President's Message

HomeATS CommunityPresident's Message ▶ Statistics Showing ATS Growth
Statistics Showing ATS Growth

November 2012
Monica Kraft, MD

Monica Kraft, MD

In October, the Executive Committee met with staff to thoroughly evaluate ATS operations and prepare a preliminary budget for Finance Committee review. It was during these discussions that I recognized a need to share some key facts and figures about the ATS with the entire membership whose advice to ATS leaders on the direction of the Society is also taken into account as the budget takes shape.

The following figures testify not only to our Society’s resilience in difficult economic times but also to its investment in advocacy, research, and the next generation of leaders in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Let’s start with figure 1.

The ATS is the only pulmonary, critical care, and sleep society that has an office in Washington, D.C. with a full-time staff specifically devoted to advocacy. Our Washington branch has been instrumental in getting our message to elected officials on a range of concerns, including the importance of research, the health benefits of clean air, the value of pulmonary rehabilitation, the need to remain vigilant about TB, and the need to further reduce the number of people addicted to tobacco.

Trainee membership grew by four percent over the past two years. The Society provides a wealth of resources for residents, fellows, junior professionals, and junior faculty. One example is the Fellows Track Symposium at the International Conference. This one-of-a-kind educational program allows younger members to rub elbows with world-renowned clinical experts and researchers. And every year, the Society works with industry to grant travel awards to make this experience available to more members.

The total budget for all ATS activities in 2012 is still 10 percent lower than it was in 2007. Yet, during this time we’ve increased educational opportunities and hired our first MD member of the staff, Kevin Wilson who, as senior director of documents and medical affairs, will advance our efforts to remain at the forefront of clinical guidelines development.

The Blue Journal’s impact factor rose in July to 11.080 (up from 10.191), the highest impact factor among respiratory journals worldwide. The Red Journal’s impact factor also jumped to 5.125 from 4.426.

ATS cut its rent costs by 21 percent when the headquarters moved a few doors south on Broadway in New York City. Over the next 15 years, the move will save ATS $1 million. More important, the new space represents the first time the Society has occupied space that’s configured specifically for its operations. The result is higher productivity and better communication between ATS staff, members, and leaders.

The ATS International Conference is the 26th largest medical meeting in the United States. One of the great strengths of the ATS International Conference is that it’s multidisciplinary. Beyond the Society’s three pillars, clinicians and researchers in many other fields attend the conference, enriching the conversation and leading to insights that ultimately improve patient care. And throughout the years, conference rates have been constant, as have membership rates.

Since 2007, total costs for meeting all ATS activities have been reduced by 37 percent. This is due in part to the Committee/Leadership Summit, in which 23 committees, their leaders, and the ATS Board of Directors gather in one place to discuss their activities and solve problems together. It’s a vast improvement from the earlier years in which multiple, disjointed meetings were held all over the country.

Our meetings budget also includes international programs such as Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research) and participation in the World Health Organization’s Stop TB Partnership. Since 2007, MECOR has expanded its reach to include Africa, Turkey, and India. By winning grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the CDC, the ATS has been able to consult with the Indonesian government on its TB programs and serve as coordinator of the Stop TB campaign in the United States.

When you make a donation to the ATS Foundation Research Program, 100 percent of your donation is awarded to early stage investigators. How? The Foundation’s administrative costs, including the Scientific Advisory Committee’s costs, are paid for by the ATS.

This is a timely figure for our members and their assemblies. To raise more money for research, we’ve launched the 2012 ATS Assembly Challenge. The assembly with the highest percentage of primary assembly member donors will get to program an extra symposium at ATS 2013. To learn more about the challenge and to participate, click here.

Since January, there have been more than a half-million page views of ATS statements, guidelines, and reports. More than 77,000 unique visitors alone read the document “What are Anticholinergic Medications?” in the COPD guidelines section.

Given what the Society and its members have accomplished during the worst global recession since the Great Depression, we can all take pride in these figures. We’ve helped members by not raising membership fees, and we’ve also kept International Conference registration fees constant.

Though there’s much to be done, I am confident we are moving in the right direction and will have the resources in the future to meet the professional needs of our members and to make a real difference in the lives of our patients.

There has never been a better time to be a member of the American Thoracic Society.

Last Reviewed: September 2017