The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for members of the sleep community. Many sleep centers closed, or offered limited services, throughout the spring, and I am hopeful that most of you have started reopening and seeing patients in person again. As chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine for Wayne State University, I have been exceptionally busy seeing COVID-19 patients in our hospital system and am excited to reopen our sleep center and read sleep studies again.
Thanks to technology, the entire AASM Foundation team is working remotely to make sure that critical research awards are reviewed, award funding is paid out to institutions, and award recipients whose research is impacted by the pandemic are assisted. In the meantime, we are still working on our 2020 program expansion. We recently announced that Sweet Dreamzzz was the inaugural recipient of the Sleep Champion Award. We also unveiled a new mentoring program aimed at preparing early-career investigators to successfully apply for external sleep research funding: Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers (SOAR).
Looking ahead, we know that the AASM Foundation’s award programs are going to be crucial in helping clinicians and scientists make sleep research happen. In addition to our ongoing programs, we want to ensure that investigators, sleep fellowship programs, and others in the sleep community are supported. The AASM Foundation Board of Directors continues to meet virtually to discuss these and other issues; if you have any thoughts on how the AASM Foundation can provide additional resources during this challenging time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, I want to take a moment to announce that my tenure as president of the AASM Foundation is coming to an end on Monday, June 15, 2020. It has been a true pleasure having the opportunity to lead the organization over the past year, and I would like to take a moment to welcome Dr. Anita Shelgikar as the incoming president. While I will continue to be involved in the AASM Foundation as a member of the Board of Directors, I am most excited to support Dr. Shelgikar as she transitions into her new role.
James A. Rowley, MD