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.
Hello! I’m Jenni Levy, and this is my first letter to you in
my new role as President of AACH. A little about me: I was a primary care
internal medicine doc for twenty years before moving into hospice work. I
taught in residency and fellowship programs throughout my clinical career. I am
now gainfully unemployed except for a little part-time work as we begin to
shepherd our daughter through the college application process and I consider
what I’ll do next. I live in Allentown, PA with my husband David and our
daughter Emma. Emma is a junior dance major at an arts high school. We recently
had the absolute joy of watching her dance in a piece she choreographed for a
I became a member of AAPP in 1994 and completed the FIT
Program in 2004; I served as Website Co-Editor, VP of Communications and VP of
Internal Education before becoming President-Elect last year. As VP of Internal
Education, I was responsible for the FIT program, ENRICH and the Winter Course.
During the three years I held that position, we changed the duration of ENRICH,
restructured the Winter Course, and began to restructure
the FIT Program to better meet the needs of the FITS and the organization.
It was an honor to be involved in such a thoughtful process.
This is not the same organization I joined over 20 years
ago. We are larger and more diverse in every way. Our educational focus has
shifted from the physician-patient interview to the larger field of
relationship-centered care. Through the efforts of Calvin Chou and Laura
Cooley, we now reach many more people through our external education courses
than through ENRICH. The Forum and ICCH continue to expand and provide a showcase
for cutting-edge research in communication skills. Last year we combined the
Forum and ENRICH for the first time; we hope this will help us foster
connections between the education and research communities. I am looking
forward to collaborating with Russell Rothman, the President Elect and former
VP for Research.
In the coming year, AACH will be looking outward and inward.
Thanks to the stewardship of our previous Presidents and Treasurers, and
especially to the extraordinary support from AMR, we are on a solid financial
footing. We will be looking inward to consider how we can invest in our
programs and our members. We will continue our work on membership and
leadership diversity. At our last Board meeting, we heard the report of the
Task Force on Patient Engagement. We will have a Board retreat in the fall to
consider the best path forward with their recommendation. Another Task Force
reviewed Medical Encounter; we have suspended publishing as we look at options
for the future. The Board will also consider a possible name change to better
reflect the diversity of our membership and our programming.
We will look outward as we consider alliances with other
organizations. We continue to co-sponsor ICCH with EACH and I will have monthly
phone calls with the President of EACH as we work to ensure the health of our
fruitful collaboration. The Health Literacy Annual Research Conference is a
co-sponsor of ICCH
in Baltimore; there are other like-minded organizations with whom we might
partner in the same way. DocCom continues to grow; managing editor Barbara
Lewis is overseeing a major update. Planning is well underway for ENRICH in Los Angeles this
June and for the next combined ENRICH/Forum in 2018. Stay tuned for more
You will hear more about these changes in upcoming
President’s Letters; I hope you will also hear from other members of AACH
leadership. I would like to hear from you as well. This is our organization,
and our mission is to foster healthy relationships. I hope my year as your
President forges an even deeper relationship with many of you.