It is has been an honor and delight to begin serving as your president for the 2015-2017 term. I cannot believe I am already a quarter of the way through. First, I want to thank Past-president, Sue Ann Sisto, for her service as our previous president, all of her continuing contributions to ACRM, and especially for being a role model and mentor for me transitioning to president. It has been wonderful working with our other officers, Debbie Backus, our new president-elect; Jenny Bogner, our new secretary; and Wayne Gordon, completing his term as treasurer this year, but continuing to mentor and advise in his new role as past-treasurer. It has also been a pleasure working with the ACRM Board of Governors, our CEO, Jon Lindberg, and our wonderful ACRM staff.
It remains an active, busy and productive time for ACRM. We just completed another successful Mid-Year Meeting in Chicago. The Mid-Year Meeting serves as a forum for active, working gatherings for our dynamic membership and a special time to get together, socialize and network among the old and new members of the ACRM family. It is a time when our communities – the ISIGs, networking groups, newly forming groups and their task forces, can get together in person to complete projects, further ongoing work and develop new initiatives. This is also the time when the Program Committee, chaired by Pam Roberts, works with ACRM staff and representatives from all of our communities to finalize much of the Annual Conference program. The Board of Governors also met during the Mid-Year Meeting and had a full, productive session.
ACRM is a dynamic and productive organization and our membership continues to grow, particularly in the Early Career and Student/Resident/Fellow categories. We also have a substantial international representation, including Fofi Constantinidou, the first international member of our board. I thank all of our active members for their participation and contributions to ACRM.
ACRM is now home to 18 distinct groups. Whether you are a new or experienced member, I urge you to explore all that is going on in our ISIGs, networking groups, and committees to see where you can participate or invite others to join in. We are proud of the work of all of our groups, from our original community, the BI-ISIG, to the most recently formed groups for Physicians and Clinicians, Technology, Limb Loss Rehabilitation and the Arts and Neuroscience.
All of our committees have been very active in working with the staff to develop, maintain and improve all of the activities of ACRM. I want to mention the growing initiative of the Evidence and Practice Committee (EPC), led by Ron Seel, to solidify ACRM standards, education, support of evidence-based practice and the development of ACRM as a key center for evidence-based practice in rehabilitation. You will be hearing more about the EPC’s role, offering further educational forums, supporting ACRM communities that are developing reviews and guidelines, and assessing guidelines from other organizations seeking ACRM endorsement. You will also be hearing more about substantial support and partnership with CARF International and Paradigm Outcomes in this evidence-based practice effort.
We are looking forward to our Annual Conference. Registration is open with the BEST rates of the year and previews of the program are available online. You’ll see, there is a breadth of high quality, non-stop content among instructional courses and symposia in all of our areas of interest. We have a superb line-up of plenary speakers and an exciting new category of “Special Symposia" to highlight some key topics of broad interest, with leading speakers on each subject. We will also have high-quality research presented in papers and posters. Watch for a second call for proposals, coming this summer, for an opportunity to present a poster on your very latest research.
We continue to be proud of our journal, the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, led by Editors-in Chief, Leighton Chan and Allen Heinemann. It has one of the highest impact factors of rehabilitation journals and no rehabilitation journal is more valued by PhDs, MDs, therapists and healthcare professionals worldwide. Submissions to the journal continue to rise and acceptance for publication is becoming more and more competitive. Presence of the journal on social media has been growing enormously. The Archives continues to publish Information/Education Pages and measurement tools, as well as special supplements, including one on spinal cord injury anticipated later this year.
I thank you for this opportunity to serve as ACRM President. I encourage you to read on to explore all that is happening at ACRM and the many ways to participate. Please invite others to partake of all that ACRM has to offer.
I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Conference in Chicago this fall.
Douglas I. Katz, MD, FACRM, FAAN
ACRM President, 2015 – 2017
Boston University School of Medicine, Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital