Membership Engagement Advisory Board (MEB) Report

Updates from the Membership Engagement Board

The MEB has announced a slate of awards to highlight substantial service contributions: Lifetime Achievement Award, Active Member of the Year Award, and Rising Star- Associate Member of the Year Award. Please nominate your colleagues by November 19:

The MEB has made substantial progress in editing AUA Active Member and Associate Member criteria to provide better clarity to the nominating member and candidate applicant. Stay tuned for these updated criteria.

AUA Membership Engagement in 2023

The National Medical Association (NMA) is the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States.1 It was founded in 1895 as the National Association of Colored Physicians (NACP) and renamed the NMA in 1901. The organization at its formation, was non-exclusionary and has continued to welcome and help healthcare professionals of all ethnicities. At the time of its establishment, African American physicians were excluded from membership in the American Medical Association (AMA) and other medical organizations due to the racial segregation that existed in the United States. Today, Black African-Americans represent only three percent of all academic medical faculty in the U.S. although they make up 13% of the U.S. population.2 Clearly, opportunity exists to further strengthen the pipeline of African-Americans to academic medicine.

It was with gratitude that the National Medical Association (NMA) welcomed Dr. Dolores Njoku during its Anesthesiology Leadership forum, moderated by Dr. Tracey Straker, at its August 2023 annual meeting in New Orleans. Dr. Njoku, the incoming president of the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA), made her a second visit in two years on behalf of the AUA, to the NMA national meeting. During her speaking session, Dr. Njoku highlighted the positive aspects of AUA membership.  Furthermore, Dr. Njoku informed the audience about the establishment of the inaugural AUA Membership Engagement Board (MEB) and gave a nod to the co-chairs of the MEB. Dr. Njoku also acknowledged the heavy lift given to the MEB kick-off activities by Vivian Abalama, IOM, CAE. Dr. Njoku also encouraged members of the NMA as well as those NMA members who were also AUA members to visit the AUA booth in the exhibition hall at the NMA meeting. This was also the second year that AUA was present as an exhibitor at the annual NMA meeting.

Since the last year of membership nominations and approvals by the AUA, ten NMA members were approved for active AUA membership. In a proactive effort to promote membership and engagement in the AUA, existing and newly joined dual AUA and NMA members have made a commitment to actively identify qualifications and nominate NMA members and non-members to become part of the AUA.  Hopefully, other anesthesiology organizations will follow the example of the NMA in encouraging their colleagues to become part of the AUA.

Tracey Straker

Tracey Straker, MD, MS, MPH, CBA, FASA
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, NY

Dolores B. Njoku

Dolores B. Njoku, MD
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO

During her speaking session at NMA’s Anesthesiology Leadership forum, Dr. Njoku highlighted the positive aspects of AUA membership.

During her speaking session at NMA’s Anesthesiology Leadership forum, Dr. Njoku highlighted the positive aspects of AUA membership.


  1. Mitchell, E.P. (2020) ‘The National Medical Association 1895-2020: Struggle for Healthcare Equity in the United States of America’, Journal of the National Medical Association, 112(4), p. 331.
  2. Person, S.D. et al. (2015) ‘Measuring diversity and inclusion in academic medicine: the diversity engagement survey (des)’, Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 90(12), p. 1675.


Valerie E. Armstead, MD, DABA, FASA
AUA, Co-chair, Membership Engagement Advisory Board
Professor of Anesthesiology, Clinician Educator
Department of Anesthesiology
Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Michael Aziz, MD
AUA, Co-chair, Membership Engagement Advisory Board
Professor & Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs
Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University
Portland, Oregon