“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change,” said Albert Einstein. This past year, the Academy was nimble and responsive to the needs of our members by quickly pivoting in making important decisions. The Academy saw and utilized opportunities in the face of challenges to benefit our members, our field, and our patients. Despite the pandemic, we made significant progress on our strategic goals and did not lose sight of our vision and mission. I will highlight some of these accomplishments at our annual membership meeting on June 14. You and all our members were incredibly resourceful and resilient as you faced challenges and have been an inspiration for me and our leadership at the Academy. For years, our Academy leaders have been planning for disruptions in our field. While we didn’t anticipate a pandemic this past year, we were well-prepared to adapt to these challenges.
The board has changed the culture of how it operates during board meetings this past year to serve our members, our field, and our patients better. The board is more engaged in generative and strategic thinking and planning, setting the organization’s mission and vision for the future, establishing and following organizational values, and providing oversight governance. By setting new process flows and defining outcomes to achieve, the board has taken deliberate steps to improve its effectiveness. The board is also conducting periodic self-assessments to improve as part of a culture of learning. I am very proud to have been chairing this board, and they have offered me more than I could have ever imagined.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members; the AASM staff; Executive Director Mr. Steve Van Hout; and the senior AASM staff leadership including Ms. Jennifer Ver Huel, Dr. Sherene Thomas, and Mr. Thomas Heffron; Executive Assistant Ms. Christen Whittington; and the board for all their contributions and sacrifices.
Dr. Raman Malhotra takes over the presidency of the Academy at the annual membership meeting on June 14. Dr. Malhotra is an associate professor of neurology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is also the program director of the sleep medicine fellowship program. He has served in several leadership roles including secretary-treasurer of the AASM. I have known Dr. Malhotra for several years now. He is a wonderful person and is the type of leader that is needed at this hour for the Academy. He is thoughtful, calm, and a true service-oriented leader. He thinks outside the box, is courageous, and is not hesitant to make bold decisions after careful consideration. The Academy is in great hands under his leadership. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Dr. Raman Malhotra as the president of the Academy on June 14!
Kannan Ramar, MD