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This report is the product of a multidisciplinary research and discussion process including CEOs and senior strategy staff from leading medical, dental, and nursing and hospital associations. 

This comprehensive analysis includes the following.

  • Identifies and interprets the environmental factors disrupting healthcare framed around factor acceleration by the COVID-19 pandemic, technology-based disruption (pharma/device/AI), and factors disrupting the organization, provision, and the culture of care.
  • Describes the changing strategic assumptions that healthcare leaders will need to take into account when developing sustainable strategies ranging from membership and meetings to education and advocacy.
  • Provides in-depth analysis of current and emerging strategic roles for healthcare associations designed to help healthcare leaders determine how to take advantage of the changes in the healthcare sector.

In addition, the document includes a detailed discussion guide providing you with practical guidance on discussing these issues with volunteer leaders and senior staff and sample process, agendas, and templates designed to make these conversations easier and more effective. 

This is the most substantive strategic analysis of the issues facing healthcare associations in the healthcare sector and provides a common base of knowledge to ensure productive, meaningful conversations.  

Thanks to our advisory task force members Greg Schultz, CAEGreg DummerTeresa FrakerBob Moore, MA, MS, CAEKenneth M. Slaw, PhDWylecia Wiggs Harris, PhD, CAE, and Tom Serena for your continued advice.

Association Laboratory would also like to thank representatives from the following organizations for their contributions to this important work.

American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists

California Society of Anesthesiologists

American College of Cardiology

College of American Pathologists

American College of Healthcare Executives

Council of Medical Specialty Societies

American College of Physicians

Emergency Nurses Association

American College of Surgeons

Healthcare Financial Management Association

American Dental Association

International Coaching Federation

American Health Information Management Association

International Society of Heart Lung Transplantation

American Orthopaedic Association

International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis 

American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine

National Association for Healthcare Quality

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Obesity Medicine Association

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

Society for Vascular Surgeons

American Venous Forum

Society of Gynecological Oncology

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses

Society of Imaging Informatics Medicine (SIIM)




Dean A West, FASAE's Profile

Dean A West, FASAE Related Seminars and Products


Association Laboratory

Dean West is the founder and President of Association Laboratory Inc. He leads client engagements and is a frequent speaker and facilitator for national and global association leadership meetings.

Mr. West is a former association executive with experience as executive director, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer for both national and international membership organizations. He has been a consultant to the association community since 1992, and has provided services to hundreds of state, national, and international organizations.

Dean West is a nationally recognized expert in association management. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Association Executives. Mr. West authored the chapter on Membership Research for the ASAE book, Membership Essentials and the chapter on Marketing Professional Development Programs in the ASAE book, Core Competencies in Professional Development.

Mr. West is an experienced volunteer leader familiar with the demands of volunteer leadership. He is Past Chairman of ASAE’s Professional Development Council and has served on the ASAE Membership Council and the Editorial Board for the ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership Journal of Association Leadership. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Association Forum of Chicagoland.

Nikki Golden, CAE's Profile

Nikki Golden, CAE Related Seminars and Products

Association Laboratory

Nikki Golden, CAE, is a strategist with Association Laboratory, which helps associations make strategic business decisions—on everything from membership to strategic planning to educational programming/certification—using state-of-the-art research. Previous to this position, she was the executive director of the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery.

Nikki has been recognized for her work in the association world, making the inaugural list of Association Forum of Chicagoland/USAE Forty Under 40 list. Nikki is an active member of Association Forum of Chicagoland, where she has served on the Editorial Working Group and Content Planning Committee, chaired the CAE Working Group and Membership SIG. She also frequently facilitates for the Association Forum’s CAE Study Course and its Association 101 program, has presented at Forum Forward and has been a contributor to FORUM magazine.

Nikki built her association career working in both marketing and membership, with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Meg Whedbee, MPP's Profile

Meg Whedbee, MPP Related Seminars and Products

Senior Analyst

Association Laboratory

Meg Whedbee is responsible for leading client engagements and conducting qualitative and quantitative research specific to client goals.

Prior to Association Laboratory, Ms. Whedbee worked with a variety of industries including global public health and labor market research. Her expertise includes content creation and quality assurance of technical, academic, and educational materials, focusing on public policy and the social sciences.

Recent experience includes collaboration on program sustainability analyses, international health systems assessments, and other research documents for submission to stakeholders including USAID, foreign health ministries, and HUD.

Ms. Whedbee holds a Master of Public Policy degree from American University and a BA in Economics from New College of Florida.