Share Your Story

Celebrating Associations is a blog produced by .orgCommunity that highlights the achievements of associations and the great impact they have on the industries they serve.

Share YOUR Story. How is your association making a difference for its profession or in the community? How is your organization delivering on its mission and its strategic plan? What operations process have you changed that has transformed your association?

Contact for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed.

Not yet a .orgCommunity member? Invest in yourself and your organization by joining the .orgCommunity, which nurtures innovation in leaders through peer-to-peer interactions and programming.

Association Generosity Lifts Mark Nagasawa Up the Mountain

Mark Nagasawa’s life changed dramatically on September 12, 2017. After a day of flu-like symptoms, Mark’s wife, Kat, found him confused and disoriented in their living room. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors diagnosed a heart attack and a PCA ischemic stroke. Following the first stroke, Mark had two more, which left both his speech and his vision on the left side impaired.

Mark was the education manager at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) where his wife, Kat, also serves as director of operations and governance. The association community was quick to circle the wagons around their colleagues in a time of need. Just 13 days after Sherry Budziak, CEO and co-founder of .orgSource and .orgCommunity, posted Mark’s story on, $14,135 was raised from 104 friends, co-workers and caring colleagues. The many messages of support on Mark’s gofundme site are a heart-warming example of the bond that forms among people who work in the association family.


Following his hospital stay, Mark was transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for rehabilitation therapy. He is now able to have visitors and makes daily progress. But, there are months, and perhaps even years, ahead until recovery. Kat’s mantra for herself and Mark is “to conquer a really big mountain, you focus on each step and not on how high you must climb.”

One of the great rewards of working in the non-profit sector is its emphasis on people and mission. Friends from many different associations have given the Nagasawas a boost up their mountain. People who had never met the family demonstrated this group’s huge heart and willingness to support one of their own. Megan Schagrin, executive director of SAEM, also played a leading role in making Mark’s fundraiser a success. The goal is to raise $25,000 to help with the ongoing expenses associated with Mark’s recovery, such as finding a new home that is ADA compliant and purchasing a car that can accommodate his wheelchair. Visit this link to help the Nagasawas on their journey to the summit.



Associations Rally with Diapers, Formula and Love for Hurricane Maria’s Most Fragile Victims

When Laura Lewis received a desperate plea from a pediatric hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she swung into action. Following Hurricane Maria’s devastation of the island, the hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. The challenges of power outages, adequate food and clean water were compounded by the need for both medical and basic supplies, as well as critical care clinicians. Laura, who is director of technology at the Society for Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), is also the Deputy Team Leader of SCCM’s Emergency Response Team and immediately put out a call to her colleagues to render aid.  As SCCM has a long history of assisting in disaster recovery, the team quickly announced the need for volunteers and within 24 hours had over 300 critical care clinicians ready to go to the island. Further, the Society contacted its vendor community and asked them to provide medical supplies which were badly needed and they likewise responded with urgent shipments. This had been the standard way in which SCCM responded when the call for aid came from its members. But as Laura reported to her contact in San Juan and prepared to close the case, an unusual request was made. Could SCCM get non-medical supplies such as diapers, baby food, formula, and other items of need for their pediatric patients?

22221918_10155773968785818_8241926250547079965_nWith support and encouragement from CEO, David J. Martin, Laura set up a wish list on Amazon and sent out a message asking the critical care community to consider donating. The response was amazing. Daily delivery trucks began bringing boxes of all shapes and sizes to SCCM headquarters, sometimes over 1,000 at a time. The staff Emergency Response team rallied the entire SCCM staff who reported to the warehouse and unpacked, sorted and re-boxed tens of thousands of items.22279749_10155782925030818_3952246968541933366_n (1)

On October 9, 2017, a full tractor trailer load, 23 pallets of baby food, clothing and other essentials, shipped from SCCM’s headquarters headed to San Juan.  On October 12, a second tractor trailer load followed. Laura describes her appreciation for the extraordinary support like this, “The turnout for our call for donations was beyond anything we could have imagined. Co-workers and their families came in on Columbus Day (It’s a holiday for us) to help pack, organize and load the truck. I’m so amazed at the generosity of so many!”

22219883_10155771407380818_5313005626985786952_o“This big-hearted response is what I’ve come to expect from our association community,” says Sherry Budziak, co-founder of .orgCommunity and CEO of .orgSource. “Ours is a caring group that is eager to do good in the world and to extend a hand to children and others in need.”

The Amazon drive is closed now, but it’s not too late to help. You can make a cash donation by contacting or calling 847-827-6888.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine is the world’s largest nonprofit medical organization dedicated exclusively to improving care of the critically ill and injured. With members in more than 100 countries, SCCM is the only organization that represents all professional components of the critical care team. The Society offers a variety of activities that ensure excellence in patient care, education, research and advocacy.










Celebrating Associations: How CHEST Took Operational Transformation to Heart

Celebrating Associations is a blog produced by .orgCommunity that highlights achievements of associations and the great impact on the industries they serve.

This issue is exclusively sponsored by Web Courseworks Ltd.

Association and History: Founded in 1935 by a single patient, CHEST (the American College of Chest Physicians) aims to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. The Glenview, Ill.-based nonprofit offers content in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine throught its CelebratingAssociations-Dots-LessTextjournal CHEST, year-round meetings, live and online courses, books, and mobile apps. Accredited by ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education) and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, CHEST also provides simulation education. The CHEST Foundation provides clinical research and community service grants, patient education tools, and more.

About Its Members: With more than 19,000 members and 60,000 customers, CHEST serves a variety of chest medicine professionals who deliver patient care in more than 100 countries. The CHEST community includes physicians specializing in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine, cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric pulmonologists, anesthesiologists, general medicine physicians, hospitalists, and more. Beyond physicians, CHEST also engages advanced practice nurses, fellows-in-training, medical students, interns, residents, physician assistants, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, practice administrators, and industry professionals.

We’re Celebrating at CHEST Because: At the end of April, CHEST will have successfully completed its first full year since implementation of a new association management system (AMS) and new membership model.

And Also Because: CHEST is continuing to innovate in response to challenges facing all organizations—demographic changes, technology evolvement, and the shift from growing “membership” to growing “engagement of the profession”. Whether it’s understanding the impact of Millennials on the market, responding to the need to “go mobile” with education and communications, or thinking about how to respond to all customers—not just members—CHEST’s staff and volunteer leadership continues to innovate.

We’ll Learn More in an Interview With: Paul A. Markowski, CHEST’s Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, and Ronald M. Moen, CHEST’s Chief Information Officer.

Q: What do you think CHEST has done particularly well in the last couple of years? 

A: We are less structured on a membership based on titles, degrees and clinical categories—we are more open-armed. CHEST welcomes all who provide clinical care for patients with chest disease, engaging physicians as well as other providers such as nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, and physician assistants. In the past, the community was more physician-focused and had fewer categories of membership. Now we are less of a physicians-only organization, and more about the delivery of team-based care and great patient outcomes.

At the same time, we are going more “niche.” We have found that is better than trying to be everything to everybody. We are more clear, more focused on what we’re good at, which is clinical education.

CHEST’s new headquarters in Glenview, Ill.

Q: Describe in more detail the physical and philosophical changes CHEST has recently made to deliver on its mission and value.

A: During a three to four-year endeavor, we brought together leaders from all the different departments—from governance to education to marketing to publications—to choose optimal technology solutions for our internal and external customers. Our robust, new AMS/CRM was launched last spring to improve and simplify the way the CHEST community engages with the organization online. We also embarked on a new LMS, CMS, and self-service website within the past four years—as well as moved to a new built-to-suit headquarters building. Not many organizations have the fortitude to take on all of these initiatives in the same time span. But if you don’t have this synchronization of technology and operations, you can’t get the 360-degree view of the member.

The synchronization and roll out of the technology is paying off in spades. From improved membership renewal processes to pushing out product and service recommendations, the expectations and adoptions of the new technology are high. Success at the end overshadowed what we went through, but should not minimize the challenges, even drama at times, and the sweat equity of staff taking on as much as they did—almost doubling what they were doing by leading us through design and implementation of new solutions.

Along with implementing new technology, we launched a new membership model last spring. Since its launch, we’ve been able to retain more than 90 percent of existing members, while increasing membership across every targeted growth segment—from non-physician health care professionals and industry members, to global members and all levels and types of clinicians in training.

We also now evaluate new project ideas through a strategic gating process. While an idea may seem good and necessary, the timing may not be optimal or the idea may not be revenue producing. With gating in place, we make data-driven decisions.

Q: What changes at CHEST are on the horizon? What new offerings or improvements are being planned for internal and external customers?

A: We’re now looking at a new growth strategy. We’re opening ourselves up for new communities to participate with us. We’re creating opportunities to offer and distribute education digitally. For instance, this fall CHEST will be offering 90 online courses that will be mobile enabled and CME eligible as we see a lot of continuing medical education is more adaptable to “burst learning”.

We have changed our content and marketing strategy. It’s no longer about what you make and push out. It’s about what you have and can make available for people to obtain when and how they want it. It’s making the right content available to them at the right time on the right device. It’s a very different way for organizations to think. It’s a change from classic product marketing to content marketing—so everything is ready for when the consumer needs it. We just need to make sure our brand and content is well enough known.

CHEST has been providing simulation-based, hands-on education for more than a decade. We are now working on attracting more societies to host their simulation training in our new facility. These groups can construct their content and faculty, but not have to make the infrastructure investment. We are a great bridge from research and development to the real ICU. In addition, we rent out space for non-clinical purposes—such as leadership retreats—as it is an innovative meeting space outside the clinical realm.

Q: What’s a particular challenge that CHEST faces?

A: Being able to consistently deliver high-quality education experiences globally, keeping in the mind the competency, culture and levels of sophistication of various countries. For example, CHEST is now in China helping to create a subspecialty in pulmonary and critical care—something the United States did 30 years ago. It’s a daunting task to manage the desire of hundreds of physicians in China who want to be trained in this subspecialty while working with the Chinese government and health ministry.

Q: If you could wave a magic wand and accomplish or obtain anything for CHEST, what would it be?

A: More “patience” and “patients” for our physicians and community members. The immediacy of the medical community to have the “here and now” is always a challenge. Wanting to be the first with knowledge and being up to date is a very challenging balancing act.

Also important is maximizing and optimizing our simulation training center as well as making our on-demand, online education more readily available so folks don’t have to come to a live-learning session to access important training.

And increasing our business intelligence to make even more informed decisions and identify future customers is always a desire.

Share YOUR Story: What great things is your association doing for its profession or for its operations? How is your organization delivering on its mission and its strategic plan? Contact for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed. 

Not yet a .orgCommunity member? Invest in yourself and your organization by joining the .orgCommunity, which nurtures innovation in leaders through peer-to-peer interactions and programming.

This issue is proudly sponsored by Web Courseworks Ltd.

BluBlk_tagline_2014A Message From Our Sponsor
At Web Courseworks Ltd., we believe that online learning should be so engaging, accessible, and impactful that it changes learners and improves the quality of their practice.

So we designed and developed CourseStage LMS to help associations and nonprofits deliver on-demand online learning, and connect learners in place-based live and virtual live events into a centralized learning platform. Our clients use CourseStage LMS to expand their educational influence in their markets, to increase revenue from their education departments, and to serve their members with outstanding credit and certification-awarding learning experiences. Lifelong learners find their home in CourseStage, and associations find a long-term, broad-based partner in Web Courseworks.

Celebrating Associations: Association for Corporate Growth

Celebrating Associations is a weekly blog produced by .orgCommunity, celebrating the achievements of associations and the great impact on the industries they serve.

CelebratingAssociations-Dots-LessTextAssociation and History: Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth has 59 chapters and 14,500 members around the world. ACG serves 90,000 investors, executives, lenders and advisers to growing middle-market companies. ACG’s mission is to drive middle-market growth. Headquartered in Chicago, ACG provides events, online tools, structured networking opportunities, market intelligence and other business-building resources for middle-market dealmakers and business leaders who invest in growth and build companies.

About its Members: ACG brings together every segment of the growth community. They include private equity professionals, investment bankers and intermediaries, attorneys, auditors and accountants, lenders, corporate development officers, company leaders and others focused on the middle market.

We’re Celebrating at the ACG Because … of its popular suite of media offerings created just three years ago, which includes a digital magazine, Middle Market Growth website, weekly e-newsletter and daily newsfeed. MMG media keeps more than 90,000 middle-market dealmaking professionals up to date on news, trends, best practices and thought leadership on all segments of the middle market.

MMG.Org screen shot

We’ll learn more in an interview with Kristin Gomez, ACG’s vice president, communications & marketing.

Q: What do you think ACG has done particularly well in the last couple of years?

A: Over the last three years, ACG has ramped up its communications efforts in so many ways. First, we launched a monthly digital magazine—Middle Market Growth. Next, we introduced an additional rebranded suite of smaller digital media that includes: podcasts, videos, webinars, and daily and weekly newsletters. We have ramped up our social media efforts and use our network to push out important content and also keep track of what’s happening in the private equity industry. Lastly, we have introduced brand standards, creating a more polished look and feel for everything that is communicated to our members and external audiences. It’s a huge effort completed by a great team of marketing, creative, editorial and communication professionals who work on the team.

Q: What’s a particular challenge that ACG faces?

A: On the communication front, competing in an age of information overload is a challenge for ACG, as it is for all association publishers who are trying to get their content in front of key audiences. Because ACG members are professionals in the private equity space, our readership goes first to major publications like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Bloomberg in addition to smaller, specialized industry publications.

While these publications are typically the first stop for our members, it does provide ACG the opportunity to use our publications to cover the latest trends and news specific to our industry and from the point of view of our members and their peers. We do this by focusing on not only the latest deals and investment patterns, but by showcasing the people who are doing the deals. The human curiosity of “who’s featured this month in MMG” works in our favor.

The other challenge—and this goes for all publications and most media—is revenue. We are constantly trying to figure out ways to attract advertisers and develop content offerings that support the financial weight of producing the magazine without compromising the integrity of our publications.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Q: If you could wave a magic wand and accomplish or obtain anything for ACG, what would it be?

A: Greater continuity between our chapters. ACG is a global organization with 59 chapters worldwide and they are the lifeblood of the organization. However, their size difference and membership mix creates varied challenges that must be met with a customized approach. Because they are the local presence, it’s critically important that they are supported and have a strong footprint in their communities.

My biggest wish is that we had more tools to help on a daily basis to attract new members and retain existing members. We are currently working on that at the global level. We are finding that the most desired tools are marketing and communication resources. By the end of the year, we hope to have built an entire library of marketing and communications tools available to all chapters through our new web portal. So if a chapter is looking to promote an event, create a new newsletter or find best practices to recruit and retain members, they can rely on the global headquarters for the guidance and resources they need.

Q: What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing associations over the next 10 years?

A: Membership. I think declining membership and the association structure as we know it is not the most sustainable model to cater to the Millennial generation and beyond. Working in associations for the last 12 years, I see a shift in the needs and wants of these new and up-and-coming professionals. No longer is the “I’m a card-carrying member” mantra of any prestige to this group. They want a sense of belonging, community, an opportunity to network and a place to develop their career. They can get that in other places beyond associations today. Also, there is a lot of dogma in associations and change is not as quick as it should be so this becomes less of a value proposition to a younger generation.

My wish for ACG is that it is able to embrace a new crop of financial professionals and quickly assimilate them into the leadership of this organization. I believe it’s a risk to make this demographic wait years to get on important committees and the boards of directors. Their opinion can sway peers to either join ACG and invest in the organization or choose to search elsewhere because they feel there isn’t a place for them here. The good news is that many of our 59 chapters have picked up on this trend and have created programs to include professionals under 35 into their leadership structure as well as offer events and programing that connects Millennials to each other and more seasoned professionals in ACG. In this way they are bridging “the gap,” resulting in a happier, more loyal member.

Q: What do you enjoy most working for ACG?

A: Hands down, the people. We meet so many great people through Middle Market Growth. The magazine has given ACG the opportunity to interview and meet countless top financial professionals who buy and grow middle-market companies and brands as well as feature the accomplishments and stories of our members. It’s been a true honor to hear from such educated and visionary people, and it’s a pleasure working for this industry.

Share YOUR Story: What great things is your association doing for its profession or for its operations? How is your organization delivering on its mission and its strategic plan? Contact for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed. 

Not yet a .orgCommunity member? Invest in yourself and your organization by joining the .orgCommunity, which nurtures innovation in leaders through peer-to-peer interactions and programming.

Celebrating Associations: APICS

Celebrating Associations is a weekly blog produced by .orgCommunity, celebrating the achievements of associations and the great impact on the industries they serve.

Association and History: CelebratingAssociations-Dots-LessTextAPICS is the professional society for supply chain and operations management professionals.  It provides research, education and certification programs to advance supply chain excellence and innovation. In 1957, 20 production control managers met in Cleveland to form the American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS). It became an international organization in 1961, upon chartering the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, chapter. Today, APICS stands more than 45,000 members strong—headquartered in Chicago, but representing supply chain management professionals around the world.

About its Members: APICS professional members either support or serve various areas of end-to-end supply chain and operations management. About 80 percent of the membership is based in North America, while 20 percent is located throughout the world. Individuals and companies belonging to APICS may participate in education and training, access industry publications and research, and pursue internationally recognized designations. APICS credentials include: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM), Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) and Supply Chain Operations Reference Professional (SCOR-P).  Later in 2016 APICS is launching a new credential: Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD).

We’re Celebrating at APICS Because … its membership strategy is improving member retention rates and helping APICS to grow.

We’ll learn more about efforts and outcomes in an interview with Jim Pavletich, CAE, APICS’ vice president of membership and customer experience, who leads the organization’s membership acquisition and retention strategy and oversees customer service and fulfillment.

Q: What drove the new membership strategy?

A: APICS leadership recognized that we had a problem with retaining members. My responsibility upon joining APICS in 2014 was to implement a membership strategy that would increase the value of membership to each individual member. APICS’ overall membership retention rate was at 64 percent; the goal for this strategy was to increase membership—for all dues-paying categories—to more than 70 percent. In 2015, we achieved 67 percent retention. This year, the goal is 70 percent retention.

Q: Describe some of the efforts underway.

A: In short, we have made a significant IT investment to better understand what our members are seeking from us. We now obtain the reason—the motivator—for members joining or renewing. We ask members to select one of several different motivators, which include: starting or advancing your career, enhancing your professional value, staying informed of industry developments, expanding your professional network, or seeking leadership opportunities within APICS. We now also track purchases, downloads and activity on our website per individual.

Based on “motivator” responses and activity tracking, we may change how we approach individuals. APICS offers dozens of “universal” membership benefits. So once we learn of an individual’s membership motivation and track their activity for a period of time, we essentially shuffle the list of benefits and bring to the top—once they log into the website or access the newly released membership mobile app—the most relevant benefits that meets what that particular member is seeking.

In December 2015, we also put in place a way to measure member engagement. Members are assigned a numeric value in the database that measures their engagement level based on an index. We zeroed in on several variables: how often a member logs into the website, whether the member attended the annual conference, if the member is a chapter officer, is in their first year of membership, has purchased a product or service, or has taken a certification exam. We process this information in the database and compare it against the data collected to arrive at a composite engagement score. Last year, the average composite engagement score was 17.5 for professional members; we want to improve that score by 5 points this year by increasing product sales and increasing the number of members accessing the website.

Meet the APICS membership team, which is delivering on the organization’s membership strategy. Pictured L to R: Steve Aspacher, Bryan Warren, Dana Day, Scott Parker, Kathleen Schroeder and Jim Pavletich.

Q: What indicates whether a member is at risk and requires attention versus one who does not?

A: We are working on member communications plans for various levels of engagement. For those scoring between zero and 20, we will have certain, targeted messaging about what we can do for them to improve their experience and also a plan for how often we will contact them. We will consider the outreach a success if we can get them to retain their membership.

Q: Any other new membership endeavors worth sharing?

A: We will be rolling out new membership benefit bundles in the months ahead to reward members for increased engagement. For example, those pursuing either the CSCP or CPIM credentials can elect to pay a bit more for the CSCP or CPIM membership bundle (versus the “core” membership package) and will then receive discounts on preparation materials, exam fees, certification frame or plaque, etc.

APICS’ Bryan Warren holds an iPad displaying the new APICS membership app.

Also, we’ve noticed that once people earn their certification, a lot of members stop their membership. We are hoping to reverse this trend by encouraging members to elect the less expensive, core membership bundle after they receive their certification and need contact hours to maintain it.

In addition, we no longer charge students for membership. As a result, we have seen a 66 percent increase in this membership segment in 2015 (About 7,000 APICS members are students).

Finally, we’re implementing web evaluation software so that members and customers can provide feedback on website navigation, content, look and feel, and performance to help us know where to target ongoing improvement. We will benchmark the website scores against Fortune 500 companies who also are using this software. We recently started to A/B test web pages—splitting among users the pages they see and measuring outcomes, so that we can know what our visitors prefer. This year we plan to make the entire APICS website responsive so that it delivers an optimal experience across all devices—smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.

Q: Are you pleased with the results from all of these efforts?

A: Yes, we’re already seeing positive results from the pieces of this strategy that have been put into place. All of these changes are driving and showing value to members. Through this strategy, we are demonstrating to our members that we get who they are, and that we can tailor our offerings to what they are seeking.

Share YOUR Story: What great things is your association doing for its industry or for its operations? Contact for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed.

Not yet a member of .orgCommunity? Invest in yourself and your organization by joining the .orgCommunity, which nurtures innovation in leaders through peer-to-peer interactions and programming.

Celebrating Associations: The Joint Commission


Celebrating Associations is a weekly blog produced by .orgCommunity, celebrating the achievements of associations and the great impact on the industries they serve.

CelebratingAssociations-Dots-LessTextAssociation and History: An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. TJC seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

Founded in 1951, TJC is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. TJC evaluates and accredits nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. To earn and maintain TJC’s Gold Seal of Approval®, an organization undergoes an on-site survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. (Laboratories are surveyed every two years.)

TJC is governed by a 32-member Board of Commissioners that includes: physicians, administrators, nurses, employers, quality experts, a consumer advocate and educators. TJC employs approximately 1,000 people in its surveyor force, at its central office in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., and at an office in Washington, D.C.

We’re celebrating TJC because … of its Speak Up™ patient health and awareness campaign, which recently added “reduce admissions” and “safe use of antibiotics” to its growing list of more than 20 topics. According to a 2014 survey, 86 percent of the approximately 1,600 respondents want TJC to sponsor more campaigns; 80 percent are very likely or somewhat likely to recommend the program to a colleague; 67 percent use Speak Up information in patient educational materials; 62 percent say Speak Up empowers and educates patients and makes them a partner in their care; and nearly 50 percent use the information for staff education.

We’ll learn more in an interview with Dawn Glossa, MPA, TJC’s director of corporate communications.

Q: What inspired the launch of the Speak Up™ patient safety awareness campaign?

A: In March 2002, TJC launched its Speak Up™ patient safety program. Over time, the program has expanded to more than 40 countries and features infographics, animated videos, brochures and posters. The program urges patients to:

  • Speak up if you have questions or concerns.
  • Pay attention to the care you get.
  • Educate yourself about your illness.
  • Ask a trusted family member or friend to be your advocate (advisor or supporter).
  • Know what medicines you take and why you take them.
  • Use a health care organization that has been carefully checked out.
  • Participate in all decisions about your treatment.

Speak Up was created to support our mission in providing safe care for everyone.

The Joint Commission is located in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. Photo courtesy of The Joint Commission.

Q: What is the purpose of the campaign?

A: Speak Up information is used for public service announcements, websites, community newsletters, health fairs, closed circuit patient education television, and staff orientation. The popular animated videos have been downloaded by organizations in more than 70 countries. In a survey conducted in 2014:

  • More than 67 percent use Speak Up information in patient educational materials.
  • 62 percent said Speak Up empowers and educates patients and makes them a partner in their care.
  • Nearly 50 percent use the information for staff education.

Q: How often are new topics added? How are they determined?  

A: New topics are determined by surveying customers on what issues are “keeping them up at night” along with paying close attention to public health issues that are bubbling up. We chose three topics annually based on this data.

Q: What campaign features are most popular (Infographics? Animated videos? Brochures/posters?)

A: In 2015, we introduced the infographic to replace the brochure and posters—it has been very popular. Our videos are still the most favorite.

Q: How is the campaign’s success measured?

A: We don’t have a set measure for success, but rather focus on how many folks we are reaching. We are in 40 countries in print and 70 in video, and produce Speak Up in English and Spanish. Many others have translated them in their native language. 

Q: Did TJC anticipate this type of impact? Do these results exceed expectations, or does this just prove the campaign is on target?

A: Not at all what we expected. The growth of the program surprised us, but we are thrilled that it is being used with such reach. This growth shows that patient safety is an important topic.

Q: Who is the target audience?

A: Targeted audiences include anyone who has an interaction with one of our accredited customers. We accredit: hospitals, behavioral health organizations (including foster care, rehab, therapy), rehabilitation hospitals, ambulatory care organizations, nursing care centers, and home health agencies.

Q: What is the staff vs. volunteer involvement in shaping this campaign?

A: We rely on our internal experts, which include: physicians, nurses, therapists, and other health care professionals. We also work closely with medical specialty societies for content expertise.

Q: Explain what impacted the design and technical choices for the videos, infographics, etc.

A: The goal of Speak Up was to assure that it was appealing to all audiences. The video format is engaging and easy for all ages and education levels to understand. The infographic adds a modern way to portray the information clearly.

Q: What is the annual campaign budget?

A: We spend approximately $20,000 in production costs each year, with internal staff talent for development.

Q: Any parting thoughts?

A: Sometimes looking at your mission can also allow you to give your membership an extra piece of value. Our Speak Up program allows us and our customers to improve patient safety.

Share YOUR Story: What great things is your association doing for its industry or for its operations? Contact for details about submitting a story or to be interviewed.

Not yet a member of .orgCommunity? Invest in yourself and your organization by joining the .orgCommunity, which nurtures innovation in leaders through peer-to-peer interactions and programming.