Letter From the President
Planned and Unplanned Change
I started my year as president of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) honored to be the leader and empowered by our strategic plan and our board to lead planned changes. We have done extraordinarily well. We changed the cadence and content of our annual meeting. In support of the annual meeting our partners contributed intellect, time, and financial resources for which I am personally grateful. Those include the Clinical Research Forum, AAMC, AFMR, NCATS, PhRMA Foundation, and new industry partners. We were well prepared to welcome a record number of attendees, perhaps as many as 1300, with broad participation from across the country.
Our special interest groups (SIGs) were reinvigorated and we added one new special interest group, our Scholars SIG. We also continue work on the creation of an Informatics SIG. We appointed new members to the board from diverse geography and disciplines and we appointed new committee leadership. We reached out to the IDeA states and were gratified to find reciprocal enthusiasm, shared by leadership at NIGMS and NCATS. Several new memberships from the IDeA states clinical translational research centers and memberships from new CTSAs pushed our institutional memberships to a new high.
Together with our CR Forum partner we lead a successful campaign to increase the awareness of the value of clinical translational research. This effort translated to renewed funding for PCORI and a budget that maintained the line item funding for the CTSAs in the NIH budget. So, you can see careful planning aligned with our strategic planning led to a highly successful year and I mentioned only select examples.
Did we have unplanned change that challenged our resilience? Of course, just as we do in our personal and professional lives. And I would posit to you that while not all change is good, the unplanned changes resulted in many improvements in our organization just as the planned change above promoted excellence. George Mashour, our Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS) editor was asked to take on additional leadership responsibilities at the University of Michigan and thus he ended his tenure on December 31, 2019. We have been extraordinarily fortunate that Lars Berglund, my friend and colleague at the University of California Davis, agreed to become the next editor. Already his intellect and strategic thinking is evident in the improvement of the journal. We welcomed a new Executive Director to ACTS, Kim Wiatr, our previous director of operations, who has smoothly taken the reins of ACTS at SmithBucklin in our Chicago headquarters. Her management skills and those of her team have put us in a perfect position to navigate the current storm.
The unplanned change of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced us to cancel, or more precisely to re-format, our in-person meeting in Washington DC. Our resilience and determination have promoted very inspirational changes. We have mitigated financial losses. Under incoming president Chris Lindsell, we have seen the development of a virtual meeting next week that promises to be every bit as excellent as the in-person meeting, albeit abbreviated! We have headliners from around the country and our partners, including the Top 10 awardees from CR Forum.
ACTS has demonstrated a resilience and a commitment to our vision and missions.
I will see you all next year on March 31, 2021 when we convene for our annual meeting, in person! The cherry blossoms should be in full bloom, our spirits lifted by our effective coping with the current tragedies, our grief and caring for those lost in the epidemic not forgotten but rather a daily motivation to accelerate advances in clinical and translational science that reduce health inequities, and promote justice and quality in our healthcare and public health systems.
So, I finish these remarks where I started, honored to be president of a vibrant organization effectively navigating an eventful year.
Frederick J. Meyers, MD, MACP
Translational Science 2020
Register for the TS20 Virtual Meeting
Next week marks the start of our transformed Translational Science 2020 meeting: an abbreviated scientific event with two complimentary virtual experiences on April 15 (12:00 - 2:00 PM EDT) and April 16 (12:00 - 2:00 PM EDT).
Registration is requested but not required.
Journal of Clinical and Translational Science
Volume 4 / Issue 2 of the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science is available online!
JCTS's mission is to provide a forum for the rapid communication of topics of interest and relevance to the large and diverse community of clinical and translational scientists with the goal of improving the efficiency with which health needs inform research and new diagnostics, therapies, and preventive measures reach the public. The Association for Clinical and Translational Science has partnered with the American Physician Scientists Association (APSA) and the Clinical Research Forum (CRF) to support the growth and development of JCTS.
Submit your article today to be featured in future issues of JCTS!
News From the Hill
News from the Hill: March 27, 2020
Congress devoted much of March to the coronavirus response effort. Although the Capitol complex is closed to guests, congressional offices continue to take (often virtual) meetings, receive input from stakeholders, and advance legislative and policy efforts. In fact, Congress has been operating with a high degree of efficiency, passing three coronavirus response packages in rapid succession.
See the full newsletter on the ACTS Advocacy blog.
Translational Science Today
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