Noor Israr describes a dedicated
It is widely known that the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America APPNA celebration is a potent body dedicatedly oriented to work for the welfare of its members as well as undertaking steps beneficial to their country of descent. These highly laudable activities are consistent and speak volumes about the well-meaning sincerity of its members. APPNA is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Illinois in the US. It is known to be the third largest medical association in the United States and is dedicated to supporting scientific development and education in Medicine, and delivering better health care, regardless of race, creed or gender.
APPNA has a renowned history since it was founded in 1976 under the name “Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America”, and was formally incorporated in 1977. APPNA is one of the largest ethnic medical societies in North America, representing more than 17,000 physicians and health care professionals of Pakistani descent in the United States and Canada. It is very active in respect of the very essence of its existence and is highly well-respected in professional circles. Its office holders and members are focused in pursuing matters aimed at increasing the social and professional standing of the organisation.
The best part of the organisation is the wholehearted participation of its members in its affairs particularly its current President Dr. Haroon Durrani and Board of Directors represented by Dr. Asif Mohiuddin and Dr. Joseph Emmanuel. Dr. Durrani gave a message on the occasion of his taking over his office and stated that during the last two years APPNA not only overcame multiple internal conflicts in APPNA but the organisation played a pivotal role during one of the worst health crisis in recent history, Covid-19 Pandemic. He extended his sincere condolences to all families who suffered loss of a loved one due to the Pandemic. He added that there seems to be hope that this year that will bring an end to the global health care crisis and APPNA will continue to contribute in every way possible to make this hope a reality.
He went on to state that 2022 will be the year in which the positive impact of all the hard work that was done in the last few years will be seen. Some of the achievements of APPNA are Covid relief efforts, a civil and transparent election season and the new CABL. He mentioned that his vision for 2022 is to integrate the passion of the young membership with the experience of senior membership. A unified APPNA that stays unique to the identity of a professional organisation committed to education, research, social welfare projects and advocating for Physicians. He added that his focus specifically will be to work on increasing membership, particularly young and female physicians need to join APPNA and take on leadership roles as their strength lies in numbers and for this the need to encourage Alumni/chapters to help recruit members is felt. He said that their focus will be on improving communication with the membership in an effort to involve members according to their interest, emails from the APPNA will be categorised as official business, SWDR project, elections and conferences.
He elaborated that one of his goals is to learn and benefit from experiences of their past leaders and this can be achieved by creating an advisory council, comprising of all past presidents that will advise the President, particularly on achieving a unified and strong APPNA. In this context he wants to develop a long term plan for APPNA with the possible goal of APPNA medical college/ hospital in Pakistan. APPNA American College of medicine can be an umbrella organisation under which all the educational activities including RESA and MERIT committees can be organised.
Dr Asif Mohiuddin, Secretary APPNA said that this will be a challenging year as this Board of Directors will be first to work under new amendments. To achieve the goals, under the new CABL with all the structural changes will be a learning curve for the EC and he is hopeful that with great team work they will have a smooth transition. He said that he and his team will start the year with a strategy meeting in January. Their committee lists have been updated on their website and he is truly looking forward to working with their highly skilled, motivated members.
It was stated that for 2022 APPNA’s word is “Growth”. The growth for APPNA means evolution and advancement. Their intent is clear: to improve what exists and to grow beyond where the organisation now stands. Growth for APNA means not only increasing membership roster but also diversifying its membership, expanding educational offerings, extending reach in the business, staffing and care communities. And, equally as critical, is continuing to support the personal, professional and business growth of members and those with whom the organisation with. He said that we thoughtfully reflected on what APPNA does well, what we can do better and what we can do differently and under the expert guidance of Wendy Sachs, we also began the hard work of refining our organisation’s core values, strategy and purpose – critical to anchoring our association and guiding future growth. He mentioned that the meeting day was packed and the Board also made the following decisions:
For those who seek extra business support, APPNA is creating an Agency Accelerator Program. Led by Laura Chandra, the goal of the program is to increase the likelihood of long-term success for all agencies. It promises to reach entrepreneurs, particularly in the first few years of business, to provide education and guidance to get over those speed bumps. And, along the way, set the foundation of a collaborative community. He added that our Community and Education Board Member, Erika Slade, is focusing on cultivating community within our industry by crafting a program of useful, rich educational content for business with a packed line-up of webinars. APPNA’s VP, Katie Provinziano, is working diligently creating a fresh, and much needed toolkit to support agency owners.
The Board is actively working to refine the membership process. Suzie Zeldin, whose mission is new membership, is leading the way. In the upcoming months, APPNA plans to release a resource video to walk potential applicants through the application process, including expectations and timeline. Additionally, the Board voted to amend APNA’s membership requirement from three years in business to two years. It is known there are talented agency owners out there who meet or exceed APNA’s membership requirements before the three-year mark and are eager to welcome them into the association. Moreover, they will no longer be requesting feedback from members at large on new member applicants – this practice has proven to be misplaced. If a member has an issue with a member, or potential member, submitting a formal complaint to the Ethics Committee is the more appropriate channel. Substantiated claims will make their way to the membership vetting mix.
Growth in the diversity of APPNA is the duty of its members our organisation and the DEI Task Force is looking at ways to follow through on the responsibility to provide support to individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. Scholarships, trainings, education through workshops are areas the task force is exploring. Finally, the APPNA Conference Committee, headed by Kim Winblood, is going like gangbusters building out the conference program for Annual Conference 2022. Growth is at the center of it all as the committee amasses content touching on aspects of personal, professional and business development. He ended his statement by mentioning that being a part of this association has shaped not only his business, but has brought an abundance of joy and that he looks forward to working side by side with the volunteer board and strong, supportive members, to help this association grow even more in the upcoming year. TW
Noor Israr has a discerning taste in music and is currently studying development economics at UCF