The National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals, formed last year by a coalition of CME professionals nationwide, is moving into its next phase of development by launching a fundraising campaign. Martin Cearnal, chief strategy officer, Thomson Healthcare, Secaucus, N.J., and Lewis Miller, principal, WentzMiller & Associates, Darien, Conn., are leading the campaign. According to Miller, three organizations have already committed donations.
Karen M. Overstreet, EdD, RPh, president elect of the North American Association of Medical Education and Communication Companies, confirms that NAAMECC is one of these donors. The NC-CME aims to improve the quality of patient care by creating a standard of certification for CME professionals and rewarding their achievements, according to its mission statement. The plan is for the NC-CME to be self-sufficient financially within three years.
“The level of funding will determine how quickly we can implement” the program, says Judith G. Ribble, PhD, president of NC-CME; and director, CME, Medscape LLC, New York. She adds that, because NC-CME is incorporated as a nonprofit, donations are tax deductible. “We’re looking for major grants from employers who recognize the value of having a certification program that will be independently developed by peers, national in scope, and offering benchmarked standards for the profession,” she says.
Meanwhile, the commission is moving forward. “Committees have been formed and are ready to spring into action. The exam committee chairs will be sending out an RFP to identify the best online learning management system,” says Ribble.
Miller says that NC-CME officers have had discussions with various members of the board of the Alliance for CME, and while ACME hasn’t taken an official position, “they seem to be receptive to the idea.”
The American Medical Association’s conference on CME provider/industry collaboration in October will feature a breakout session on the rationale for certification, says Ribble. Three panelists will explain why certification is a good idea from the perspective of medical schools, commercial supporters, and medical education and communication companies: Jack Kues, PhD, assistant dean for CME, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; Mike Saxton, executive director, professional education support, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Collegeville, Pa.; and Martin Cearnal.