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G-I-N spotlight January 2011

An update from the Membership Committee*: development, adaptation and implementation

Like guidelines themselves, the activities of the membership committee have undergone several phases - development, adaptation and now – after a year-plus worth of work - implementation. This brief report touches on all three aspects of the committee’s activities and highlights a new opportunity for membership.

First, development. With Magali Remy-Stockinger’s help, we’ve been able to accomplish several important, clear goals for our first year of activity, including:

  1. the redevelopment of a streamlined application form;
  2. a proposal for new membership categories;
  3. considered a request to form a US-based group;
  4. undertook a survey and
  5. most of all, helped build the Network.

To this end, we’ve added 10 organizations and 28 individuals to the membership, over the last 18 months. Not of course that this was just the work of the membership committee, this growth in membership is proof of your contributions and enthusiasm as members.

A major activity this year, augmenting the survey, was the planning for a focus group of individual and group members – and of non-members. About 15 people participated at the annual meeting’s focus group this year, with membership committee members eliciting a wide range of suggestions to improve the function of G-I-N. These have been transmitted to the Board for its approval and some are in the works already. This has been so successful that we are considering a further focus group at this August’s annual meeting as well.

Second, adaptation. To accomplish this goal, we’ve borrowed heavily from other materials and policies created in the past few years of G-I-N’s life – membership application forms, and other documents. One is particularly impressive however: this year we took previous drafts of G-I-N promotional materials and produced an eye-catching two page brochure. It’s intended to accomplish our main goal – the extension of G-I-N membership on all five continents.

Third, implementation of our goals. Some of these have been relatively straight forward – getting Board approval for a streamlined version of the membership application form, or a stronger involvement of individual members for example. In contrast, one of our goals is very difficult – the promotion of evidence-based health care, via guidelines, in developing nations. The challenges in this area are of course enormous, and many are dealt with below in the text box called ‘G-I-N Twins’.

Finally, the membership committee sees itself as the repository for suggestions, comment and input from the members. Feel free to write me, or Magali Remy-Stockinger or others on the committee with concerns, kudos or issues.

 

G-I-N TWINS: what is’ twinning’? What can it do for G-I-N, for my organization, for me??

Neither Castor and Pollux, nor a baseball team in the US Midwest, the notion of twins has grown out of a conversation about how best to meet developing nations’ needs in evidence based healthcare and guideline development, adaptation and implementation.

The idea is simple. Developing nations often have natural, personal or historical links to more ‘developed’ nations – often sharing language, culture, traditions and values. These linkages are frequently seen between organizations, but can also exist between individuals. Is this true for you, your organization or country? Is there an organization or individual whom you know in circumstances in which paying the annual G-I-N membership fee –or being able to attend a G-I-N meeting – is problematic, or that requires support in setting, developing their programme? Would you or your organization be willing to support these individuals or organizations? Would you consider mentoring them?

Here’s how it would work.

  • Step #1 is simple: choose a colleague organization or individual in a developing country with whom you or your own organization share some or all of the commonalties outlined above.
  • Step #2: ensure that the ‘twin’ would benefit from the experience and determine your own level of support.
  • Step #3: formally apply to G-I-N to pay the membership fee for the group or individual (these are markedly reduced for developing nations). In some instances, the developed-nation twin may in addition (or instead) choose to pay registration and travel fees for individuals attending the annual meeting, or to support other activities.
  • Step #4: G-I-N will issue appropriate receipts (frequently tax-deductable) to your organization or yourself; and will formally disseminate information about you or your organization’s role on its website, in newsletters and elsewhere.
  • Step #5: the most important, sustainable and meaningful part – developing an ongoing, mentoring relationship with colleagues in developing nations.

Sound easy? It is. And the outcome – we think – will be a truly impressive example of the reach, scope and potential of the G-I-N network. For more information, contact Magali Remy-Stockinger eo@g-i-n.net.

*Dave Davis, MD, for the G-I-N’s Membership committee. 2008-10 representatives on the committee were Philip Van der Wees (NL), Sue Huckson (AU), Amir Qaseem (US), Airton Stein (BR) and Ian Nathanson (US). Losing Philip and Amir to Board representation, the membership committee added Susanne Weinbrenner (DE) and Ali El-Ghorr (UK) and agreed that –where individuals were needed to represent geographic regions or other topics – we would add them as ad hoc members. Volunteers welcome! Write ddavis@aamc.org.

 
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