The Polish American Medical Society of Minnesota (PAMSM) beginnings date back to 2017 when Dr. Zylowski relocated from California and searched for ideas and company to endure Minnesota winters. She reached out to Dr. Litak. Dr. Zylowska and Dr. Litak started meeting on a regular basis, and realized there must be other physicians in similar circumstances. They decided to establish a Polish American Medical Society in Minnesota, as a platform for newcomers to establish roots in the state, promote social and professional relations as well as support Polish and Polish American community.
The Polish American Medical Society of Minnesota was formalized in 2018. We have tax-exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, and donors can deduct contributions they make to PAMSM under IRC Section 170.
Over the past two years, our organization has grown, the membership increased, as we have held regular meetings. We have expanded our activities into supporting educational and cultural initiatives. In November 2018, we sponsored Poland Independence Centennial Celebration Gala at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, an event initiated by one of our members, and co-organized by partnering with many other groups.
2019 the 100th Anniversary of the Grey Samaritans of YWCA, a group of American nurses who went to Poland in 1919 to help with medical and orphan health care under Herbert Hoover American Relief Effort after World War One. It was a nationwide undertaking, with the closest training facilities in Chicago and Milwaukee. The Polish-American Medical Society of Minnesota wanted to recognize YWCA and these brave women.
We also sponsored an art show of a Polish-American impressionist painter, Antoni Beltowski at Alliance Francaise on June 4, 2019 at 6 PM. The show was available until the end of July.
We began networking with other organizations in the US and the world, including the Polish-American Medical Society in Chicago and the Federation of Polish Medical Organizations Abroad (FPOM).
Members of our society are actively involved in the Twin Cities medical community at large and other organizations.
Our vision is to continue expanding and strengthening our organization and support individuals interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
Katarzyna Litak, M.D.,
April 4, 2019
Polish American Medical Society growth continues. Our organization grew from two members to over twenty in the span of one year. We have held regular meetings in the Twin Cities area. For the second year, we held one of our meetings in Rochester, MN as the organization expands beyond the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area. We are constantly working on making improvements to our operations. We hired an accountant to keep up with non-profit organization reporting requirements, expanded our website, started a Facebook account in an attempt to improve our visibility, advertise our events, and connect with our members and affiliates. So far, most of our traffic comes through Google and Facebook, and we have readers from many countries, mostly the US and Europe.
While we still have our Holiday/ Christmas Party to look forward to, it is important to reflect on 2019 and its highlights.
In 2019 we held a couple of events for a wider Minnesota audience, in collaboration with other organizations, including YWCA Downtown Minneapolis and Alliance Francaise.
We introduced the Twin Cities cinematic fans to Kinga Debska and her 2018 release “Playing Hard/Zabawa, Zabawa”. Kinga Debska is an exciting Polish film director who delivers artistically by skillfully telling unexpected stories without sentimentality. “Playing Hard" is one of them, and addresses an important public health issue.
Next year PAMSM will co-sponsoring an educational event at the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry. The event is “PsychCINEMA: Exploring Cognition at the Movies” and it will be held on February 5, 2019. We are excited that the movie “Playing Hard/Zabawa, Zabawa” will be shown and discussed with Medical Students and Psychiatry Residents, as it can serve as an excellent teaching tool, showing the reality of addiction as well as cross-cultural highlights. Our members Drs. Zylowski and Litak will be the discussants.
For the year 2020, we plan to hold our annual meeting in February. We will be hosting regular meetings with a variety of speakers, including our own members, who work in diverse fields of medicine and biomedical science, as well as guest speakers. While some of our meetings are limited to only our members, many of our events will be available to wider audiences. We want to focus on education in science, art, and history in relation to medicine or biomedical science as well as biomedical industry ties between Poland and Minnesota.
We plan to embark on a visual history project focusing on documenting the presence of contemporary Polish-born Minnesotans “Kaleidoscope: Spotlight on Polish Americans in Minnesota.” The goal of the project is to present Polish Americans beyond the stereotypical image and show the diversity of Polish immigrants in Minnesota. The phase one of the project is slated to start in 2020.
In 2020, we plan to focus on fundraising, increase our reach, and broaden our offerings.
I am truly excited about what the next year is going to bring. We are on an exciting path of growth and hope to positively impact our community.
We invite you to learn more about our programs and join our membership. Thank you for your support!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Katarzyna Litak, M.D.,
December 4, 2019