President's Blog - OCTOBER 2019
As I’m writing the Presidential Blog one week after returning from the first SBSM Scientific Conference, I’m still on a cloud from the contagious enthusiasm that permeated the meeting. The conference was the first in a couple areas. It likely set the record for the most persons with an interest in BSM assembled in one venue, with 184 registrants. It also highlighted the growth to record levels of the SBSM during the past few years. The Planning Sub-Committee (Co-Chairs Dr. Justin Thomas and Dr. Luis Buenaver) assembled the best BSM program I personally have ever seen, with a world class speaker panel from top to bottom, including Dr. Dan Buysse, Dr. Colin Espie, Dr. Ken Lichstein, Dr. Phyllis Zee, and Dr Lynn Marie Trotti. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the myriad of comments about the food of course. None of this would have been possible without the guidance and oversight of our executive director Kathryn Hansen either.
Numerous comments were overheard by me and others regarding the conference; statements such as “This is the best sleep conference I’ve ever been to.” And “The list of speakers is phenomenal.” And “I enjoyed every session that I attended.” But also, “The hotel was very fancy compared to normal conference hotels.”; and “This was the best food I’ve had at a conference.”
The job before me during my role as President for 2019-2020, is to continue the work of my predecessors in growing the SBSM. But growth will not just be reflected in numbers, although we anticipate the membership to continue its expansion. We expect growth in influence that the SBSM has on the entire field of sleep medicine and psychology. This will occur through our ongoing representation in the APA Counsel of Specialties, but also as we expand our membership through licensed clinical social works, therapists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who have a heavy influence on patient care in nearly every sleep center across the country.
The SBSM will continue to cultivate a strong scientific base and grow relationships with the Sleep Research Society as well as granting agencies. There is also a desire to be in the forefront on timely BSM issues and exert influence through leveraging the boundless expertise present in our organization.
It is invigorating to know that as I assume the role of president, the SBSM is at a peak with aspirations for reaching even higher. I look towards the coming year of my presidency with the goal of keeping this momentum going. I encourage each of you that came away from the conference with similar enthusiasm to act on this energy and express your interests through committee involvement, society recruitment or through using the conference as a primary outlet for your research. Please reach out to Kathryn at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like information about how to get involved during this coming year. We will be eagerly anticipating another record-breaking conference in Nashville next year!
Dr. Don Townsend