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ABAI Board of Directors Fall Meeting 2019 - A Word from Dr. Nelson


The ABAI Board of Directors fall meeting was held in Philadelphia October 18-19, 2019.

Pictured from left are: Theodore M. Freeman, MD (ABAI Chair), Jay Portnoy, MD, Michael R. Nelson, MD/PhD (ABAI President), Lawrence Borish, MD (Photo by Brianna Wilkins)

The Board demonstrated its dedication by navigating perhaps the most ambitious two day agenda in recent memory. On the final evening of the meeting, the Board took time to acknowledge and celebrate three outstanding contributors. Dr. Larry Borish and Dr. Jay Portnoy will complete their six-year term as Directors at the end of 2019, and Mr. Larry Vapniarek is retiring after 14 years of dedicated service to the Board as the Chief Operating Officer.

Here are a few highlights from the meeting:

• Approved nominating committee officer slate for 2020 officers:
• Chair - Dr. Len Bacharier
• Vice Chair - Dr. Luz Fonacier (2021 Chair)
• Vice Chair Elect- Dr. Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn (2022 Chair)
• Treasurer - Dr. Mitchell Grayson
• Secretary - Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul

• Reappointed Mr. Michael Swarzman to a second three year term as the public member of the board

• Received a Strategic Plan 2030 update

• Approved the 2020 budget with no increase in diplomate or exam fees

• Approved several proposed bylaws changes including streamlining new Director nomination

• Explored means of increasing Board diversity including directing development of a plan for allowing self-nominations directly to the Board

• Certified results of the October 2019 Certification Exam (individual results to be made available early December)

• Committed to develop an Ambassador Program providing expert speakers for local training programs, societies and other stakeholders

• Reviewed diplomate CAP survey results with appreciation of diplomate constructive feedback:
• Most find the program user friendly with relevant content
• Most plan to make changes to their practice
• High user satisfaction
• >1,500 comments (e.g. comment block after display of answers; access to articles after completion of block; time commitment; more CME)

ABAI values the collaboration and feedback provided by diplomates, societies, the ACGME and training programs, and peers within the American Board of Medical Specialties community. Accordingly, the tireless work of our volunteer Directors, External Writing Committee and ABAI staff is greatly appreciated by all. Collectively the board will continue to reach out to stakeholders in an effort to continuously improve all programs and support of diplomates.

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