Boston – what a fabulous city!  They have great tea parties, sports teams, restaurants and historic sites.  And this year, Boston will be hosting the premier sleep meeting in the United States – SLEEP 2012.  It is shaping up to be our best and biggest meeting ever, so you won’t want to miss it.  Dr. Heller and the program committee have put together a meeting that features something for everyone.

The AASM board of directors is very excited about this meeting and the kickoff to what is shaping up to be a pivotal year in sleep medicine.  We have recently approved our new respiratory scoring rules and are diligently working on revising the scoring manual so it will be available online with the new scoring rules, more illustrations and embedded FAQs.  Dr. Sateia and the ICSD-3 work groups are making substantial progress on the next version, and there will be a session at the meeting for all interested parties to give input.  We have started new work groups on a variety of practice parameters, including diagnostic testing for OSA, circadian rhythm disorders treatment, actigraphy and treatment of OSA with oral appliances.  Our incoming president, Sam Fleishman, has been working with a taskforce updating our accreditation standards, and the board will be reviewing those in upcoming meetings.  There are many more important initiatives that are either in-process or in-planning.

One of the major initiatives we will tackle this year is an update to our strategic plan.  The last comprehensive strategic planning process the AASM went through was in 2004-2005 under the direction of then President-elect Larry Epstein.  In reviewing past plans, it is amazing to note the accomplishments that the organization as the main driver for the field of sleep medicine set out to achieve and ultimately did – ACGME-accredited fellowships, ABMS certification exam for sleep medicine, the second revision of the ICSD, increased research funding through our foundation and expansion of the home office staff.  The practice of sleep medicine has become more complex, however, and there are a myriad of important issues –legislative, insurers, competency and testing, training, private industry, etc. – that face the AASM.  Given the complexity of these issues, we as a society need to know the pressing concerns of our membership and where we should concentrate our efforts.

We need your help.  A taskforce of the BOD has working on how to develop our strategic plan.  We are going to start with a simple online survey to a randomly-selected sample of membership.  We want YOU to help us understand what are YOUR main concerns and what our priorities should be.  The survey is simple, It will take you less that 5 minutes to complete.  We know your time is limited and precious, but if you are sent the survey – PLEASE – take the 5 minutes to complete it.  It will help us shape the AASM for the next several years – to keep us the premier society for sleep medicine providers!

See you all in Boston!

Nancy Collop, MD