Looking Forward to a Fruitful Year Ahead
Rafi Avitsian, MD
Welcome to the winter issue of the newsletter. This will be the first one during which I will be addressing you as the SNACC President. The leadership structure of SNACC and succession in the Executive Council is planned in such a manner that by the time one becomes a president, one has already experienced the extent of work involved. The longer you serve on the EC the more you realize how much you are dependent on membership engagement and participation. We are thankful for the support you have offered, specifically those of you who have been more active members of the committees. We also thank those who are still interested and supportive, but have not been able to contribute as much as they were willing; indeed, we encourage them to continue their support of SNACC, as this is their home.
In addition to the usual problems that we encounter every year by having our Annual Meeting coincide with the ASA - including expensive flights, expensive and limited hotel rooms, and dense scientific portions with limited time for discussions or networking, to name a few - we also faced the inconvenience of hotel strikes during our 2018 Annual Meeting. Although we were notified too late to change the venue, we could still provide a full meeting without any session cancellations, thanks to the efforts of the Ruggles team. Dr. Deepak Sharma planned a fantastic meeting for us and I have only gotten positive remarks from our membership. Still, I do apologize to those members who faced any inconvenience during their hotel stay or were faced with room changes during the meeting.
I don’t want the SNACC membership to think that we have cut all ties with ASA by moving our Annual Meeting. We are still very much in touch and are collaborating with them in many ways including providing a SNACC panel in the ASA Annual Meeting, participating in their House of Delegates meeting as a subspecialty society of anesthesiology and membership in the subspecialty committee. Also, as you know, our members contribute to some of the best neuroscience talks of the ASA Annual Meeting. However, we have realized that, at least for now, moving away from the ASA Annual Meeting provides a more efficient meeting with richer content in a more affordable place where there will be ample time for networking and discussing scientific matters of interest. The 2019 SNACC Annual Meeting is going to be in an excellent venue with an exceptionally good scientific program. Dr. Chanannait Paisansathan is finalizing the plans for a full set of educational and scientific sessions with reasonable timings. In the meantime, if you would like to be involved and have ideas to help, specifically in the networking and more family-friendly fun activities, please step up and contact me. I am confident with your help this is going to be another successful year.
Recently, I attended the EuroNeuro 2018 meeting in Brussels to give a talk about the newly formed International Council on Perioperative Neuroscience Training (ICPNT). The moderator, while introducing me, mentioned that EuroNeuro is breaking their long-standing tradition of having only European speakers! I opened my talk by saying despite the fact that I practice in the USA, I am not representing any country or hospital for that talk. I stated that I was there as a member of SNACC. I pointed out that SNACC is an international organization and our society does not believe in borders in science. I hope our membership will grow from all geographic regions.
Another issue of note is the progress that ICPNT has achieved with the leadership of Dr. Andy Kofke. We have finalized the inaugural core members of the council. We have also reached out to some programs globally encouraging their involvement. The business aspect and budgeting are underway and we may start inviting a few programs to start their application process. This is a work in progress and I am happy to say that we are on track.
During the Annual Meeting, I tried to spend some time with committees by joining them for a few minutes during their meeting. I want to reiterate what I said earlier about how much I appreciate the help of those members who are active within the committees. Many had fantastic ideas and I am sure committee chairs will be following up on them. Specifically, I want to mention the excellent work of our committee on diversity and inclusion. Their work is very much involved in all committees including membership and communication. We have to investigate strategies for increasing our membership and make sure we are all inclusive in attracting new members. We also have to find ways to ensure our communications reach diverse groups and ask them to contribute to our newsletter, Twitter and all other methods of social media that the young generation knows much better than I.
Our communication and collaboration with our society journal, the JNA is flourishing. We had a presentation by Dr. Martin Smith during the Annual Meeting with an update on the journal and I encourage every member to read, teach from and contribute to the wealth of scientific information that this journal provides.
I finish my message by thanking the newsletter group for providing us with this excellent product from your contributions; please continue your good work.