A Winter Update from President Akelman

Presidential Update 12/12

Edward Akelman, MD
Edward Akelman, MD
December 2012

The ASSH Council conducted a very exciting and productive meeting for three days in December. We were proud to hold the meeting at our brand new ASSH offices in Chicago for the very first time. As you all know, the December Council meeting includes our Young Leaders group. With the help of the 2012 Young Leaders, the Council made some very important decisions that I feel will benefit our members greatly.

Here is an overview of our December meeting’s major items:


I am pleased to announce that Council has approved the implementation of SHUEHORN, our new web-based learning platform. After an informative presentation from SHUEHORN Task Force Co-Chair Michael Hausman, MD and staff, the Council enthusiastically agreed to fund the creation of a fully integrated platform that will allow us to offer all ASSH educational content digitally including surgical videos, presentations, self-examination quizzes, and more. The initial approved investment will likely reach up to $360,000 just for software platforms. While this is a significant commitment, SHUEHORN is a multi-faceted tool that can benefit every member of the medical community and bring great advances, conveniences and value to our members. We estimate that the implementation of SHUEHORN’s first phase will take 12-18 months. Council and the SHUEHORN Task Force will be working over the coming months on details of this exciting project.

International Task Force

On the second day of our meeting, Kevin Chung, MD, Chair of the International Task Force, gave a comprehensive presentation on the Hand Society’s investment in international activities. Council officially committed to helping the International Task Force enhance educational opportunities and identify partnerships internationally. The Task Force has a comprehensive, long range plan to develop our global reach through joint meetings with international societies, collaborating on research projects, and creating an International Visiting Professor Program for the developing world.

ASSH Contribution to the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand

As some of you may know, ASSH has proudly pledged to donate $1 million to the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand (AFSH) over a period of four years. Kicking off the commitment, Council voted to give $500,000 from 2012 ASSH funds, helping the Foundation get one step closer to its 25th anniversary fundraising goal. We look forward to lending our support to the Foundation’s mission of developing an expanding research portfolio, enhanced excellence in hand surgery education through technological innovation, and outreach to underserved populations. To learn more about the 25th Anniversary Campaign or to submit your pledge, visit our Foundation page.

Patient Education

I am happy to report that Council will be providing the Public Education Committee with initial funds to produce three patient education videos to be posted on our website. Committee member Diane Riley, MD, has graciously volunteered to take the lead on developing these videos. The committee will now work to select topics and begin creating the first video.

Young Leaders 2012

It was a pleasure hosting the 2012 Young Leaders who joined us for the second day of our Council meeting. The 16 Young leaders were divided into three work groups, supervised by past President Andy Lee. Each group gave excellent presentations on their topics which were: the CAQ exam, the ASSH membership process, and cost-effective hand care. After discussing their presentations, Council voted to support the Young Leaders’ recommendation to change timing of the CAQ exam so it can be taken as soon as a hand fellow has completed his or her fellowship and is Board-eligible. I will communicate this idea to the boards. Council believes it will not only improve the experience for test-takers but will also encourage more fellowship-trained surgeons to complete the exam. We will continue to plan how to move forward with the additional recommendations made by the Young Leaders in the coming months. We appreciate their well-researched presentations and look forward to working with such a dedicated group.

Nominating Committee

I would like to welcome my two new appointments to the Nominating Committee. Drs. Kang and Lubahn join the four other individuals on the Committee, including two who were chosen by our members for the first time in ASSH history. The current Committee now includes:

Andrew Lee, MD, Chair
Kodi Azari, MD, appointed by Dr. Lee
John Lubahn, MD, appointed by Dr. Akelman
John Seiler, MD, elected by ASSH members
Lana Kang, MD, appointed by Dr. Akelman
Gary Woods, MD, appointed by Dr. Lee
David Zelouf, MD, elected by ASSH members
I am confident that our new Nominating Committee will do a great job.

With our upcoming slate of projects, 2013 will no doubt be an interesting year. I look forward to updating you after our May Council meeting. Don’t forget to register for the 68th Annual Meeting, October 3-5 in San Francisco!

Until next time,


Edward Akelman, MD
President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand