Pride and Partnership

Dear Editor: Imagine my surprise and delight to see myself reflected in the September/October Editor's Note [“Pride and Partnership”]! I, too, got tears in my eyes, imagining the acknowledgements you heard. My partner, Leah, and I live in downtown Toronto, Canada, in the heart of the “gayborhood.” We live our lives with almost complete freedom of expression. However, we are constantly aware that we live the exception in many ways.

As a principal of one of Canada's foremost CME communications agencies, I am very visible and try to be a positive role model with staff, clients, and the many physicians with whom we interact. Even with my example and support, however, I know many individuals who are afraid to be open with colleagues for fear that they will be judged or perceived to be less than they are. I believe that such personal fear inhibits our community (in the largest sense) as much as, or more than, negative attitudes and prejudices of community, business, religious, and political leaders. Every opportunity we have as individuals to stand strong and proud breaks down the fear, a little bit at a time.

Congratulations on your 22nd anniversary! Thanks for having the courage to share that with your readers. [I hope] your professional commentary and personal example reach individuals on a personal level, as well as professionals in the meetings industry.
Hollie Devlin, MSc
Principal, Integrated Healthcare
Communications Inc.
Toronto

Dear Editor: Thank you for your recent “Pride and Partnership” piece. That took a great deal of courage. We need to keep the issue of equality out there and get people to think about it. We can only hope that one day all of our relationships are treated equally under the law.
Frank E. Gainer, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA
Conference and Student
Program Manager
American Occupational
Therapy Association
Bethesda, Md.

Dear Editor: Thank you for what you wrote about the CIC Hall of Leaders and the acknowledgement of the partners of those who were inducted. Like you, I had giant tears and was so pleased that [they] were thanked. It was a major step for this industry and one that made me kvell with pride at people I call friends. And mazel tov to you and Pat. Twenty-two years is wonderful. And, yes…I too worry about you and other friends…and wonder when in the world this will ever change.
Joan L. Eisenstodt
Chief Strategist
Eisenstodt Associates LLC
Conference Consulting,
Facilitation & Training
Washington, D.C.

Dear Editor: I just finished reading your article “Pride and Partnership” in the September/October 2006 issue and wanted to thank you. I thought it had a great message, one that many people would overlook.
Steve Duran, MSW
Continuing Education Manager
HealthStream Inc.
Denver, Colo.

Remembering Katrina Victims

Dear Editor: Thank you for the opportunity to share my feelings about Katrina in Medical Meetings magazine [“Don't Forget Katrina's Mississippi Victims,” Letters to the Editor, September/October 2006]. A friend read my letter and then asked me if I had received a lot of response. Truth is, I haven't had one response. She asked me if people thought that I had meant money when I had said that others had received massive support. I looked at her in absolute astonishment! I had never thought of this and I was horrified to think that people thought I was asking for material support! I meant moral support — just plain old encouragement, the don't-give-up type of encouragement. I am writing this because I want to set the record straight.

As usual, this was a superb issue. Your Checkup article [“Pride and Partnership”] was really touching and thought-provoking. Congratulations to you and Pat on 22 years of partnership.
Gloria King, MEd
Director, Office of CME
Singing River Hospital
Pascagoula, Miss.

More Than Meeting Planners

Dear Editor:

In the cover story in the September/October issue, “Crusading for CME,” [Bruce] Bellande [PhD, executive director, Alliance for CME] speaks to meeting planners and educators, reminding them (and I wish it could be shouted from the rooftops) that they must become facilitators for learning, counselors in learning.

We [are] not just arrangers of venues. That role is important, but if the meeting is to be a success, the attendees must leave changed in some way, and we cannot count on the speakers to accomplish that. We must write specific [learning] objectives [around which the entire meeting is structured].

Again — thanks for the inspiration to all.
Lincoln Colby, CMP Emeritus
Palmetto, Fla.

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