Your ASSH Council met in lovely Rosemont during the third week of January to discuss many important and exciting issues that will impact our members and patients during the coming year. The seventh class of Young Leaders joined the festivities and as always, added a fresh perspective to our discussions. I don't want to overwhelm you with the details of the meeting, (the agenda and supporting material required a PDF file of over 600 pages), so this update will give you an overview of Council discussions. Additional information will be communicated in the Weekly Member Update as necessary.
Mobile Application at the 2011 Annual Meeting
Thanks to your responses to a series of Weekly Member Update "One Question" surveys, we now know you are getting an increasingly significant amount of information from your mobile devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Android, or Blackberry). Given this fact, Mark Anderson and his staff investigated the possibility of providing our members with a mobile application for the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas. They have found a vendor who meets our rigorous specifications and we will indeed offer our members a mobile application for the September meeting. The final product will be compatible with the iPhone/Pad, Android and Blackberry platforms. Key features of the mobile application will include a schedule of events, session information, exhibit hall information including an interactive map, a map of the convention center and all the meeting abstracts. This is an exciting innovation that truly puts the Hand Society and our Annual Meeting ahead of the pack. Please stay tuned for future updates as we move toward the Annual Meeting.
Business of Hand Surgery Curriculum
Karen Zupko, one the nation's top medical practice advisors, the ASSH staff and I have worked during the past year to develop a business of hand surgery core curriculum. This curriculum will include the essential practice management knowledge needed to successfully compete in today's challenging environment. The Business of Hand Surgery Committee chair Anne Ouellette, MD, MBA, Jonathan Tueting, MD, David Ruch, MD, ASSH Practice Division Director, and staff members Sarah Hughes and Dawn Briskey are all working on this very ambitious project. Their first offering will be a webinar created in cooperation with Karen Zupko entitled "What Hand Surgeons Need to Pay Attention to in 2011 and Why." The webinar format will allow our members and their staff to participate in either a "live" interaction with the experts or delayed "on demand" viewing of the presentations via the Internet. The webinar will be offered February 22, 2011. More information about how to register and attend this webinar will be coming soon.
Progress on Expanding and Enhancing Education
Your immediate past-president, Bob Szabo, MD, MPH, embarked on an ambitious mission to expand and enhance hand surgery training in September 2009. His vision is now starting to take form. The two-year upper extremity fellowship is close to becoming a reality. The Training Advisory Group (TAG), chaired by Marty Boyer, MD, has been charged with the next phase of this initiative. Dr. Boyer presented a timeline for program and fellow applications, criteria for beta fellowship sites, as well as the establishment of an ASSH/ASES Board which will evaluate and select potential fellowship programs. Dr. Boyer has indicated the first combined ASSH/ASES fellowship will begin in the fall of 2013. More information will be communicated to all members, especially fellowship directors, in the next month.
Public Awareness through Facebook
Social Media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are no longer reserved for students and personal use. More and more businesses and organizations use these sites to promote their brand and products to a variety of engaged audiences. ASSH member Jay Pomerance, MD had success using Facebook to increase awareness and traffic to his local practice. He suggested the ASSH might wish to consider using social media sites to increase public awareness of hand surgery. Council has authorized staff to execute a trial three-month advertising campaign on Facebook to educate the public about the ASSH, hand conditions and hand surgery specialists in a cost effective way. Led by Tara Havenga, Director of Communications, the Hand Society will engage in a Facebook campaign with the initial goal of driving traffic to the "Find-a-Hand-Surgeon" tool on the ASSH website. The use of social networks will be expanded should this prove to be successful.
ASSH Central Office Location
The current real estate situation in the Chicago area and the fiscal health of the ASSH has created an opportunity for the ASSH to give serious consideration to owning its own space. In case you did not know, we have rented our office space from the AAOS since 1998. The AAOS is currently considering moving to another site and asked the ASSH (and many other specialty societies) to join in this venture. Mark Anderson, CAE and Treasurer Peter Weiss, MD have been in discussions with the AAOS regarding this issue for some time. The Council has reviewed the situation very carefully. Real estate experts familiar with the local market have been asked to advise Council regarding our options. The twenty-year economic projections would support purchasing our own space. Council authorized Peter Weiss, MD, Mark Anderson, CAE and me to work with staff to look into this further. We will bring a final recommendation to Council after we review the refined AAOS offer and determine what property options might best fit our needs.
As always, this year's class of Young Leaders was an impressive group. View a picture of the 2010 Young Leaders Class
. Council was joined by fifteen of the Society's emerging leaders who tackled three mega issues using the strategic decision-making skills taught by consultant Cate Bower, CAE. The mega issues addressed included the enhancing education initiative, attracting plastic surgeons to the specialty and increasing opportunities for multi-center clinical research. The Young Leaders offered important insights into these issues. We are grateful for their presence and look forward to working with them as they join ASSH committees and task forces.
We are also thankful for the participation of Norman Eckley and Roger Salvati of Medartis for their corporate sponsorship of the 2010 Young Leaders and their continued support of this important program.
Until next time,