Pay it Forward – Chairman’s Message from Dr. Glickel

December 20, 2016

As Chairman of the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand, one of my concerns is that many of the members of the ASSH are not completely familiar with the scope of the programs within the AFSH and the many activities which these programs support. Quite frankly, I was last on the Foundation board in 2009 and then got back on an as Vice Chair two years ago. In the intervening years, so many programs were initiated that I was not entirely familiar with all of them. Therefore, one of my goals during the next 2 years is to raise awareness of how the Foundation supports our field, how members can benefit from Foundation offerings and how important membership support is to realize the mission and goals of the Foundation.

The three pillars of the Foundation are Research, Education and Outreach. All of the available programs within these divisions are outlined in detail in the About AFSH section of the AFSH website. During the past three decades, the AFSH has given in excess of $2.6 million for basic science and clinical research grants for over 100 projects which had been generated more than $20 million of additional research funding. There are a number of awards and programs supporting education and mentorship. Many of you are familiar with the Bunnell Traveling Fellowship, which has been around for many years but you may not be as familiar with the A. Lee Osterman Excellence in Education Award or the proposed David P. Green Mentorship Award both of which recognize outstanding teachers and mentors.   The Richard H. Gelberman Scholar allows a young surgeon to enhance his knowledge by visiting other programs and The Harold E. Kleinert Travelling Fellowship allows a surgeon from outside the U.S. visit centers to broaden his or her educational horizon. The Outreach Division supports members to participate in the Touching Hands Project which allows members and other healthcare professionals to visit underserved communities and provide much needed care. There are already missions planned for 2017 to Ghana, Honduras, Bolivia, Vietnam and Honduras. Many of our members who have participated in missions during the past two years have found the experience to be life changing.

The ASSH is fully supportive of the AFSH. In addition to several members of Council  serving as AFSH Trustees, the ASSH supports the AFSH financially. At their last meeting,  Council decided to give $1.5 million to the AFSH to be divided between research ($100,000), education ($700,000) and outreach ($700,000). Members of the ASSH should bear in mind that participation in the AFSH is not restricted. Any member can apply and be nominated to be a trustee of the Foundation. It is a good way to be involved in the decision making of the charitable arm of our great Society. Not everyone cares to be involved in that capacity and that is fine also. However, I would encourage every member to participate by making a donation to support the AFSH. It serves our membership well and we should give something back.

Sincerely, 

Steven Z. Glickel, MD
Chair, American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand
Term: 10/1/2016 – 9/15/2018