In previous Insider articles I have commented on our Vision 2020 strategic initiative in general terms, highlighting the major changes that have taken place since its implementation began in 2015. After three years, all the new parts are up and running at full throttle, including our re-vamped governance structure, our website (including our online educational portal called the College Learning Connection), and the Advocacy Council. In addition, our flagship journal – the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology – just finished its own major tune-up and is cruising in a new direction. To ensure that these new bells and whistles are leveraged optimally to benefit the practicing allergist now and in the future, our Vision Advisory Group met in Chicago in May to plan the final three years of the implementation process. The timing of this was critical because our perspective has changed as we have become familiar with how our new infrastructure functions. The following is a summary of our plans for 2018:
We are developing a protocol for a governance and committee review process to repeat every three years. We are also planning to bolster the support and recognition of our volunteer members who are so vital to the continued success of the College.
The College is proud of its existing Advocacy infrastructure, and we are planning to build upon its success. For example, to create more advocacy opportunities for College members we are planning to organize and mobilize state-based advocacy teams to monitor and challenge state policies that affect our specialty. We also plan to leverage our advocacy capabilities to enhance and defend the allergist “RVUs”.
With the rapid and arguably chaotic changes taking place in health care, practice management continues to be a critical focus for the College. One important initiative is to develop toolkits, education modules, and webinars to help College members address the question “How do I keep my doors open?”.
The College is committed to elevating the impact factor of the Annals while also retaining and enhancing content that is interesting, practical, and useful to the practicing allergist. The expanded editorial team now includes an Executive Editor, two Deputy Editors, and a medical illustrator. The plan includes an increase in high quality reviews along with active solicitation of cutting edge original content. In addition, we are exploring ways to integrate AllergyWatch content with the Annals while preserving the newsletter AllergyWatch format.
We plan to leverage new technologies to enhance the experience of attendees while also preserving the collegial culture of our Annual Meeting. For example, we intend to expand activity-based learning formats and enhance the utility of social media communication during meetings.
Public and member engagement
The “Seeking Relief” section of our website has enjoyed an enormous volume of public usage. We are carefully planning how to capitalize on this exposure to continue to elevate the public perception of the allergist and the importance of our specialty. We are also developing a digital advertising campaign using a series of patient success story videos. For our members, we are working to enhance awareness of our rapidly expanding member resources. We are also planning to fund College speakers for multiple regional, state, and local meetings. We will continue to reach out to members to assess their satisfaction and level of engagement.
As mentioned earlier, the College Learning Connection (CLC) portion of our website is up and running, and it serves as a portal for multiple educational activities, including a virtual Annual Meeting experience, Board review materials, MOC modules, and other CME lectures. We have prioritized further expansion of online learning offerings along with a campaign to raise awareness of the CLC. We are also exploring ways to use web links and social media to disseminate and cross-reference educational content from the Annals, AllergyWatch, and other College resources.
With three years left of Vision 2020 implementation to “finish the job”, I am confident that we have the right foundation and a sound plan. The College exists to support the needs of all practicing allergists, we are committed to continue to evolve as the inevitable changes in health care unfold, and we welcome input from our membership.
Stephen A. Tilles, MD, FACAAI