As I reflect on my year as President, I am breathing a sigh of relief that it was such a great year, with a tremendous amount of progress made on important issues and no major challenges that disrupted our progress. It is abundantly clear that this was possible as a result of the hard work and thoughtful leadership of the Council, committees, and staff. It is with a healthy mix of pride and gratitude for my good fortune that I present this report summarizing some of our accomplishments.
The development of a new strategic plan was a significant accomplishment that I believe will serve us well. Following approval of the plan by the Council in June, work has progressed on each of the four strategic objectives:
1) Increase public and healthcare professional awareness of bone diseases
2) Expand ASBMR leadership of the research agenda in bone and related fields
3) Expand two-way dialogue and exchange of ideas between ASBMR and NIH thought leaders
4) Invest in our research future by positioning young investigators for success
ASBMR held its Topical Meeting, Forum on Aging and Skeletal Health, on March 21-23, 2011, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Natcher Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This three day meeting was well-attended with close to 300 participants and positive evaluations. A manuscript summarizing the proceedings of the meeting will appear soon in the JBMR and Webcasts from the sessions are now available on the ASBMR Website.
Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Tom Clemens, the JBMR impact factor increased for 2010 to 7.056, which is the highest among all bone journals, the highest in JBMR history and the first time that the Journal’s impact factor has reached seven. The JBMR’s increasing usage levels and strong impact factor continue to make the Journal attractive to potential authors and to academic/research librarians.
The Society continues to invest in our research future by positioning young and junior investigators for success. This year ASBMR offered numerous award programs targeted specifically at this segment of our membership. These include the Career Enhancement Award (CEA), the Junior Faculty Osteoporosis Research Awards (JFOR), Young Investigator Awards and Young Investigator Travel Grant Awards for the Annual Meeting and Travel Grants for the ECTS Ph.D. Training Course.
We have worked very closely with our sister organizations, including the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF), this past year to get the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) off the ground. The NBHA is a public-private partnership of 25 organizations with objectives to promote bone health and disease prevention; improve diagnosis and treatment of bone diseases; and enhance bone research, surveillance and evaluation. As chairman of the National Bone Health Alliance Governance Committee, I am pleased with the progress being made. The Alliance’s first major effort will be submission of a proposal to the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to fund a demonstration project to support the use of fracture liaison patient navigators in order to help patients within the Medicare system who have experienced an initial fracture receive appropriate post-fracture care, with the goal of reducing secondary fractures in the population. The project aims to demonstrate the significant cost-savings the Medicare system would realize if such a system was implemented and builds on the success of similar models implemented in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. The NBHA is also planning the development of a public/health professional education campaign and a bone turnover standardization project.
ASBMR also continues to collaborate with other organizations on initiatives of mutual interest. This year’s initiatives included ECTS-ASBMR Clinical Debates at our respective meetings, support for the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI) musculoskeletal summit on “The Value in Musculoskeletal Care,” and support for young investigators to attend the IBMS Sun Valley Meeting, the AIMM Meeting, and the ECTS PHD Training Course.
I am extremely proud of the outstanding job that Program Co-Chairs Suzanne Jan De Beur and Dwight Towler have done in putting together the ASBMR 2011 Annual Meeting. Program highlights for this month’s meeting include: The first plenary session on Muscle and Bone Interactions, dedicated to the NIAMS 25th Anniversary, with NIAMS Director Stephen Katz, M.D., Ph.D. providing opening remarks; a special session on Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges featuring Theresa Kehoe, M.D. of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Javier San Martin, M.D., formerly of Amgen, and Gayle Lester from NIAMS; a Special Lecture on Sarcopenia by Andrew Marks, M.D; the ASBMR/ECTS Clinical Debate on Calcium Supplementation Is Safe and Effective; the Louis V. Avioli Memorial Lecture – Osteocytes: The Great Communicators by Lynda Bonewald, Ph.D., and the Gerald D. Aurbach Memorial Lecture – MicroRNA Control of Muscle Development and Disease by Eric Olson, Ph.D.
Additionally, we have worked to improve and expand the available formats in which meeting materials are available with the goal of making the meeting program easier to navigate– improving the Abstracts Online and Itinerary Builder tool, launching a new mobile application and making available on the website downloadable PDF versions of the Abstracts Book, Scientific Program Grid, Poster Presentation Grid and Onsite Program Book.
In summary, ASBMR remains extraordinarily active and continues to fulfill its mission: to be the premier society in the field of bone and mineral metabolism through promoting excellence in bone and mineral research, fostering integration of clinical and basic science, and facilitating the translation of that science to health care and clinical practice. I know that President-Elect Keith Hruska will continue to advance the mission of the ASBMR and I look forward to working with him over the coming year. I encourage you to attend the ASBMR Town Hall Meeting and Reception in San Diego on Sunday, September 18, 5:30 pm to 6:30 p.m., to hear more about ASBMR’s planned activities and be part of a dialogue about future directions.
Finally, on a personal note, I want to thank the Executive Committee, Council, committees and staff for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Society and for making this, at least for me, such a memorable year. I leave you with the parting words of my fellow Minnesotan, Garrison Keillor: “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.”
Sundeep Khosla, M.D.