Bruce J. Bellande, PhD, is the new executive director of the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education. With his appointment, the Alliance's office has moved to his home town, Birmingham, AL. The new address is Suite 208, Southcrest Bldg., 1025 Montgomery Highway, Birmingham, AL 35216. The new telephone number is (205) 824-1355. The Alliance has ended its relationship with the Sherwood Group, which managed the association during the tenure of Executive Director Frances Maitland. "We are assembling a full-time staff, and expect the Alliance to be fully autonomous for the first time in its 22 years," Bellande says. "The 1997 meeting will be managed by the Southern Medical Association (SMA); the in-house staff will plan and run the 1998 meeting." The transition should be relatively smooth, since Bellande was already program director of the 1997 meeting while director of education with the SMA. His successor at the SMA is Dave M. Barzler.

Now that the Alliance is in Birmingham and its office is less than a mile from that of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), can we expect to see a closer relationship? "Yes," says Bellande. "I have been to visit with Bill Myers and Roy Evans to explore some possible collaborative ventures."

Meanwhile, outgoing executive director Frances Maitland, who has seen it all in the CME business, got a high-tech send-off from members of the Society of Medical College Directors of Continuing Medical Education, who inundated the organization's listserv (an automated e-mail distribution service) with farewells and good wishes.

If the AMA can do it . . . The New York City-based American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has begun offering a Geriatrics Recognition Award (GRA), similar to the Physicians Recognition Award (PRA) offered by the American Medical Association. To receive a GRA, a physician must take 150 hours of continuing medical education in geriatrics, and at least 100 of those hours must be from programs sponsored, cosponsored, or endorsed by the AGS. With the first baby-boomers turning 65 in 2010, there will be need for more physicians with geriatric skills, says Elaine Wong, AGS director of membership and professional services. "We actually introduced the concept at our annual meeting in May, and our members were very receptive," she says. Not a bad way to encourage attendance, either.

If the name Jennie Lindheim sounds familiar, perhaps you heard her interviewed on National Public Radio last summer during a series on doctor/patient relationships. Lindheim's workshop, "Role-playing your most difficult patients and situations," has been a popular draw at an increasing number of medical association meetings, including the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting, held in Boston in late October. She now has a partner, Steven Shama, MD, a dermatologist from Los Angeles. For more information, call Lindheim, who is based in Brookline, MA, at (617) 277-2488.