Core values serve as guardrails to help us make important decisions. In January 2020, the AASM introduced the six core values adopted by the board of directors as part of our new strategic plan: adaptable, diverse and inclusive, evidence-based, innovative, patient-centered, and visionary. These values have inspired the courage to make bold decisions during uncertain times. The board abides by these core values to serve our members, field, and patients, and to attain our vision that sleep is recognized as essential to health.

Over the past year, many important decisions have been made and approved by the board of directors using our core values as guardrails. Below are just a few examples of how these core values helped to guide decisions made at our most recent quarterly meeting in January:

  • Adaptable: We approved the creation of a new Conflict of Interest Advisory Panel to improve the process of assessing potential conflicts of interest for all individuals in volunteer and elected positions.
  • Diverse and Inclusive: We approved the creation of a new Awards Panel, which will develop a more transparent and inclusive process for the nomination of candidates for the annual AASM awards.
  • Evidence-Based: We approved for publication several important papers based on the latest evidence in the field, including a clinical practice guideline on the treatment of central disorders of hypersomnolence and a position paper on the use of PSG and HSAT for the longitudinal management of OSA in adults.
  • Innovative: We approved a new “Change Agents” team-based competition that will build on the upcoming Sleep Medicine Disruptors course by fostering innovative solutions to challenges facing our field.
  • Patient-Centered: We approved the implementation of an accreditation program for non-sleep specialty practices to improve patient access to sleep care.
  • Visionary: We approved the development of a pilot program for the certification of software that uses artificial intelligence for sleep stage scoring.

One of my core values as a leader is to be appreciative of others, so I am especially excited to announce the 2021 AASM award recipients selected by the board of directors for their valuable contributions to our field:

  • Safwan Badr, MD, Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award
  • Terri Weaver, PhD, RN, William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award
  • Scott Williams, MD, Excellence in Education Award
  • Indira Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH, Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy or Advocacy Award

As current circumstances continue to challenge all of us to be adaptable, I encourage you to maintain an attitude of optimism as we look for better days ahead. Please know that I am grateful for you and appreciative of all the work being done by our members to advance sleep care and enhance sleep health even during these difficult times.

Kannan Ramar, MD