It is Time to Pass the Gavel

Rafi Avitsian, MD
SNACC President

George Mashour, MD, PhD

Rafi Avitsian, MD

This is the last newsletter for which I have the honor of writing the President’s Message. This one year that I served our society went by so fast; sometimes I think it has just begun. It is true, and now I believe my predecessors’ comments that the one year period is really short when you serve as President. Each president hopes to achieve the goals that they have set at the start of their tenure and I agree that the one year is quite a short time to try and reach these goals. But we should not forget that this is not a one-man show, it is the whole Executive Council and the Board of Directors that help shape the strategy, drive the activities and measure the outcomes.

This year was exceptional since we had taken the huge responsibility to prepare a quality stand-alone Annual Meeting. There was no place for compromise since many saw this as a test for continuing the stand-alone meeting concept. With less than a month remaining, we are in countdown mode and it is for you, SNACC members, to judge the success when the time comes - but the way I see it now with the program and number of registrants, we are far ahead of our expectations. We are already working on the initial planning of SNACC 2020, and will communicate more details during this years’ annual meeting.

One important goal that I had committed to reach was the realization of the neuroanesthesiology fellowship accreditation activities under ICPNT. This was a huge undertaking and I am so privileged to have Dr. Andrew Kofke and his team lead this project and bring it to fruition. The second phase of the ICPNT is to plan the networking of accredited programs to share academic experiences and design educational material to further improve training of fellows globally. With the vast experience that Dr. John Bebawy has gained by leading the SNACC Education Committee, the EC has appointed him to lead this program within the ICPNT.

Another important goal for me has always been to break geographic barriers and increase engagement of all members worldwide within SNACC. We have seen a rise in the Board of Directors’ candidacy globally and a higher number of collaborations from sister societies worldwide. The EC is also considering a change of membership registration fees for different countries to make it more inclusive and affordable. Speaking of the registration fees, the EC has decided to change this fee reflecting the value of membership; we are in negotiations with JNA to include online access of our journal for all members with the registration fee.   

The election results for the Secretary/Treasurer and BOD members have been released. I would like to thank each of the outgoing members for their service and dedication. Dr. Lauren Berkow, who despite having the responsibility of the President of another subspecialty society (SAM), did a perfect job of leading our Membership Committee; with her efforts we have been able to retain and increase our members and initiate closer relations with affiliated neuroscience societies worldwide. Dr. Linda Aglio accepted the challenge of leading a brand new Diversity and Inclusion Committee and was successful in getting it to function at its best potential. We are really indebted to her efforts on this, I know it was not easy. Dr. Laurel Moore was key to our Communications Committee and helped us in getting to use all relevant new social media applications. I cannot say enough about Dr. Bebawy, who with his team on the Education Committee has provided one of the best ever education platforms that I have seen. I am so happy that he has been re-elected to serve another term on the Board. I want to congratulate our new members of the Board, Drs. Paul Garcia, Reza Gorji, Max Kelz, Girija Rath and Marie Angele Theard. I am sure with their dedication we will reach further goals in the coming years.

I also want to congratulate Dr. Alana Flexman for her new role as the Secretary/Treasurer; I truly believe in her leadership ability and enthusiasm to further our society. She will be an excellent president in a few years. Last, but definitely not the least, I want to thank Dr. Jeff Pasternak, our Past President, who has completed a journey in leadership and now with his vast experience will help our society even further. It was truly an honor to serve under his leadership.

For those who were not elected, I thank you for applying. This shows your enthusiasm to get engaged and serve your society. I am sure you know that you can still lead in many capacities within the society and I urge you to continue your commitment to make our society the best ever.

I am certain this new Board will further improve the strategic planning to reach our mission and develop SNACC to its full potential in advancing the art and science of improving care of the neurologically impaired. It was an honor and privilege to serve you as president, and thank you again for giving me the opportunity.

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