I am writing to ask you personally to help us increase the membership of ASBH. I would appreciate it if you would read this letter over fully, and then get back to me with any ideas, concerns, or further steps you believe we should take as an organization. (Some of you may receive this letter in hard copy as well.)As leaders in the field, I believe it is our responsibility to create and sustain a professional organization that can accommodate the needs of its members, represent the interests of the field, and mentor the next generation of scholars. For that reason, I would like to encourage you to solicit your faculty, colleagues, and students to join the organization. Perhaps you yourself are no longer a member. Some have let their membership slip because they felt the organization was no longer serving their needs. Some have left because of ideological differences with the Society. Some have chosen to put their time and effort into other professional organizations. I am sure there are other reasons as well.All are understandable. I would like to suggest, however, that we are entering a new moment in the history of ASBH. The organization is being suffused with a new, young generation of scholars looking for mentorship from the experienced scholars in the field. Ideologically, the organization is open to change, and this may be just the time that input from those who feel strongly about issues in the field can have their greatest influence.As the membership grows, we have an opportunity to expand the scope and number of sessions in the Annual Meeting. We will become more financially stable. We will have a greater influence over the national dialogue about the delivery of care, the unequal allocation of health care resources, global health priorities, the technologization of health and medicine, and all the other issues that are so important in this time of rapid change. I am asking your help to improve even further the level of that conversation at ASBH.
Please: if you are not a member, join, or rejoin ASBH. Encourage your colleagues to join throughout your institution. Distribute this email and the website url to your students. In order to give even a bit more incentive, join before June 1, and we can offer a 10% discount on memberships (send in only $60, $85, $100 or $125 from the four membership categories).
As you know, the ASBH is a dynamic and wide-ranging professional society made up of clinicians, bioethicists, legal scholars, philosophers, theologians, social scientists, historians, and scholars of the medical humanities, among others. The Annual Meeting will be held this year from October 18-21 in Washington, D.C. The theme, Connecting and Collaborating, is dedicated to the widest participation of people from across disciplines and ideological positions.In addition to the Annual Meeting, joining ASBH has other benefits. Members receive discounts on ten of the major journals in the field; receive our newsletter, ASBH Exchange, with articles and features; have access to the ASBH website, including access to our large membership directory; can join affinity groups in their areas of interest; and can become members of the premier community of scholars in bioethics and the medical humanities.
Please take advantage of this singular opportunity to join ASBH at a discount, and please distribute this letter to your colleagues and students, or refer them the ASBH website, www.asbh.org. I encourage you to contact me personally to discuss any issues of concern that you have about ASBH, its past, or its future. You can reach me at (215) 898-7136. If you have membership questions, please call our Executive Director, Amy Claver, at (847) 375-4877. With your help, ASBH will continue to grow and flourish as we face the challenges of the coming decades.
Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D.President
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Paul Root Wolpe, Ph.D.Departments of Psychiatry, Medical Ethics, and Sociology
and Center for BioethicsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPenn homepage: http://www.bioethics.upenn.edu/people/?last=Root_Wolpe&first=Paul