Everyone knows that I look forward to the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly the way a child eagerly awaits Christmas. There are so many things happening at any given time that there is never a dull moment. I’m also very lucky because I think that we have the most compassionate, enthusiastic and wonderful attendees. When among them I instantly feel like I am surrounded by family. This year I was excited to be working in a new position and I would be doing a variety of new things at the Assembly.
I had the privilege of managing the scholarship program for physicians in developing countries. Through this scholarship the Academy was able to bring 6 physicians to the Assembly. The stories about what these amazing people are doing in their communities are truly inspiring. Over the course of several months leading up to arriving in New Orleans I was able to get to know them all. They are some of the most remarkable people that I have ever met.
During the plenary sessions I sat behind the curtain while coordinating the questions that were being asked through Twitter. The amount of coordination and skill that goes in to making the presentation appear seamless is mind boggling. There are scripts that need to be written, slides have to be shown, videos coordinated, lights maneuvered, cameras positioned and a (very complex) control panel has to be manned. I was in awe of the production guys and our staff. They made it look so easy.
Being at the Assembly this year granted me the opportunity to meet many members and volunteers that I communicate with over social networks in person for the first time. It is such a strange but wonderful feeling to meet someone in person that you already know. At times I found myself skipping formal introductions opting for a big smile and saying “It’s so great to finally meet you!”
Marketing & Membership Coordinator