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2017: A year of continued growth ... and response to change
Michael Barry photo

As we again embark upon a new year and continue to build on our past achievements, let us take a brief look back to reflect on and celebrate our successes of the past year. The year 2017 was one of continued growth for the organization during which we expanded on foundations built in prior years and responded efficiently and effectively to an uncertain, and often tumultuous, environment.

In short, we have much to be proud of and thankful for. Below are some key highlights from 2017.

Policy and Advocacy

With the arrival of a new (and often unpredictable) President, new Congress, and Republicans controlling the legislative and executive branches, ACPM needed to be nimble and responsive to multiple policy proposals that could threaten the public’s health. On your behalf, we were active with comments, letters, Hill visits, press statements, op-eds, and social media in response to multiple ACA repeal and replace proposals, executive orders, and other initiatives of the President (e.g., immigration ban, vaccine commission, withdrawal from the Paris Accord, etc.). In addition:

  • We continued to execute our legislative agenda, including protecting appropriations for PM residency training, violence prevention programs, and CDC funding.
  • Our "Dear Colleague" letter campaign for PM residency funding produced the highest number of signatories from congressional members in both chambers we had every achieved.
  • With the help of an amazing task force of ACPM members, we developed a rapid-cycle report on innovative ways to expand and sustain funding for PMR training.
  • We launched a monthly legislative newsletter, Washington Update, to keep you informed of inside-the-beltway political developments and ACPM’s responses.
  • With expert assistance from members we responded to several specific reports and queries of the Administration, such as a request for information from the CMS regarding the future of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and the proposed DHHS Strategic Plan.

ACPM also hosted a highly successful briefing on Capitol Hill, "Transforming Medical Education to Prevent Chronic Disease," which shone a spotlight on providers’ lack of training in lifestyle medicine. The briefing was over-subscribed and well attended, with over 70 attendees packing in to a room set up for 40, and picked up by several media outlets. 

Strategy Development

We rolled out a revised organizational strategic plan at our General Membership Meeting at the Preventive Medicine 2017 conference in Portland. During the meeting, we broke into small groups to hear your feedback and discuss your implementation ideas. Over the remaining months of the year, our staff and committees developed detailed operational plans that aligned our staffing, budgets, performance plans and measures, programs, Board agendas, committee activities, and other resources with these plans. We have met the majority of our short-term performance objectives, are continuing to work on others, and are making adjustments to other objectives based on changing circumstances and needs.

Our Strategy and Board Development Committee is working on the next iteration of strategy development, which includes a fresh look at our vision, mission, and values for the first time in six years, as well as a refresh of our long-term goals and shorter-term strategies. Stay tuned for the rollout of these at Preventive Medicine 2018 in Chicago. In addition, the committee has refined its leadership election policy and procedures to garner a more engaged membership and build a pipeline of future and current leaders that meet competencies needed on our Board to effectively govern and navigate the strategic future of the organization.


Toolkit cover

At Preventive Medicine 2017 in Portland we introduced our strategic communications plan and messaging toolkit, developed in consultation with a professional public relations and marketing firm. It was designed to help us articulate clear language and messages about who we are, what our physicians do, and why preventive medicine is so important in today’s health environment to allow us to effectively influence and improve national policy and transform public health and health systems. Throughout the year we drew upon those messages as we responded to policy proposals, published multiple op-eds in national publications, built our brand among numerous stakeholders, created new marketing collateral, and trained our leaders as ACPM spokespersons.


Our Preventive Medicine 2017 conference was one of our most successful annual meetings, according to multiple metrics. Our financial performance far exceeded projections, as did our registrations. We asked our members to contribute more educational content, and you responded in spades with more than 50 submitted session abstracts that were incorporated into the meeting program. More interactive, experiential learning formats were also featured last year.

The growth of member-contributed content and new learning formats continues in our planning for Preventive Medicine 2018, to be held May 23-26 in Chicago. We have retooled our meeting program around exciting, new tracks aligned with our theme, "Prevention at the Nexus of Health Systems Transformation."

Sales of our Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program more than doubled our budget projections last year, and even eclipsed our stretch goals by nearly 15%, as a result of continuing strong interest among the members of ACPM and ACLM, the first American Board of Lifestyle Medicine certification exam, and group sales from two health systems and multiple PM residency programs. We also used our CDC grant funding and funding from the Ardmore Institute to launch nine hours of new elective modules. In 2018 we seek to increase uptake of the program among primary care physicians, health systems, and group practices, and look forward to your help in reaching these audiences.

ACPM continued to build its education portfolio and content delivery capacity for our members and other stakeholders in 2017 by curating content to expand ACPM’s online library and developing plans to expand it even further. In 2017, ACPM supplied over 19,500 CME credits—nearly 2,000 more than in 2016. ACPM remains a strong source of education options and certification and recertification resources for members and Preventive Medicine professionals. In an effort to determine member education needs, ACPM conducted a comprehensive education needs assessment of the membership. The results of this needs assessment will be shared with you in the coming weeks and used throughout 2018 and beyond to create new, innovative content as requested by the membership. In addition, we are thrilled again to be partnering with HHS to co-convene the 2018 Healthy Aging Summit, July 16-17, and invite you to join us for this exciting event.

CDC Grants Portfolio

ACPM's work under the CDC umbrella cooperative agreement program continued to flourish, expanding our profile of work advancing preventive medicine science into practice and contributing important income for staff support and ACPM operations/administration. More importantly, the increased portfolio of projects helped engage many of our members in work that is most relevant to their practice and interests. For example, in 2017 we:

  • Hosted three regional listening sessions around the CDC's 6|18 Initiative
  • Awarded grants to nine organizations over two cycles to improve screening for prediabetes and referral to DPP lifestyle intervention programs
  • Facilitated more than a dozen preventive medicine residency rotations in high-risk Zika virus states and territories to engage in preparedness and response activities
  • Delivered educational sessions at PM2017 and the AMA House of Delegates meeting on billing and coding for falls risk assessment in clinical settings
  • Developed and delivered new lifestyle medicine training modules to grantees of the CDC WISEWOMAN program
  • Developed decision aids for informed, shared decision making around prostate cancer screening, which are being tested in 2018.

In addition to securing funding for the continuation of our 6|18, DPP, and prostate cancer screening projects, we secured new funding for projects in brain health as well as hypertension and other CVD screening in high-risk populations.

Administration and Finance

We continue to secure the financial well-being of the College. In 2016 we achieved a net operating surplus of $155,000. With investment gains, we grew our reserves by nearly $220,000, and have reached the $1,000,000 threshold in reserves for the first time. While our year-end financial statements are still being prepared, we are anticipating an even stronger financial performance in 2017. This outcome will put ACPM on extremely strong financial footing entering 2018, with new strategic initiatives on the horizon, greater uncertainties in the funding environment, and a significant one-time capital outlay for the transition to a new executive director.

At the same time, we are reinvesting our new revenues in building staff capacity to deliver on new programs, implement new strategic initiatives (e.g., communications), improve our operational efficiency, and focus more energy and resources on our policy development and advocacy. 

I believe this review helps validate that ACPM is well positioned for 2018 and beyond, particularly as the organization transitions to new executive leadership. I've been privileged to serve as a steward of the organization as it has grown and evolved to this point, which has been possible only through the hard work of our dedicated and talented staff, the engagement and contributions (both in-kind and financial) of our volunteer members, the steady and committed leadership of our Board, and the support of our many partners and sponsors. I look forward to another successful year ahead, and invite you to join me, my successor, the staff, and our leadership in assuring success and an even brighter future for the College.

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