President's Message

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President's Message: Thoughts for the New Year

As we begin the new year, I am reminded of the words of the great Yankee philosopher Yogi Berra “Its déjà vu all over again.” 

We are in the midst of another surge of COVID-19 infections. Many of us worked overtime through the holidays to care for our patients, while facing bed and staffing shortages. Travel plans continue to be upended by Omicron. There is no denying that we are living through challenging times.

Yet there is much to celebrate. We have effective vaccines, we have new therapies, we have knowledge and experience in treating COVID-19 patients.    And we have an incredible community of ATS members and staff who have risen to the challenges of the past two years. Even with COVID-19 looming large, we have continued our work, advancing our ATS pillars of leading scientific discovery, transforming patient care, and impacting global health and advancing professional development. We continued to expand our online programs, reengineered our last two international conferences, and quickly developed a  vaccine resource center to provide our members with information to share with their patients to help address their concerns. Our journals are thriving, with robust submissions and strong impact factors. We have continued to grow our research program, with a focus on supporting the next generation of pulmonary researchers. Our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and health equity is stronger than ever, including the outstanding work by our Health Equity and Diversity committee.  Our members continue to be forceful advocates for tobacco regulation, ongoing research funding, health equity and policies to address climate change, among other public health issues. 

Looking forward, we are busily planning our first in-person ATS International Conference in three years, in San Francisco.   A reminder that early registration is  open, and late-breaking abstracts are still being accepted!  While no one can predict the future, we are extremely hopeful that we will be able to safely gather in San Francisco. It is quite special for me to preside over the meeting in SF, the city where I trained to be a pulmonary and critical care physician. It will be wonderful to reconnect with old and new friends, network, and learn about the latest innovations in our fields.  

Finally, for 2022, I offer the sage advice of another philosopher, Snoopy, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.”