Seventeen years ago, I joined the AASM and volunteered to serve as a member of the Health Policy Committee.  At the time, I wasn’t sure what I could offer to the society or field, but I realized the greater importance of personal investment in my career and sleep medicine, which at the time was a relatively small and new field.  During this critical time in the evolution of our field, the Health Policy Committee made presentations to insurers about the importance of coverage policies for sleep medicine services – work that set the foundation for wide-spread clinical reimbursement. 

Over the years, I have also served on the Accreditation Committee and the Coding and Compliance Committee, represented the AASM as a delegate to the American Medical Association’s RUC and Sleep Medicine Multispecialty Workgroup, and participated on the Future of Sleep Medicine Task Force and Technology Evaluation Task Force.  My involvement with each of these activities broadened my understanding of the professional issues that face clinical practice and afforded me the opportunity to have an active and engaged role in shaping my profession.   Volunteering with a committee also enabled me to forge strong connections with colleagues from all over the country who are now my friends, and work collaboratively with these colleagues to identify issues and create solutions that benefit AASM members and our patients.  

As the President-elect of the AASM, I invite you to serve as a member of one of the AASM’s standing committees.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of the AASM and our field, and I encourage you to reap the same rewards I experienced as a committee member: knowledge, networking, volunteerism and investment in my profession.  The deadline to submit your volunteer interest form and materials is February 20, 2012.