2020-09 From the President: Looking forward to our new year

Greetings in the new year for UMRA. Actually, UMRA never stopped meeting during the summer months. What did change is that all our meetings are now Zoom based. And that will continue at least through the end of 2020. There will be a reassessment in the late fall. A survey of our membership was undertaken in May. The respondents strongly favored not meeting in person again until COVID-19 cases and deaths are trending downward and there is a vaccine or curative medication available.

I wish to give a special thanks to Bill Donohue who has served as UMRA president for the last year. He has exceptional talent as a leader and mentor and is dedicated to the continued success of UMRA. I look forward to working with him as past-president. Thank you, Bill.

The Program Committee, chaired by President-elect Jan Morlock, and the Workshop Committee, under the leadership of Ron Matross, are planning UMRA’s upcoming forums and workshops. Forums will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, and workshops on the third Tuesday. The schedule of upcoming forums and workshops and list of UMRA personnel for 2020–21 can be found on the UMRA website.

Fiscal challenges
Given the fiscal challenges confronting the University, funding from the University for the Professional Development Grants for Retirees (PDGR) program has gone into limbo. During this time, however, the program, launched by UMRA in 2009, will continue under the leadership of UMRA member John Bantle, MD. 

UMRA is also working with the University of Minnesota Foundation to institute a fundraising campaign to support the PDGR fund at the Foundation. This effort will take the form of a UMF-assisted crowdfunding program with a matching challenge gift. 

As president for this year, I look forward to working with you and hope you will contact me with your concerns and suggestions.

—Frank Cerra, UMRA president