2.5: Blending work, volunteering and friendship with Dr. Martha Twaddle and Emily Muse

2.5: Blending work, volunteering and friendship with Dr. Martha Twaddle and Emily Muse

Relationships matter, in personal and professional life. Sometimes they even overlap. Dr. Martha Twaddle and Emily Muse first became coworkers and later their relationship shifted and grew as they assumed the roles of association volunteer leader and staff member.

Association volunteers and staff often comment that they feel they get more out of their experiences than they put into them. Friendships and deep connections often blossom, although that is rarely mentioned in the association literature. This dynamic duo discusses the value of collaborating with someone who shares your vision, passion and is always rooting for each other’s success.

Martha and Emily remind listeners that it is the people and partnerships that often endure well beyond a project or appointed position.

Martha Twaddle, MD FACP FAAHPM HMDC
Medical Director, Palliative Medicine & Supportive Care at Northwestern Medicine

“You realize that your volunteer contribution is going to be bigger than you are, it’s going to take root, it’s going to find energy and collaboration, and it’s going to move forward. So you come back to do more.”

Dr. Martha Twaddle combines nearly 30 years of experience in the care of seriously ill people and their families in a variety of areas of service. She currently serves as the Waud family medical director for palliative medicine & supportive care at Northwestern Medicine. Her academic work includes developing curriculum, guidelines, and models of care for healthcare professionals to provide care for the seriously ill in all settings. She works with others at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine exploring how technology and prescriptive nature can improve health outcomes as well as collaborating nationally in the development of patient- and family-centered quality metrics. On behalf of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), Martha served as the co-chair for the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, which completed the 4th edition of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care (NCP Guidelines) in late October 2018.

Martha’s unique talents and contributions to the field of palliative medicine have helped increase the understanding of and access to this continuum of care, regionally and nationally. In 2013, she was named by her peers as one of AAHPM’s 30 most influential visionaries in hospice and palliative medicine. She served as president of AAHPM from 2002-2003 and on the AAHPM Board of Directors from 1997-2004. She represented AAHPM in the creation of the initial NCP Guidelines published in 2004. She was honored with the inaugural AAHPM Josefina B. Magno Distinguished Hospice Physician Award in 2005. She was recognized in 2016 as a Distinguished Alumni of Purdue’s College of Science and “an exemplary educator and pioneering contributor to end-of-life care” as the recipient of the Compassion in Action Award by Hospice of the Valley and Santa Clara University in 2015. She was the recipient of the AAHPM Lifetime Achievement Award in March 2019.

After graduating summa cum laude from Purdue University, Martha received her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed her residency in internal medicine through Northwestern University McGaw School of Medicine, where she was chief resident. She currently serves as a clinical professor of medicine for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine.

Other Resources

What are the most useful resources you’ve found to help your professional development (i.e. books, courses, trainings, assessments, magazines, thought leaders, etc.)?
Most important—mentoring and amazing mentors. Also, the Levinson Institute Leadership course and Franklin Covey.

What is your favorite aspect of the association management field?
The efficiencies and the co-creative “can do” aspects

The best advice you’ve ever received?
Identify an aspect of what you do that you particularly love and grow that as your niche.

Emily Muse, CAE
Director, Membership and Community Engagement, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

“I’m really grateful for the support and the involvement within the larger association community as well. I think that being involved as a volunteer myself provides me an opportunity to better understand the frustrations and joys that can come from our volunteers, to try to have that kind of empathy.”

Emily Muse joined the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) team in 2010 after working as a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship coordinator and curriculum specialist for Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center. In her current role she serves as the staff liaison to more than 45 Academy member communities. These include the Hospice Medicine Council, Academic Palliative Medicine Council, 36 special interest groups, and 7 forums. Working with the AAHPM Communities Committee, she strives to enhance member experience through meaningful engagement opportunities. She managed the application process for the Fellow of AAHPM distinction and was instrumental in the launch and success of the Academy’s online communication platform, Connect. As a previous elementary school teacher, she is able to integrate instructional techniques and motivational skills when working with members. Emily believes that helping members understand their association’s values, mission, and strategic goals encourages their active participation in programs and initiatives. An engaged member is not just one guaranteed renewal but a brand champion who will inspire and energize others!

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