Message from the President

Monica Kraft
      Monica Kraft, MD

Summer has ended, but a recent inspiring ATS event has me energized and ready to take on the fall and winter months.

Since 2009, the Society has held the Committee/Leadership Summit, in which ATS committee members gather with assembly chairs and other members of the ATS Board of Directors for a weekend of presentations and discussions on how to make the Society stronger and more useful to our members.

We have 23 committees that represent key elements of our mission, including the Membership, Members in Transition and Training, Education, Scientific Advisory, and Patient and Family Education committees (to name a few). The summit serves as a forum and promotes better communication between the 23 committees, their leaders, and the other leaders of the Society, including the officers.

Hurricane Irene prevented us from meeting for the summit last year, so we were thrilled that the weather in Boston was spectacular this September, and convened for a very productive three days.

Following a Board of Directors meeting on day one, the committees met face-to- face on day two. I was fortunate to be able to attend at least 12 of these committee meetings, and I found the conversation stimulating. Each committee is charged with specific tasks or benchmarks that are modified yearly. The ATS members of these committees are an incredibly dedicated group, and I was impressed with the creativity and cooperation within each committee.

At the end of day two, and on day three, the committee chairs presented a summary of their activities to the Board of Directors. We had lively discussions surrounding many diverse issues that are critical to our society, including the new clinical and science curriculum that’s being planned for the 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia; how to attract new trainees and retain them as full time ATS members after they complete their training; the need for innovative educational sessions and meetings such as hands-on courses in interventional bronchoscopy or ultrasound; how to implement our guidelines to change practice, and guidelines we must create or update; how to best advocate for research, education, and reimbursement; and how to increase donations to ATS research funding.

We concluded the meeting by making plans for a competition between assemblies to determine which assembly can donate the most money per member. The winner will receive an extra symposium slot at ATS 2013.

The Committee Summit illustrated what dedicated, bright, and passionate members we have. They donate their time to make the Society a stronger and more vibrant organization to meet the needs of our members.

Joining a committee is a great way to get involved in your Society. Committee member selections are made in the spring, and these generally require a three-year commitment.

If you are interested in participating in a committee, you can view the entire list of ATS committees and learn about the scope of their responsibilities by clicking here. Once you’ve found a committee that interests you, please send an email to ATS President-elect, Patricia Finn, M.D., as she will be adding new committee members through the late fall and winter. Her email address is pfinn@thoracic.org.

I hope you will consider joining a committee and making a positive impact on your Society and lung health worldwide.