​​Dear WikiProject Medicine enthusiasts & friends,

It's been a long time since we last updated the list about what we've been
up to this year (sorry about that -- it's on our list for improvements for
next year :)).

As we are wrapping up 2017, we thought you might appreciate an update with
some highlights. It's a bit long, but worth the read and getting involved.

Wishing you and your families a happy, fruitful and joyous 2018!


Shani Evenstein
Chair, WikiProject Medicine Foundation.


*==What did we achieve in 2017?==*
2017 has been extremely busy -
* We *collaborated with like-minded organizations*, like Cochrane,
Translators Without Boarders, The World Health Organization (WHO), The
International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and Osmosis, to name a few.
* We have continued our *collaborations with Universities *around the
world, where Medical students wrote medical-related articles as part of
their academic curriculum.
* Around *70 new members,* who share our passion to make high-quality
medical information available to the world, joined us.
* We *participated in conferences* and *published academic peer-reviewed
articles in *respected journals.
* We have further *developed our Offline Medical Wikipedia App*.
* And -- we're *released Internet-in-a-box!*

To read more about each of these, please check out our 2017 report draft
And don't forget -- it's a wiki, so please feel free to click on the "edit"
button and add what you did this year!

*==Board Activity & Composition ==*
In Jan 2017 a new board of 12 was elected and started operating, and as an
organization,* we have made some great progress *-
* We have started a routine of having monthly meetings, which helped the
board work closer together;
* We have been involved in the movement's strategy process and have
supported and strategic direction.
* We have been active in internal conferences, like WikiConference 2017,
Wikimania 2017 and Wikidata Conference 2017 and were invited to speak in
local ones as well.
* We have greatly improved our process for accepting new members to our
user group
* We have started a long process of managing our finances and donations
* And -- we have made some important changes to our bylaws, as well as
administrative decisions, such as having elections *only every 2 years
instead of yearly*, to make sure board members have enough time to actually
have a positive impact before they change.

*That said, we have also had our share of challenges -- *
Our main challenge had to do with the fact that we are an international
group. As such, finding a time that suited all 12 of us every month has
proven more of a challenge than we anticipated. Wrapping up a year of
working together as a board, it has become clear to us that we must change
our board composition in order to operate smoothly as board.
Our solution to this challenge was as follows -
1) We have set up *clear guidelines *as to what is required from a board
member in terms of time commitment.
2) Based on that, during December, *board members* who felt they could not
invest the necessary time, *have stepped down* from the board and will
continue their involvement as Special Advisers to the board.
3) We have also decided to r*esize our board and keep it to a smaller
number of 7.*
4 members of the original board remained, 2 new members have been added to
the remainder of the term (2018) and 1 more potential board member has been
approached, so we will hopefully become 7 again.
To see a list of the current board and our special advisers, please see
this page <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wiki_Project_Med/Board>.

Finally,* to increase our transparency*, as well as involve more members
who are not on the board, *we have decided to broadcast our monthly
meetings live.* This means that every interested member of the user group
can either join us live, watch us live, or watch the recording later. In
case of meetings where sensitive issues are discussed, the meetings will
have an open part that will be recorded and a closed part to board members
only, which will not be recorded.
Our coming meeting will be before Jan 15 and we'll post the date & time, as
well as a link, as soon as we set it.

*==Renewing Membership for 2018 == *
Of the decisions the board has made this year was regarding membership in
our organization.
Till this year, anyone who wanted to join us had to fill out a google form
once, but we did not have a process for renewing membership or tracking it
yearly. The board has decided to change that, and *set up a process, in
which membership has to be renewed yearly for existing members.* *This is
how it will work as of 2018 --*
** New members* will continue to sigh up via the general membership form,
after which they will be added (or not) to our group and mailing list.
** Existing
members* will be asked to *renew their membership* yearly, which for now
still means only filling out a google form with personal details and
showing involvement in our cause. There is no membership fee, but filling
out the form is essential for those who wish to be part of the user group
Doing this we will be achieving 2 things --
1) It will help the organization have an up-to-date report on its number of
members, as required by authorities.
2) It will help the organization track the eligibility for voting during
elections to the board.

We will therefore be *asking all those interested in remaining part of the
User Group, to sign up the renewal membership form for 2018.*
A separate email with a link to the form will be sent separately in the
coming week.

*==Get involved!==*
Finally, we will be working on a proper 2018 yearly plan, but can already
say that one of our goals for this coming year is to involve more people
from our community, i.e. members of the user group who are not members of
the board, in our activities. In other words -- *you don't need to be on
the board to be involved*, and we need help from as many people as possible!

We are looking for people who are either interested in getting involved
with specific tasks, or have specific skills the board recognized as ones
that could be helpful to the advancement of the organization in the coming

*Please contact me privately if you'd like to get involved with - *
* Selling Internet-in-a-Box locally
* Helping map Wikidata items with Mix'n'match
* Running medical-related educational collaborations
* Facilitating a collaboration with a like-minded organization

*Please also contact me privately if you have one or more of these skills
- *
* Programming, writing Wiki Tools, Wiki bots or generating statistics of
specific pages across different languages.
* Fundraising experience
* Accounting experience (and in the US)

*That's it for this time. Happy 2018, everyone!*
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