Monday, June 8, 2009

AASM Installs New Leaders, Honors Young Investigators

Dr. Clete Kushida was installed as president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine during the AASM General Membership Meeting this afternoon at SLEEP 2009.

Kushida, acting medical director of the
Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research, was introduced by outgoing president Dr. Mary Susan Esther.

Kushida vowed that under his leadership the AASM would remain committed to meeting the needs of its diverse membership, and he highlighted some of the issues that he intends to prioritize as president.

These include advancing evidence-based practices in the field of sleep medicine, developing collaborations and scientific networks to take advantage of research funding opportunities, exploring new ways to introduce the field of sleep to young students and scientists, working together with other international sleep organizations to increase the availability of educational resources for sleep specialists in other countries, and giving sleep specialists a voice in national discussions on health-care reform.

Earlier in the meeting the entire AASM board of directors for 2009-20010 was introduced. Joining Kushida as officers are past president Esther, president-elect
Dr. Pat Strollo, and secretary-treasurer Dr. Nancy Collop.

Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler, Dr. Steven Shea and Dr. Nathaniel Watson were introduced as newly elected directors at large; and Dr. Lee Brown, Dr. Alex Chediak and Dr. Michael Silber were recognized for completing their terms on the board of directors.

After a report from Secretary-Treasurer Collop, Esther presented the 2009 AASM Young Investigator Award to Dr. Rakesh Bhattacharjee form the University of Louisville; honorable mention went to Dr. Mark Brown, Dr. Irma Rukhadze, Dr. Shadab Rahman and Dr. Siobhan Banks.

Esther then recognized the recipients of the 2009 AASM membership section awards: Dr. Will Pigeon, Dr. Christopher Lettieri, Dr. Lisa Meltzer, Mark Smith, Dr. Peter Franzen and Dr. Mari Viola-Saltzman.

Kushida gave an update on the initiatives of the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, which has awarded nearly $3 million in grants since 2000 to support sleep research. Esther followed with the president’s report, highlighting recent initiatives advanced by the AASM in the areas of academic sleep medicine, sleep research and clinical sleep medicine. She then presented the president’s gavel to Kushida to symbolize the transfer of leadership.


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