American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Chapter Newsletter

Among your chapter’s most valuable services to members is the information you provide them concerning professional and advocacy issues, chapter activities and the work of the College. One way to keep members informed is a Chapter Newsletter. Benefits of a Chapter Newsletter include:

  • Keeps members informed about upcoming chapter events and activities.
  • Educates members about current issues in the profession.
  • Highlights and reinforces the benefits of chapter membership.
  • Maintains contact with members between events.
  • Increases member awareness and appreciation of chapter services.

Newsletter production may be the responsibility of the chapter administrator, communications committee, chapter president or chapter secretary, depending on the job responsibilities set forth in the chapter bylaws.

Typically, a chapter officer or the communications committee chair will serve as the newsletter editor with responsibility for ensuring that all tasks involved in producing the newsletter are completed. The actual writing of newsletter articles may be shared by the chapter administrator, editor, members of the communications committee, officers and guest contributors.

The editor is responsible for establishing a content outline for each newsletter. The following are examples of content that chapters commonly include in their newsletters:

  • Message from the president.
  • Announcements of upcoming meetings and educational programs.
  • Reports of recent chapter meetings and programs (i.e. attendance numbers, attendee feedback)
  • Summaries of actions taken by the chapter council or committees.
  • A listing of officers and committee chairs and calls for nominations for any open positions.
  • Summaries of continuing education programs and webinars, drawn from outlines of program speakers.
  • Awards and scholarships announcements, either awarded by the chapter or honors received by chapter members.
  • Brief feature stories on current issues of interest to surgeons, such as managed care developments, changes to Medicare, and current advocacy issues and state bills affecting the profession.
  • Reminders for any upcoming chapter or ACS deadlines: dues, scholarship applications, Clinical Congress, etc.
  • Recognition of new chapter members that joined since the last newsletter.
  • Acknowledgement of new Initiates and/or Fellows.

A production schedule with specific deadlines for each step of the process will ensure that those participating in the newsletter production process complete their to-dos in a timely manner so that the newsletter is published on a predictable schedule. The chapter newsletter will gain more recognition among members if it published on a consistent schedule (i.e. monthly, quarterly).

Chapters most commonly distribute their newsletters via email to the chapter membership. The newsletter may then be posted on the chapter website for future reference. The chapter may also consider notifying non-members about the newsletter as a way to promote the benefits of chapter membership.