The AASM Foundation congratulates James A. Rowley, MD, who was elected by the Board of Directors to the position of President. Dr. Rowley is currently professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Chicago, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves on the AASM Foundation Executive Committee and has a longstanding history with the AASM Foundation as a former reviewer on the AASM Foundation Career Development Awards Review Committee.
Dr. Rowley has a deep-rooted interest in the clinical aspects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and has published several papers in this area. His contributions to this area of research have shown that 1) clinical prediction formulas can predict high probability patients presenting to the sleep lab for identification; 2) male gender, body mass index and neck circumference are independent predictors of the apnea-hypopnea index and the apnea index; and 3) African-American patients with OSA have a slightly higher apnea-hypopnea index than white patients with OSA.
“As the premier professional society for sleep professionals, it is key that the AASM takes steps to advance sleep and circadian science, both basic research as well as high impact research that can advance clinical sleep medicine,” said Dr. Rowley. “This is achieved by funding the AASM Foundation, which in turn offers a multitude of programs that both fund research and educate the next generation of sleep scientists.”
In 2018, the board of directors embarked on the AASM Foundation’s first comprehensive strategic planning process in more than a decade, which Dr. Rowley and immediate past president, Jennifer L. Martin, PhD, participated in. The new plan leverages the AASM Foundation’s resources to best support the future of sleep science and aligns award programs with the needs of the sleep community.
“Dr. Rowley is a strong leader who is ideal for carrying out the strategic plan. He has been involved with the AASM Foundation for many years,” said Dr. Martin. “Dr. Rowley is thoughtful in setting direction and is focused on the goals set out in the plan. He has experience in multiple areas of sleep medicine, including research, patient care and fellowship training, making him well-suited to understand and address the issues facing our field in new and creative ways. He will be a great leader as new initiatives are implemented and programs are evaluated and improved in the coming years.”
The 2019-2023 strategic plan comes with a plethora of new initiatives positioned to strengthen the landscape of sleep health. “I am particularly excited about our strengthening and creation of new programs for developing careers of sleep and circadian investigators,” said Dr. Rowley. “It is so important that we support young investigators as they embark on an academic career, especially as other funding sources are difficult to obtain. I also look forward to our new community sleep health award and its potential impact on sleep health in local communities and starting a long-term process of developing outside sources of philanthropic gifts as well as partnerships with other professional societies to increase the impact of our awards.”
Dr. Rowley’s term as AASM Foundation president will start during the SLEEP 2019 meeting in San Antonio, TX.