This week’s HypnoGram will focus on the AASM staff.  I have been a member of the AASM since 1990 and have greatly enjoyed watching it grow.  For those of you who have worked with the AASM staff, I am sure you will agree that they are great – always professional, courteous and helpful.  The number of staff has grown commensurate with the society.  The AASM has added several PhDs to assist with the development of practice parameters; MBAs to assist with accounting; as well as people with political and health economics experience to assist with legislative and coding issues.  

Kathleen McCann, Thomas Heffron and their communications crew are incredible writers and do a marvelous job with speech writing, interactions with media and a variety of publications.  The meeting group has provided an incredible annual meeting every year that continues to add innovation and comprehensive offerings. The accreditation group has expanded to accommodate the new accreditations of “out of center sleep testing” and DME.  The expertise of the staff is broad, and it has greatly benefitted the membership.  And, if you weren’t aware, the AASM provides staff services to several other organizations including the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, the American Association of Sleep Technologists, the Sleep Research Society and the American Association of Dental Sleep Medicine.  All of these organizations have likewise benefitted from the experienced and diverse staff. 

The growth of the society also allowed the AASM to embark on building its own office in Darien, IL.  For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit, I can tell you it is a fantastic building.  It has employed “green technology” to make it more energy efficient.  You may be a bit taken back by the landscaping (it looks like a prairie) but that is all part of the efficiency.  There is even a “green roof” over one section of the building.  If you are ever in the area or have the opportunity to take a course there, I would encourage you to visit – I guarantee you will be impressed.

At the top of the organization is Mr. Jerry Barrett.  Jerry prefers to stay in the background, but he is truly the glue that holds the organization together.  He is politically astute and is always advocating what he thinks it best for the society.  He is forward thinking and tries to anticipate changes that will affect the field and the society.  The recent end-of-the-year independent audit of the organization was incredibly insightful to us on the board of directors.  The auditors touted the efficiency of the organization, the processes that were in place and the staff, specifically Jerry, who clearly provided strong and organized leadership.  The AASM chose well in hiring Jerry – he has helped grow this organization into the force that it is, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with, and learn from, him.

I would love to acknowledge every member of the staff by name, but I don’t have room – however, I would like to personally thank every one of them for all that they do to make the society the first class operation it is!

Nancy Collop, MD