St. Louis-based International Medical Meeting Professionals Association officially launched last fall with the creation of a board of directors, an advisory board, and educational sessions held in conjunction with the Missouri Meetings and Events Expo in Kansas City.

IMMPA's mission is to provide education, certification, and resources to a full spectrum of healthcare meeting professionals. That includes those who work in pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical device companies, hospitals and medical centers; those working in animal health, dentistry, and orthodontics; and those in medical societies, as well as independent planners. Lisa Keilty, CMP, compliance and meetings control, Pfizer, New London, Conn., the organization's first president, says that the board was composed to reflect the diversity of healthcare interests IMMPA intends to serve. Marissa Wolfard, CMP, director of meetings and co-owner of St. Louis-based Meeting I.Q., will serve as executive director of the for-profit association.

Other newly named officers include President-Elect Scott Graham, CMM, planner, Excellent Meetings, Chillicothe, Ohio; Vice President of Finance Rhonda Miles, CPS, senior executive assistant, BJC HealthCare, St. Louis; Vice President of Administration Susan Lejeune, VP of operations, Maritz, Philadelphia; Vice President of Communication Vigdis Tonne, director, meeting and event services, Publicis Medical Education Group, Chicago; and Vice President of Membership James Montague, president, Professional Meeting Planners Network, Durham, N.C. Meeting I.Q. President Pat Schaumann, CMP, SCEP, DMCP, heads the advisory board, and David Gillette, VP of audiovisual company Image Technologies Corp., St. Louis, serves as that board's vice president.

IMMPA plans to offer a certification in medical meeting planning, which is still under development. Specifics regarding certification criteria and details on the application process won't be released until the next IMMPA event, which is planned for May in St. Louis, says Schaumann. The certification itself should launch in the summer of 2010.