L. Andrew Koman, MD
September 26, 2008
I am pleased to announce that the 63rd Annual Meeting was a great success, thanks to all those who contributed to our efforts. I would especially like to thank our outgoing president, Steve Glickel, MD, and this year’s program chairperson, John Seiler, MD. Together we have made wonderful progress, and we are looking forward to implementing some exciting new initiatives. Below is an overview of our current status and future plans.
Peter Weiss, MD, chair of the Public Awareness Task Force, has worked with the task force to create a public awareness initiative. The first step will be designing an online media kit to be made available for interested parties. This will allow members of the media to quickly access important information for relevant stories, such as the Paul Hamm story or the recent California hand reattachment story.
Council has also approved the creation of viral videos – short video clips of common procedures – that will be available online (e.g., YouTube) and easily found by search engines. The idea here is that when many patients are diagnosed with a hand ailment, their first step at self-education is to search the injury or disease online. These videos will give patients good information from a reliable source and will encourage them to visit a hand surgeon. The videos will also direct the patients to the ASSH website to find more information. Both these efforts will be very cost effective ways to increase public knowledge about our specialty.
The publications program, under the leadership of Ghazi Rayan, MD, has had an excellent year. Check out the three new products released at this year’s Annual Meeting including: Fractures of the Upper Extremity: A Master Skills Publication, edited by Jeffrey Budoff, MD; Upper Extremities Nerve Repair- Tips and Techniques: A Master Skills Publication, edited by David Slutsky, MD; and Crucial Elements in Hand Surgery 2- edited by Pedro J. Beridjiklian, MD.
Dr. Rayan and the PPAC committee are working with Ed Akelman, MD, Education Division Director, to create a new structure for publication development that will streamline the process for our authors and editors and increase efficiency in the publications program. This will improve distribution channels and expand the program capacity. These changes will facilitate our new publications for 2009.
The Hand Society is in good financial condition. Under the leadership of former Treasurer Thomas Trumble, MD and our new Treasurer Peter Weiss, MD, stewardship for our reserves, including contributions to the Foundation’s Future in Hand campaign, has been superb. About three years ago, the Hand Society decided that our investment strategy should be primarily passive, allowing investments to follow the general trend of the market. Recently, the leadership has taken a close look at our investment strategy and agreed that it is appropriate to revisit our asset allocation and our overall philosophy. The Investment Policy Task Force members, Thomas Trumble, MD, chair, W. P. Andrew Lee, MD, Arnold-Peter Weiss, MD, Robert Szabo, MD, and Michael Hausman, MD, are working diligently to consider revising our philosophy and investment strategy. Council will consider final recommendations from the task force in December.
Past President Steve Glickel, MD created a task force, chaired by Bill Seitz, MD to investigate the member value and tax implications of intellectual property. Dr. Seitz’s task force researched these issues, received advice from our legal counsel, Jed Mandel, and held a member forum at the Annual Meeting about the value of volunteerism. Council -- based on legal, moral, and practical considerations -- tabled an attempt to designate monetary value to member contributions of time and efforts. We are enormously grateful for our volunteers and their contributions. The success of our society is attributable to our members’ selfless and priceless contributions.
It’s an exciting time for the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand. Peter Stern, MD was elected as Chair of the Foundation and will be working closely with Anne Miller, MD, and the rest of the Foundation board to continue the success of the last two years and to move toward the conclusion of our capital campaign in the fall of 2009. Peter Weiss, MD and Fraser Leversedge, MD are implementing a young members giving initiative, and our young members have been impressively responsive.
Terry Light, MD’s hard working team received a remarkable $150,725 in pledges at the Annual Meeting, bringing the new total for the Future in Hand Capital Campaign to $3,685,808. Thank you to everyone who has contributed!