From the President
As we approach the end of the year, it’s a fitting time to reflect on what your AAAAI membership means to you. What do you value most? Is it your subscriptions to the AAAAI’s journals, the opportunity to network with colleagues each year at the Annual Meeting or something else entirely?
Renewing your membership for 2018 is a very direct way of demonstrating its value, but there are two additional ways to send a similar message that your membership is important to you: by voting in the AAAAI Board of Directors election and making a donation to the AAAAI Foundation.
Your Voice, Your Choice
While we have an excellent candidate slate for the Board election, it’s up to you to make your voice heard and select the AAAAI’s next leaders from amongst this group. Take a few minutes to visit aaaai.org/vote and read about the candidates, especially their vision statements, and vote for those you believe will be effective Board members and best enable the AAAAI to fulfill its mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology for optimal patient care.
Our Bylaws give voting privileges to full members and Fellows of the AAAAI. However even if you’re not eligible to vote, be sure to read the Secretary-Treasurer candidates’ responses to several strategic questions submitted by members. The candidate elected to this position will ascend to hold the office of AAAAI President.
Over the past few years, a conscious effort has been made to widen our search so that we continue to offer outstanding and diverse candidates across the various positions that are on the Board election ballot. This is one of the major reasons for the existence of the AAAAI Leadership Institute, which focuses on engaging, recruiting and inspiring future member leaders; informing, guiding and equipping current member leaders; and developing a pipeline for senior leadership. As the Leadership Institute has continued to evolve, so too must the Board election nomination process in order to make certain the candidates reflect the diversity of our membership.
It’s also the time of year when members are accepting their AAAAI committee appointments for 2018-2019. Keep in mind that committees are a great way to begin honing your leadership skills. Many past and present AAAAI Board members had their start by getting involved in our committees and various constituency groups.
The GAIN Campaign is the Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign to raise $300,000 to support a third Faculty Development Award for the upcoming year. The Foundation is close to its goal, but we need your help to reach it.
All of us are aware there is increased competition for research funding, making the work of the Foundation crucial. If we don’t support young investigators within our specialty, who will? I ask you to keep the Foundation in mind as you make your end-of-year charitable donations. Every donation, no matter how large or small, will allow us to fund three allergy/immunology researchers in 2018 instead of two.
In case you have not yet heard, the AAAAI Foundation recently received the Gold Level Transparency Rating on GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on non-profit organizations. This rating, which puts the Foundation in the top 0.5% of charities nationally in terms of transparency, takes into account donors’ access to detailed information about the finances, goals and achievements of the organizations to whom they give.
The Foundation strives to make its goals clear and provide straightforward information on how your donations achieve its mission to fund research that leads to the prevention and cure of asthma and allergic and immunologic disease. Thus when considering a donation to the Foundation, you can be sure your money is benefiting the future of our specialty. All the more reason to give the gift of research this holiday season.
On a final note, we are quickly approaching the 2018 AAAAI/WAO Joint Congress, March 2-5, in Orlando, Florida. The AAAAI is pleased it could partner with the World Allergy Organization (WAO) to produce the excellent educational program you will experience there. AAAAI is one of WAO’s member societies, meaning that by virtue of being an AAAAI member, you are also a member of the WAO.
If you plan to attend the Joint Congress, be aware that hotels and ticketed sessions are filling up. It’s in your best interest to register and make your hotel arrangements soon.
This time of year brings many holidays. I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season, and a wonderful new year.
David B. Peden, MD, MS, FAAAAI
Last updated: December 15, 2017
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