Updated Annual Health and Medical Record Rolling Out in September

An updated Annual Health and Medical Record will be available to Scouts everywhere Sept. 3. Its use will be mandated by Jan. 1, 2014.

The 2012 AHMR revision includes several noticeable changes. In an effort to support the BSA’s All Markets Strategy, we have developed a bilingual format. As you know, accurate medical information is vital to keeping Scouts safe and healthy at all Scouting events. This new format will make it easier for councils and volunteers to have a completed AHMR—as required for all participants.

One other feature is a scanner-friendly Part C, a pre-participation physical that will facilitate electronically capturing key data for faster intake at large events and camps.

As always, careful planning went into the development of the updated version, with input coming from councils, volunteers, and the Health and Safety Team. These revisions do not include any changes to BSA policy and will benefit everyone in Scouting, no matter what adventure is being planned. The revisions will also be reflected in all supporting documents such as the AHMR FAQ Web page.

Once the bilingual AHMR and its supporting materials are launched Sept. 3, any older printed versions should be destroyed. Please host the AHMR page link, www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/ahmr.aspx, on your Web page and not a PDF version of the form to avoid any confusion. You’ll always find the most current information on that Web page.

35 Responses to Updated Annual Health and Medical Record Rolling Out in September

  1. Sean says:

    Will this be released as a fillable pdf file? Having it as such makes is MUCH more legible, especially for large events such as the Jamboree.

  2. Tom Piaskowski says:

    Dear Sir or Madam: what drives the need for a bilingual form? English is the defacto language of the United States of America with 96% of the population able to readily communicate in that manner. My non-english speaking ancestors were able to learn the language, what is preventing other people from doing so? Doesn’t this change to the form go against the spirit of self-reliance that is found throughout SCOUTING?

    Regards, Tom Piaskowski T621 Orwigsburg PA 570 590 1130

    • With 2.7 million youth and 1.1 million adults, the BSA has a diverse membership. The Hispanic community is the fastest growing population in our country which is reflected in our membership. In an effort to provide the Scouting experience to every eligible youth, we must keep in mind that many parents of Scouts may not speak English and it is necessary that they understand the requirements to prepare their children for participation. The BSA continually monitors the needs of our membership to make appropriate adjustments and a bilingual medical form is one step of many intended to make Scouting more accessible. This form also helps ensure that we capture accurate medical information vital to keeping Scouts safe.

      • Derek says:

        I have no problems with addressing the diverse needs by having a Spanish version of the form but why clutter it needlessly for the majority who AREN’T Spanish-only readers? If you’re going to revise the form YET AGAIN, why keep the stupidity of putting a talent release statement on the back of a MEDICAL form? Talent release statements should be included in permission or registration forms NOT medical forms.

        This change is seriously stupid. Let me repeat: Este formulario está seriamente estúpido. Si, estúpido!

      • American scout dad says:

        The scout oath which is in English clearly says “To do my duty to God and My Country. A clear duty to our Country would be to Honor and respect our Official language which is English. This new form is a joke. When it is printed, the left side margin which is to contain scouts personal data,is lost because of the dual language layout.Now we end up with an incomplete form with transposed information missing. How is this making any scout safe?

  3. Steve Bronson says:

    Tom, with Hispanics being the fastest growing demographic in the US population, BSA (much like the Catholic Church) is attempting to tap into this potential source of new members by bending over backwards to cater to them. The rest of us might as well get used to being “yesterday’s news” to National Council.

  4. Calvin Gray says:

    This is the silliest form I’ve seen the BSA design. There is absolutely no longical or practical reason to have a form in two languages. Besides, the font is too small to read. Don’t believe me? Print it and see if this is something you want to fill out and submit to your doctor.

  5. Dan Carlson says:

    Hello, I respectfully request that you please share the strategy as noted:

    “In an effort to support the BSA’s All Markets Strategy, we have developed a bilingual format”.

    I would like to review this strategy and further, to know what outreach was conducted and feedback that was received that led to the decision to move in this direction. Thank you.
    -Dan Carlson T7288 Dallas, OR

  6. Several questions about 1/1/2014 – From the FAQ’s

    Q. Can I use last year’s Annual Health and Medical Record with a physical conducted in August 2012 for a summer camp in June 2013?
    A. Yes, because 2013 will be a transition year. An Annual Health and Medical Record that contains a valid physical exam can be used to meet your council’s resident camp standards in 2013. It is suggested that those individuals who do not have a current physical exam form completed transition now to the updated format. Beginning in 2014, it will become mandatory to use the updated Annual Health and Medical Record.

  7. I have to agree with Tom of PA. With this form seeming to be “updated” every year or two, the volunteers in our district may start to revolt. We district-level volunteers get the brunt of the complaints.

    Why is this change necessary? Does the BSA also plan to come-up with English/French (#3 language)? What about places like Portland, Maine where over 50 languages are spoken in the school system?

    Why not an English version and then make a separate version in other languages available?

    This looks like a busy-body solution looking for a problem to me.

  8. William Stark says:

    Dear Sirs,
    While the goal of the BSA to be inclusive should be applauded, a completed form in any other language besides English is misguided in my opinion. The new form is also very difficult to read and follow.

    Just how does one use a form completed in Spanish on a Campout? If I cannot read it how will I address an issue with a scout with such a form?
    Haven’t you just rendered legible forms in an emergency completely moot? And even the need to have a form for every participating scout or scouter moot? What good is a piece of paper in Mandarin or Spanish in a troop of English speaking/reading Scout Leaders?

    Should Troops need to get indemnification from BSA for requiring them to accept forms that most if not all of the Troops leaders cannot even read?

    If my child was going to participate in a Scout activity with the Finnish Scouts, I would like his health form completed in Finnish. I would use a Finn to help me complete the Finland Scouting Form in Finnish. Spanish Forms would best be used in those countries in Europe,Central and South America that actually are fluent in the Language.

  9. Nita Grubbs says:

    I think the format having Spanish on the form will help families where one or more of the parents may have limited understanding of printed English.

    My main concern is the extremely small font on Parts A and B. Even with a new glasses prescription, I am having to squint to read the tiny print. There is a longstanding issue of folks filling out the form completely. With this tiny font, they won’t be able to read half of it to fill it out. I would highly recommend putting Parts A and B each on two pages as you have with Part C.

    This will make the form much easier to read and navigate. If there should be an emergency situation, this small type might make it difficult to quickly find important information. The most valuable information on the form is Part A and it will be unreadable.

    I would also recommend adding back more places for medications. More and more Scouts are coming to camp with more than 3 medications, much less the older adults. The line for a parent signature approving administration of medications is an area that typically was overlooked on the old form reportedly because the parent didn’t see it. It will be more difficult to notice on this form.

    Need more space for Allergies.

    Overall, will be ok, if it can be formatted to be readable.

  10. Sean says:

    How do the English speaking emergency medical providers interpret the non-english medical information when minutes count? I understand being more approachable, but time translating should be spent completing the form, not when EMS is relying on the form.


  11. Lisa NIcklas says:

    I am more interested in if this will be in a filable PDF.

    In that case if it is, then have a drop down file for whatever language the person needs. That should address everyones issue on the language.

  12. Christine Hummel says:

    In my 20+ years as a graphic designer at several companies (and having designed some items in foreign languages), I have never seen a bilingual FORM until now — even when I lived in California. If forms must be offered in Spanish, they need to be separate documents, available upon request.

    On the other hand, I agree with Tom and Scott concerning languages. Where does it stop? What about… Bosnian? Hindi? Tagalog? Zulu? Mandarin? Arabic? …

  13. Dale Wittler says:

    Has anyone addressed the issue of health care providers coding scout physicals as routine preventive care instead of under an administrative service? Sports physicals are routinely done, but health care providers exclude scouting and insurance companies often do not pay for this service even though a physical is considered preventive care included in a family policy. I see the new form as adding more confusion and billing hassles to the process. Again, seems like we’re catering to lawyers and please don’t throw the Catholic church under the bus because it wants to be more inclusive. It’s like the Tower of Babble all over again.

  14. Andrew Colby says:

    The old version of the form is still on the AHMR page today.

  15. Paul Collinson says:

    I appreciate Christine’s comment regarding her experience of 20+ years and Dale’s concern. My experience with the current form is that I have to explain it to the doctor (too complicated), that the Doctor stamps his contact info (too crowded), and now that the update has two pages for the doctor I’m thinking that I’ll be charged an extra fee for a second page. I was charged $35 this May and my son was $10. Interestingly, the high school sport form here in Virginia has only one page for the doctor….and needs no emanation as it is NOT complicated. It is also, not bilingual.

  16. monica farina says:

    Today is Sept. 10th and I don’t see the new form at the link provided. Based on the comments noted here, perhaps they’ve delayed the roll out?

  17. Randy Smith says:

    I have to agree with the comments on making separate forms. I think that’s what we did with registration forms. I looked at the new forms and it does look much more complicated due to the added language.

    Please reconsider this decision.

    Randy Smith

  18. Brian says:

    Yes, please reconsider this form. I really can’t accept medical forms written in a language other than English in my troop because my adult leaders and most doctors can’t read the other language. Making it bilingual makes the form long and clumsy which is not the direction we want to go. Separate forms seems like the way to go though I still would require my scouts to turn the forms in in English since I need to be able to read them.

  19. Bert Gibson says:

    As many leaders contend, and I wholeheartedley agree with; the new form should not be in two languages, but rather in English with aleternative language pages as neccesssary for the small percentage of persons who might require an alternative language other than the primary one of English.
    Too small of font no room to write, and lots of wasted paper and ink that the majoprity of scouts will not use anyhow.
    in short a bad plan and please reconsider this, there is a better way.

  20. CJ Turner CIEC says:

    I have to admit that I HATE this new format. Let me clarify that I actually am bilingual and wear the Spanish interpreter strip and helped to charter a new Hispanic unit. That being said, I much prefer the two separate forms. This reads terribly. It actually causes more confusion, in my opinion. It also makes the form nedlessly long. It would only be three pages normally, but now, it’s six regardless of your language. Not very ‘Green’ if you ask me. This was definately developed by a committee, if you know what I mean.

  21. Wally Robinson says:

    PLEASE, I repeat, PLEASE, very quickly create an English-only version and a separate Spanish-only version. In the past my doctor has tolerated filling out the older form (as opposed to attaching results of a current phyiscal form). I’m very concerned he will be much less willing to fill this out, especially when literally half of it does not apply and will be left blank.

    PLEASE, with a cherry on top, change the form very quickly.

    Thank you in advance!

  22. Anne Hanson says:

    I appreciated the ability to fill in the .pdf form online, save before printing, and edit for another child, but was dismayed by the tiny font, which required me to find my reading glasses. My forms will be more legible filled in by hand (an irritation after filling in online).

    If removing Spanish instructions provides more room for a larger font, it makes a compelling reason to create separate language versions.

    Also, the Name/DOB header info on the long side of each page does not print vertically as it should.

  23. Need A Form says:

    Does someone have a link to the old form? This new one is totally unreadable and next to useless. Thank You!

  24. Christy Eimen says:

    This is ridiculous! I protest! I want the old form back! The DMV has everything in Spanish, why can’t the BSA leave the form alone! Make a separate form in Spanish, for the Hispanic people. It is too hard to read & if there is a real emergency, I do not want to navigate through Spanish to find my answer!

  25. Cherie Fryman says:

    I applaud your inclusion of Spanish speakers but I believe they would be happy to use a Spanish-only form and I would much prefer an English-only form. When I hand my son’s doctor this overly thick stack of pages to fill out they will want to charge extra. Also, have you considered what a waste of resources it is to print a form in duplicate? And having no choice but to do so? What committee made this poorly thought out decision? Was anyone on it that actually uses these forms?

  26. Diane Andrews says:

    The new form is AWFUL! I can’t even imagine taking this form to my Scout’s doctor and asking him to weed through it in order to fill it out properly. I would be embarrassed to ask him to sort through that tedious mess that makes insurance and tax forms simple by comparison. If I can’t get my hands on an old form, we’ll skip camp this year. I’m positive physicians and parents will nearly all miss something (maybe something important) because it is practically unworkable! This needs fixing! I do NOT want my son in an emergency situation and someone unable to help him quickly because they can’t find the information they need in that form! Release BSA from liability when they create a safety and preparedness problem?!! Not on your life! …or my son’s!!

  27. Mike Schabel says:

    This new form is horrible! You’ve published a four-part New Youth form in Spanish to appeal to Spanish-Speaking people. That’s fine because I can obtain the form in English only. I’m sure publishing hundreds of thousands of four-part forms is not cheap. I don’t have a problem with that, but when you publish an internet document as a bi-lingual form and don’t make it available for the over 90% of people who speak English and make up the core of Scouting in this country.
    I’m sure the form was created in Word or Publisher or some other publishing package and then converted to Adobe. So it would be fairly inexpensive to make several different versions of it that would be readable, and be in a font size that is legible without a magnifying glass. I’ve donated lots of money to Scouting and this is the way it’s spent!?

  28. Mike Schabel says:

    If didn’t explain myself clearly in the above post, it looks like BSA can spend all kinds of money on a Youth Application written in Spanish, however on a form that is only displayed on the Internet there is no money available to make a Spanish version and an English version.

  29. Bob Fales says:

    What about Hindi or Gujarat for areas with high Asian Indian population? What about Polish, same issue? What about ? Having dedicated forms in different languages is fine. Cramming two languages into one form is distracting, confusing, and unnecessary.

  30. Brice Hutton says:

    I agree with many posters that the forms should be made available in one language at a time. Also, there should be versions for immigrants from countries other than Mexico. This makes little sense to me and is very confusing.

  31. Gordon Graham says:

    I’m seeing a consensus forming here. Please bring back an English only form for the benefit of the majority of members you’re trying to serve….That is, if you truly feel you are there to serve us and improve our Scouting experience.

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