Long-time adult-learning advocate and researcher Henry B. Slotnick, PhD, PhD, professor of neuroscience, University of North Dakota, won the 1999 William Campbell Felch/Wyeth-Ayerst Award for Research in CME for his project on self-directed learning. Slotnick also received the Frances M. Maitland--PACME Award, which recognizes outstanding research in CME. "I learned about the Alliance from Frances. She will remain with me forever," Slotnick said in his tribute to her.

Alliance Report CME FORECAST: MORE UPHEAVAL AHEAD The CME field will "continue to be chaotic," said outgoing Alliance for CME president Joseph S. Green, PhD, associate dean for CME, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., during the opening plenary session for the Alliance's 24th Annual Conference. "Change gives me energy," he added.

Impending change certainly galvanized attendees also. A record-breaking 1,277 delegates crowded into Atlanta's Hilton and Towers from January 27 to 30, and debated the key issues facing them in the next millennium:

* System98: The revamped Accreditation Council for CME Essentials and Standards drew attendees' compliments but also concern: Do they now have to document outcomes?

* AMA PRA Credit: State licensing boards are threatening to legislate what is appropriate content for CME, unless the AMA guarantees the quality of its credit system.

* Pedicle Screws: The mass tort suit is over and medical societies won the battle--but the CME community has lost the war if providers stop offering cutting-edge education, said attorney Shawn Collins, during a Hot Topics in CME miniplenary session.

The growing need for outcomes data was a recurring theme throughout the sessions at the ACCME meeting. But, "outcomes comparisons by themselves are not useful," declared keynote speaker Brent C. James, MD, executive director, Institute for Health Care Delivery Research, Intermountain Health Care, Salt Lake City. Pro-viders must also examine why outcomes differ among physicians and organizations. James has trained physician groups to track and analyze their treatment outcomes. The results James said, are improved patient care and reduced health care costs.

Loss CME WORLD MOURNS FRANCES MAITLAND Speaker after speaker at the Alliance for CME conference paid tribute to Frances M. Maitland, who was too ill to attend. Just weeks later, she passed away.

A 20-year CME veteran, Mait-land was a pioneer of the accreditation system. Under her leadership as acting executive secretary for the Accreditation Council for CME, the organization gained national credibility. Later, she served as executive director of the Alliance for CME, where she brought in commercial supporters as active participants.

"She was known for her comprehensive grasp of the Essen-tials and for her sympathetic but firm handling of accredited sponsors' problems," notes Kevin P. Bunnell, CME consultant, Boul-der, Colo.

The Alliance will hold a memorial service for her, tentatively scheduled for May 2 in Chicago. Memorial contributions to the Alliance may be made in her name.

A HEARTENING GIFT By cutting back on amenities during the PCMA conference, the Orange County/Orlando CVB teamed up with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and donated $20,000 to a local hospital to purchase a ventilator for children. From left: Beverly Kinkade, CHME, CMP, vice president, industry relations, and David Evans, senior vice president, industry relations, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; Gary Haas, MD, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women; William C. Peeper, executive director/CEO, Orlando/Orange County CVB; Richard C. Grimes, CAE, PCMA board chairman; and William McCreary, CHA, complex general manager, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

IndustryIssues PCMA TACKLES TECHNOLOGY, ATTRITION "Change the customer experience, and steal the cash cow," espoused technology guru Daniel Burrus at the opening session of the 43rd annual meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association. Held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel in Orlando, the January meeting drew a record 2,691 registrants.

Burrus urged delegates to integrate new electronic capabilities and media, especially the Web, into education and communication programs, with the result being more expansive opportunities for members--and for associations.

A more fearful appraisal of the impact of technology was given at another general session focusing on the Y2K problem, at which Jacy R. Hanson, director of meeting services for the American Diabetes Association, based in Alexandria, Va., noted that none of her staff would travel during the last week of December and the first part of January.

Top issues of concern surfaced at packed sessions on attrition, third-party commissions, and postconvention reporting. Said Laurie L. Behncke, CMP, director of meetings for the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons, Park Ridge, Ill.: "We are dealing with double-digit growth in food and beverage rates, and escalating convention center and audiovisual rates. We're all going to lose because people are going to find it too expensive to attend meetings [if costs keep escalating]."

In other conference news, the Convention Liaison Council gave the green light to APEX (Accepted Practices in Excellence), an industry standardization initiative. CLC will set up a business and financial plan by spring 1999.

And, due to a change in PCMA bylaws, corporate planners and CEOs can now join as active (now called professional) members.--Regina McGee