The Evolution of the AAMI Foundation
Since 1967, the AAMI Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving students, researchers, and healthcare technology professionals—all of whom are seeking to improve patient safety. But during the last five decades, the focus of the Foundation has evolved and shifted as the industry needs have changed. For the first four decades, the Foundation focused primarily on funding awards and lectures. In 2009, it expanded with the creation of the Michael J. Miller Scholarship Program. Named after AAMI’s first president, the program awards annual scholarships to healthcare technology management (HTM) students pursuing careers as clinical engineers, systems engineers, and biomedical equipment technicians. The program is funded through the support of industry and individual donors.
The Next Phase
In 2010, the Foundation expanded considerably with the creation of the Healthcare Technology Safety Institute (HTSI). HTSI was established to undertake some of the outcomes of the AAMI/FDA summits and drive expert-based coalitions to the publication of best practices in the safe use of health technologies. In 2015, the HTSI title was dropped to eliminate confusion between projects under HTSI and those under the AAMI Foundation. For the period of 2010 through 2017, the AAMI Foundation’s efforts largely focused on expanding the expert-based coalition business model and applying it to mission-related topics. Funding was received primarily from industry grantors with an interest in the topics. AAMI also gifted the AAMI Foundation $3 million to support a program of grants for research into safety in the use of health technology. The grant program was named after AAMI’s second president, Mary K. Logan.
In 2019, the AAMI Board of Directors—at the recommendation of the AAMI Foundation Board—agreed to refocus and expand the Foundation’s work on scholarships, awards, grants, and educational initiatives that fit within its mission and objectives. The Foundation works closely with its sole member, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation.