Scott H. Kozin, MD
As we kick off 2014, I am excited to say that this will be a year of substantial achievements within the Hand Society. ASSH will roll with the trend of online education as we navigate the first iteration of the new Hand-e, considerably and dynamically add to Hand-e content, launch the new www.assh.org, offer more digital Annual Meeting content than ever before, conduct our first Touching Hands mission, and more.
At our December Council meeting in Miami, we took some important steps to make this year a great one:
Most of our members are already familiar with the new ASSH Textbook of Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery. Since its launch in October 2013, the feedback has been tremendous. I am happy to report that Council finalized a plan for updating the online Textbook's content on a regular basis. Thanks to our one-of-a-kind online platform, which houses the entire Textbook including downloadable videos and images, we will be able to offer you upgrades to text, references, images and videos several times during the year. The curating of the content will be the responsibility of our Textbook Editorial Group, which includes Chuck Goldfarb, MD, Ray Raven, MD and Peter Weiss, MD.
If you haven't already purchased a copy of the ASSH Textbook, I encourage you to do so at the ASSH Store. Any purchase of this book (hard copy or e-book) comes with free access to the ever-changing online Textbook platform.
It's here! All you need is your ASSH username and password for access to the first iteration of Hand-e, the most comprehensive online resource for hand and upper extremity specialists. The new Hand-e, available at hand-e.assh.org, launched in December with more than 2,700 pieces of content, and you can expect that amount to grow by about 50% just this month. Then, you can look forward to frequent content updates, led by our Hand-e Content editorial team. What makes this resource even better? ASSH members have access to Hand-e at no cost.
In recent years, the Hand Society has taken on countless projects. President-Elect Bill Seitz, MD will lead a new strategic planning process with a goal of achieving strategic clarity to ensure that ASSH is focusing on the most important issues in the next few years. Bill plans to work with a steering group including: President Scott Kozin, MD, Vice President Neil Jones, MD, Treasurer Jim Chang, MD, Marty Boyer, MD, Michelle Carlson, MD, Ed Diao, MD, Warren Hammert, MD, Michael Hausman, MD, Fraser Leversedge, MD and Scott Levin, MD.
AFSH 25th Anniversary Campaign
In 2012, ASSH pledged $1 million to the AFSH 25th Anniversary Campaign over a period of four years. We donated $500,000 to the campaign that year, and I am happy to report that we gave an additional $500,000 in 2013. We are going to support all three aspects of the Foundation's goal of developing an expanding research portfolio, enhanced excellence in hand surgery education through technological innovation, and outreach to underserved populations. To learn more about the 25th Anniversary Campaign or to submit your pledge, visit the campaign webpage.
Touching Hands Project
My recent mission trip to Guatemala with ASSH members Mark Baratz, MD, Henry Backe, MD, Miguel Pirela-Cruz, MD and Jay Talsania, MD, was unforgettable and will serve as a great example for the inaugural mission of the Touching Hands Project. I, along with seven to eight additional individuals (so far including George Dyer, MD and Mark Baratz, MD) will visit Haiti this year for our first trip, offering our hand and upper extremity expertise and performing surgeries for those in need. As my presidential initiative, the Touching Hands Project is something I look forward to expanding in the coming years.
ASSH Lab Courses
Stand-alone surgical skills courses have remained a key element of our educational offerings over the years. After reviewing member survey results and reflecting on past Annual Meetings, Council has decided to offer more surgical skills courses at Annual Meeting and fewer stand-alone courses throughout the year beginning in 2015. We look forward to enriching the Annual Meeting experience even further with these new offerings. Many thanks to Education Division Director Alex Shin, MD for leading the discussions on this issue.
The international presence at the 2013 Annual Meeting was extremely impressive. We broke international attendance records with 488 attendees and had a record-breaking number of 73 new international ASSH members last year. Our mission to strengthen our international relationships, led by Kevin Chung, MD, has gained some real traction, and we plan to run with it. The 2014 Annual Meeting will mark the first year of a "matching program," where our U.S. members can volunteer to pair with an international registrant during the meeting, with hopes of enhancing their Annual Meeting experience. Look for this volunteer opportunity on your 2014 Annual Meeting registration form.
December 2013 marked the very first Mid-Career Leadership Program, led by Immediate Past President Ed Akelman, MD. Twelve seasoned ASSH members received a rare opportunity to take part in the day-long program in Miami and present their findings to Council. This year's participants focused on three topics: Defining Hand Surgery, Healthcare and the Future, and Political Advocacy. Visit the Mid-Career Program webpage for a list of this year's participants and their groupings. Thank you to all of this year's Mid-Career Leaders for their compelling presentations. Council and staff will work in the coming months to explore which recommendations we may implement.
ER Hand Care
I would like to recognize Scott Levin, MD, for his recent work with the ER Hand Care Committee. Not only has Scott successfully inserted language related to hand care in the ACS "green book," but he also has his committee on track to define Level I, II and III centers, develop a plan for collecting data related to this issue, and educate ER physicians. This group will meet in person for the second time in 2014. Council will continue to support this important initiative.
I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for the Hand Society. This year's Annual Meeting will be better than ever! I look forward to seeing you all in Boston, September 18-20.
Scott H. Kozin, MD
President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand