|By Michael J. Stamos, MD
While the preparation for our Annual Meeting coming up in Hollywood, Florida, May 17-21, has occupied much of my attention over the past few months, there are indeed a number of activities going on behind the scenes.
The ASCRS Executive Council has been meeting via conference call on a regular basis, overseeing the work of many important and active committees. These include the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee (formerly known as the Standards Committee) under the outstanding Leadership of Dr. Janice Rafferty, the Socioeconomic Committee led by Dr. Steve Sentovich, with great assistance from Dr. Guy Orangio, and the New Technology Committee chaired by Dr. Sonia Ramamoorthy, just to name a few.
In fact, one of the more exciting activities is being led by this latter committee. This group has put together a proposal for a transanal total mesorectal excision project. It will essentially be a phase II trial, being planned for approximately ten sites throughout North America. This committee will lead the protocol design, which is currently in the final stages of preparation, and then working with Dr. Anthony Senagore in his role as President of the Research Foundation, will raise funds from our industry partners to ensure a high quality and successful trial. Stay tuned for more news on this and an RFA.
The work of these many committees, as well as our relationship with the Research Foundation and our journal, Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, can seem complicated at times. To ensure our society continues to move forward in the right direction, we have relied on a strategic planning process to guide us. Our last strategic planning meeting was in 2010, and therefore, we had a strategic planning meeting in mid-February, where all of the above mentioned organizations and representatives, along with our Executive Council and key committee chairs, met for a full-day session to chart out our agenda for the next decade.
As always, ASCRS leadership welcomes suggestions from society members, and it is important to keep in mind that we are, indeed, a society of volunteers.