President's Message

Each month, AACH President Jenni Levy, MD, FAACH addresses AACH members through her president's message, sharing updates, goals, and information to keep members engaged and involved in the Academy.     

June 2017

I hope those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying your summer so far! Here in eastern Pennsylvania, the weather is finally behaving like summer. Our early June was unseasonably cool and rainy. I headed to Los Angeles for ENRICH hoping for warm sunshine. The weather didn’t quite live up to my expectations; I learned that Southern California has something called June Gloom. ENRICH exceeded any expectation I might have had.

The theme of ENRICH was “communicating across difference.” I couldn’t help but think about the differences since my first Summer Course in 1997. That course lasted five days and we were housed in a Boston University dorm. The Luskin Conference Center at UCLA was about the furthest thing from a dorm room I could imagine. ENRICH isn’t the same as the old Summer Course, either. The meeting is shorter, registration is handled by professionals, there are more varieties of learning groups available, the learning groups themselves have more structure, and the workshops are three-session tracks focused on fundamental skills and topics. There was far more professional diversity than I’ve ever experienced before. And with all that, some things have not changed.

While we may not use the terms “personal awareness” and “skills groups” in our course brochure these days, we are still focused on making space for participants to develop insight into their own reactions and have the chance to practice skills that will benefit their work as soon as they return home. Our participants have the chance to develop deep connections with each other. The process that started for me in Boston twenty years ago has transformed every aspect of my life because the skills we learn are effective in every relationship.

Change is always challenging, and there are some things I miss about the old course format – I loved project groups, and we had more free time. I don’t miss dorm rooms or shuttle buses, though, and I really enjoy welcoming new participants who are experiencing all this for the first time. I wish I’d been able to attend a dine-around. Dine-arounds were new this year; our staff made reservations at a variety of restaurants in walking distance and faculty and FITs signed up to eat with participants. I heard tales of good meals, lots of laughter, and new friendships and professional connections. I hope I can make it to one next time!

One of the other positive changes is that we now offer ENRICH participants a complimentary three-month subscription to DocCom. If you’re an AACH member, you already have a full subscription as a member benefit – hop on over to the website and activate it! AMR staff can help if you have difficulty. Barbara Lewis, managing editor of DocCom, lives in LA and was able to come to the course and help registrants activate their subscriptions on-site.

If you haven’t looked at DocCom lately, you should. Barbara and her editorial team have been updating and expanding the content. When they’re done, DocCom will match up more closely with the Smith textbook. There are new modules addressing advanced communication challenges. DocCom users can get CME – and many specialty boards accept DocCom as credit toward maintenance of certification. Check it out here and see if your specialty is on the list.

This letter marks the halfway point of my Presidency. Like all my other AACH experiences, being President has offered me opportunities for learning and growth, enhanced my connections to my friends and colleagues in the organization, and further deepened my commitment to the organization. It is an honor to give back to the group that has given me so much.


Mission + Vision

Mission Statement:

AACH is the professional home for all those who are committed to improving communication and relationships in healthcare.  

AACH accomplishes this through:

  • Welcoming researchers, educators, clinicians, patients, patient advocates, and all members of the healthcare team.
  • Providing opportunities for collaboration, support and personal and professional development.
  • Identifying strengths, resources and needs of patients, their family members and healthcare professionals, both as unique individuals and in relationship to one another. 
  • Developing skills that integrate biological, psychological and social domains.
  • Applying existing scholarship from multiple disciplines and developing new knowledge through research.
  • Promoting collaborative relationships between clinicians and patients, teachers and learners, and all members of the health care team.
  • Incorporating core values of respect, empathy and genuineness in human relationships and the importance of self-awareness in all activities. 

Vision Statement:

A health care system where all patients, healthcare professionals, trainees and researchers feel valued, are treated equitably with respect, compassion, understanding, and are actively engaged in healthcare processes and decisions.

Basic Beliefs We Share as an Organization

  1. AACH believes that the healing human relationship among healthcare professionals, patients and their families is a critical aspect of healthcare. We believe that highly performing interpersonal and inter-professional delivery systems are necessary to achieve the greatest benefit from our biotechnical services.
  2. AACH believes in the highest quality, most fully accessible and cost-effective health care for all.
  3. AACH believes that relationship skills, communication skills, and teaching skills are learnable and teachable.
  4. AACH believes that improved relationships and communication enhance team and patient satisfaction, reduce errors and grievances, improve efficacy, efficiency and safety, and enhance health outcomes, as documented in the peer-reviewed literature.
  5. AACH believes that organizational investment in the continuous quality improvement of relationships and communication rewards the organization in many dimensions.
  6. AACH believes in learner-centered methods of teaching and coaching, facilitating discovery of learning needs and preferred learning styles.
  7. AACH leaders and teachers live the relationship-centered human values we teach, with each other in the organization and in our interactions with patients, family members, colleagues on the health care team, clients, and interested others; we strive to remain curious about and respectful of all forms of diversity that our individual experiences bring to our relationships.
  8. AACH is committed to evidence-based practice in healthcare and teaching, grounded in highest quality research that continually informs our work.
  9. AACH is committed to promoting diversity in its membership and leadership, including but not limited to diversity in profession, seniority, interests, gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It believes that such diversity is critical to attaining the best research, scholarship, teaching, health care and other strategic goals of the Academy. Accordingly, AACH believes it essential to assertively recruit under-represented minorities into our organization.
  10. AACH is committed to assisting in the training of under-represented minority healthcare professionals and to reducing healthcare disparities.
  11. AACH is committed to human relationships grounded in integrity, congruence, transparency, empathy and unconditional positive regard. 
  12. As a non-profit human service organization, AACH adheres to a clear mission and assures that resources are used on mission-centered activities.

[Our basic beliefs were developed by participants at the 2009 Winter Course and edited by the Executive Committee. The mission, vision, and beliefs were updated by the Board in February 2014 and October 2015.]

2017 President Message Archives

Watch your inbox for the President’s message each month. If you miss an email, you can visit this page for archives of past messages.

January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017

2016 President Message Archives

Watch your inbox for the President’s message each month. If you miss an email, you can visit this page for archives of past messages.

2015 President Message Archives

Watch your inbox for the President’s message each month. If you miss an email, you can visit this page for archives of past messages.

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