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  • Prez Letter

    Drs. Mary Bouxsein, Laura Calvi, Jennifer Westendorf (left to right)

    Message from ASBMR President Laura Calvi, M.D. – January 25, 2024

    Dear Colleagues,

    As we embark on a new year, let me update you on the exciting initiatives and activities planned across our four strategic priority areas. Your ongoing support and engagement are integral to the success of these endeavors, which aim to shape the future of musculoskeletal research and care. Throughout my encounters with leadership, committees, and members, I am humbled by the talent, dedication of all member volunteers, and the collegial environment that is the hallmark of our Society. A special thanks to Council Members, Executive Committee and especially Past President Mary Bouxsein and President Elect Jennifer Westendorf for their enthusiasm, engagement, and courage as together we embrace innovation in all our activities this year.

    1. Expand and Support Our Global Community

    Yesterday we kicked off year one of our THRIVE Program with our inaugural cohort, meeting the ten THRIVE mentees and their mentors. I want to take a moment to recognize Rhonda Prisby, who leads this program, for her vision and steady stewardship of this program, as well as the rest of the leadership team for their dedication and creativity. Aligned with this effort, this year ASBMR will  provide training for elected leadership and committee chairs on topics in diversity, equity, and inclusion with the goals of fostering a more supportive community and reducing cultural biases. Speaking of leadership, the annual call for volunteer nominations was announced last week. The Society strongly values diversity and encourages international members and early-stage investigators to nominate others or self-nominate. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 13.

    We are also working to increase awareness and make it easier for members to make meaningful contributions to the Society though volunteer opportunities beyond Council and committee service. There are numerous ways for members to get involved with the Society—many of them short-term commitments with high-value impact. Look out soon for further details about these “microvolunteering” opportunities.

    To increase engagement with our global community, we have reinvigorated our International Ambassadors Program. Initiatives by this subcommittee include expanding the Society’s educational content globally through collaborations with regional/local scientific and medical organizations, piloting an international scholar pipeline program and launching special interest groups.

     2. Invest in the Future of the Field

     Professional organizations are grappling with many challenges that are impacting traditional programs like annual meetings and publications, while changing preferences and needs of members challenge the status quo. Fortunately, to date ASBMR has weathered these challenges better than most organizations because of its engaged and active membership, forward-thinking leadership, partnership with Smithbucklin and healthy financial reserves. To ensure continued long-term success, the Society is implementing an innovation framework in collaboration with Smithbucklin to ensure that we embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and innovation. A key output of this work in 2024 is a technology assessment that will establish a roadmap to transform how the Society utilizes technology to meet the needs of a changing world and our global membership.

     Investment in the future of the field also means providing members with travel support opportunities to key conferences and collaborations with other organizations on mutually beneficial initiatives. This priority will continue in 2024.

    3. Improve the Awareness, Diagnosis and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Diseases

     There are numerous activities to address identified clinical priorities in the field in 2024. This includes the publication of the Task Force on Clinical Algorithms for Fracture Risk report in JBMR® as well as a webinar in February. The continued support for the Strategy to Advance BMD as a Regulatory Endpoint (SABRE) project anticipates an FDA determination in the next 12-18 months. The constitution of an ASBMR Task Force on Discontinuation of Denosumab Therapy for Osteoporosis will release a preliminary report by year’s end. We are also updating the ASBMR Task Report on Atypical Subtrochanteric and Diaphyseal Femoral Fractures. The JBMR® is launching an article series on complex clinical challenges and releasing a digital collection on global health issues. The Society will also continue its advocacy initiatives which will include expanding this work beyond the United States. I will discuss these activities in more detail in a future letter.

     4. Lead the Research Agenda in Musculoskeletal Science

     Strengthening ASBMR as the trusted global source of information in the field will continue to be a top priority this year. The 2024 Annual Meeting Program Committee led by Roberta Faccio, Patricia Ducy, Noriaki Ono and Carola Zillikens have numerous innovations planned for the scientific program of our September meeting in Toronto. The Society is also exploring enhancements to improve the attendee experience. I will dedicate a future letter to expand on these innovations and enhancements. This year we will be offering two exciting full-day pre-meeting programs immediately prior to the Annual Meeting—one on Energy Metabolism in Skeletal Development and Disease, and a second on Rare Bone Diseases.

    Finally, advocacy remains a key initiative in the US and abroad. ASBMR leadership is planning  meetings with the directors of key National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutes involved in skeletal research. The intent of these meetings is to establish regular communication channels between ASBMR and the Institutes with the aim of identifying and addressing research and public health priorities that will advance the research agenda in musculoskeletal science.

    I am excited about the many initiatives outlined above to move our Society forward and to ensure that it remains vibrant and relevant for many years to come. Your dedication is fundamental to the success of these initiatives. We look forward to a year filled with progress, collaboration and impactful contributions to the field of musculoskeletal science.

    Thank you for being a vital part of ASBMR.


    Laura Calvi, M.D.
    ASBMR President

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