Presented by John C. Morris, MD
American Thyroid Association Annual Business Meeting
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Monday, October 19, 2015
John Morris gave thanks for the opportunity to serve the ATA during this exceptional year. He noted he will provide highlights from his report which will be posted in full on the ATA website. Described this year as a unique year to be able to serve during the ITC year, of which this ITC will be the 88th year of the ITC. Total attendance for the ITC to date is 2436. 445 registered trainees – a remarkable number of young people in attendance; 88 countries represented. He thanked Rebecca Bahn and POC for their work and thanks for outstanding program.
Full Secretary’s Report:
I wish to thank the membership of ATA for the opportunity to serve this organization as secretary. This has been a busy and exciting year for ATA in many respects, and exceptionally so in a few. I will here mention some of those items.
ITC meeting review
Of course the biggest news of the year is the ITC meeting, which is going on around us now. This is the 15th ITC meeting, the first was held in Berne, Switzerland in 1927, and was called the “First International Conference on Goitre”. We are very pleased with the attendance, which includes over 750 members of one of the 4 sister societies, and importantly over 400 trainees from around the world. I hope that you will agree with me that the program is outstanding, and I wish to congratulate and thank Rebecca Bahn and the members of the Program Organizing Committee which she adeptly chaired. I hope you will all take advantage of the opportunities that the Disney World Resort has to offer, enjoy the warm Florida sunshine, and participate in the social events that are part of our meeting. I also want to remind you that the theme of the Congress Banquet on Wednesday night is “Show us your character”, and we hope you will come in the costume of a Disney character – although it is certainly not required to do so. This follows the great fun we had on the Halloween night banquet last year at the Del Coronado. I hope to see you there.
As a direct result of our strategic goal “to Promote the visibility of the ATA as the global leader in thyroid health”, our staff, led by Kelly Hoff, ATA’s director of technology and development, has just completed a major update and upgrade to our website. It is continuously being edited and tweaked, but I hope that you have had the chance to interact with it already. The purpose of this major effort was to update its design, style, and navigation to ensure lucidity and deliverability of the essential content communicated to ATA members, professionals, thyroid patients and the public. The result is a fully responsive design allowing all site visitors to receive the content in a manner that is adapted for their device, whether accessing by way of computer, mobile phone, or tablet. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was a key focus during the re-design and it also includes a new, focused area of thyroid cancer content with the goal of increasing ATA website rankings for thyroid cancer to promote visibility and reliability for those searching for facts and answers about thyroid cancer. We ask you for your feedback about the new design, and have enacted an electronic survey that you can complete during this meeting through the meeting app about some specific design and content options. I am sure you will find this to be a major improvement in what was already an award winning website.
Our publications, which are now marketed as a package including THYROID, CLINICAL THYROIDOLOGY, and VideoEndocrinology continue to grow in stature and readership. Under the skillful guidance of EIC Peter Kopp, the impact factor of THYROID has increased by 17% this year to 4.49, full-text downloads have increased 121% to 333,000 to date this year, and it now includes subscribers from 35 countries — US, China, Brazil, Italy, & Korea being the top 5. The decision to include CLINCAL THYROIDOLOGY in the THYROID Program has been highly successful in increasing CT’s readership substantially – it now enjoys more than 3,000 downloads per month. Thanks to Jerry Hershman and his editorial board for this superb work. Finally, VideoEndocrinology is well established and into its second year, now having published 39 videos, an average of 6 in each quarterly issue. The viewership is growing, with now more than 1,100 video views per month. Editor Jerry Daugherty and his editorial board have made it truly broader than Thyroid topics alone, in that about 1/3 of the videos have been non-thyroid. In addition to the increased visibility and contributions to Thyroidology that have been accomplished by the expansion of our publications through this 3-journal program, we have enjoyed increased revenue through the successful marketing of it by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. Thanks again to Vicki Cohn our managing editor with MAL for her tireless support of ATA’s publication efforts.
Ridgway Fellows’ program
I want to remind everyone of the E. Chester Ridgway Trainee Conference and the Ridgway Legacy Fund. At this ITC meeting we are pleased that over 400 trainees have been supported by their home society to attend and participate in our program. These young members and member-candidates are the future of ATA and of international thyroidology and our support of them will ensure the success of organization in years to come. With the assistance of former President and colleague Bryan Haugen, the ATA has established this fund in honor of Chip Ridgway’s leadership in our fellow’s programs and his efforts towards bringing this future membership to our meetings. The campaign that is ongoing during this meeting in an important step towards endowment of this fund, which is nearing that threshold. I hope you will consider making a contribution to this fund raising effort, which we consider to be a top priority.
Our guidelines effort is perhaps one of our most visible and most influential activities across the clinical spectrum of thyroidology. I am pleased to announce that after a very long and arduous review process, the Thyroid Cancer Guidelines Update, which has been chaired by Bryan Haugen, has been accepted for publication in THYROID and is now available in e-pub. This year also the final publication of the Medullary Thyroid Cancer guidelines update, chaired by Sam Wells, and the publication of a new guideline on Pediatric Thyroid Cancer, co-chaired by Gary Francis, Steve Waguespack, and Andy Bauer. The Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Guidelines update process will be started this fall or winter. Currently in process are updates of the Hyperthyroidism guidelines, which is being chaired by Doug Ross, and the Thyroid and Pregnancy guidelines, chaired by Elizabeth Pearce and Erik Alexander. We are planning a half day symposium preceding the Endocrine Society meeting next March to roll-out these guidelines updates, which we expect to completed by then. This symposium format has been a very successful one the last two years, serving not only to feature our guidelines and the great work by our task forces, but also to improve our working relationship with the Endocrine Society, which has been very accommodating to our needs. I hope you will be able to attend the symposium next spring.
Greg Randolph, Treasurer Change
You will be hearing from our Treasurer Greg Randolph next. Greg has done an incredible job this year during a time of change. Our CFO resigned just after last year’s annual meeting and through the efforts of Bobbi and with Greg’s input and supervision we have contracted with Bay Business Group to provide financial services for ATA. Sheri Wilson from BBG serves expertly as our CFO. I now wish to inform you that Greg will be stepping down from his role as Treasurer following the ITC meeting. Greg has been honored to be asked to serve as President-elect and President of the American Association of Otolaryngology effective later this month and our bylaws do now allow our officers to simultaneously serve as officer of another professional society. We congratulate Greg for this important recognition of his contributions to Otolaryngology and to the AAO, and thank him for his tremendous service to the ATA over the last 3 years. Our mechanism for replacement of an officer who can no longer serve is for our President to appoint a replacement to complete the term, with the approval of the board of directors. I am pleased to announce that with the unanimous approval of the BOD, Bob Smallridge has appointed David Sarne, our former Treasurer, to complete Greg’s term. As you may remember, David previously served an extended term in this position in order to allow the elections of Treasurer and Secretary to be staggered. So, I wish to thank David for his willingness to resume this duty – he is clearly the right person for this job in this instance and we can all be assured that the transition will smooth.
This is my last Secretary’s report, because my tenure as Secretary-elect and Secretary comes to an end with the closing of the ITC meeting. It has been a busy and terrific five years for me. I am happy to say that the ATA has grown significantly and continued to flourish during this time, thanks to the hard work, dedication, and loyalty of our staff, our leadership team, and all of you, our members.
I want to acknowledge the ATA headquarters’ staff who are the persons who actually make everything happen:
Adonia Calhoun Coates, CMP, Director of Meetings and Program Services; Sharleene E. Cano, Director, Membership and Publications; Kelly Hoff, Director, Technology and Development; Josette Paige, Manager, Meetings and Finance; Meryem Karad, Coordinator Membership, Education and Awareness.
Each and all of you deserve thanks from me, but I wish to express special thanks to several persons who have helped me complete the task in an enjoyable and I hope effective way. The four presidents with whom I have served, Jim Fagin, Bryan Haugen, Hossein Gharib, and Bob Smallridge, have provided guidance, leadership, wisdom, and a calm perspective in numerous and uncountable situations and minor crises (there were no major crises!). Former ATA Secretary Rick Kloos taught me the job and saw that I inherited a terrific organization that was on firm and stable ground. David Sarne and Greg Randolph have provided superb financial oversight and leadership in their role as Treasurer of our organization and in their dedication to our executive committee activities. To say that Bobbi Smith is a superb Executive Director is a terrible understatement, because what she is to us is much more than what is in the description of her job. My most personal thanks go to her. There have been too many Board Members and Committee and Task Force Chairs to name here that have contributed hours, energy, effort and expertise to ATA’s activities, who brought those activities to completion – thanks to all of you from me. I am pleased to know that President-Elect Tony Bianco and Secretary-Elect Vic Bernet will be strong and effective leaders for us as I complete my term.
But of course the success of any professional society like the ATA depends ultimately upon the energy, engagement, and love-of-the-organization by its members. I cannot recall even a single event when we/I have asked an ATA member to contribute in some way to an ATA activity or goal after which they said “no” unless there was an irreconcilable conflict. This is what has made this job fun for me, and is the most obvious reason that we are able to do all the things we do, and why we are what we are. Thanks to all of you for the opportunity to serve, with you, the ATA.
Finally, although we usually present the President’s pin to the outgoing president at the annual banquet, we thought because of unusual nature of this ITC it would be more appropriate to do it here. Bob Smallridge, thank you for your dedication, energy, insight, and leadership in your role as President, please come up to receive your Presidential Pin.