As we approach the holiday season in the US, I can certainly say that I am very thankful to serve you as the National Neurotrauma Society President this year. I am following in very large footprints, and I am so honored to have this opportunity to work in a society that has given me so much, and try to help it continue to grow and improve. I’m writing to give a few updates on some of our progress so far, and details of exciting new things to come.
First, I wanted to update everyone on the status of our Strategic Plan. Last year, Dr. Robertson and the ICS team ran a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the society and our opportunities for growth. The plan was finished over the summer, and the NNS Council has now had a chance to review and approve the plan. The resulting plan will be posted on our website for all members to view in the coming weeks. Briefly, we have put into place a list of strategic priorities and goals to achieve over the next few years in 5 broad categories: training and mentoring of the generation of neurotrauma specialists, growing the society (members and financials), increasing awareness of NNS among the broader neuroscience and clinical communities, increasing membership and engagement across clinical and research disciplines, and fostering industry collaboration. Specific goals, metrics, and deadlines will be listed on our website soon.
Second, our committees are hard at work moving forward on a number of initiatives, several of which are reflected in the strategic plan or detailed in the committee updates in this newsletter. For example, we’re continuing to improve our value to our members by holding useful and informative web-based roundtable discussions. Topics of discussions include transitioning within academia (September roundtable) and the process and impact of the new NIH policy on data sharing and management (planned for January 2023). If you missed a past roundtable, check the members-only section of our website! And if you’re interested in getting involved in any of our exciting initiatives, join one of committees! There are always openings for volunteers!
Third, planning for our 2023 symposium is under way, under the leadership of co-chairs Courtney Robertson and Linda Noble. The program committee has been very hard at work, planning a spectacular program for the Symposium. It will be held at the Marriott Austin Downtown in Austin, TX, from June 25-28th, and will again be co-hosted by the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care. As the celebration of our 40th Anniversary of the Symposium and 35th Anniversary of the founding of the society, it’s fitting that the theme for this Symposium is “Celebrating the Landmarks of Neurotrauma”. The meeting will focus on showcasing the greatest achievements in the neurotrauma field and showcasing the exciting new research that will push our understanding of neurotrauma into the future. We have a number of exciting training and networking events planned, and can’t wait to see you in June!
While we’re on the subject of meetings, we’ve also started planning for 2024 and beyond. Together with ICS, our new management company, NNS has reshaped our method for selection of cities to host our meeting and will move forward with a complementary co-chair position for the planning committee. Our new system will now shift the meeting yearly across the US (east, middle, west) to allow for more inclusivity of our national researchers. Further, our new approach to utilizing co-chairs will allow us to expand our expertise and scientific focus and allow for greater representation of junior and senior scientists, gender, and/or specialties in the chair positions and within the planning committee.
I would like to close by thanking all NNS members for their ongoing support of the Society. With the assistance of the ICS team, and the amazing dedication of the NNS Councilors and Officers, I am confident that NNS has a very bright future. I hope you are as excited as I am to see what NNS will offer next.
Best wishes for the upcoming holidays and new year!