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News & Press: SDPA News

Highlights from the SDPA Leadership Summit

Monday, August 27, 2018  
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The SDPA Board of directors and Committee Chairs recently met, August 9-12th, in Banff, Canada, for their annual Leadership Summit. Not only was the location majestic but the meeting was empowering. This year was aimed at team building and positivity.

The leaders, led by Joleen Volz the current SDPA president, participated in a trust building exercise in which the leaders were blind folded and given instructions on how to navigate out of a maze. The goal of this exercise was to teach us, as leaders, to never be afraid to ask questions and know that you can rely on your colleagues.

This was followed up with a competition between the leaders where new, innovative ideas for moving the SDPA forward were presented to the team and voted on. The format was a spin-off of “The Apprentice”, where leader’s ideas were HIRED instead of fired. This year, team “Banff Babes” won with the idea of creating a video with SDPA member testimonies of why they are SDPA members as well as the SDPA hosting “top secret” welcome receptions at upcoming conferences.

Second place was awarded to the team, “P3” who proposed that the SDPA develop a workshop for MA dermatology training that would take place on the Saturday of each conference (so that they would not have to miss any work). The third-place team was “One Love”, with the idea of having the SDPA develop a nomination committee consisting of three leaders with a focus on identifying and cultivating future leaders amongst our SDPA members. Voting was tight as all the leaders shared great ideas and empowering conversations.

Next on the agenda was the ever-important review of the SDPA’s strategic plan. The plan is based on six building blocks: education, coalition building, membership growth, brand image and visibility, professional development, and advocacy and legislative monitoring. The Board of Directors and Committee Chairs reviewed this three-year plan and the goals within each of these subsets were prioritized. Specifically, under Education, the SDPA will work to launch a new registration system and build a virtual CME grand rounds. As for the subset membership, the SDPA will strive to retain and recruit new members by targeting corporate dermatology practices. To increase brand image and visibility the SDPA has hired a PR firm to assist with our coalition building and positive message branding. For professional development, the SDPA will work to provide programs to develop PA speakers and create a SDPA leadership track. Lastly, under advocacy and legislation the SDPA will continue to support education on Optimal Team Practice (OTP) at a state level.

Another important agenda item that was socialized and approved were the main goals for the upcoming leadership year of 2018/2019. This will begin with a campaign from a PR firm hired by the SDPA to highlight our profession and the important impact we have to the dermatology community. The PA profession continues to grow and the SDPA remains to have the highest number of members of any specialty PA organization. We as the SDPA leaders will continue to bring forward new ideas, energy, and dedication to our members. 


SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference 2019
June 6-9, 2019 – Marriott Marquis – Washington D.C.
Pre-Conference June 5

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