APPNA's 34th Annual Convention Begins on June 29

Anaheim, CA: APPNA's 34th Annual Convention is being held in St. Louis, Missouri, from June 29th-July 3rd, 2011. “We have organized a spectacular meeting that we hope will be memorable for all of our guests,” says Dr Manzoor Tariq, President, APPNA.

In a message Dr Tariq claimed APPNA has done a lot of global good this year and “made a lot of progress under our ‘Service with Integrity and Unity’ theme.”

His message inter ali reads: The first six months of 2011 have flown by and APPNA's 34 th Annual Summer Convention in St. Louis, Missouri is upon us...  I invite you to read this message and receive an update on the accomplishments of APPNA during my Presidency.

 

CHARITABLE, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES:

 

Hepatitis C Initiative

APPNA has set forth on a very important Hepatitis C Initiative to curb the Hepatitis C epidemic in Pakistan through awareness and prevention. For those unaware, the epidemic has reached drastic proportions, with some reports of up to 30% of the population in certain regions being infected by Hepatitis C.  The Hep C Committee, chaired by Dr. Maqbool Arshad, is working to develop educational materials for the public and television and radio campaigns.  Medical caregivers will be provided guidelines for proper treatment, to promote proper disinfection of medical and dental equipment, to prevent the transfusion of unscreened blood, and to promote proper disposal of needles and medical waste. This initiative was long overdue for Pakistan and was much needed.

APPNA Free Clinics

I have been planning to establish APPNA Free Clinics in different chapters of APPNA throughout the US where indigent patients could be seen free of charge. Ancillary services like lab data, medicines and the rest could be provided at these clinics. I have requested Dr. Imtiaz Arain to spearhead this project; if we can establish free clinics in at least 25% of our chapters, that would be a great success, and something we can build upon, with a goal of nearly 100% chapter participation in the future.

 

Southern United States Tornado Relief Efforts

While spring is a season of new life and bloom, this year it has brought with it several storms and tornadoes. At the end of April, many Southern states were affected by a strong storm system that caused numerous tornadoes.  Dr. Khalid Matin, Chairman of the APPNA Alabama Chapter, has been working with the Social Welfare and Disaster Relief Committee to continue the relief efforts throughout the Southern area.  APPNA has been able to provide them financial aid, logistic support and is in the process of providing them a truck.

 

Joplin Tornado Relief Efforts and Visit

On May 22 nd, 2011, Joplin, Missouri was ravaged by an F5 tornado, causing miles of damage.  After much worry, we were able to confirm that the APPNA members in Joplin were safe although many of them lost everything including their homes and practices.  Dr. Nadeem Ahmed, Dr. Omar Quadri, and I visited Joplin with food and medical supplies for the local community.  Dr. Naveed Zaidi of Joplin has helped to coordinate the relief efforts within Joplin.  Despite the hardships they faced, Dr. Zaidi and other Joplin APPNA members are continuing as physicians and we commend them for their strength and service.

 

Bone Marrow Registry

We all know that genetic factors play significant role in disease patterns.  Similarly, modern day treatments with stem cell transplants dictate that ethnic and heritage-based registries be maintained since the best source of finding a compatible human leukocyte antigen (HLA) donor match comes from common ancestries.  As a result, APPNA launched a National Bone Marrow Registry Drive on February 25 th, 2011 at locations around the United States.  The turnout and participation at all the locations was amazing and a great way to kickoff the Bone Marrow Registry. APPNA has collected donations of over $270,000.000

 

Charitable Status of APPNA

 APPNA's reputation and tenet to be a charitable organization were on the line when I assumed office. The EC worked extremely diligently to bring APPNA in compliance with the office of Attorney General of Illinois to restore APPNA's charitable status. During this intricate audit, we spent countless hours digging for proofs of previous years' expenses and reconciling balances. Special thanks are due to the Board of Trustees for their guidance and cooperation with this process. Our conviction to APPNA's transparency was reflected by a successful audit and eventual approval by the AGI.  I have established a system for APPNA to follow the regulatory requirements on a continuous basis, allowing APPNA to comply with all rules and regulations. In this regard, the 2010 APPNA audit has been filed on time as required by law.

 

APPNA Cares Day

 APPNA will celebrate its APPNA Cares Day this fall as a coordinated effort throughout its various Chapters. The goals include not only to see patients for check-ups across the USA, but also preventative measures, such as providing the flu shot to eligible patients. This should become an ongoing project for APPNA. Dr. Mujtaba Qazi is spearheading the project this year and various volunteers will be coordinating the project all over the US.

 

MEETINGS AND COMMITTEES:

 

Strategic Planning Meeting

 APPNA held a Strategic Planning Meeting Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri on February 5 th-6 th, 2011.  It was a well-attended and productive meeting with over 100 attendees.  A well-renowned strategic planning specialist moderated the meeting.  We performed an interactive SWOT analysis of APPNA as well as defined the mission, vision, and goals of APPNA.  It was a pleasure to see the active participation and cooperation of all attendees.  Everyone's voice was heard and their suggestions and comments were integrated into a collaborative mission, vision, and goals of APPNA. We formed a Strategic Planning Oversight and Implementation Ad Hoc Committee to ensure that the suggestions made at the Strategic Planning Meeting are implemented and put into action.  This committee consists of four subcommittees, each focusing on the top four goals of APPNA as determined by voting at the meeting: the Transparency and Accountability Enhancement Committee, the Leadership Development Committee, the Office Administration Committee, and the Membership Increase and Retention Committee.  These committees are working to ensure the meeting's goals became a reality.

 

Spring Meeting

The APPNA Spring Meeting was held in Louisville, Kentucky on March 24th-27th, 2011. The event was phenomenal and one of the most remarkable meetings in APPNA's history. Attendance numbers were the highest ever for a Spring Meeting.  The Host Committee of Kentucky and the entire APPKI Community did an excellent job of welcoming APPNA and ensuring that our function was a success.

 

 APPNA's 9 th International Trip

APPNA held its 9th International Meeting in South America.  The trip had over 160 registrants and was an event to remember.  I would like to begin by thanking Chairman of the International Meeting Committee, Dr. Riaz Chaudhry, for his efforts and hard work.  I must also thank Mr. Tipu Ahmad for coordinating the entire trip and for planning expertise.  Both Dr. Chaudhry and Mr. Ahmad traveled to South America on their own time and expense to organize the trip and to visit all the important sites.  The trip took place from April 16 th-24 th, 2011 with an extension trip to Peru until April 27 th, 2011.  The trip began in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, continued in Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina, and concluded in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The extension trip took attendees to the pre-historic Inca remnants in Machu Picchu, Peru.  The entire trip was phenomenal and a joy to be part of and share the experience with my APPNA family.

 

Constitution and Bylaws (CABL) Committee

The CABL Committee has reported to me that the top priority is to achieve the

ratification of the amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws. These amendments

were proposed by previous CABL committees and were approved by the Council in

2006, 2007, and 2009, respectively. I ask you for your help to accomplish this goal of ratification in 2011. This issue will be on the agenda of our annual General Body Meeting to be held on July 2, 2011.

 

Resolving Young Physicians' Visa Issues

 A decrease in the number of visa issues and hindrances in security clearance were the critical issues that led to the formation of the Committee on Young Physicians in the aftermath of September 11 th .  This issue has intensified over time and new cases surfaced during compilation of my report.  The Advocacy Committee of APPNA has taken the lead to address this problem. We have been notified of scenarios in which physicians who have already begun residency training in the United States are being denied re-entry into the United States after visits to family in Pakistan under the pretext of security clearance.  The Committee on Young Physicians and the Advocacy Committee have united to resolve this pressing issue.  A delegation of APPNA members met with officials from the State Department and Homeland Security to address these issues…

 

DEVELOPMENTS IN APPNA:

 

Global Diaspora Forum

 The Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, hosted a USAID Global Diaspora Forum in Washington, DC on May 16th to 18th, 2011. It was an honor to be invited to and represent APPNA at the event.  APPNA has partnered with USAID to provide global relief efforts and, in particular, aid to Pakistan. I shared the achievements, goals, and mission of APPNA with everyone at the forum. I am proud to report that everyone was impressed with the accomplishments of APPNA and its tenets. They all expressed their appreciation and admiration of APPNA's efforts. This positive feedback is something we can all take ownership of. We must continue to be proud of our APPNA and the global difference APPNA has made and will continue to make.

 

Reduced Membership Fees

Membership growth and retention is essential for the existence of APPNA. In efforts to recruit new members and expand APPNA, we reduced both annual and lifetime membership fees in the beginning of May. The new Annual Membership Dues are $100 and the new Lifetime Membership Dues are $1500. Please inform your non-APPNA member physician friends about these new discounted rates. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the new rates and register as a Lifetime APPNA Member. A Lifetime Membership comes with a Membership Benefits Package that offers discounts on important expenditures such as car rentals, airfares, and malpractice insurance. The Membership Benefits Package is a project I initiated and have been working on from the beginning of my service as APPNA Treasurer in 2008. It is exciting to see it completed and to offer it to you. I hope you are satisfied with this change, a project APPNA undertook specifically for its membership.

   

APPNA Leadership Development Program

The APPNA Leadership development program for encouraging and developing future leaders of APPNA was recommended by the Executive Council during the Strategic Planning Meeting. The moderator conducted this very scientific and innovative exercise during APPNA Spring meeting in Louisville and it was perceived as a very effective and successful program.

 

 APPNA Long Range Planning Committee (LRP)

 According to the Constitution and Bylaws of APPNA, the Long Range Planning Committee's duty will develop and recommend projects and plans for the long-term activities of the Association.

 Since the very successful strategic planning meeting held in January at St. Louis this year, I have resolved to form a committee that continues to work year after year to ensure the formulation and implementation of long range planning for APPNA. I am sure many past presidents have had successful strategic planning meetings in their own right. However, we have collectively failed to achieve the implementation of any recommendations coming after all those brainstorming sessions. Furthermore, all the outgoing Presidents and committee members, after a year of hard work, worry about the sustainability of their hard work. This committee would be able to ensure that any credible project is sustained over time. As with all the committees, LRP Committee will report to APPNA Council for final approval of suggested long range planning.

 

Therefore, I feel re-vitalization of Long Range Planning Committee is long overdue. It is my privilege and honor to start the initial formulation of this Committee. This Committee should have total of nine members. The current President and one Representative from board of trustees will be ex-officio members every year. The remaining 7 members will be nominated on staggered term basis. Each year, the sitting President will be able to nominate one member that will replace one senior most member serving on the committee. In case of any vacancy, the current President will have the authority to nominate replacement. I take the liberty to nominate initial 7 members. Along with two ex-officio members, the initial 9 members will serve on the committee until the end of 2012 when on the nomination of the eighth member one member will obviously retire.

  

Advanced Technology for APPNA: New Website

 On May 8th, 2011 APPNA unveiled a brand new website. The website is groundbreaking for APPNA as it is under APPNA's ownership. I hope everyone has visited the website. I would like to remind everyone to update their profiles and utilize the website to keep yourself up to date with APPNA events, stay in touch with friends, as well as keep track of your APPNA membership status. This new website is the beginning of a long overdue digital age.  I commend the Chairman of the Communications Committee, Dr. Khawar Ismail, for spearheading this project. Dr. Ismail took the initiative to create this new website and worked for months to develop the site.

  

APPNA's 34 th Annual Summer Convention

 The 34 th Annual Summer Convention of APPNA … is expected to be a remarkable event.  The Host Committee of St. Louis is ensuring that no stones go unturned as we plan together.  I must thank all members of the committee, especially Chairperson, Dr. Shabbir Safdar, and Co-Chairs, Dr. Ghazala Hayat and Dr. Sajid Zafar, for their dedication to the meeting.  We have innovative CME, a sold out bazaar, fun family outings, cultural entertainment, and much more planned.  I am looking forward to hosting APPNA not only as President of APPNA but as a resident of St. Louis…

Manzoor Tariq, MD

APPNA President

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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