The Graphic Medicine International Collective (GMIC) is thrilled to announce the launch of our Graphic Medicine Liaison Program! We have long discussed the need for field-specific champions of graphic medicine, given our ever-growing, multidisciplinary community and the impossibility of asking the board and larger organizing team to be experts in all things. The liaison program seeks to address this need by inviting active, trusted members of the graphic medicine community to serve as liaisons to their primary home fields.
The role of the liaison is to maintain a page on this website dedicated to their field and describe how graphic medicine can thrive within it. A field’s liaison page serves as an introduction for newcomers within that field to graphic medicine. Liaisons will also provide assistance to the website team in answering inquiries relevant to their subject area, and generally act as an ambassador for graphic medicine to their field. Through these and other activities, liaisons help grow the graphic medicine community and encourage more diverse engagement with comics and health.
To kickstart this program, GMIC secured a grant from the Network of the National Library of Medicine in Summer 2020, which has allowed us to make important improvements to the website that hosts the program, as well as provide modest honorariums to our liaisons for their work. It deserves acknowledgement that the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the scale and timeline of this program, which had initially intended to launch in October 2020 and would have encompassed more than the slate of 10 expert liaisons we now have. It is our sincere hope that in the coming year(s) we will have the chance to realize the full scale program we proposed, and perhaps grow even beyond that. For now, however, we’ve assembled an all-star team and cannot wait to hear your thoughts on their work!
You can now visit the Liaison Program page found under our Resources heading on the website homepage. There you will find a list of our current liaisons, as well as access to their individual field pages as they come online throughout the next week. As of this announcement, the first page you will be able to view comes from our Chaplaincy liaison, Kurt Shaffert. It is incredibly fitting that we launch this program with Kurt’s page, as it was in conversations with him at the 2018 Graphic Medicine Conference at the Center for Cartoon Studies that the idea for this program solidified. It is also Kurt’s image that serves as the “featured image” (thumbnail image) for this post.
We hope you are as excited as we are and that you keep your eyes on the liaison page for more updates to come!