Don Mackay, MD
Preparations are well under way for the Spring meeting in Chicago. Joe Losee and the scientific program committee are putting the finishing touches to what promises to be another terrific meeting. Joe has a separate report in this newsletter.
I want to address the evolving position that the Association has taken a lead in being as transparent as possible with our conflicts of interest. Last year we required that every presenter had to put up a slide that disclosed any financial interest over $2,500.00. This year we are requiring that everyone whose name is on a presentation, not just the presenter, list financial interests over $2,500.00. The amount and the entity involved must be on a slide at the beginning of the presentation. The slide will be kept up for a full 10 seconds. The presenter does not have to make any comments during this time. It will be up to the audience to make up their own minds about any conflicts. Ultimately, we hope to have a full disclosure of any and all financial listing such as those disclosed on the public websites. Regardless of the financial arrangements that many of us have, we believe that being fully transparent about them is in our, and ultimately our patientsí best interests.
The health of the Association relies on the work so many of you contribute to the committees.
The Membership Committee led by Julie Hansen undertook a review of our selection process and made some suggestions to encourage more worthy candidates to apply for membership and to increase diversity in our members. The early efforts are paying off. We have almost double the number of applicants this year than we did last year. I am sure that many of you, like me, remember how special it was to become a member of the Association. It is important that the broad membership have input in selecting candidates for this honor. I appeal to all of you to make a special effort to review and rank the candidates this year.
Russel Reid is leading the Research and Education Committee in the important tasks of selecting next year's academic scholars. This is an exacting task. The academic scholar awards have become firmly established as a flagship program for the Association. Over the years our members contributions have ensured the financial stability for these awards. The success is readily apparent when you look at the how many of the scholars went on to obtain external funding for their research. That, and their new discoveries they make Plastic Surgery stronger and the lives of our patients better. Nine years ago, I was convinced of the excellent return on investment when I committed to the 1:10:100 campaign. I hope more of you will consider making the same commitment going forward. Russelís committee has also been engaged in identifying candidates who will be recognized for their career achievements in basic and clinical science research.
Many of you have participated in conference calls and put time into the work of the other committees. Jim Chang and the Investment Oversight Committee undertook a review of our investment strategy and goals, to ensure sound stewardship of our investments. Nick Vedder has led both the Honors and Nominating Committees to recognize leaders and major contributors to our field and select a slate of officers that will lead us next year.
Your board met in Chicago last month to discuss many of these topics. The board has a follow-up conference call in January leading up to the spring meeting in Chicago.
I want to sincerely thank all of you for your efforts. Your contributions make the Association.
I wish all of you everything of the best for the upcoming holidays and every success in the New Year.
Don Mackay, MD