ACH President Russell L. Rothman, MD, MP addresses ACH members through her president's message, sharing updates, goals, and information to keep members engaged and involved in the Academy.
Fellow ACH members:
Greetings! I am honored and excited to serve as the President of the Academy of Communication in Healthcare (ACH) for the upcoming year. For those that do not know me, I have been an active member of ACH for the past 5-7 years, recently serving on the ACH Board, and then as Vice President of Research and President-elect. I am on faculty at Vanderbilt in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, where I have been actively involved in health communication training and research for the past 15 years. I look forward to working with you to expand the role of ACH in promoting health communication to improve individual and population health. I encourage you to reach out to ACH and participate in our many activities. Please send any suggestions to ACH headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-514-9211, or feel free to email me directly at Russell.email@example.com
I believe we are in an exciting time to advance the importance of good health communication in healthcare and the mission of ACH. The health care system has been undergoing rapid transformation over the past decade. Nationally, there is consolidation in the marketplace from over 5,000 health systems to possibly fewer than 500 systems when consolidation is complete. Payment reform from the federal government (CMS) and private payers is placing more emphasis on value-based health care, pay-for-performance, and the development of Accountable Care Organizations that are tasked with caring for populations rather than the traditional fee-for-service payment model. This new emphasis on value has raised important attention on the role of the patient and their families – including more focus on social and behavioral determinants of health, quality of care, patient reported outcomes, patient satisfaction, and other patient-centered measures. In addition, political changes have placed enormous stress on many of our families as they navigate their healthcare in uncertain times. This is an opportune time for us, as members of ACH, to work with our health systems and local organizations to understand and adopt the value of relationship-centered health communication.
Over the past few years, ACH has worked to expand our value to our members and to promote the organization’s mission. Last year, we introduced a new strategic plan to help move us forward toward these goals (https://www.achonline.org/About-ACH/Strategic-Plan ). We also changed our name from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare to the Academy of Communication in Healthcare to acknowledge the global membership of our organization. We are now working to expand our website to expand opportunities for members to share with each other.
We hope that many of you will take part in ACH sponsored activities this year. We will have a record number of participants at the Winter Course in Texas in February. From May 31-June 3, we will host ENRICH and FORUM in Tampa, Florida (https://www.achonline.org/Events/Enrich/2018 ). To encourage participation, we will be offering scholarships to these meetings this year! We also hope that some of you will be able to join us at the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare that this year will be led by our sister organization, EACH: International Association for Communication in Healthcare, with our partnership in September (https://www.each.eu/events/conferences/icch-porto-2018/).
We encourage all of you to be active members in ACH! We also hope that you will consider reaching out to others that you know and encourage them to join ACH. If each of us could identify even a single friend to join, we could double our membership! We plan to sponsor a membership drive in the upcoming year. Good relationship centered health communication is the backbone of healthcare. We are at a pivotal moment to push this forward in our clinical care, teaching, and research! I look forward to working with all of you to make this happen!