Over the past year, we have continuously navigated the impact of the SarsCoV2 virus on our loved ones, patients, and our small and mighty society of general internist and its supporters. I am grateful for the opportunity to pause and consider how we continue to face continuous challenges and change.
On any given day, especially those filled with regret, disappointment, and failure—Yes, I, too, have those—I stand firmly on the shoulders of those who supported before me to go on to another day. I am indebted to all those who cheer me on or lighten the load daily. During the past year as President, I tapped into these sources of renewal and strength. If it were not for these MANY sources, neither I nor the society would be able to make progress forward. I am personally able to lead, grateful for my belief in a higher power that moves beyond me. I am also forever grateful for my ancestors for whom if they had given up, I would not be here today. As someone who can trace their ancestry back to the 1870 census, with formally enslaved family members on both sides, I am sure I have exceeded their wildest dreams.
I want to publicly express my deepest appreciation to both the inherited and chosen family members who supported me, even at times when they could not fathom what they were supporting me to do. I owe a great deal of my ability to navigate medicine and academia as a mother to Morgan and Grant and wife to Andrew Campbell, MD, because as Caitlin Moran put it, there is no glass ceiling in my home.1 My mother Annie Lypson is a force to be reckoned with. She has always ensured I had the space and fortitude to fail, fail, and fail again knowing that success is made up of getting up after all those falls. Andrew’s parents and siblings have allowed me to move from one goal to the next. Many of you know my sister Lori Lypson and my bonus sister Helen Campbell, Andrew’s twin, who ensure my head always fits securely on my neck and that my children have two aunties and others to help them navigate the world. You know these two aunties because they often travel with me and support me in my professional pursuits.
Finally, Morgan and Grant Lypson-Campbell, who tolerate mom being on a call, away at meetings, and at times distracted because they are inherently filled with radical empathy for those I am serving. Their well-being would not be on solid ground if it had not been for the nannies and babysitters who continue to pray and secure their safety as they travel through this world, including Shela Sequin-Johnson, Brandon Harrison, Shelby Jefferson, Nisha Seebachan, Monica Coggins and Adeola Lawal, in addition to aunties and grandparents. These kind-hearted people are my secret sauce.
What you may not know is that I have an extended family and friend network that reaches into the hundreds; they are always there with a kind note via snail mail, homemade candies, and unbelievable support. The “Grants,” “The Browns,” “The Campbells,” and those who I did not even realize had no blood connection to me have reappeared in technicolor over the last two years in a weekly now monthly family zoom call.
Professionally, my first exposure to SGIM as you know was as a resident at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.2 I could not be more grateful for their Title VII grant that ensured this first contact with our society. Those BWH colleagues continue to sponsor me…sometimes I know it and other times I find out afterwards. I was able to solidity my work with the society with the support of the faculty and leadership at the University of Michigan. Thank you, Larry McMahon and James Woolliscroft who championed my work with SGIM as an important career milestone. My success in medical education research, presentations and publications at our meetings would not be possible without my friendship and collaboration with Paula Thompson.
It was JudyAnn Bigby, Valerie Stone, Giselle Corbie-Smith and Susana Morales who showed me the way as a woman of color in this organization. It is the ongoing guidance of Eric Bass, Arlene Brown, Jada Bussey-Jones, Crystal Cene, Hollis Day, Cristina Gonzalez, LeRoi Hicks, Dan Hunt, Thomas Inui, Jean Kutner, Rita Lee, Chavon Onumah, Donna Washington and many more that provide me respite on those difficult professional days.
I could not have run for office, nor succeeded in office, without the support of those affiliated with the VA and the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, Division of General Medicine faculty and the support of Chairs Alan Wasserman and Anton Sidawy and staff support Willie F. Dunne and Deborah Corvalan. I am also grateful to Columbia University Vagelos College of Physician & Surgeons in their championing my continued engagement with all of you.
As a society, over the course of the past 12 months we have been good stewards of our fiscal resources and solidified our philanthropic pillar. That work would not have been possible without Martha Gerrity, Liz Davey, and the philanthropy committee, Leslie Dunne, Hollis Day, and the support of the finance committee. We have ridden the ups and downs of at least two viral variants and subsequent surges to host a successful in person annual meeting. Corrine Melissari, with the support of Loubna Bennaoui, Matthew Tuck, and Nicole Redmon made the Annual meeting possible.
Despite the fiscal threats to our previous operational model, it was the hard work of the staff and others that ensured the opportunity to meet and network in person at our Council Retreat and ACLGIM’s Summit in December 2021. It is the fortitude of Kay Ovington, that has continued to lead the staff and our members in successful programming and meaningful work. Erika Baker with assistance from Naomi Waltengus successfully ensured the committee and commissions continued their engaging work and Dawn Haglund with Margaret Lo, on the Learning Management Taskforce, and its members launched our system that holds many promises for our members and our future work as a society.
Our regions continue to thrive despite the virus having profound impacts on the way they have done their work. Julie Oyler, with the nimble team of Judy Dalie and Tabria Lee-Noonan continue to engage our membership at the regional level and ensure virtual meeting success.
We continue to have outsized impact despite our size on critical issues related to access, health equity, primary care and its associated research, as well as with our peer organization. This, too, would not have been possible without Eric Bass, Liz Jacobs, and the health policy committee, Francine Jetton, and our collaborators at Cavarocchi-Ruscio-Dennis Associates. We are also indebted to Brenda Zacharko and Linda Woodland who served in key administrative supportive roles, with Mx. Woodland also assisting with accounting issues.
SGIM can only achieve as much as our infrastructure allows. In the past two years, we have realized how much we rely on our technical resources and the work of Julie Machulsky, who oversees this area. Muna Futur, with the assistance of Marley Dubrow, provides support to retain, grow, and engage our members with the assistance of Joe Hinkley who ensures our “SGIM Brand” is alive and well. Jennie Clarkson, and Rachel Roberts, Managing Editor, have worked with our journal editors to showcase the work of our members and others in the peer-reviewed scholarship arena. Taylor Wise uses a systematic approach to share our activities, announcements, and advances via our social media channels. Tiffany Leung, Frank Darmstadt, and Howard Petlack, ensure that our monthly Forum is captivating with each “turn” of the page.3
Finally, I am grateful to all of you for your patience and continued engagement with our awesome society. I recognize that it is the members that continue to ensure SGIM grows and adapts to the changing realties of the world we live in. I express my deepest appreciation for everyone behind the curtain who help ensure SGIM’s innovative educators, researchers, clinicians, and staff can achieve our mission to ensure better health for everyone and establish a just system of care in which all people can achieve optimal health.4
- Moran C. More Than a Woman. New York: Harper Perennial; 2020, pb.
- Why SGIM is my (and your) professional home—Career development. SGIM Forum. https://connect.sgim.org/sgimforum/viewdocument/why-sgim-is-my-and-your-professio. Published August 2021. Accessed March 15, 2022.
- SGIM Staff. SGIM Forum. https://www.sgim.org/about-us/staff.
- SGIM Vision and Values. SGIM Forum. https://www.sgim.org/about-us/visionvalues#:~:text=SGIM’s%20mission%20is%20to%20cultivate,to%20better%20health%20for%20everyone.
Advocacy, Leadership, Administration, & Career Planning, Medical Education, SGIM, Social Determinants of Health, Wellness
“During the past year as President, I tapped into sources of renewal and strength. If it were not for these many sources, neither I nor the society would be able to make progress forward. I recognize that it is the members that continue to ensure SGIM grows and adapts to the changing realties of the world we live in. I express my deepest appreciation for everyone behind the curtain who help ensure SGIM’s innovative educators, researchers, clinicians, and staff can achieve our mission to ensure better health for everyone and establish a just system of care in which all people can achieve optimal health.”
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