President's Message

Judy Cohn
AAHSL President
Assistant Vice President for Information Services, and Director of Health Sciences Libraries
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


April 22, 2019


Over the past few months, AAHSL has signed on to support several issues put forth by the AAMC and MLA including:

  • AAHSL is included among the founding members of the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment. In addition, we joined in a Multi-Society Letter on the Department of Education’s Title IX Policy. The establishment of the Societies Consortium reflects a shared understanding that professional societies have a unique responsibility in their role as standard-setters for STEMM fields to address the pervasive problem of sexual and gender harassment.
  • In addition, we signed onto a letter of support advocating for an increase to the NDD United, which is circulating a letter advocating for an increase to the discretionary budget caps for FYs 2020 and 2021. Without relief from the discretionary spending caps, nondefense discretionary programs face a steep, $55 billion funding cliff that would reverse many of the funding gains made in the last few years and hamper efforts to continue investments in medical research, health professions workforce programs, and other priorities. You can find NDD United’s letter linked here.
  • AAHSL endorsed the recommendation by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research for its FY2020 recommendation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For FY 2020, the coalition recommends at least $41.6 billion for the NIH, a $2.5 billion increase over the FY 2019 program level, or a 6.4% increase.
  • Additionally, AAMC staff has developed a new infographic to highlight the value of NIH-funded research at medical schools and teaching hospitals. Please feel free to use it in your own advocacy!

Inter-Professional Education Collaborative (IPEC)

Sandra Franklin and I represented AAHSL at the Winter 2019 Council Meeting of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) on February 5, 2019 in Washington DC. IPEC, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is comprised of member organizations representing 21 national associations.  Highlights of the meeting included presentation of IPEC’s Comprehensive Evaluation Report and creation of a new strategic plan to establish priorities moving forward gathering input from attendees.  Since its inception, IPEC’s focus is on training health professions educators via its Interprofessional Leadership Program attended by over 429 teams comprised of over 1800 individual participants.

Leaders representing the Health Professions Accreditors Collaborative (HPAC) and the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education provided an overview of their recently issued publication, “Guidance on Developing Interprofessional Education for the Health Professions.” The document, endorsed by 24 accrediting bodies, including the LCME, is a consensus report that supports the development and implementation of quality IPE. The guide does not replace an organization’s accreditation standards. Rather, it seeks to encourage increased communication and collaboration around IPE.

February AAHSL Board Meeting

The AAHSL Board had a productive 2-day meeting in New Orleans on February 7-8.

Some highlights of the meeting include:

  • Acceptance of the charge for the Competency Based Medical Education Task Force, Part 2
  • Approval to move the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force to a standing committee
  • Do a more formal introduction to AAHSL, its history, structure, and committees at the Annual meeting dinner for new directors.
  • To explore offering AAHSL/NLM Data Scholarships for Librarians in coordination with NNLM Pacific Northwest Region.
  • Approval to create a new task force focused on academic health sciences libraries’ support to affiliated hospitals and health systems

AAHSL Strategic Planning

Plans to update the AAHSL Strategic Plan are taking shape. Input has been gathered from the Board and in the coming weeks and months, calls for member input will be going out. If you’re not familiar with the existing plan, you can view it here. We’ll be holding a number of Zoom calls over the spring and summer and conducting a survey to gather your input. Our goal is to roll-out an updated plan in Fall 2019.

Stay tuned for opportunities to provide input!

MLA & AAHSL Joint Legislative Task Force

The JLTF just completed a very positive meeting followed by a day on Capitol Hill visiting legislators, meeting with and dropping off packets for Senate and House representatives advocating for increased support for: 

  • Fiscal year 2020 funding for NLM and NIH
  • Recommending that the Institute for Museum and Library Services not be eliminated as proposed in the President’s budget, 
  • recommending to keep the Agency for Health Research Quality remain open and funded at least at the FY2019 funding levels,
  •  and asking for support for the Net Neutrality: Save the Internet Act to restore the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order establishing net neutrality rules.

Questions and comments welcome!