Canadian Society for the History of Medicine - President’s Annual Report

President’s Annual Report
Canadian Society for the History of Medicine
May 28, 2016
S. Mullally, University of New Brunswick

2015-16 was an eventful year for the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine (CSHM or The Society). Most of the changes involved improving community communications and securing and improving the publishing structures that support the Society’s Journal, the Canadian Bulletin of Medical History (CBMH/BCHM). Following the recommendations of last years’ Board, we facilitated the move to the University of Toronto Press. I will let the editors offer up details of the move and the initiatives set in motion, but I cannot say enough good things about the energy and professionalism of the new editors, Erika Dyck and Kenton Kroker, and the support provided by the outgoing editorial team, Kristin Burnett, Jane Elliot, and Chris Dooley. Our thanks, and warmest congratulations go out to them, and we will here more about their plans and initiatives when they give their report to the membership.

Working largely behind the scenes on another element of our Society’s operations were our Past President, James Moran, and the long-serving CSHM website editor, Stephen Mawdsley. They undertook the large project of managing the upgrade of the CSHM community website, which is live and active at our Society’s URL. James and Stephen report that key upgrades include: a new interface that is mobile-friendly and will do things like automatically scale to accommodate smaller/larger screens. We will also enjoy an updated content engine that offers greater stability and Internet security. As well, the layout and design have been revised to make sure that important content (such as latest news and membership information) is quickly available to visitors. The design also features new images/photographs that offer a fresh look-and-feel.

At several points over last year in Board correspondence with members and within our own ranks, the question of diversifying our membership to include more independent scholars, clinician scholars, and generally reach and include other constituencies of people interested in the history of medicine and health care came up time and again. I am happy to report an outcome of a Board teleconference in February 2016, where we struck a committee for clinician engagement. If you are interested in assisting with the work on the Board, please do identify yourself to Peter Twohig over the course of our meeting.

As the Vice President takes responsibility for student awards offered through the Society. Striking a committee that included Dan Malleck (Brock) and Geertje Boschma (UBC), they considered 10 applications for the four Studentships. We encourage our membership to work with students to apply for these studentships, as we attempt to grow the program over the years to come. The second of our student awards, the Segall Prize, also falls under his mandate, I would like to thank him for performing this task as well, and we will hear from him and his committee at the close of the conference.

Every year, we have the pleasure of thanking Jackie Duffin for her work arranging for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for physicians attending the CSHM Annual Meeting. Jackie also deserves thanks once again for organizing the annual book launch and champagne social. This is a key annual event for the Society.

The conference this year was extremely well organized, with a robust program, and the Board thanks Mary Ellen Kelm and Frank Stahnisch for performing their respective roles of Program Committee and Local Arrangements Committee Chairs. We are delighted to welcome, host and hear Elena Conis from Emory University, who will give the Patterson Lecture keynote address on Sunday.

I also want to draw Society attention to the fact that one member of the Board is coming to the end of her term of service, and I would like to take a moment to thank Whitney Wood for her lengthy and dedicated service as Student Representative to the CSHM.

Finally, I wish to thank the ongoing critical support from Associated Medical Services of Toronto, whose funding for the Society goes toward enabling this meeting, Bulletin publishing, student support of many kinds (especially travel grants to attend our Annual Meeting). We would not be able to grow and claim these successes were it not for this financial assistance.