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Mid-Atlantic Regional Groups — Bethesda|DC|Silver Spring

Fall 2012 Bethesda Networking Event

On Thursday, 27 September 2012, 12 Mid-Atlantic Chapter members met for conversation, networking, and dinner at La Madeleine in Bethesda, MD. This event is of long standing among our chapter's networking events, and this gathering built on and added to the tradition. Participants made and renewed acquaintances and discussed and shared strategies for becoming a biomedical writer/editor. We also discussed the upcoming national conference in Sacramento, CA, including an overview and hot topics that would be discussed there. We discussed the upcoming chapter conference (mark your calendar: 22 March 2013) and the member survey that will poll chapter members about their preferences for our event. The next networking event in Bethesda likely will take place next spring, so watch for announcements!

Spring 2012 Networking Event

Evelyn Ishmael

Fourteen writers met at La Madeleine on Thursday, 17 April 2012; our group could be described as long on exuberance but short on experience.

We were honored to have Susan Krug, AMWA's new executive director, join us. We missed Fran Daniel who organized the whole evening and then had an unexpected scheduling conflict. For two of us, it was a first-ever AMWA event.

We casually chatted about our careers and where we are with medical writing, in general, and AMWA, in particular. Later, we made roundtable introductions and explained our reason for being there. As she distributed the new flyers for the annual conference, Susan encouraged us to attend the event in Sacramento. As always, everyone had questions about getting started and building a client base. In true AMWA tradition, the few writers with experience shared their ideas with the group. As the evening in Bethesda, MD ended, we exchanged e-mails and plan to keep in touch.

AMWA MAC Meets in Downtown Bethesda for September 15 Dinner

Maria Sgambati, M.D., Bethesda-Silver Spring Regional Coordinator

Ten people turned out on a chilly September evening for the fall networking dinner, now traditionally held at the La Madeleine restaurant in Bethesda. Over dinner and after introductions, announcements were made. June Baldwin, a long time member and regulatory writer, has stepped up to the plate to serve as the new Chapter treasurer. Maria Sgambati announced that after two and half years of service, she will be stepping down at the end of 2011 as the Bethesda-Silver spring coordinator. Also, we have had an opening for the membership coordinator position. If you are interested in volunteering for either of these positions, please contact Stefan Schuber for more information.

Remember, we are an all-volunteer chapter: please step up and help out even if you can only commit for a year or so. It makes a big difference and keeps our chapter vibrant! And it doesn't take much time; most positions take only several hours a month — give up TV for a night and give back to the chapter! Stay tuned for an email coming out with announcements about these open positions.

Also present at the meeting was Becky Phillips, the registrar and education coordinator from AMWA headquarters in Rockville. Becky filled us in on some changes in the certificate programs and updates for the national conference. Please stay tuned for an email about the MAC ‘Greet and Go’ at the conference.

We are also already planning for the spring chapter conference. Due to the success of the survey last year, we will be sending out another member survey for workshops at the chapter conference.

Spring Networking Dinner - April 5, 2011

About 12 people gathered for the AMWA-MAC spring networking dinner at the La Madeleine in Bethesda, Maryland. The group was a mix of new and old members and individuals exploring membership. After enjoying a meal, Stefan Schuber (chapter president), Evangelyn Kanabus (chapter treasurer), and Bernardetta Nardelli (chapter conference coordinator), updated the group on the upcoming chapter conference. The conference will be held Friday May 20, 2011 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bethesda.

Instructors include Bart Harvey, who will teach both “Making Effective Slides,” and, “Understanding Sample Size and Study Power”; Charmaine Cummings will present “Essential Ethics for Medical Communicators”; and Tom Gegeny will present “The Internet: How and Where to Find the Information You Seek.” Stefan and Evangelyn gave high recommendations for the courses. Sam Mbulaiteye, an NIH researcher studying the relationship between infectious diseases and cancer, will be the invited lunchtime speaker. Stefan discussed the vision of having non-credit workshops at the chapter conference next year as a way to expand our offerings.

Evangelyn mentioned an April 13 networking event sponsored by the DC Editorial Freelancer Association. More info is here.

Your AMWA chapter needs you! We are always looking for more volunteers! Evangelyn Kanabus is moving out of the area after 2 years of distinguished service as Chapter Treasurer, and we urgently need a replacement whom Evangelyn can mentor for a few months. Please contact Stefan for more information.

Even if you just want to host a single event at your workplace rather then make a longer term volunteer commitment, board members would be happy to help you brainstorm. Please feel free to contact any one of us through our email addresses on the chapter website.

Maria Sgambati, MD
Biomedical Consultant; Environmental Educator

AMWA-MAC Holds Gathering in our ‘French Office’ (aka La Madeleine)

Seventeen people turned out for the Bethesda fall networking dinner for AMWA-MAC. Held in what we are now referring to as our ‘French Office’ — La Madeleine restaurant in downtown Bethesda. The gathering consisted of long-time members, new members, and members who had relocated to the area. Following a dinner hour, the floor was opened for introductions and topics of discussion.

Stefan Schuber, current AMWA-MAC president, spoke about the need for volunteers to fill open slots. We are the third-largest chapter in AMWA and our key challenge is the wide geographic region we cover, from Virginia to Baltimore, and points west. To help meet those needs, the chapter vision is to have active regional groups that put together local events. The chapter relies upon volunteers to help organize events, so if you are benefitting from the events others have organized and want to volunteer or put something together, contact one of the board members. All contact information is listed on the AMWA-MAC website.

We are particularly in need of a person to help coordinate the chapter conference, tentatively scheduled for May 21, 2011. This person, with continuing assistance from experienced board members, will help plan and arrange for the chapter conference. If you are interested, but want more information, please contact Stefan or one of the other board members. Stefan is also interested in making a transition; so if you aspire to a presidential office, please step up and become president-elect! Again, the board works closely to help support all AMWA-MAC activities, so that no one position is too time consuming.

We‘d also like to revitalize some of the regional coordinator positions, including Baltimore, Rockville, and Virginia area groups. New chapter member, Cherie Dewar (who recently relocated from the Boston chapter), and Jill Roberts, who won the evening‘s recognition for furthest distance traveled (all the way from Lynchburg, VA), along with long-standing member Peter Taylor are discussing coordinating Virginia events, either in NoVa or points south of there. If you are interested, please contact Cherie via her email address on the website. The Baltimore group also is in need of leadership or co-leadership. Perhaps there are 2–3 people out there who can work together to help organize 2 to 4 annual networking events.

Many of the attendees at the dinner will be heading off to Milwaukee for the national conference. Stefan announced that there will be a chapter ‘Greet and Go’; more information is on the AMWA-MAC website. There was high praise for using the conference coach for newcomers to the meeting.

One idea that came out of the meeting was how to keep chapter members connected in between events. Board members are currently discussing the idea of having a monthly chapter ‘e-letter’ listing events and reporting news such as new members. Again, please visit http://www.amwa-midatlantic.org/ regularly for updates.

Maria Sgambati, M.D.

Bethesda | DC | Silver Spring Regional Coordinator

AMWA-MAC Networking Dinner

A small, but dedicated group gathered at the La Madeleine in Bethesda, MD on Wednesday May 19, 2010, for an evening of networking, reconnecting, and idea sharing. The evening started off with a laugh, when we saw that the table sign read “American Medial Writers Dinner.” We wondered out loud if there was a group of Lateral writers in the next room! We briefly discussed the spring chapter conference, the fall National conference, and ideas for future dinners. The idea came up to have a dinner in the fall with an invited speaker, perhaps on the topic of current trends in genetics and genomics, including the recent debate about genetic self-testing kits being sold over the counter. If you have any ideas about potential speakers, or if you like this idea and would attend, let us know!

Maria Sgambati, M.D.

Bethesda | DC | Silver Spring Regional Coordinator