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MINUTES OF THE
HUNGARIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING – 8:00 PM, OCTOBER 25TH, 2010
HELMSLEY’S SANDCASTLE HOTEL, SARASOTA, FLORIDA
Voting BOD members present: total votes 10 (plus Presidential tie-breaker)
G. Acs, I. Somkuti, I. Harangozo, G. Baffy, I. Pirko, A. Varga
Advisory Board President: L. Mechtler
K. Kismartoni, A. Matolcsy, I. Krisztinicz, P.Petrusz, K. Kismartoni, P. Forbath
Alternate BOD members present: L. Toth (voting), Z. Gombos, E. Bodnar (voting), L.
Csathy, A. Tarnoki (voting)
Also present: I. Stadler, A. Stadler, S. Mechtler
Preceding the BOD meeting Dr. Peredy welcomed two guests who were invited to
address the BOD: Mr. Amicis Arvizu the fund manager for CIEE/HAESF and Dr. Istvan
Eger from the Magyar Orvosi Kamara (MOK). Mr. Avizu presented the procedures,
requirements, interview process and selection of students for their scholarship program to
the Board. Dr. Peredy thanked the CIEE/HAESF for their support of our student
Dr. Eger thanked the BOD for the invitation and presented the current status of the MOK
and medicine in general in Hungary to the BOD, including a description of the goals and
activities of the MOK and expressed his hopes for a fruitful future relationship with the
I. Approval of Minutes
Quorum was established with 10 voting members present. The Minutes of the April 2009
BOD meeting were approved.
II. Presidential Address
Dr. Peredy has submitted a written report which was published in the current issue of the
Archives. He reminded the BOD that from an administrative perspective the HMAA is a
501.c.3 non-profit organization in good standing according to the IRS code and thanked
Dr. Harangozo and others for their efforts in maintaining our status. The HMAA is
incorporated in Ohio and is domesticated in Florida. The HMAA has a registered agent
in the state of Florida by the name of Charles Margetta, who is a CPA and he will be in
charge of filing the appropriate paperwork in the future. This also means that the HMAA
has a Florida as well as a federal tax exempt status.2
The last two scientific meetings have been very successful, and Dr. Peredy thanked Dr.
Stadler for the organization of the scientific program. No recent questions have been
raised regarding the format of the meeting. He expressed his view that we need more
participation from the BOD members on the meeting. It has to be recognized that the
BOD members are the ones who actually make the final decisions and there is a need for
their increased involvement in the organization and execution of the meeting.
Dr. Peredy has written a letter of condolence to Patty and Tom Ganz, and he suggested
that we should dedicate a cardiology session on the upcoming meeting to the memory of
Dr. Ganz and name the session as the Memorial Ganz Cardiology Session.
The student exchange program continues to be strong. Dr. Peredy has met with Gyula
Sumegi, the director for international relations and Miklos Kellermayer, the vice-rector
for education at Semmelweis University and they are both very supportive of our
program. Challenges are related to the solvency of our various programs to stand on their
own, including the student exchange and the social programs at the annual meeting.
Dr. Peredy reminded the BOD of the contributions of Eva Tamoga to the HMAA, and
noted that since she is ill, the BOD should consider a token of financial support to Ms.
In terms of political issues he noted that Dr. L. Mechtler faces difficulties in Buffalo with
regard to the student exchange program and would need more support in his efforts.
The HMAA website, thanks to Dr. Garami, is functioning well at a price significantly
lower compared to what it used to cost us. In addition, we do have control over the
website and it is stable. The AMOSZ website is still running, but it clearly reflects that
they are a Chapter of the HMAA in Hungary, and it presents no concerns at this time.
He noted that there was very good participation on the MET Meeting with several of our
members attending and giving lectures. In addition to providing excellent lectures, the
HMAA also had the opportunity to address the Hungarian Parliament, including the
Minister of Human Resources and many prominent physicians. The presentations were
successful in making the Minister aware of our organization and its activities. The student
conference in Balatonfured was also successful and the winner for the best presentation is
here and is going to present his work on our meeting. He is one of two Hungarian
students sponsored to participate and present at our meeting and he emphasized that we
should be proud of this great achievement of our Association. He noted that Drs. Peter
and Geza Acs supports one of these awards and he asked the BOD whether there was
another member willing to partner with him to support the other award.
Dr. Peredy noted that he believed that we needed a resolution to be added to the bylaws
reflecting that the HMAA adheres to the highest ethical standards in research and that the
HMAA requires financial disclosures from the speakers at the Annual Meeting. Although
this has been our practice, he expressed the view that we should formalize this statement
in our bylaws. The BOD agreed that such a resolution should be added to our bylaws.3
This will also help Dr. Stadler in securing the CME credit for the annual meeting. Dr.
Peredy will make a proposal for the exact language to be included in the bylaws for the
Dr. Peredy thanked the BOD for his experience serving as President of the HMAA. He
noted that communication remains a challenge and we should improve on that. Another
future challenge includes money management and note that we should be careful about
balancing our budget.
On behalf of the BOD Dr. Harangozo thanked Dr. Peredy for his work as the 16th
President of the HMAA.
With regard to the cardiology session, Dr. Baffy suggested that we should name a lecture
after Dr. Ganz and he proposed that Dr. Ganz’s son, who is also a cardiologist in Boston,
should give this first lecture. Dr. Peredy suggested that since Dr. Ganz’s son has never
attended our meeting, the best person to give this lecture would be Dr. Forbath. Dr.
Harangozo suggested that we should invite the son of Dr. Ganz, Dr. Peter Ganz, to join
the HMAA. He further suggested that we should consider naming a memorial urology
lecture after Dr. Magoss.
Dr. Baffy asked Dr. Peredy to elaborate further on the Balatonfured student meeting and
the award for the best presentation. Dr. Peredy reported that he had purchased plaques
and other items as small awards for the students at the meeting. Dr. Peredy reminded the
BOD that we agreed to pay for an award for the best presentation. He suggested that he
would be willing to partner with another BOD member to fund this award rather than the
HMAA paying for it. Dr. Somkuti raised the question whether this award could be funded
from the Hungarian membership dues. The BOD agreed that the Hungarian dues should
be used for the expenses of the Hungary Chapter as well as for the maintenance of the
website. Dr. Bodnar reported that the bank account of the Hungary Chapter was
established and they are waiting for HUF 750,000 to be transferred to the account from
Semmelweis University. She also emphasized that these funds should be used for
covering the expenses of the operation of the Hungary Chapter. Dr. Peredy noted that
these funds should also be used to cover our other expenses, such as dues to MET and
related expenses for Dr. T. Krisztinicz, who is our representative on the MET Board. Dr.
Somkuti raised the question whether the registration fee for the students for the
Balatonfured meeting could be increased to cover the cost of the award. The BOD will
revisit this issue on the Friday BOD meeting. Dr. Harangozo noted that the cost of
plaques and other items to reward the students should be covered by the HMAA and Dr.
Peredy should be reimbursed for these costs. Dr. Harangozo also noted that Drs. Peter
and Geza Acs has presented the HMAA with a check for $1,000 each to cover the costs
for the TDK winner to come and present at our meeting. These funds cover the costs of
airfare and hotel accommodations for the winner of the award. Answering a question
from the BOD, Dr. Acs reported that we have received applications for this award from
the winners of the TDK competition and a committee composed of Drs. Stadler, Somkuti,
P. Acs and G. Acs has reviewed the applications and chosen the winner. The winner is
Edit Nagy, who is present at the meeting. The award for the winner of the Balatonfured4
student meeting is a separate award. Dr. Acs reminded the BOD that on the last meeting
the BOD has voted to fund this second award in the amount of $1,500 per year to cover
the costs of the winner to come to our meeting.
III. Secretary's report
Dr. Acs reported that in order to attempt to expand the membership he searched the
membership list of the College of American Pathologists to identify Hungarian members.
He as sent out an invitation email to participate on our meeting to over 100 Hungarian
pathologists identified but unfortunately he has not received even one answer.
Dr. Acs noted that with regard to being able to pay online on the website, both he and Dr.
Peredy identified some potential solutions. On the PayPal website we can establish an
account for a non-profit organization to take care of online payments for a charge of 2%.
Although other solutions may also be available, if we can collect donations online, this
possibility may prove to be financlially sound and beneficial. He emphasized that the
establishment of online payment is essential and we should accomplish this as soon as
possible. Dr. Acs will work together with Drs. Garami and Peredy to accomplish this.
With regards to the Hungarian Scientific Travel Award, Dr. Acs announced thet we have
our first awardee to present on Tuesday morning. He asked the members of the BOD, that
since this is the first such presentation, all BOD members should come and show our
support for the student winner.
Dr. Acs reported that the final bill for the incorporation and domestication of the HMAA
in Florida was received, which he forwarded to Dr. Harangozo for payment. He noted
that Mr. Margetta offered us a considerable discount in case we decide to continue our
relationship with them and have them act as our registered agent and accountant. We will
meet with Mr. Margetta on Tuesday, and thus, we should make a decision whether we
should go forward with this relationship. Dr. Peredy noted that we already have an
accountant. Dr. Acs reported that Mr. Margetta has not offered a quote for their future
services. Dr. Harangozo recommended to have Mr. Margetta as the registered agent for
our organization and also be our accountant. Dr. Peredy noted that we should get an
estimate from them first to decide on this. According to Dr. Harangozo the current
accountant charges approximately $1,000 per year. The BOD decided that the officers
will meet with Mr. Margetta and will make a decision based on their discussions.
In terms of the elections, Dr. Acs noted that three BOD members and all alternates are up
for re-election. In addition, we also need a President-Elect. We are waiting to hear from
the Nominating Committee in this regard. The recommendations in terms of BOD
members and alternates will be preseented to the membreship to vote on. The nominee
for President-Elect should be discussed today under New Business and the BOD will vote
on this nomination so that it can be announced at the Membership Meeting on
Wednesday. Dr. Acs noted that we have three BOD members whose first term expires5
this year: Drs. Baffy, Garami and Varga and noted that all three of them can be reelected.
Dr. Acs announced that we have received a gift of water-polo caps with the Hungarian
Coat of Arms, donated to the HMAA by Dr. Geza Acs, MD, Senior.
Dr. Acs reminded the BOD that we had a List of Follow-Up Items from the last BOD
meeting. Going through this list, the BOD noted that most of these items have been
accomplished. Dr. Acs noted that we will need to go over the protocol for the banquet
IV. Treasurer’s Report
Dr. Harangozo provided a written report for the members of the BOD. He noted that even
in light of our tough economic climate, our assets our holding their value. He emphasized
that we are an independent organization and that we must maintain our self-sufficiency,
which we do thanks to the frugality and work ethic of our members and officers.
Dr. Peredy asked whether we have a break-even point with regards to the number of
invited speakers and invitees to the banquet. Dr. Harangozo noted that we don’t have a
specific budget for invited speakers and that we usually decide on an individual basis. He
also noted that over the years, based on the decisions of the Program Chair, we were able
to maintain a balanced budget in this regard. He reminded the BOD that according to our
policy, if any member wants to invite a person to participate and present at the Annual
Meeting, he/she should get approval from the Program Chair and/or President.
A. Stadler reminded the BOD that Dr. Forbath has donated the use of his condo at the
Sands for the students and that the students should stay at the condo instead of the
Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. According to Dr. Forbath the HMAA pays for one onebedroom condo at the Sands which sleeps three people. The HMAA has control over the
key for that apartment and it should be used for the accommodation of the students
during the Meeting. A discussion was held about where the students should stay and a
decision was made that the students should use the apartment provided by Dr. Forbath.
Since the stay of the students in the hotel instead of the apartment was apparently a
communication problem, Dr. Somkuti suggested that all policies, i.e. a “handbook for the
students”, including this issue, should be posted on the website and be available for the
I. Krisztinicz raised a questioned about the Auxiliary bank account. She reminded the
BOD that the BOD explored the possibility of combining the various bank accounts of
the HMAA. Dr. Peredy responded that the recommendation of the Treasure at that time
was that the set-up of the accounts was convenient and easier from an accounting
perspective and the BOD has previously decided that we should keep the current
V. Program Report
Dr. Stadler reported that we have 67 lectures this year, which represents a substantial
increase compared to last year, and translates into a total of 23 CME credits. He reminded
the BOD of the importance of financial disclosure for the presenters, which should be
submitted in advance at the time of the abstract submission. We have more invited
speakers than we had on recent meetings, but in his opinion this has improved the quality
of the sessions. Dr. Stadler suggested that in the future we should have an Associate
Program Chair, who can assist him in organizing the program and he recommended Dr.
Pirko for this position. Dr. Pirko noted that the upcoming year will be especially difficult
for him due to grant deadlines and other issues, but he agreed to work together with Dr.
Stadler on the scientific program. Dr. Stadler asked the BOD to submit any suggestions
regarding the next meeting to him so that he can incorporate it into next year’s program.
As one of the options he suggested a Pediatrics session, because we have not had one
before and at the present time we have several members who can organize such a session.
Dr. Matolcsy suggested a session on Family Practice for the next meeting to be organized
with the help of Drs. Eger and White.
VI. Auxiliary Report
Ms. Bika has submitted a written report to the BOD. Dr. Varga expressed her opinion that
at this point in time the Auxiliary in non-existent. She commended Ms. Bika for her
efforts, but noted that the Auxiliary takes a lot of team effort and volunteer work. She
proposed that the BOD should render the Auxiliary dormant and establish a Social
Planning Committee to take over its functions. She reminded the BOD that in addition to
the social program, the functions of the Auxiliary include fundraising and recruitment.
She manned the HMAA booth on the Hungarian Festival in Sarasota this year with a
great turnout of over 800 people participating at the festival. She noted that the
participants from the local Hungarian community expressed a lot of interest in the
HMAA. She also noted that Erika Klatyik has expressed interest in helping organizing
our events. She is a professional in organizing events and she would be a great asset to
Dr. Peredy thanked Dr. Varga for her work at the Hungarian Festival. Dr. Peredy has also
had a chance to talk to Erika Klatyik, who is the organizer of the Kocsma Party and a
very competent young lady. He reminded the BOD that a year ago he proposed that the
Auxiliary should be discontinued and that at that time this proposal was tabled. He also
reminded the BOD that the Auxilary was originally set up to aid in fundraising and that
rendering it inactive would not involve changing the bylaws. In addition, the bylaws do
not exclude the inclusion of non-members in the work of a Committee. Following a
discussion the BOD agreed that the Auxiliary can be rendered dormant, meaning that it
can be revived at any time when opportunity arises. The BOD will revisit the Social
Planning Committee on the Friday meeting.7
VII. Membership Report
Dr. S. Mechtler submitted a written report to the Board. He reported that several
members paid their dues here at the meeting. He emphasized that it would be important to
pay the dues at the time he sends out the invoices. He has checked the list of participants
at the meeting and identified 12 members present, who have not yet paid their dues. He is
planning to address this issue on the Membership Meeting on Wednesday. It is important
to have a list of the names of members who have paid their dues available at the
registration desk. Dr. Peredy suggested that we should consider increasing the
membership dues if someone wishes to pay on site at the Annual Meeting.
VIII. Student Exchange Program
Dr. L. Mechtler reported that currently we have four exchange students, who are present
at the Meeting. He thanked Drs. I. Krisztinicz and I. Stadler and A. Stadler for their help.
He noted that the state of New York has one of the toughest rules for foreign graduates.
Every year new requirements are introduced by the state; the latest one being an
examination on infection control. Although the exam is not difficult it requires additional
paperwork. He reported that the Hungarian medical universities are not recognized by the
state of New York. It would only involve some paperwork on the part of the Hungarian
universities to be recognized and emphasized that we can help in this process. Dr. Peredy
expressed his concerns regarding the willingness of the Hungarian universities to
complete the required paperwork as they also decided against going through the
procedures necessary to be included on the WHO list of medical schools. Drs. A. Tarnoki
and Bodnar offered their help in this matter. Dr. Peredy suggested that at the same time
we should try to take of the procedures necessary for the WHO recognition as well.
Dr. L. Mechtler reported that Eva Tamoga, who has been instrumental for the exchange
program, is very ill. She still works and helps him, but she is going to hand everything
over to Dr. Mechtler’s secretaries. He recommended that the BOD should recognize Ms.
Tamoga’s contributions and suggested that we present her with a check for $1,000.
Dr. Bodnar reported that they have conducted student interviews this year and all four
Hungarian medical universities were represented. The Balatonfured Conference has been
very useful in advertising our program. She reminded the BOD that the students have
many choices for rotations around the world, but very few choices for rotations of the
kind we offer in this country. Dr. Bodnar also reported that Dr. Kollar, a professor of
pathophysiology at Pecs, is also very interested and is very active in supporting the
exchange program and the student conference.
IX. Publications Committee8
Dr. Somkuti reported that for the first time this year he had 90% of the abstracts in by the
middle of the summer making his work easier. He emphasized that we need to introduce
online abstract submission. He noted that the MET meetings in Budapest and Karpatalja
were attended by several of our members and they were a great experience. The Student
Meeting in Balatonfured was also a great success. The number of participants on the
student meeting increased dramatically, thanks to in large part to the award offered by the
HMAA. He noted that it was a very well organized meeting, the quality of the
presentations were spectacular. In terms of the Semmelweis Tarsasag in Germany, based
on his conversations with the President of that society, he noted that it only exists on
paper and it is not an actual functioning organization.
Dr. Somkuti reported that for the first time we will have a daily newsletter at our meeting
edited by Drs. A. and D. Tarnoki.
X. Awards Committee
Dr. Somkuti reported that together with Dr. Acs they have put together various
certificates to be awarded at the Banquet. He noted that he has donated small gift items,
including bags, coffee mugs and pens with the HMAA logo to be distributed for
participants on the meeting.
XI. Public Relations
Dr. Matolcsy reported that we wanted to invite Carl, the manager of the Helmsley Hotel
for the banquet and present him with a certificate of appreciation. While Carl appreciated
our recognition, he could not accept the invitation to the Banquet. We will present him
with the certificate in his office during the course of the week.
Dr. Matolcsy has talked to Sonny Meyers from Sarasota Memorial Hospital, who will
host Dr. Eger for a tour of the hospital. Other participants from Hungary were also
invited to attend the tour. He invited Ms. Meyers to attend the Banquet and she has
accepted his invitation.
He noted that we have a speaker form the Sarasota Hospital on the meeting this year and
suggested that we should expand our relationship with the local medical community.
XII. New England Chapter Report
Dr. Baffy reported that New England Chapter has entered its seventh year of existence.
They had their 22nd meeting at the Matolcsys’ house at Cape Cod. Although things are
generally going well, membership remains a challenge. They have had some great
scientific talks at the meetings and some of their speakers also come and present on our
XIII. Report from Hungary
Dr. Bodnar reported that they have their lecture series at Rozsakert, and thanked Dr.
Baffy for his lecture there for the second time. They will try to advertise this lecture
series on the HMAA website and invited all members to give lectures there when they
travel to Hungary. They would also like to use our relationship with the MOK to
advertise our meeting in Hungary through MOK publications.
She reported that the HAESF has so far supported 27 students to participate in our
exchange program. The HAESF is in good financial standing and they will be able to
support our program for at least the next twenty years. She noted that the Balatonfured
Conference was a great success and thanked Drs. A. and D. Tarnoki, Csathy and Veress
for their support and well as the BOD members who participated. She emphasized that
the Balatonfured meeting mainly serves as an advertisement for our Annual Scientific
Meeting here in Sarasota and that there is no conflict of interest between the two
meetings. She reported that Dr. Veress expressed his willingness to host this meeting as
long as he is director of the hospital in Balatonfured.
Dr. Bodnar reported that they do not have a tax identification number in Hungary, and
thus, they cannot provide receipts for participants at their functions. Dr. Bodnar will
discuss the potential solutions with Dr. Harangozo.
Dr. Bodnar suggested that in order to increase our membership, we should target foreign
medical students studying in Hungary who come to work to the United States.
Dr. Bodnar reported, as also described in her email to BOD members, that the US
Embassy in Hungary is organizing a US Alumni Club with prominent organizations
interested, including Fullbright, HAESF and the Rotary Club. In case we decide to
participate, we will have to present a project regarding what trainees participating in our
programs can bring back to Hungary. She suggested that we present a proposal based on
our anti-smoking efforts and studies being conducted in Hungary.
Dr. L. Mechtler reported that he and Drs. A. and D. Tarnoki sent a letter to Hungarian
Prime Minister Viktor Orban regarding our anti-smoking work in Hungary. They have
received a letter from Mr. Orban stating that someone from the Hungarian Government
will reply to our letter and a few weeks later they have received a long letter from Mr.
Szocska, a Secretary of State in the Hungarian Government, who thanked the efforts of
the HMAA in our anti-smoking campaign in Hungary. Dr. L. Mechtler reported that they
have published three articles about the anti-smoking work they performed in Hungary.
XIV. Report from Germany
Dr. Kovacs was not present at the BOD Meeting and has not submitted a written report.10
XV. Report from Canada
No report received.
XVI. Old Business
None to discuss.
XVII. New Business
Dr. L. Mechtler reported that the Nominating Committee recommends Dr. Baffy as
Presient-Elect. Dr. Baffy has accepted the nomination. Dr. L. Mechtler also reminded the
BOD that in terms of procedure, the President can be elected for another two-year term if
the BOD such decides. No other nomination for President-Elect was received from the
BOD. The BOD voted and Dr. Baffy’s nomination as President-Elect carried
With regards to BOD members, the Nominating Committee recommended that the three
BOD members whose first term expires this year should continue to serve on the BOD.
Dr. Acs noted that since Dr. Baffy became President-Elect, a position opened up on the
BOD. Nominations from BOD members for new members of the Board included Drs.
Andras Khoor and Tamas Lajos.
XV. List of Items for Follow-up
1. Invitation of Dr. Peter Ganz (Matolcsy, Baffy)
2. Addition of language to the bylaws about ethical standards and conflict of interest
3. Online payment for registration and membership dues (Garami, Peredy, Acs)
Geza Acs, MD, PhD