A Must-Read

Dear Editor: Thanks for a terrific September/October issue of Medical Meetings! I will read all the CME articles — they will really be helpful and interesting. Your magazine has become one of the “must-read” publications for CME professionals.
Karen Overstreet, EdD, RPh, FACME
Nexus Communications, Inc.
North Wales, Pa.

Open-Door Policy for the Press

Dear Editor: Regarding the editorial, “Open-Door Policy for the Press,” (September/October) I think it is most insightful. As a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Emmy-winning former NBC TV commentator turned public speaker to medical and pharma groups, I think this approach to staying engaged with the media, “your” media, is crucial in this complex “high stakes” world of medical issues. Kudos! I have been guiding clients to your Web sites for three years now because the journalistic standards are high. And I've been trying to convince medical professionals to learn how to work with the press — even and especially those [journalists] who do not usually cover this kind of story — and to learn how before a crisis.
Kare Anderson
Say It Better, Inc.
Sausalito, Calif.

Who's Afraid of The Wall Street Journal?

Dear Editor: I was very impressed with your article, “Who's Afraid of The Wall Street Journal?” [September/October]. It provided me with helpful information about dealing with the media. I plan to share this with my public relations department.
Linda Santos
Corporate Director, Medical Education
Baptist Health South Florida

Nurses, Speak Out!

Dear Editor: I adore your publication — it is different, in a good way. When I read about the nurse who works with special-needs kids (“Nurses, Speak Out!” September/October), I thought to myself, “You usually don't find these kinds of things in meetings magazines.” [Articles are] always about learning new techniques, but this is such a human business, and that article showed the human side by showing what that nurse did. People helping people, that old cliché, is what our job — and that article — is all about. I was impressed by the humanity.
Sue Walton
Independent Meeting Planner
S.W. Walton & Associates, Ltd.
Evanston, Ill.

Your Work Helps Save Lives

On Labor Day, Executive Editor Sue Pelletier started a thread on the MIMlist, the meeting industry listserv (www.mimlist.net), about why she loves her job. Here's one of the responses she received, which we reprint here in order to inspire you when things get tough.

Sue: The work you love to do helped save my life two years ago! In August 2001, I went on a fam to the Bahamas. The evening before I was to fly home, I suddenly felt a bit hot. That is the last real memory I have of the trip.… I woke up about five days later and I was in an intensive care unit, intubated and on a ventilator, hooked to a heart machine, IVs everywhere (with a central line IV in my chest that went directly into my heart and two in my groin into my femoral arteries). The doctors are not certain what happened; half the docs think it was a hantavirus, the other half say a rare staph infection. All agree that I should not be alive. They said that I would be brain dead even if I did survive.

Obviously…I did survive. I've made a nearly complete recovery! A large part of that is due to the ER doctor who first treated me. He had just returned from a medical conference where they reviewed and discussed the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson, who died from a rare staph infection. The lesson the doctor learned at that meeting directly impacted how he approached my initial care that first night — and saved my life. He attended that meeting because of what he had read about it in a journal.

I feel fortunate to have had such a scare. It really did help me focus on what mattered to me. I realized just how much I love what I do. We should all be proud of what we do; it does have a real impact on other people. It may not seem too important or glamorous to plan a meeting to sell more widgets, or to educate a trade, but that education may promote job safety that saves a life, or help restructure a company to prevent layoffs, or offer a helping hand to a struggling new member. There are so many great things about our industry — most of all its people!
Sheila Riley
Regional Manager
HelmsBriscoe, Washington, D.C. Team