people the chance to learn the issues in the bill that affect the entire field."
Notes O what can compare with a sweeping regulatory change for sowing confusion-and, therefore, conference opportunities-across the land? The European Union's Medical Devices Directive (MDD) becomes law at midnight, June 14, 1998. American medical device manufacturers who want to sell their products to EU countries (all of Western Europe except for Norway and Switzerland) will have to comply with the directive's standards as of that date. Technology International, Inc., the Richmond, VA-based subsidiary of a British firm involved in technological compliance services, has already held its first in a series of seminars on MDD compliance for American manufacturers. Technology International's expert speakers are also available to medical associations and biomedical companies planning their own seminars on the MDD. Contact Kristin Eckhardt at (804) 560-5334, ext. 106, for information.
For insights into the evolution of health care-and the implications for medical associations, hospitals, and other providers of continuing medical education-planners might want to get a copy of Strategic Choices for a Changing Health Care System, the second in a series of Baxter Health Policy Reviews, published under a grant from the Baxter Foundation. Edited by Stuart Altman and Uwe Reinhardt, a renowned pair of opinion leaders in the healthcare reform field, the book has the latest on 11 major healthcare policy and management issues. Medical conference organizers may find particular interest in a chapter on the new organization of the healthcare delivery system and another on strategic issues for managing the future physician workforce. Copies are available for $49 from Health Administration Press. For information, call (708) 450-9952. Members of the Association for Health Services Research (AHSR) get a discount, but receive it only when purchasing directly from AHSR.
Accreditation Notes The Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Inc. (SHEA) has been surveyed by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education and awarded accreditation for two years as a sponsor of continuing medical education for physicians.
Notable Meetings Boot-up camp? The Healthcare Forum will hold the third of four "Computer Camp for Healthcare Executives" September 27 and 28 at the Forum's Leadership Center at its San Francisco headquarters. Each camp is limited to 22 participants. Custom-designed on-site camps are also available for hospitals and other health-
related organizations. The Forum conducted a study in 1991 to identify important skills healthcare executives would need to become leaders in the 21st century. Becoming technologically adept was one of the needs. The remarkable thing is that the Forum actually acted on the study's findings, and the computer camp seminars were the result.
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