The MLA Board of Directors met in Chicago on November 8 and 9, 2018, and made two important decisions that will build on MLA’s success in 2018 and enable our organization to provide us with what we need as MLA members and as health information professionals. The two decisions relate to MLA communities and MLA’s management model. Please see highlights below.
The first MLA Board decision approved the plan to transform MLA communities, considering the essential objectives of inclusion, enhanced collaboration between our diverse member communities, strengthening of those communities as our “professional home,” and improved experience and value for us as MLA members.
This effort has been in the works for several years, with recommendations to the board primarily resulting from impressive member-driven input and engagement by the Communities Strategic Goal Task Force, led by Rikke Ogawa. Implementation of the transformation will be led in stages by a Communities Transition Team through May 2020.
Highlights of the MLA communities transformation:
- merger of the dual-level MLA member communities (sections and special interest groups [SIGs]) into caucuses, starting September 2019 (2020 membership)
- no financial barrier to joining MLA member communities as caucus dues will be changed to $0 starting September 2019 (2020 membership)
- formation of seven domain hubs that are aligned to professional areas of practice, where caucuses can collaborate, participate in meaningful interactions, and connect to MLA programs, supported by new collaboration tools. Sections and SIGs will shape the vision of the domain hubs in 2019, with domain hubs being fully operational by May 2020
- creation of an MLA-wide scholarship program shaped by MLA member communities, with a goal of significantly increasing scholarship opportunities for MLA members, effective with the MLA 2020 budget
- adjustment, simplification, and definition of all parts of MLA that are connected to communities (e.g., Academy of Health Information Professionals [AHIP], committee charges and appointments, policies and procedures, budgets, etc.) to increase cohesiveness and alignment throughout the organization
MLA Management Model
The second MLA Board decision approved a change in the MLA staff and headquarter management model. Effective January 1, 2019, MLA staff will transition to MCI USA, providing MLA with full management services out of MCI’s downtown Chicago headquarters. From an MLA member perspective, it will be business as usual with the added value of MLA’s ability to accelerate essential growth in the areas of education, community interactions, meeting attendance, membership, advocacy for the profession, and more. With this change, MLA staff will have access to the expert resources of more than 2,300 professionals in 63 offices and 31 countries who work with clients across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, India, the Middle East, and Africa.
On behalf of the entire MLA Board of Directors, I share our appreciation for the outstanding work of all MLA members who were involved in shaping and driving both initiatives. We are excited at the prospect of how these transformations will continue to improve MLA as our professional organization. Though we realize change can be disruptive, we appreciate your trust, personal engagement, and shared vision for the future.
Thank you for remaining calm, open, flexible, and positive...
MLA Board of Directors (2018–2019)
Beverly Murphy, President
Julia Esparza, President-Elect
Barbara A. Epstein, Immediate Past President
Marie T. Ascher
Amy Blevins, Treasurer
Keith W. Cogdill
Shannon D. Jones, Treasurer-Elect
Elizabeth R. Lorbeer, Section Council Chair
Sandra Irene Martin
Gurpreet K. Rana, Secretary
Melissa Ratajeski, Chapter Council Chair
Kevin Baliozian, Executive Director