Dear ASBMR members:
I am very pleased to say with this President’s report that we have a great Society, and to share with you the activity of the last year that leads to this conclusion. Our field faces its share of challenges and the ASBMR is seriously addressing them.
ASBMR 2011-2014 Strategic Plan
The objectives and initiatives we have undertaken were defined by the 2011-2014 Strategic Plan developed by our representatives in the Council and our Committees. Four general areas of strategic priority were developed and our progress in these areas is described below.
Increase Public and Healthcare Professional Awareness of Bone Diseases
Of particular interest to me has been the status of the diseases that we seek to treat in the minds of the public and healthcare professionals. We have made tremendous progress in skeletal biology, the pathophysiology of diseases and pharmacologic approaches to their management over the past several decades. Yet 80% of patients with osteoporosis, as an example, remain untreated. The Society has moved forward with two continuing medical education and performance improvement initiatives which will enable us to bring the latest evidence to primary care physicians to improve their practice. Our work with Medscape has produced two distinct educational videos: Curbside Consult: What Does the Future Hold in the Care of Osteoporosis? and The Devastating Cost of Osteoporosis: Burden of Disease and Need for Improved Screening. Additionally, our work with The France Foundation has developed a continuing education and performance improvement program for primary care physicians with online tools and presence at ten regional meetings in the US. Most importantly, we have developed linkages for family physicians and internists to obtain credit for their Maintenance of Certification Part IV related to osteoporosis care. Applications for funding the program have been submitted and we anticipate beginning the program early in 2013.
The public awareness component of this strategic priority is also an important undertaking. ASBMR’s affiliation and leadership within the National Bone Health Alliance (NBHA) has allowed us to do much of this work. The NBHA public and health professional awareness campaign entitled 2 Million 2 Many launched this spring, highlighting the connection between osteoporosis and fractures in individuals over 50 years of age and is closely aligned with NBHA’s “20/20 Vision” goal to reduce hip fractures by 20% by the year 2020. The 2M 2M “cast mountain” will be on display in Minneapolis in the ASBMR Discovery Hall. A second priority of the NBHA is to support the development of Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) as called for in the ASBMR’s Task Force on Secondary Fracture Prevention. NBHA is working with officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and with several private insurance companies to explore options for securing broader implementation. I look forward to becoming co-chair of the NBHA Governing Committee to represent the ASBMR when Sundeep Khosla steps down after the Annual Meeting.
Expand ASBMR Leadership of the Research Agenda in Bone and Related Fields
The Society has made it a priority to reach out to skeletal muscle biologists. This year’s Topical Meeting on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions on July 17-18th, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, a resounding success, was one way the ASBMR has actively engaged scientists previously not central to our core. The meeting was well attended and highly regarded. New active participation in Society activities and research collaborations have already resulted. Webcasts from the meeting are now available on the ASBMR website and a protocol book and DVD from the Pre-Meeting Workshop are available for purchase on the ASBMR website.
Reaching out to bone scientists in emerging countries is also a key priority for the Society. Initial outreach efforts targeted our colleagues in China. The Society again partnered to present “Highlights from the 2011 ASBMR Annual Meeting” to physicians and researchers in five cities in China. A series of three Chinese-language special issues of select JBMR articles has been published and disseminated. ASBMR has been invited to have its leadership present at two Chinese bone meetings to facilitate closer ties between the two organizations. The Society will continue to foster these relationships with our international colleagues and target additional outreach efforts to scientists in India, Korea and Brazil.
Also related to this strategic priority is the development of the new ASBMR-CTSA Partnership Planning Award. This team science award will support projects that would be inherently strengthened by a multi-institutional design. The award will be offered beginning in 2013.
Expand Two-Way Dialogue and Exchange of Ideas Between ASBMR and NIH Thought Leaders
NIH leaders actively participated in July’s Topical Meeting on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions. The Society values its interactions with NIH and will continue working with NIH leaders to contribute to the exchange of ideas and development of scientific initiatives.
NIH also has an active presence at the ASBMR Annual Meeting, with NIH representatives participating in the NIH Lounge, the Speed Networking Event and the Networking Breakfast as well as many of the sessions.
Invest in our Research Future by Positioning Young Investigators for Success
This year’s Annual Meeting features many opportunities to support and engage our young investigator members. These include the Career Development session, Secrets to Building a Strong Research Team and the Grant Writing Workshop, Writing a Persuasive Grant. In addition, the Speed Networking Event, Young Investigator Lounge, Young Investigator Happy Hour, NIH Lounge, Networking Breakfast, Poster Tours and new Knowledge X-Change will offer Young Investigators many opportunities to meet and network with senior researchers. In addition, a newly developed leadership session, A Conversation with Esteemed Award Winners, will offer attendees the opportunity to hear from this year’s esteemed award recipients about their paths to professional success.
The Society continues to make it a priority to provide travel support for young investigators to attend important scientific meetings in the bone and mineral field. Numerous awards were offered in 2012. The Society also awarded 50 young investigator awards and 129 travel grants to young investigators at the Annual Meeting.
The new ASBMR Phoebe Leboy Professional Development Award has provided a female investigator from an emerging country the resources needed to attend the ASBMR Annual Meeting, receive onsite mentorship from senior female researchers in the field and membership in ASBMR.
Finally, an ASBMR Mentored Career Development Award will be initiated in 2013, providing research funding for ASBMR investigators whose NIH career development awards (i.e., K award) scored in the outstanding range but were not funded.
ASBMR 2012 Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting is where we come together to share our research progress. This is the core of the Society and it has evolved into a must attend event. Some highlights to look forward to at the Annual Meeting include:
- Gerald D. Aurbach Lecture - MSC and Tissue Repair, Darwin Prockop, M.D., Ph.D., from Texas A&M Health Science Center
- Louis V. Avioli Lecture - Advanced Imaging as a Surrogate for Fracture Risk, Harry Genant, M.D., UCSF/Synarc
- Symposia on Fracture Healing: Creating a Path to Regulatory Success – featuring Teresa Kehoe of the FDA
- ASBMR/ECTS Clinical Debate – Patients Identified by FRAX as being at High Risk of Fracture Respond to Available Treatments of Osteoporosis
- ASBMR Clinical Evening on Evidenced-Based Management of Osteoporosis
- ASBMR Discovery Hall with a new Laboratory Showcase
ASBMR Collaborations with Other Groups
ASBMR continues to seek opportunities to collaborate with other organizations. This year’s initiatives include:
- ASBMR has teamed with ECTS to form the International Federation of Musculoskeletal Research Societies (IFMRS), which will include bone and muscle societies from around the world. The inaugural meeting of the IFMRS will take place at the ASBMR 2012 Annual Meeting.
- ASBMR is collaborating with multiple organizations, including the Orthopedic Research Society, the International Cartilage Repair Society, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation to initiate new working groups.
- ASBMR will continue discussions with ECTS, NOF, IBMS, ISCD, ORS and other organizations to seek further collaborative opportunities.
I am pleased with the progress that has been made during the last year and I thank you for the opportunity to serve and your continued dedication to these efforts. The Society faces many challenges for the future, but also many opportunities to advance both basic and clinical research in the bone and mineral research field. In closing, I must convey to you the hard work our staff and leadership are doing on our behalf, and to thank them for their efforts. You can be confident that the ASBMR is one Society you must be part of to optimize your goals.
Keith Hruska, M.D.