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The Indiana Chapter January 2007 Newsletter SAVE THE DATE:

FROM THE PRESIDENT, AMWA INDIANA CHAPTER The Indiana Chapter of American Medical Writers Association is having a fabulous year! Many thanks are due to the chapter’s officers and committee chairpersons. For all you have done, and are continuing to do, in support of the chapter’s activities, I am very grateful. Members, did you know that, as a whole, AMWA has more than 5,000 members in more than 25 countries, and that AMWA is governed by a volunteer board that includes representatives from the chapters? As the Indiana chapter’s voting representative, I attended board meetings held in October at the Annual National Conference in Albuquerque. Of special interest to our chapter was a vote approving an Indiana by-laws amendment that brought our chapter bylaws into compliance with the national organization’s policies of 1) not holding major chapter meetings within 30 days before or after the Annual Conference, and 2) naming the National Board of Directors (instead of the National Executive Committee) as the official approver of chapter by-laws amendments. Another significant vote helped to accelerate the building of AMWA’s Endowment Fund. The profits from this permanent fund are intended to be used on new educational offerings, which may take the form of interactive webinars, recordings of annual conference sessions, or additional online reference materials on the AMWA website. Please contact Diana Fisher or me if you have ideas on what the Endowment Fund could support or any concerns you would like discussed at the National Board of Directors meeting in the spring. Deborah Frisby, President AMWA Indiana Chapter

AMWA Indiana Chapter Newsletter January 2007

AMWA Indiana Chapter Conference June 15 and16, 2007 Friday, June 15 Morning: Statistics for Medical Writers and Editors (G) – Bart Harvey Afternoon: Improving Comprehension: Theories and Research Findings (EW/ED) – Helen Hodgson

Saturday, June 16 Morning: Advanced Writing (ADV) – Helen Hodgson Afternoon: Advanced Data Presentations: Tables, Graphs & Charts (ADV) – Bart Harvey Location:

Faris Campus, Eli Lilly and Company 546 South Meridian Street Indianapolis, Indiana 46285

More details to follow. See the AMWA Indiana Chapter website,

CHAPTER BUSINESS During the AMWA annual conference "Chapter Meet and Greet" on Thursday, 26 October 2006, chapter attendees discussed web conferencing, writing patient education materials, and sessions attended.


On Monday, 20 November 2006 the Indiana Chapter of AMWA held a joint chapter meeting with the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Technical Communicators (STC). The informal pre-meeting activities allowed the two groups to meet and learn about the similarities and differences between our two professions. Prior to the presentations, Deborah Frisby announced the approval of the chapter bylaws amendment (see From the President for details). The remainder of the meeting was a panel discussion on outsourcing. Experts from sponsor and vendor companies answered questions from the audience, who learned that companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing to manage costs and increase flexibility. Outsourced work Page 1 of 4

The Indiana Chapter can be completed by freelance writers, on-site contractors, and vendor employees. Partnerships can also be developed, in which companies share risk-taking and profits. Two main types of outsourcing are deliverable-based sourcing, where the sponsor pays upon completion of the deliverable, and service arrangements, where the sponsor pays for time spent on projects. The panel members made a distinction between outsourcing and offshoring (outsourcing that is done in low-cost areas). Eli Lilly and Company works with Tata Consultancy Services in India to complete scientific communication deliverables. A recommendation from the meeting was Tom Friedman’s book, The World is Flat, which helps explain the drive to offshore. Audience members expressed concern at the trend toward offshoring: the panel suggested that as transformation continues, companies should strategically allocate employees into roles in which outsourcing is not a viable option. Individuals should look at developing specialized skills (expertise areas as well as flexibility and communication skills) that will help them gain a competitive advantage. The typical outsourcing process was described and a review of capabilities needed by vendor companies (in addition to writing ability, strong critical thinking, project management, and communication skills). Successful outsourcing results when expectations are very specific and discussed early, assumptions are avoided, and clear work orders, kick-off meetings, and regular standing meetings are used to help communication. Reported by Julie Beyrer & Cynthia Hooper ___________________________________________________ The Indiana Chapter Board of Officers held a planning meeting on Friday, January 12, 2007. The amended bylaws were distributed, minutes and financial report approved, and plans for the scholarship program, upcoming chapter meetings, and chapter conference reviewed. The current chapter membership was discussed and action items for the Board include finding ways to make the website more useful to members, developing a conference cancellation policy, and investigating web-conferencing for meetings.

AMWA Indiana Chapter Newsletter January 2007

THE AMWA INDIANA CHAPTER SCHOLARSHIP FOR BIOMEDICAL COMMUNICATIONS Are you (or do you know someone who is) a college/university student interested in winning a $1000 scholarship?? The Indiana Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) is pleased to announce its 2007 annual educational scholarship in biomedical communications. This scholarship will recognize an individual for excellence in biomedical communications and assist in his/her educational efforts. The recipient will be awarded $1000 at the chapter meeting of the annual Indiana Chapter Conference, to be held 15-16 June 2007, in Indianapolis Indiana. To be considered for the AMWA Indiana Chapter Scholarship for Biomedical Communications, applicants: • must be enrolled in college/university studies in Indiana; and • must be majoring in the sciences, medical or health professions, English, journalism, or health science communications. To apply, applicants are required to submit a 500-word essay or article on the topic Ethics in Biomedical Communications. Essays will be judged on both content and style. Applicants must also submit a signed letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor or sponsor detailing the applicant’s strengths as a communicator of science or medicine. Applications are due 01 May 2007. Please go to the AMWA Indiana Chapter website, for full details and the application form. As well, you may contact the AMWA Indiana Chapter Scholarship Chair, Diana Fisher, at

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The Indiana Chapter UPCOMING EVENTS: AMWA Indiana Chapter Meeting Saturday, 27 January 2007

AMWA Indiana Chapter Meeting Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tour of the Indiana Medical History Museum

Nanotechnology: The Next Big Thing in Medicine?

The Indiana Medical History Museum (IMHM) is located in the “Old Pathology Building” of the former Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane on Indy’s West side. The building was constructed in 1895 and inaugurated in 1896. It is the oldest free_standing pathology facility in the nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Check out the web site at:

Panelists from Purdue University and Eli Lilly and Company will introduce us to current developments at the intersection of nanoscience, biology, and medicine. Think about the possibilities! What if devices smaller than cells could detect disease and deliver therapeutic agents to those cells? What if devices in the bloodstream could capture drug-resistant bacteria or repair blood vessels? Can an industry that organizes resources and regulations into categories called “drugs” and “devices” adapt and keep pace with “nano” innovation? Are we ready to write protocols, risk profiles, investigator brochures, and medical letters about “nano” products? Bring your ideas when we discuss the implications of this technology for our work as medical writers.

You won’t want to miss this! The IMHM shows the beginnings of modern medicine and psychiatry. The museum contains a preserved autopsy room, laboratories, tissue samples, teaching amphitheater, and more! Experience what it was like to be a patient or medical practitioner over a century ago. Where: Indiana Medical History Museum, 3045 W. Vermont Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222. Directions from downtown Indianapolis: 1. Follow Washington St. west to Warman Ave. 2. Turn right onto Warman Ave. 3. Follow Warman Ave. to Vermont Street. 4. Turn left onto Vermont St. 5. Follow Vermont St. to the entrance of the IMHM. (You will pass the former Central Indiana Hospital and see the museum entrance on your left.) Parking is in front of the building.

Meeting agenda: 11:00 Chapter business (in the Amphitheater) 11:15 Tour of the Museum 12:20 Wrap up of Museum Tour

Where: Pike Branch, Indianapolis Public Library, 6525 N. Zionsville Road, Indianapolis IN. Directions from downtown Indianapolis: 1. Take I-65 north or I-70 west. Take I-465 northbound. 2. Exit I-456 at the 71st Street exit (on west side of Indianapolis). At the ramp’s end, turn right (eastbound) onto 71st Street. 3. Continue eastbound about 0.5 miles, and turn right (southbound) onto Zionsville Road. There is a stoplight at the intersection of Zionsville Road and 71st Street. 4. Continue southbound about 0.5 mile. Pike Branch Library is on the left (east) side of the street, close to the Pike Performing Arts Center. Free parking is available in the library’s lot. The meeting room is to the left of the library’s main entry way.

Meeting agenda: 5:30 Refreshments and networking 6:00 Chapter business 6:15 Panelist presentations and Q&A 7:15 Networking

AMWA Indiana Chapter Newsletter January 2007

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The Indiana Chapter

Professional Accomplishments and Activities Recent conference presentations: • •

• • • • •

Teresa Armstrong: workshop at the Annual Conference, “Package Inserts” Teresa Armstrong: poster at the Annual Conference, “It Takes a Village: A Recent Experiment Annotating a Proposed US Package Insert“ Julie Beyrer: breakfast roundtable at the Annual Conference, “Writing with International Partners/Contributors” Linda Fechner: workshop at the Annual Conference, “Basic Hematology for Medical Writers and Editors” Diana Fisher: breakfast roundtable at the Annual Conference, “Tips for Communicating with Difficult People” Deborah Frisby: breakfast roundtable at the Annual Conference, “Writing the Clinical Overview” Jeff Mathews: poster at the Annual Conference, “It Takes a Village: A Recent Experiment Annotating a Proposed US Package Insert“.

AMWA FACTS: AMWA offers competitive award programs:

2006-2007 AMWA Indiana Chapter Board: President: President-Elect: Secretary: Treasurer: Membership Chair: Program Chair: Education Chair: Scholarship Chair: Newsletter Editor: Website Manager:

Deborah Frisby Diana Fisher Elaine Crabtree Ingrid Edgemon-Hensley Cynthia Hooper Julie Beyrer Linda Tabas Diana Fisher Cynthia Hooper Heather Miller

See the website for contact information:

About AMWA: The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) is a national organization for writers, editors, and other professionals in medicine and science. The association was founded in 1940 and has regional chapters throughout the United States and Canada and members in 26 countries throughout the world. Through an extensive educational program, various publications, and unparalleled opportunities for networking, AMWA encourages and enables its members to extend their professional expertise.

We need YOUR help!

The Eric W. Martin Memorial Awards are given for excellence in medical writing, in three categories: monographs, articles for lay audience, and articles for professional audience.

Please let us know about your professional accomplishments and activities (for example, completion of AMWA, BELS, or other certifications; conference presentations, academic achievements).

The Medical Book Awards were established more than 30 years ago by AMWA to recognize the best of the best in non-fictional and fictional medical writing. Awards are presented to authors of the best English-language medical book, in three categories: books for physicians, books for allied health professionals, and trade books.

Also consider sharing your professional skills, wisdom, and experience with your professional colleagues by submitting original articles for publication in the AMWA Indiana Chapter newsletter and/or website. Contact the Newsletter Editor, Cynthia Hooper, at

Go to for details.

AMWA Indiana Chapter Newsletter January 2007

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Profile for Indiana AMWA

January 2007  

January 2007