The Alliance’s origin dates back to 1922, when it was established as the Woman’s Auxiliary to the American Medical Association. Since then the Alliance has diligently worked to improve the health of Americans and further the aims of the American Medical Association through community programs, projects, and services. Today’s alliance includes men as well as women, physicians as well as physician spouses.
AMA Alliance History – First 100 years
The American Medical Association Alliance (AMA Alliance) was established on May 24, 1922 as the Women’s Auxiliary to the AMA.” During a meeting of the AMA House of Delegates, Dr. Edward H. Cary, of Dallas, Texas, presented a resolution that was approved by the delegates “to extend the aims of the medical profession through the wives of doctors to the various women’s organizations which look to the advancement in health and education, to assist in entertaining at all medical conventions and to promote acquaintanceship among doctors’ families so that closer fellowship may exist.”
Twenty-four physician spouses from 11 states attended the organizational meeting of the Auxiliary in 1922. The next year, 60 women from 17 states appeared at the first annual meeting. National dues were set at $5 per state. By 1924, the Auxiliary had established its governance and committee structure.
Within the first 10 years through 1932, membership grew beyond 6,000, organized in 37 states; in the next 10 years, membership swelled to 26,952. The Auxiliary set up a central office in Chicago. Registration for the Annual Meeting in 1942 was 1,326 – despite gas and tire rationing.
In 1950, membership in the Auxiliary was more than 50,000 in 48 states. By the close of this decade in Auxiliary history, members had gained a reputation for community service and action, clocking total volunteer hours of 3,108,314.
At the beginning of the ’60’s, Ronald Reagan narrated “Operation Coffee Cup,” a recording for the Auxiliary’s use in promoting the King-Anderson Bill on Federal Health Care of the Aged. This established the Auxiliary as a grass roots action network, capable of health care advocacy with measurable results. The Block Mother Plan for Children’s safety was introduced during this period and a newsletter for leaders, Direct Line, was published with funding from the AMA. The Auxiliary had demonstrated its position as a resource for leadership in support of the nation’s physicians and the practice of medicine and began building a program focus on children’s health and safety in the United States.
In 1973, a Bylaws revision included provision for male spouses to become members of the AMA Auxiliary, and in 1975, the Auxiliary opened membership to both resident physician (RPS) and medical student spouses (MSS).
Auxiliary members demonstrated their expertise in fundraising for the future of medicine. In 1982, a check for $1,742,913.68 was presented to the AMA Foundation for medical student scholarships and community health programs. The next year, Auxiliary members reported 6,313 health projects in 49 states and 761 counties.
In 1986, 39 states held Legislative Days at the Capitol. Phone banks were set up and utilized in Congressional districts throughout the country.
By 1988, the AMA Auxiliary President joined leaders from 17 other national organizations at a White House special meeting with Ronald Reagan. The Auxiliary was honored for its efforts to prevent drug abuse.
In 1992, the AMA Auxiliary officially became the AMA Alliance. During this period in Alliance history, the second in a series of children’s activity books, “I Can Choose,” focused on conflict resolution and sold more than one million copies. The nationwide SAVE Program (Stop America’s Violence Everywhere) is launched. More than 600 state and county SAVE programs begin. The First “SAVE Today” is conducted on October 11, 1995.
Through 2006, with changes in the science and practice of medicine and the outside influences that place pressure on the family of medicine, membership in both the AMA and the Alliance declined. Increasing legislative pressure and the need for grass roots involvement and the need for the family of medicine to speak with one voice on the issues that challenge physicians and physician spouses have created a renewed interest in the Alliance. Members recognize the power and value of a nationwide network working on behalf of all physicians and their families.
Today, the AMA Alliance strives to be the volunteer voice for healthy families everywhere and works to support medical families through advocacy and education as a part of its unique mission in the medical community.
It’s no secret the Alliance faces significant challenges, as the medical community faces significant challenges. For the Alliance and its state and county Alliances, overcoming these challenges will require unity at all levels in the Federation, a devotion to serving members, seeking and embracing populations of new members.
At the national level, the AMA Alliance is proud of its history and committed to honor its past by building on core principles focused on the care and support of those who live within the family of medicine. The AMA Alliance is committed to advocacy and education that reaches members directly and through the resources provided to state and county Alliances.
Our product is people.
We support medical families through advocacy and education
and strive to be the volunteer voice for healthy families everywhere.
90th Anniversary Powerpoint
To download the 90th Anniversary Powerpoint, click here. It is a very large file and may take awhile to open.