Dear SRS Members,
I feel honored and fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as SRS President. I would like to thank Past Presidents Allan Pack and Sean Drummond who have helped to prepare me for this position through my having had the opportunity to work under their leadership on the Board, on the Executive Committee, and as President-Elect. They have provided tremendous support, mentorship, and wisdom, and set great examples for Society Leadership, working tirelessly to advance the goals of the society.
As I begin my term as President I would like to let you know about a number of my top priorities for the Society. My first priority will be to lead a revision of the Society Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Plan has served as an indispensable guide for our Society over the last 5 years since it was developed under the leadership of Janet Mullington. It is now time to take stock of what we have accomplished and what has changed since the plan was developed that requires us to amend this important document. The revision of the Strategic Plan will occur in August after which it will serve as a guide for the remainder of my presidency.
My priorities will include working to address some key issues facing the society. One of these is expanding the trainee programs that are the lifeblood of the SRS. We need to fund more trainee and junior investigator grants and implement more programs to foster career development. It would also be valuable if we could develop programs for those who have successfully made it past the stage targeted by our current trainee programs to address the increasing challenges of early career faculty. Critical hurdles include getting the first R01 and avoiding gaps in funding. In order to achieve these goals we have to raise more money. In this regard, we are in the middle of a highly successful campaign led by Kathy Reid and Allan Pack that has taken our fund-raising efforts to an unprecedented level. We are well on our way to achieving our goal of raising $2.5 Million. However, we lack a plan for sustained long-term fundraising at this level that will be needed to maintain an expanded level of programming for trainees and to support other key initiatives of the Society. I will lead an effort to develop a plan to build on the current campaign and to formulate and institute a long-term fundraising strategy.
Another priority will be developing a strategy for engaging sleep researchers outside of the United States and for working with other sleep and circadian rhythm-related societies. Sleep researchers outside of the US are a great, untapped opportunity for our Society and we need to develop a coherent plan for taking advantage of this opportunity. Similarly, we have seen that much can be gained by working together with other societies around the world and we would benefit from having a strategy for how to best take advantage of those opportunities. At the same time, we cannot neglect the sleep researchers within the United States who are not members of our Society. It would enrich our Society if we can better engage those individuals. We will need to develop new strategies if we are to achieve this goal.
Additional priorities include developing a long-term strategy for the Journal SLEEP and expanding our advocacy efforts. Now that our Society has its own Journal, SLEEP (impact factor now over 5), we need to develop strategies for developing the Journal and for optimizing the value of the Journal to our Membership. In terms of advocacy, we need to sustain and grow our government advocacy program. A key direction for this growth will be to continue to expand our efforts to include patients in our advocacy efforts.
While this is an ambitious agenda, I believe that it is well within our reach. I look forward to working with you to accomplish great things for our Society.
Andrew D. Krystal, MD, MS