Dear NNS Members,
It’s almost time for NNS 2023! As my time as president comes to a close and we finalize plans for the meeting, now is a great time reflect on the year that we’ve had and what we have to look forward to.
In case you’ve forgotten, this year has been largely dedicated to getting our new Strategic Plan rolling. The plan was finished in the summer of 2022, under the direction of our past president, Dr. Courtney Robertson. The plan was published on our website in our members resources section (https://www.neurotrauma.org/Members-resources) and includes 13 goals in 5 broad categories to help us move forward toward our priorities of training and mentoring the next generation, growing the society, increasing awareness of NNS, increasing clinical and research discipline engagement, and fostering industry collaboration. I’m happy to report that we have made strong progress on many of our goals:1. Training and mentoring the next generation of neurotrauma specialists:
a. We’ve started the process of applying for a diversity award from NIH to fund a new diversity VISA in 2024.
b. Our Publications Committee, under the guidance of Drs. Bridgette Semple and David Wright made impressive moves toward increasing trainee publications in our associated journals (Journal of Neurotrauma and Neurotrauma Reports – look for an announcement at NNS 2023!).
c. Our TEAM, Membership, Publication, and Advocacy Committees together with the president’s office held an impressive 6 virtual roundtables since Fall of 2023 on a variety of topics to increase engagement and worth to our members.
2. Grow the society
a. The By-Laws and Policy Committee have written and are vetting a new DEI statement for the society.
b. We’ve increased our collaborations with similarly minded organizations, like the North American Spine Society and the North American Clinical Trials Network, who we collaborated with to create the Robert Grossman Symposium on the Current Management of SCI for our 2023 meeting, with the goal to increase our representation in the SCI field.
3. Increase awareness of NNS
a. Our Finance Committee, particularly Drs. David Loane and Audrey Lafrenaye, worked hard to create a store to sell NNS branded items and increase our visibility: https://national-neurotrauma-society.creator-spring.com/.
b. Our Advocacy Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Grace Griesbach, has led us onto the steering committee of the Concussion Awareness Now (CAN) Campaign, to bring awareness to rapid diagnosis and care for concussions.
Now as we look forward to what is next, we’re very excited for our 2023 Symposium, which is right around the corner! Co-chairs Drs. Courtney Robertson and Linda Noble with the program committee have planned an exceptional event packed full of great science, great speakers, and great opportunities to network and connect at the Marriott Austin Downtown in Austin, TX, from June 25-28th. Sessions on the gut microbiome, epigenomics, cell therapy for SCI, and updating the TBI classification system, among many others, are planned for the meeting. Not to mention a number of workshops, poster receptions, and social events! The AANS pre-meeting will happen on Sunday, leading up to our Welcome Reception at 6pm on Sunday – I hope you come by to say hello!
This year, we’ll also have an NNS booth at the meeting, which will serve as a great spot to find out about membership, volunteer opportunities with our various committees, see some of the products available at the online store, and meet our officers and councilors. If this will be your first meeting, stop by for a first-time meeting gift!
Finally, our gala dinner and award ceremony are scheduled on Tuesday evening – if you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, get them! This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize our amazing trainees and junior members for their fantastic science, and to socialize with your fellow meeting attendees. And following in the tradition of 2022, the post-gala party will feature karaoke!
I would like to close by once again thanking all the NNS members for their ongoing support of the Society. I’ve had a wonderful time working as your society president, and I hope that the processes and activities the officers, councilors and I have put in place will make a lasting positive change in this society. I deeply appreciate the chance to be involved at this level, and I very much look forward to what NNS can do moving forward. I’m excited to see what the NNS Councilors and Officers and the ICS team, will have to offer in 2024.