President's Message

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ATS 2019-2020: The Year Ahead

President James Beck

A New Year for ATS

This is my first newsletter as ATS President, and I could not be more honored to serve the ATS in this role for 2019-2020.  Serving on the Executive Committee is a great experience, with officers very passionately devoted to advancing ATS goals.  Congratulations to Greg Downey, MD, ATSF, our new Secretary-Treasurer.  And great thanks to Polly Parsons, MD, ATSF for a successful year as ATS President for 2018-2019.  Our outstanding Executive Director, Karen Collishaw, has completed her first year with a remarkable string of accomplishments.  The ATS staff are the best anywhere; we are fortunate to have their support.

We are coming off a very successful International Conference in Dallas, and I want to thank everyone who planned, presented, and attended sessions.  Special thanks to Jess Mandel, MD, ATSF, for his leadership of the International Conference Committee.  His service to ATS has been extraordinary, and I know that the 2020 International Conference is in good hands with Eric White, MD, ATSF, and his committee.

Initiatives for 2019-2020

As we head forward for 2019-2020, I’d like to introduce some initiatives that ATS members can expect to see in the year ahead.  All of these initiatives are tightly linked to our strategic framework.  As many of you are aware, the Executive Committee works in concert with the Board of Directors to establish priorities; we have moved away from individual presidential initiatives to assure consistency and sustainability.

  • Task Force on International Activities

The ATS has a very active International Health Committee, and we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of MECOR, now revamped into MECOR 2.0.  The ATS officers participate in several international meetings each year.  ATS is also an active member of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies or FIRS, and I have served as the ATS representative for the past three years.  This is an opportune time to evaluate and plan future ATS activities around the world.  A task force is now being formed, chaired by former ATS President Tom Martin, MD, to advise the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors on all aspects of our international work.

  • Task Force on Governance

Service on the Executive Committee is a five-year pathway, and it is quite understandable that many senior ATS members may be hesitant to make the significant time commitment that service entails.  A task force, chaired by former ATS President Randy Curtis, MD, MPH, will evaluate the Executive Committee’s roles, time commitments, and length of service.  Their recommendations will then be discussed by the Board of Directors.

  • Document Implementation

ATS guidelines and other documents are of superb quality and are widely cited.  However, ATS needs to a better job of dissemination and implementation.  Members should expect to see significant steps in the coming year to facilitate and measure implementation.

  • Expand and Engage Chapters

One great indication of interest in ATS is the expansion of state chapters, each of which has its own priorities and educational programs.  During the past two years, we have added six new chapters, with more chapters under development.  The Executive Committee and Board of Directors view strengthening these relationships as a high priority.

  • Our Fourth Journal:  ATS Scholar

The ATS family of journals provides a respected forum for clinical, translational, and basic science work in each of our three pillars.  I’m very pleased that the Board of Directors has approved ATS Scholar, an online, open-access journal that will focus on medical education.  Members should expect to see a call for submissions this fall, with expected publication to start early in 2020.  I strongly encourage members of our education community to ensure the journal’s success by submitting their best work.

In closing, it is a great honor for me to serve you as ATS President.  I’m looking forward to an exciting year as we work together to move ATS forward.  I encourage your feedback and suggestions.