Hi All -
First, I wanted to update you on the PF conference that occurred at the end of last month. It really energized me to come back home and try to make a difference. The speakers in the opening reception were very inspiring and reminded us all why this is such important work. The suffering and tragedy associated with PE is still so shocking. The second day was filled with informative sessions that included the state of the PF (Anne), a discussion on local efforts within the 'chapters' (me), a presentation about the PF's technology direction (Paul Dorsey), a public relations 101 talk (Eleni) and a riveting presentation about the state of the disease (Dr. Easterling). The day ended with a nice picnic and a candlelight vigil (thanks to the Washington chapter for all their efforts to coordinate that). There was alot of energy, enthusiasm and comraderie at the conference and excitement about everything that's being worked on and the potential impact. The group in attendance also donated a nice sum of money that was presented to Anne as a surprise (thanks, Paul, for coordinating!). All in all it was a fantastic first conference and we're all looking forward to next year.
At the conference we discussed the need for each state group to focus on raising awareness about the PF. Before we can provide support, education and do significant fundraising we need to let people in our local community know that our organizaiton exists. We also need to increase our membership numbers. So, where to start? The 'Get The Word Out' campaign begins with the new brochure that was recently completed and is being formated into a pdf file that can be emailed to all the state coordinators. There will be specs on how they should be printed (type of paper, etc) and it will be our job to find way to get them printed in our communities (hopefully through donated services). Distributing them strategically was also discussed which we can get into in more detail as we go forward. Creating PF business cards (blank - name and contact info to be filled in by everyone) for all of us is also being planned. We discussed many other ideas for raising awareness, providing education, and fundraising which I'd like to tackle topic by topic in future conversations.
The first order of business, however, is to determine the best way for all of us to communicate. This section of the website may be the best place for now to utilize for discussions. Or would everyone rather have emails sent directly to their personal email address? When we have a need for a more real-time conversation we will have to figure out the best way to do that. Face to face meetings are difficult or arrange too often so maybe we can supplement those with conference calls. Also, how often do we need to communicate? Once we get the ball rolling on things I'd like to have at least monthly discussions with everyone to update on our progress. For those that are participating in activities we'll probably communicate more frequently as issues develop. That way we can keep the momentum going and allow for successes and failures to be passed along so we can all learn from each other.
Let me know your thoughts, ideas, comments, and questions. Hopefully everyone is excited about finally organizing our 'chapter' efforts and making an impact!
Looking forward to hearing from all of you,
Carol Hamilton, Pharm.D.
Director of Chapter Development
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