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The quarterly newsletter of AMWA-DVC 

In This Issue
May Meeting on Health Care Reform
Free Endnote Webinars
Can Certification Help Your Career?
Healthy and Wealthy Office
New AMWA-DVC Job Board

Quick Links

Spring 2013   


By Joanne Rosenberg


Our chapter's 2012-2013 closing event of the year will be held on June 13, 2013, at the Langhorne Sheraton in Langhorne, PA. In addition to the regular speaker program, there will be a brief recap of the chapter's business and nominations of the coming fiscal year's officers (President-Elect and Treasurer). Be sure to mark your calendars and watch for more information about registration!


This year the American Medical Writers Association-Delaware Valley Chapter (AMWA-DVC) will be electing a new President-Elect, for a one-year term followed by a year as President, and Treasurer, for a two-year term. Our chapter Secretary was elected last year and continues in the role for another year. The AMWA-DVC Nominating Committee was chaired by the current President-Elect, Joanne Rosenberg, assisted by Cyndy Kryder, Beth Pulaski, and Janet Manfre.


The committee has nominated Eileen McCaffrey for President-Elect and Amy Rovi for Treasurer. Both candidates have served our chapter in many ways over the years. Read the profiles of the candidates.  



Voting for chapter President-Elect and Treasurer will take place at the June business meeting. There will be no nominations from the floor at that meeting.


Members are invited to submit nominations for other officer candidates to the President-Elect and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Please send any such nominations to PresidentElect@amwa-dvc.org. If there are additional nominations, they must be submitted to the chapter secretary at least 30 days before that meeting, following the procedure described in the Chapter Bylaws.


We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!


Joanne Rosenberg is senior manager in medical writing projects at Allergan, Inc., and current AMWA-DVC president-elect.


The Affordable Care Act is reshaping health care delivery and payment structures in the U.S. Come learn about the implications and the opportunities for medical writers!



"Health Care Reform: What Inquiring Medical Writers Need to Know"



  • Neil I. Goldfarb, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health (GPBCH)
  • Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, MA (Econ.), MHSA (public health policy), health economist and management consultant
  • Dyana Tanasy, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey


Holiday Inn Philadelphia North/Fort Washington Hotel & Conference Center

432 West Pennsylvania Avenue, Fort Washington, PA 19034


Click here for more details about the meeting.   


Volunteers are needed to help with the 2014 Princeton Conference and the 2014 Freelance Workshop Committee, as well as other committees. Please contact Dawn Salamon at volunteer@amwa-dvc.org

lunch chat
Workshop attendees catching up: Jill Herr, MD, and Melissa Bogen, ELS
There was something for everyone this year at the 11th Annual AMWA-DVC Freelance Workshop. It took place on Saturday, March 16 at the Hilton Philadelphia Airport, Philadelphia, PA. If you missed the workshop this year, stay tuned for the comprehensive summary in the summer issue of the Delawriter.


Freelance Workshop panelists (l. to r.) Lori DeMilto, MJ, Brian Bass, and Michelle Dalton, ELS, answer questions during their presentation.



By Cyndy Kryder, MS


If you work in medical publications, then you're probably familiar with EndNote, a software program many medical communications firms use to keep track of the references that appear in a publication. Several DVC members have reported that EndNote is not a program you can download and start using immediately. EndNote takes a bit of a learning curve to become proficient; as a result, our chapter has received numerous requests for EndNote webinars.


We've attempted to secure EndNote experts to teach a webinar for our chapter on the topic, but we haven't had any success. We recently learned, however, that the publisher, Thomson-Reuters, provides several online tutorials you can watch for free. Thomson-Reuters also offers numerous live online training webinars through WebEx that you can attend, again at no cost.


For a list of scheduled webinars, go to the tutorials page and scroll down to the EndNote Training News box. Then click on EndNote Webinar Schedule. The EndNote Fast Start webinar is offered several times each month at different times to accommodate learners in different locations around the world. Thomson-Reuters also provides free training webinars for EndNote Advanced and EndNote Web for EndNote Users. Just click on the tabs below the Live Training heading.


Cyndy Kryder is a medical communications specialist, book author and Immediate Past President, AMWA-DVC.


By Beverly Stanley, ELS


Members of AMWA-DVC met at the Holiday Inn in Princeton, NJ on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 to learn more about BELS and CCMEP certifications that could affect earning potential and business opportunities.


BELS Certification

Laura Ninger, ELS, owner of Ninger Medical Communications, discussed the Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS) certification of the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS). She earned the ELS designation to validate her expertise in medical science editing. The ELS certification was developed by a team of editors in scientific editing and publishing. The first test was administered in 1994 as an SAT-type, 3-hour pass/fail exam, similar to exams in other professions. The test is held 3 times per year in locations around the world and remains the only certification test of its kind, although similar certifications are in development by the Council of Science Editors and AMWA.


To take the exam, candidates usually have a bachelor's degree and 2 years of experience as an editor in the life sciences. Total cost to apply and take the exam is $250. A study guide with sample questions is provided.


The test is comprehensive. Knowledge of grammar, punctuation, or spelling alone, or knowledge of science or medicine alone, is not sufficient to pass, Laura cautioned. The exam primarily assesses substantive editing skills: organization, coherence, consistency, and clarity. It also tests knowledge of basic terms, units of measure, tables, graphs, references, and publishing conventions. About 50% of the candidates do not pass the exam on their first attempt, regardless of their level of education. There are currently about 1000 ELS-certified editors worldwide, and certification is lifelong.


Because of its internationally recognized standards, the ELS designation provides employers with a means of selecting a candidate with proven editing proficiency, without having to administer an editing test. Laura's slide presentation showed that while some editors are not sure if certification has affected employment, salaries, rates, or numbers of clients, others claim the ELS professional designation has given them extra credibility.


CCMEP Certification

Scott Kober, CCMEP, Director of Content Development with the Institute for Continuing Healthcare Education in Philadelphia, PA, spoke about the Certified Continuing Medical Education Professional (CCMEP) certification. The certification was established by the National Commission for Certification of CME (NC-CME), a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the program was to certify candidates who could prove their skills in management and knowledge of adult learning and professional development for relicensing practicing physicians and physician assistants. The NC-CME developed a computer-based examination to provide proof of minimal competency. Eligibility to sit for the exam (at over 200 centers in the United States and Canada) includes documentation of education and experience in CME activities. Candidates may apply and register online.  


The examination fee is $450, and periodic re-certifications, with additional fees for each, are required. Scott thought the test was fairly easy to pass, with an 80% pass rate. Although he believes that the NC-CME certification is a credential to validate CME activity knowledge, not all employers are aware of the designation.


Beverly Stanley is the Medical Editor for Global Core Content & Knowledge Management at Bristol-Myers Squib.


Lighting Up Your Profits and Health

By Kathy Molnar-Kimber, PhD


As writers, we spend hours in our office getting wealthy, but many writers are also getting unhealthy. Would you be interested in boosting productivity by 15%? Improving your job satisfaction? Reducing the occasional muscle cramps or repetitive stress? I've been on a mission to find lifestyle changes that maintain or boost health while maintaining or enhancing effectiveness. In honor of the solstice on June 21, 2013, this column begins by providing additional perspectives to sunlight and 3 tips for boosting productivity.  


  1. Arrange your desk next to a window so that you can see the door and glance up toward one side to soak in a view of the outdoors. Rationales: (a) Most people do not like surprises while deep in thought and writing. Rearranging the furniture to view the door can free up some inner energy and release possible tension in the shoulders, according to feng shui.1 (b) Glancing out the window changes the focal point of the eyes. Just like any set of muscles, the eye muscles need variety to maintain flexible lenses that quickly adjust to various distances and light intensities. (c) Even indirect outdoor sunlight provides higher light intensity than light bulbs.2
  2. Consider installing full-spectrum daylight light bulbs. Rationales: (a) Daylight light bulbs helped engineering employees boost their productivity by 5% to 15%, reduce absenteeism (up to 47%), and improve job satisfaction.3 (b) Daylight lighting in schools reduced hostilities and increased academic performance of the students.4, 5 (c) Canadian students in schools with full-spectrum daylight light bulbs showed one-ninth the dental decay.3 We placed them in our kitchen, our den, and my office.
  3. Enjoy your lunch or a 5-minute break outside. Rationales: (a) Changing the scenery refreshes and stimulates the brain.6 (b) Sunlight can stimulate the pineal gland which helps maintain the sleep-wake cycle.7 (c) A higher light intensity and a long focal point help recharge eyes tired of focusing on the computer screen or other close materials.6


Hope these three tips help support your health while you generate tons of wealth in your office. Feedback is welcome.


Kathy Molnar-Kimber, PhD, is President of Kimnar Group LLC.


Disclaimer: This information has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended to replace medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. It is not intended to prevent, treat, mitigate, or cure any disease or condition. If concerned about any suggestion, please discuss with your healthcare provider to determine whether any potential benefits may be greater than risks for your situation.


Statements by contributors do not necessarily represent the positions of AMWA-DVC.



1. Collins TK. Feng Shui for Prosperity. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc.; 2008.

2. Schubert EF. Human eye sensitivity and photometric quantities. In: Light Emitting Diodes. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2006.

3. Edwards L, Torcellini P. A Literature Review of the Effects of Natural Light on Building Occupants. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory; 2002. NREL/TP-550-30769. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy02osti/30769.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2013.

4. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and US Department of Energy. Energy Smart Schools: How School Administrators and Board Members Are Improving Learning and Saving Money. Washington, DC: US Department of Energy; 2001. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy01osti/30558.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2013.

5. Wakefield J. Learning the hard way. Environ Health Perspect. 2002;110:300-305.

6. Molnar-Kimber K. Personal communication.

7. Sun X, Deng J, Liu T, Borjigin J. Circadian 5-HT production regulated by adrenergic signaling. PNAS. 2002;99:4686-4691.


2013 AMWA Annual Conference

Mark your calendars for AMWA's 73rd Annual Conference: Expanding Our Horizons


When: November 6-9, 2013

Where: Hyatt Regency Columbus, Columbus, OH

Get the conference details

AMWA-DVC has created a job board on our Web site that allows employers and recruiters to post job listings for a small fee ($15 for members, $30 for non-members) to reach the 600+ members in our chapter. The site offers employers a self-serve area where they can list openings and descriptions and provide a link to their company Web site.

Members can access listings for free. Jobs will remain on the site for up to 30 days at the low listing price, unless employers wish to remove them before 30 days have passed.


Be sure to receive the Delawriter and our chapter announcements! Please add membercommunications@amwa-dvc.org to your safe sender email list to avoid having our messages blocked by your internet service or email program.



Published quarterly by the American Medical Writers Association-Delaware Valley Chapter 


Executive Editor: Jennifer Maybin 

Editor: Amy Rovi 

Designers: Lori De Milto and Amy Rovi

Editorial Consultants: Elisha Darville, Robert Hand, Deepa Mothey, PhD, Dawn Salamon, Alan Struthers, PhD, and Jason Vian

E-mail List Manager: Amy Rovi  


Please direct change of address/information to AMWA Headquarters Staff:


American Medical Writers Association
30 West Gude Drive, Suite 525
Rockville, MD 20850-1161
(240) 238-0940 (tel)
(301) 294-9006 (fax)
e-mail: amwa@amwa.org



Copyright ©American Medical Writers Association-Delaware Valley Chapter 2013. You may not copy or reuse the content of this newsletter without our written permission.