Welcome to my first edition of the HypnoGram.  This blog, started by Nancy Collop, has been a helpful resource for members, and I intend to maintain an open line of communication with you.  Throughout the year, I will keep you updated on initiatives of the Board of Directors, thoughts on the state of the sleep field, and new programs and services the AASM is introducing for you.

A few weeks ago we gathered in Boston for the SLEEP annual meeting, which was again a rousing success.  Our largest meeting to date, the attendance topped 6,086 and 143 companies exhibited the latest products and technology.  The format of the plenary session changed to include two keynote speakers – one with a clinical focus and one with a research focus – which was well-received.  This year the meeting also included more sessions related to clinical sleep medicine such as talks on tomorrow’s decision on healthcare reform, use of internet interventions and self-help therapies to treat insomnia and the challenges of measuring sleepiness in drivers.  Lastly, I again congratulate the recipients of the AASM awards, Larry Epstein, John Stradling, Judy Owens and Teofilo Lee-Chiong , and extend thanks for their service to the AASM and contributions to the field.

At Academy’s annual membership meeting, Nancy Collop touched on the many initiatives undertaken during her tenure as President, notably the application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation Challenge.  While our application for an integrated model of care was not accepted, the Board of Directors will consider how we move forward with a model that focuses on comprehensive and longitudinal care for our patients.  After our July meeting, I’ll provide an update in the HypnoGram.  Nancy has also initiated a strategic planning process that will help inform our direction in the coming years.  Recently you received an e-mail asking you to complete a survey about strategic priorities; I kindly ask that you take 10 minutes to give us your feedback and contribute to this dialogue. 

During my talk at SLEEP, I emphasized a commitment to a team-based approach to leadership as I believe this is the fuel that drives accomplishment and success.  Through teamwork I hope to accomplish four goals this year: updating the Standards for Accreditation, working with Nancy and the Board to build on the existing framework from our CMS application and integrating a comprehensive care model for our patients into practice, demonstrating the value of treatment for sleep disorders through the collection of data that tracks set outcomes measures, and working closely with insurance carriers to establish policies that are evidence-based and reflect the practice of sleep medicine.  I will work closely with the Board on these efforts and cooperatively with our committees and task forces to continue moving our field and Academy in the right direction.

Sam Fleishman, MD
AASM President