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In 1967 only seven hospitals employed a full-time personnel director. Early in 1968, an unstructured, informal telephone network system was started between the personnel directors. Common questions and problems were all related to the major legislative actions taking place at that time. In 1965, the Health Insurance Act for the Aged passed, which subsequently became known as Medicare; in 1967, the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed; and in 1974, the Taft Hartley Amendment was passed.
Since all hospitals in the state were affected by the new legislation, a heavy reliance was placed on the personnel directors of the hospitals to provide the hospital system in Maine with answers and orientation programs relative to the new personnel administration environments. Therefore, the hospitals with personnel directors became the clearinghouse for information.
In the summer of 1968 it became evident that a formal personnel administration organization needed to be developed to meet, not only the needs of the hospitals but to stimulate and facilitate the exchange of information for the other hospitals in the state and to encourage other hospitals to employ the services of professional personnel administrators.
ASHPA of the American Hospital Association (AHA), and the Maine Hospital Association, Charles Huff, Personnel Director for the Maine Medical Center, put together a set of bylaws and the Maine Society of Hospital Personnel Directors came into existence. The society included six charter members. These charter members served as the Society?s administrative nucleus during the formulation period from 1968 to 1973. The presidential role passed from one charter member to another.
The monthly meeting was usually held at a host hospital, either in Portland, Lewiston, or Waterville. A considerable amount of time was spent encouraging hospital Chief Executive Officers to formalize and expand the personnel administrative functions within their institutions.
After 1968, membership in the Maine Society of Hospital Personnel Directors began to grow as personnel departments were established.
The Maine Society for Hospital Personnel Directors? early period of growth is recorded as 6 members in 1968 to 15 members in 1972. During those early years of growth and development, the membership enjoyed a strong bond of friendship, trust, and collegiality. All meetings were well attended, interest was high, and exchange of information was paramount. Society members worked hard and long hours to familiarize themselves with the new pieces of legislation as well as additional complexities that surfaced each year vis-?-vis the socio-economic legislation that was passed within the United States.
It was during those early, formative years that the Maine Society for Hospital Personnel Directors experienced two major membership losses. In 1970, Hal Grant, Personnel Director of Madigan Memorial Hospital, after leaving Houlton, Maine, in a small aircraft early one winter morning to attend the regular monthly meeting of the Society, lost his life in a plane crash. The Society, in his honor, established the Harold C. Grant Award, to be awarded on an annual basis to a member who displayed excellence in hospital and healthcare facility personnel administration. The first recipient of that award was Rene Laliberty. It was awarded to him in June of 1971 for outstanding achievement in promoting hospital personnel administration through education. The Hal Grant Award is still, today, a part of the Society?s Recognition Program and is awarded to individuals for outstanding contributions and excellence in healthcare human resources administration.
The Society experienced its second major membership loss in 1977. Gerard Berube, Director of Personnel at St. Mary?s General Hospital, died suddenly in January of 1977. In recognition of his contributions to healthcare personnel administration within the State of Maine, the Society established the Gerard Berube Scholarship Fund to be awarded to deserving health career-oriented student(s) on an annual basis.
The Maine Society for Hospital Personnel Administration achieved national attention in 1981 when it successfully endorsed for election Rene Laliberty to be the new representative to the national board of directors for the American Society of Hospital Personnel Administration. Maine, and our Society, was represented for the first time on the American Hospital Association?s board of hospital personnel directors from 1981-1983.
In 1983, the Society successfully endorsed Rene Laliberty for election to the Presidency of the American Society of Hospital Personnel Administration. Again, Maine, and our Society, played a key national role in health care personnel administration from 1983-1985.
Complexities of hospital administration coupled with increasing legislative actions affecting human resources administration and changing economic environments have created new challenges and opportunities for Human Resources professionals in the healthcare field. Thus, our membership has continued to grow and, today, nearly every Maine hospital is represented in the Society. The MSHHRA roster, as of March 1987, includes the names of 62 colleagues.
Recognizing the need to respond to the changing nature of health care delivery systems, the Society voted in 1987 to change its name from the Maine Society for Hospital Personnel Administration to the Maine Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration, and it redefined its mission as follows:
The Maine Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration is a professional organization committed to providing leadership in the field of Healthcare Human Resources Administration. Through research, strategic planning and education, the MSHHRA will promote sound and effective human resources technologies to influence the direction of human resources administration and assist its representative institutions in meeting changing human resources needs in the healthcare field.