Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD

Presented by Jacqueline Jonklaas, MD, PhD
Virtual Annual Business Meeting
September 12, 2020

Welcome to our first ever virtual Business Meeting.

In her president’s report Martha has described some of the highlights of the activities we have accomplished this year and how we have risen to the challenges imposed upon us as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. I would like to extend Martha’s remarks by describing some of the activities that we have planned for this upcoming governance year.

In keeping with the uncertain trajectory of the pandemic, we will be featuring a series of virtual events. These include the Virtual Ridgway event for our trainees on October 16th organized by Aime Franco and Tracy Tylee. Please encourage all trainees to register for this exciting conference. As you all know, the 16th International Thyroid Congress, that was originally scheduled to be taking place this very week, was cancelled. In its place the Asian and Oceanic Thyroid Association is planning a virtual event in December 2020, which will feature Recent Advances in Thyroidology, Plenary Lectures, Symposia, and Award Lectures. Please look for details of this on our website.

Moving into February of 2021, a virtual meeting is in the very early planning stages. We have identified two dynamic program co-chairs for this event: Michael Yeh and Regina Castro. Thank you to both of these individuals!

In keeping with the widening of our sphere of interactions with our sister thyroid societies, which perhaps we can consider as one of the positive down-stream effects of the pandemic, we are also planning a joint webinar with the European Thyroid Association and are also “dipping our toes in the water” by launching a joint ATA-ETA statement on the Management of Thyroid Eye Disease with assistance of the guidelines committees from both societies.

Other engagement activities that will be unfolding soon involve our basic and translational science members, our very active Internet and Social Media Communications Committee, our Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force, and our Guidelines and Statements Committee. The co-chairs of the Research Committee, Tony Hollenberg and Carmelo Nucero, along with Antonio DiCristofano, and Matt Ringel, have initiated a conversation with the leaders of the Centers for Scientific Review at NIH, in order to bolster the presence of thyroid expertise among relevant NIH study sections, thus proving a service to those involved in thyroid-related research. With regard to our social media presence, our twitter chats with our partners such as ThyCa, ACOG, and AHNS, to mention a few, have been very successful. We thank Avital Harari for being so proactive and enthusiastic. Upcoming twitter chats include one on Graves’ disease with AAES and the Graves’ Foundation. Avital Harari and Trevor Angell have also started a monthly ATA web blog featuring a number of thyroid topics.

Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, as you will see shortly has “hit the ground running”. Under the guidance of Regina Castro and Ernest Asamoah we look forward to implementing their plans and infusing diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice into the very fabric of the ATA. As you will hear, our Guidelines and Statements Committee led by Cord Sturgeon and Brian Kim has been extremely active and we are anticipating a new guideline to be published early next year. As has often been remarked, it is difficult to imagine how the ATA ever functioned without a Guidelines and Statements Committee.

Later in the year, we will be approaching our members about renewal of their ATA membership. We anticipate that this will be a struggle in this current fiscal climate, but we hope the ATA is offering educational opportunities, engagement, and support to our members in these difficult times and that we will see robust renewal activity. We particularly hope to grow our trainee membership, as these members are critical for the ATA to continue to be a relevant and dynamic society.

I would like to end with everyone joining together with some positive thoughts as we to look to a future that is less dominated by the coronavirus. We are scheduled for an “in-person” 90th Annual Meeting of the ATA in September 2021 in Scottsdale Arizona. Let’s make this meeting a wonderful celebration of the dedication, creativity, expertise, and comradery that characterize the ATA as a society. This meeting will have a first of its kind event in that the inaugural lecture given by the first recipient of the Valerie Ann Galton Award will be featured at this meeting. The Galton Award will be given to an individual who shares the same important attributes as Dr. Galton herself as evidenced by their dedication to collaborative research and progression of our clinical knowledge and understanding of thyroid conditions. We thank Peter Kopp and Megan Haymart for their excellent fund raising efforts for this award.

Another future event to look forward to is the ATA’s centennial celebration in 2023. The ATA began as the American Association for the Study of Goiter in 1923. The work of the Centennial Task Force has been somewhat delayed by current fiscal considerations, but we anticipate that this task force will renew its activities as we move into 2021. Led by Peter Kopp and Elizabeth Pearce, these task force will explore potential means of commemorating this occasion including publishing a history of the  ATA, and anniversary related activities, presentations, and celebrations.