Friday, January 28, 2011

Recently I came across an old memo...

From: William Mitchell, President of GLCCM (Great Lakes College of Clinical Medicine), later to become the International College of Integrative Medicine
To: Jack Hank, Executive Director, and all members of the board
Re: 20 suggestions; a vision for the future

The date on the memo was February, 1999. As the subject suggests, Bill outlined many ideas to fill out a vision that he had of future growth and development of what would become ICIM. His suggestions were uncanny in that he was able to pinpoint the wave of future technology, the importance of community to differentiate us in the market, and the essential need to reach out to networks beyond ourselves.

Some of his ideas we now take for granted as part of the everyday life of ICIM. He suggested that we have regular communications with our members by email (remember, not a “normal” thing ten years ago). Pointing out how isolated he felt operating in Ohio, he suggested monthly board meetings by conference call to augment the bi-yearly in-person meetings. It was Bill who thought of adding a space on all of our forms where a member could actually pay by credit card! He also encouraged GLCCM to have an official legal adviser, a position now ably filled by Al Augustine.

It is humbling to realize that some of the “new ideas” or goals our board is working toward today are not new ideas at all, but were suggested ten years ago by this insightful president.

Why not have a permanent exhibitor booth made for ICIM so that we can participate in other professional groups’ meetings, reaching out to new people? What incentives can we offer for new members just starting out in the field? Should we have a “Chairman of Communication” to find ways to quickly alert our board and membership to new advances, articles of interest in the media, or in-house announcements? He encouraged us to network with as many other medical associations as we can, sharing their events calendar. He also challenged the group to take more official stances on positions of controversy within the field.

William Mitchell passed away in 2006. His death was marked by a special award from ICIM, which was received by family members at our meeting in Cleveland. Memorial contributions by loved ones and colleagues were given to ICIM, and that money became the William T. Mitchell student scholarship fund.

Over time, this financial aid has made it possible for over sixty students to attend an ICIM meeting. Mitchell was a man who knew the importance of envisioning the future today, and the future of integrative medicine lies with our medical students.

Wendy Chappell
ICIM Executive Director

Dear ICIM Members,
On behalf of the medical students who attended the ICIM Conferences this past 
October and March, I would like to say thank you to all those who helped to make 
the Mitchell Scholarship possible. The Mitchell Scholarship allowed over 15 medical 
students to attend this past year. It is an excellent opportunity to attend the 
conferences as students - it really opens our eyes to new possibilities in medicine. 
It encourages us to look even further into Integrative Medicine... something we are at 
the beginning stages of and are very excited to pursue! Thank you again for allowing 
us the opportunity to attend the conferences, we very much appreciate your support! I 
would also like to extend our thanks to all of the ICIM Members who have spent time 
talking with the students at the meetings. We learn not only from the lectures, but also 
from the bits of knowledge that everyone so willingly passes along to us during the
off-lecture time. Thank you!
Wendy Chappell - Executive Director

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