A Growing and Changing Hand Society

Presidential Update 10/13

Scott H. Kozin, MD
Scott H. Kozin, MD
October 2013

As I begin my term as the 68th President of ASSH, I inherit the leadership mantle during a very exciting time. First, we should all congratulate and thank Ed Akelman, MD for his leadership, stewardship, and drive toward redefining our educational mission using technology.

Michael Hausman, MD and Fraser Leversedge, MD deserve accolades for spearheading our most innovative Annual Meeting ever with reference to content, education, and without paper! San Francisco was a huge success due to the dedication of our members and leaders. Special thanks to outgoing Council members (Edward Diao, MD, Brent Graham, MD, and Andrew Lee, MD) for their years of service. I am happy to welcome our new Council members: Vice President Neil Jones, MD, Research Director Kevin Chung, MD, and Member-at-Large David Netscher, MD.

We will end 2013 and kick off 2014 with some of the most exhilarating and substantial projects the Hand Society has ever undertaken. Here is a summary of the major action items:

After months of planning and preparing our content for the new ASSH online platform, I am thrilled to report that Council approved a Hand-e business plan for the foreseeable future. Hand-e will be available to all dues-paying ASSH members as a benefit to your membership. This new membership benefit of Hand-e is set to go live sometime in December. You will be able to view all ASSH videos, articles, and images, accessible through a singular search function. Thank you to Michael Hausman MD and Ray Raven, MD for leading the Hand-e effort and making it a reality.

Touching Hands Project (THP)
This project will serve as one of Council’s top initiatives in 2014 and beyond. This initiative represents an opportunity to increase our impact around the world and within the global hand community. THP represents a potential legacy that would propel the ASSH into the future. We plan to complete a test mission in November to Haiti with Partners in Health. In February 2014, ASSH will send 7-8 individuals back to Haiti for our inaugural mission. Thanks to the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand for agreeing to fund the first two missions in 2014 and 2015 while we raise additional monies to endow future Touching Hands missions. The response from the membership has been overwhelming.

Emergency Hand Care
The leadership of Scott Levin, MD has been essential in moving forward with this important issue. Scott and his ER Hand Care Committee met last August in Chicago with two representatives from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and one individual from the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA). Collectively, the group began defining referral systems and developing additional ideas to support the overall mission of improving the quality of emergency hand care. These changes will have a positive impact on patient care and minimize inappropriate referrals.

ACCME Standards
Education is the core mission of the ASSH. Our Society is steadily growing and consistently changing, which is why Council has made it a priority to review our process of providing CME. In San Francisco, we approved a series of policies and procedures that will bring us into tighter compliance with ACCME standards. These changes will have a relatively low impact on members but a high impact on the status of ASSH as a provider of continuing education. Thank you to Education Division Director Alex Shin, MD for leading this process.

Osterman and Riordan Funds
Council approved two important named funds in San Francisco. First is the Osterman Excellence in Education Fund, organized by John Bednar, MD and colleagues. This fund will distribute a $5,000 honorarium each year to an ASSH member of at least 15 years who has demonstrated excellence as an educator. The recipient will present an ICL, present at The Philadelphia Annual Meeting, and be inscribed on a plaque displayed at the ASSH Central Office.

Second is the Riordan Education Fund, which will provide $1,500 each year for a resident or fellow to attend the ASSH Residents and Fellows Conference. Both funds will be announced at the 2014 ASSH Annual Meeting. Thanks to our treasurer, Jim Chang, MD for leading these important initiatives of naming funds for the Hand Society.

Nominating Committee Ballot
By mid-October, members can expect a ballot regarding ASSH Nominating Committee nominations. Individuals proposed at the business meeting this year were:

• Eric T. Tolo, MD
• Angela A. Wang, MD
• Lisa L. Lattanza, MD
• Julie A. Katarincic, MD

Please be sure to cast your vote for two of the nominees listed above.

ASSH Textbook
The newly released ASSH Textbook of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery generated a huge purchase response. The publication is available as a printed book and/or e-book. Thank you to Managing Editor Arnold-Peter Weiss, MD for making this launch successful. Peter worked with an excellent group of editors to publish this two-volume, all-encompassing publication including Chuck Goldfarb, MD, Vincent Hentz, MD, Ray Raven, MD, Scott Steinmann, MD and David Slutsky, MD.

If you did not have a chance to test the Textbook’s online platform at Annual Meeting, view a demo chapter. Details about this publication are available online at the ASSH Store.

The Hand Society is growing and changing for the better. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2014 ASSH Annual Meeting, September 18-20 in Boston! The program chairs are Bobby Chhabra, MD and Jennifer Wolf, MD. They are already working hard to provide you with an exceptional program.



Scott H. Kozin, MD
President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand