Robert M. Szabo, MD, MPH
December 18, 2009
During the first few days of December, your Hand Society Council met in Rosemont, IL at our Central Office. The setting provided the perfect environment for a Council meeting packed with important and thoughtful deliberations about the future of hand surgery and about the ways the Hand Society can best serve the needs of our members and patients. Moreover, this year’s class of Young Leaders added innovative ideas and energy to all of our conversations. Here are the highlights from the major actions and discussions that took place:
Enhancing Education Task Forces
In September, I announced the creation of the Enhancing Education task forces chaired by Jim Chang, MD and Bill Seitz, MD to begin work toward educational excellence in hand training. The two groups have been hard at work this fall.
The task force charged with identifying key stakeholders surveyed the entire ASSH membership, and thanks to your participation, garnered an astounding 34% response. The data gathered from this survey will be used by the task force to plan the next steps. Meanwhile, Dr. Chang and his team drafted preliminary rotation templates for a two-year fellowship training program and a potential five-year integrated residency program in hand and upper limb training. The rotation templates will serve as the shell from which Marty Boyer, MD and Dave Lichtman, MD will begin to build an actual hand surgery curriculum. The progress is exciting and we look forward to seeing how this project will continue to evolve. Drs. Chang and Boyer will be making major reports and recommendation at our May 2010 Council Meeting.
Presentation by James C. Stanley MD
As we continue to work toward our educational goals, it is important to understand the process and history of other organizations. For this reason, I invited James C. Stanley, MD, of the University of Michigan and former president of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), to speak at this meeting. Council members heard Dr. Stanley’s outstanding presentation on how vascular surgeons expanded their training and created their own board. They too, started with a CAQ. Dr. Stanley explained how the SVS, an organization that has similar size and resources as we do, evolved and improved the training paradigm of their specialty. Dr. Stanley encouraged us to continue to be diligent in our pursuits and more importantly, to understand the project we have undertaken will not be a short one. Most importantly, his presentation showed that expanding our training programs is possible and moving to a separate board for hand surgery is feasible. I’d like to express my appreciation for Dr. Stanley’s presence and thank him for offering insight into his point of view.
Hand Society Textbook
The Hand Society is about to take the next step in our educational offerings by creating a comprehensive textbook for the upper extremity. We made an important stride over the fall in selecting editors for the first edition of the textbook. I am pleased to announce that Peter Weiss, MD, Tom Trumble, MD, Rod Hentz, MD and Dick Berger, MD have been selected as editors and will begin work in the New Year. I look forward telling you more about this project as it progresses.
Young Leaders Program
The 2009 Young Leaders Program was another great success. Follow this link to meet the class: Young Leaders 2009. This was the sixth class of Young Leaders to learn strategic decision-making and share their thoughts will Council. The class was divided into two subgroups to analyze and make recommendations for two mega issues: enhancing education and social media. Council considered their many thoughtful ideas and suggestions. As you may know, the Hand Society is interested in building its presence on the web. For this reason, I’m happy to announce the Young Leaders social media workgroup will now be the Social Media task force. This task force will work toward advantageous social media outlets that will improve public awareness, patient care, upper limb education and member value.
We are thankful for the participation of Norman P. Eckley, Interim President at Medartis, USA, for his corporate sponsorship of the Young Leaders and continued support of this important program.
Interested in helping with our social media effort? We need tech-savvy members to participate, give opinions, and generate materials to be shared. Contact Alexzandra Wallace at the Central Office at email@example.com.
2014 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting Committee, along with the help of our Meetings and Education Director Angie Legaspi, CMP, presented four cities on the East Coast in which to hold our 2014 Annual Meeting. Of the cities presented, I am pleased to tell you that your Council chose Boston, Massachusetts as our host. Boston was chosen in part because of the great venues that are available for our use, and also because this location will allow our European members easier access to join us for the occasion. The 2014 Annual meeting will also be a combined meeting of the ASSH and ASHT. The joint venture in San Francisco was a great success and we look forward to working with them to plan this event.
Creation of a Director-Elect position
Prior to the December Council Meeting Ed Akelman, MD accepted a position with the AAOS (Chair of the Education Council) that was judged to be a conflict with his current position as Education Director of the Hand Society. Thus, Dr. Akelman will resign his position as Education Director effective at the Boston Annual Meeting. In January, we will issue a call for applications for an Education Director-elect position, who will in October of 2010, assume Dr. Akelman's remaining term and who will begin working with Ed this spring to ensure a smooth transition for this important Council position.
Corporate Advisory Council Meeting
The December Council meeting also hosted the third meeting of our new Corporate Advisory Council. It included our presidential line, chair of our Corporate Support Committee, Bill Seitz, Fred Fakharzadeh, MD (AFSH President), and Ed Diao, MD (Chair of our Commercial Support Committee) as well as representatives from Medartis, Biomet, Inc., Small Bone Innovations, Inc., Stryker, Inc., Wright Medical Technologies, and Intergra LifeScience. The mission of the Corporate Advisory Council is to promote the advancement of upper extremity surgery and patient care through dialogue between physicians and industry representatives in a transparent and ethical fashion. In May, the group worked together toward several important strategic initiatives including a white paper that includes the Ten Commandments for Ethical Relationships.
We collaborated with Remington PR, a firm suggested by Brad Bender of Medartis, to create a dynamic press release. Our version of the release was distributed on Thursday, December 10, and clips have been picked up by 200 online news sources ranging from Yahoos News to various local news stations across the country, to specialty sources like the Biotechnology Association of Alabama. The CAC is scheduled to meet again in May and we will keep you informed of their progress.
As you can see, our volunteers and staff are busy with many initiatives. We will continue to update you with the progress of these many projects. Happy Holidays!
Until next time.