Hello to all AASM members, and welcome to the first edition of the HypnoGram. This blog is meant to update the members on the workings of the board of directors and highlight activities of the AASM.  I suspect that some weeks it will be full of board related information, such as those weeks following our board meetings and executive committee phone calls, and other weeks it will be more editorial in nature with musings of mine on the state of our field.  Either way, I hope you will find it informative.

The annual meeting from my viewpoint was a rousing success.  Although I did not get to attend many sessions, the ones I did attend were well done and instructive.  Dr. Tobler’s lecture on animals and sleep was one of the most entertaining plenary session talks in recent memory.  Her engaging style and the personalization of her research with the animal kingdom provided the perfect kickoff for the scientific program.  In addition, I would like to extend a special congratulations and thanks to all the SRS and AASM award winners for all they are doing to advance our field.

Dr. Sam Fleishman (AASM President-elect), Executive Director Jerry Barrett and I met with our “sister” society presidents during SLEEP 2011: Sheri Katz (AADSM), Melinda Trimble (AAST), Christina McCrae (SBSM), Phyllis Zee (SRS).  You note I said “sister” societies – all of the other societies with whom we work closely have female presidents this year!  I personally am looking forward to collaborating with every one of these impressive woman in the year to come.

I asked a member of the AASM board of directors to attend all section and committee meetings, if possible.  I hope that both the board member and the section/committee members found that helpful.  I want to personally thank every section, council and committee chair and member for their involvement with the AASM.  The breadth of the AASM should be clearly evident when you look at our committees (Coding and Compliance, Academic Affairs, Research, Education, Sleep Technologists Issues, Standards of Practice, Accreditation), councils (Sleep Medicine Fellowship Directors Council, Practice Development Advisory Council) and sections (Sleep Related Breathing Disorders, Narcolepsy, Insomnia, Parsomnias, Movement Disorders, Childhood Sleep Disorders and Development, Sleep Deprivation, Circadian Rhythms).  In addition, several other taskforces working on projects also met at the meeting: Technology Evaluation, SAD (sleep apnea definitions), ICSD-3, and a Joint Taskforce on Academic Sleep Centers.  I realize how busy the members of these committees, councils, sections and taskforces are with their “real job” and we all should be eternally grateful to them to volunteer their time to help out with the mission of the AASM.

One other thing I did during SLEEP 2011 was meet with several industry partners and stroll through the exhibit hall.  Although, I did not have the opportunity to speak with all of our exhibitors, I would like to personally offer my thanks for their support of the meeting.  I am truly impressed with the ongoing innovation in our field and excited about some of the new diagnostic and therapeutic tools that I saw and heard about.  In my mind, these advances illustrate that we continue to move forward – beyond polysomnography and CPAP.  This is a very exciting time in our field and although financial pressures are acute for all, we are expanding and need to embrace innovations that will help us provide better care for our patients. Well, I don’t want to make this so long that you will get bored – so I am signing off for now.  Look for next week’s blog for an update on some of the projects we will be pursuing this year.  Thanks in advance to all of you for your support of the academy and its mission.  I am extremely honored to be serving as your president and look forward to a busy and productive year.

Nancy Collop, MD
President, American Academy of Sleep Medicine