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President's Message: November 2020

Posted By Faisal Jahangiri, Monday, October 19, 2020

Dear Members, 
 
First of all,  I would like to congratulate ASNM, CANM, and committee chair groups that pulled off a fantastic Fall meeting. Willy Boucharel and Lanjun Guo From ASNM and Kristine Pederson and Marshall Wilkinson from CANM did an excellent job organizing this meeting. On behalf of the ASNM board of directors, I would like to thank the President of the CANM, Dr. Jamie Johnston, for her support in planning this symposium. 
 
This first joint ASNM/ CANM joint meeting was initially planned for an in-person meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, ASNM and CANM Executive Committees and the Board of Directors decided to proceed with the Fall Symposium as a virtual meeting to ensure our members, attendees, and speakers' safety. The virtual platform allowed attendees to benefit from this program across the globe. We had a total of 208 attendees registered, reaching ten different countries. We cannot thank our attendees and sponsors enough for their continued support of the ASNM. We hope we can reach more people in the field of IONM with more meetings with rich content. 

Please check out our website if you would like to purchase the recordings of the ASNM/CANM Fall Virtual Symposium. You can also click here!

Best Regards, 
Faisal Jahangiri, MD, CNIM, DABNM, FASNM, FASET 
ASNM President

 


 

Awards Update

The ASNM bylaws define a Fellow as someone who has made outstanding contributions to the field of neurophysiological monitoring, which may include a significant contribution to ASNM and has been a member of the Society in good standing for at least five years. The Fellowship subcommittee reviews all nominations and makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall be the final authority in the granting of Fellowship. This year the Fellowship status has been awarded to Dr. Jeffrey Gertsch for his outstanding contribution to ASNM and the field of IONM. Please join me to congratulate him as a new Fellow of the ASNM.

For the other newly created award categories:

The Founder's Award will be awarded annually to an ASNM member in good standing whose commitment to the profession of IONM is evident by contributions to the Society, contributions to the literature, and/or commitment to delivering the highest quality of patient care in IONM. This year Lawrence Wierzbowski has been awarded the ASNM Founder's Award.

The Service Award will be annually awarded as needed to an ASNM member in good standing who contributes significantly to the Society, now or in the past, through active participation on the Board and Committee work. This year Patty Warf has been awarded our Service Excellence Award.

The Outstanding Contribution to a Committee Award will be awarded annually to an ASNM member in good standing whose contributions to a committee over the last year have been deemed above and beyond.This year we had four award winners for being an Outstanding Committee Member,  Dr. Jay Shils ASNM Secretary, Dr. Jeff Balzer ASNM Education Committee Chair,  Kent Rice ASNM Fellowship Subcommittee chair, and Faisal Jahangiri (I was not involved in the decision 😊) as a Previous Membership Committee chair. 

The Outstanding Publication in a Peer-Reviewed Journal Award will be annually awarded to an ASNM Member in good standing who made significant contributions to a published research paper deemed outstanding or important by the ASNM Research Committee. The paper must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal within the previous calendar year (i.e., 2020 award for a paper published in 2019, whether in print or Epub ahead of print) as well as indexed. Pay to publish papers, book chapters, book reviews, and letters to editors do not qualify. The nomination is made by the Research Committee. This year Dr. Jeff Balzer has been awarded our Outstanding Publication Award.

 


 

Call to Join a Committee

I am inviting all members to step forward and volunteer to join one of the ASNM committees. We need new committee members and fresh ideas. The ASNM standing committees are Education, Finance, Guidelines and Standard of Care, Membership, Representation and Advocacy, Research, and Ethics Committees. If someone would like to join, please submit your curriculum vitae to ASNM@affinity-strategies.com

 


 

Call for Speakers

If you or someone you know of would like to speak at ASNM'S 2021 Winter Virtual Meeting or our 2021 Annual Virtual Meeting, please reach out to ASNM@affinity-strategies.com. If interested, please include the presenter's name, credentials, the name of the event they would like to speak at, and the topic they would like to present.

 


 

Diversity Task Force Volunteers Wanted

Want to make a difference in the future of IONM? Join us to identify the barriers for women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ members to participating within ASNM and the broader IONM community.  Join ASNM's Diversity Taskforce and share your ideas on how to improve diversity within our community. If you would like to join this task force please reach out to Tara Stewart at tara@ionmlife.com.

 


 

Meeting & Webinar Schedule 


Meeting Schedule 

  • Winter 2021 Virtual Symposium: The ASNM Board of Directors has decided to begin 2021 with another Virtual Symposium. COVID-19 has changed the way meetings will take place, and, in the event COVID-19 impacts 2021, we would like to provide our members with educational content and the opportunity to receive CME and CEU's for the content. The dates for this meeting will be posted before the end of next month.

  • 2021 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, will be potentially moved to 2022 as an in-person meeting, given the current state of COVID-19. More information to follow.
     
  • 2021 Fall Virtual Symposium: The ASNM Board of Directors has officially voted on the ASNM continuing to have our Fall meeting be virtual as well. 

 
Webinars: All webinars are at 7 pm EST 
Gregory Heuer will present a webinar on Monday, November 16, "The Surgical Treatment of Tethered Cords." Please Click Here to Register Today! 
 
Cheryl Wiggins will present the first webinar of next year on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, "Out on a limb: Key IONM Concepts for Peripheral Orthopedic Surgery."  REGISTRATION TO COME! 
 
CNIM Concepts Mini-Course 
We will be hosting another CNIM Concepts course in the Spring of 2021 on April 3, April 10, and April 17. REGISTRATION TO COME

 


 

Upcoming Ballot for Elections

The ASNM 2021 Board of Directors Election Ballot was emailed to all members yesterday, on Thursday, October 15. Members have two weeks to fill the ballot out until Thursday, October 29, 2020. Once the two weeks are up, we will tally up all the votes and send all the nominees the results. Once the nominees have been made aware, we will inform the membership of the election results. Please make sure you vote!

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President's Message: July 2020

Posted By Faisal Jahangiri, Thursday, September 24, 2020
Dear Members,

I hope everyone is staying safe. We are working on multiple projects for our members, and I want to update you about the important steps we have taken recently. First, I would like to welcome our new BOD member Larry Wierzbowski who had taken the seat of Laura Hemmer when she became President-Elect.

ASNM Clinical Effectiveness Ad-hoc Sub-committee: After discussions with many ASNM members, I have created ASNM Clinical Effectiveness Ad-hoc Subcommittee, which is co-chaired by Megan Alcauskas and Ryan Rosenhahn. This subcommittee will focus on the value and medical necessity of IONM in lumbar surgeries. It will submit proposals and recommendations within 90 days of its creation to the BOD. I want to thank all the members and advisors of the subcommittee for their time, efforts, and dedication to the ASNM and IONM.

September BOD Meeting: This year, the ASNM Board of Directors meeting will be conducted virtually on September 12th, 2020, from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm CST. This meeting is for our Board of Directors to meet and discuss the workings of the Society.

Meeting Schedule

  • September ASNM/CANM Virtual Symposium: The ASNM has partnered with CANM for this year’s Fall Symposium. The meeting was initially scheduled to take place Live in Vancouver, Canada. However, given the current state of COVID-19, we have decided to pivot to a Virtual Symposium. The ASNM Fall Committee Chairs and the CANM Fall Committee Chairs have been meeting to get the meeting agenda fixed for the virtual symposium. The new agenda, registration information, and the meeting format will be posted on our website very soon. The meeting will be held on the same dates as scheduled on September 19-20.

  • Winter 2021 Virtual Symposium: The ASNM Board of Directors has decided that we will begin 2021 with another Virtual Symposium. COVID-19 has changed the way meetings take place, and in the event COVID-19 impacts 2021, we would like to provide our members with educational content as well as the opportunity to receive CME and CEUs for the content. The date for this meeting has not yet been decided, but we hope to have more information out after our Fall Symposium.

  • 2021 Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas: We are hoping that by May, we will be able to host our Annual Meeting in-person. As of now, the meeting will be hosted on May 20-23, 2021, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. Once we get closer to the event, more information about the meeting will be communicated to our members. We cannot wait to see everyone in person again!

Call to Speakers for 2021:
If you or someone that you know of, would like to speak at ASNM’S 2021 Winter Virtual Meeting or our Annual Meeting in Dallas, please reach out to ASNM@affinity-strategies.com. If interested, please include the presenter’s name, their credentials, the name of the event they would like to speak at, and the topic that they would like to present.

Webinars: All webinars are at 7 pm EST: ASNM will continue to offer educational activities in summer. Jeremy Bamford will present the webinar, Intraoperative Sensory and Motor Mapping of the Human Homunculus, on July 15th. Please click HERE to Register Today!

Julie Trott will present the webinar, Impact of Anesthesia on the Diagnostic Process of IONM During Spine Procedures: An Interactive Review, on August 26th. Please Click HERE to Register Today!

CNIM Concepts Mini-Course: We will be hosting another CNIM Concepts course this Fall. The dates are September 26th, October 3rd, and October 10th, 2020, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm EST. If you or your colleagues are planning to take CNIM, these courses will help in preparing for the CNIM exam. Please click HERE to register.

Thank you for your continued support and for being a valuable member.

Faisal Jahangiri
MD, CNIM, D.ABNM, FASNM, FASET
President, ASNM

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President's Message: June 2020 — ASNM Statement of Solidarity

Posted By Faisal Jahangiri, Thursday, September 24, 2020
Dear ASNM Members,

The ASNM Board believes it is crucial at this time, to publicly state our support for each and every patient, member, colleague and other healthcare professional regardless of his/her race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

We recognize that many people are hurting right now. As health care providers and clinicians of diverse backgrounds who treat patients of every background, we remain committed to continuing to promote diversity, inclusivity, and equality within the entire IONM field.

The ASNM has been taking steps to ensure our Society embraces and promotes diversity and inclusion. The creation of the Diversity Taskforce in 2019 is one of those steps and will serve to make sure our Board and membership embody and promote equality in our field. We will continue to build upon this taskforce to ensure a brighter future for the ASNM and all providers in this field.

Respectfully,
The ASNM Board of Directors

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President's Message: May 2020

Posted By Faisal Jahangiri, Thursday, September 24, 2020
Dear ASNM Members:

I am very excited and humbled to become the President of the American Society of Neurophysiological Monitoring (ASNM) for the year 2020-21. When starting as a medical student thirty-five years ago in Pakistan, or while driving hundreds of miles daily as a new IONM technologist covering surgeries in various states (some years later in the USA), I had not thought that one day I would be leading a premier organization like ASNM. But here I am writing this letter to you - it is truly an honor and a blessing of God.

I moved to the USA in 1992, along with my wife for higher education. After completing my graduate education in Biomedical Engineering, I started my career as a technologist in Detroit, MI, with Biotronic. Over the past two decades, I have been fortunate to work in diverse IONM capacities such as a technologist, neurophysiologist, supervisor, trainer, and as an educator. I have provided in-house and remote-physician oversight for a wide range of procedures. Over the years, I have worked with some phenomenal people in various companies. To all of them, I say thank you for being my colleague, educator, and friend. Some of the IONM companies where I have worked include Sentient, Impulse, Specialitycare, Safe Passage, and Neuro Alert. I have also done IONM-related work in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Pakistan. Currently, I work with Axis Neuromonitoring in their Richardson, TX location. I am blessed working with people at Axis that care about improving IONM to the best of its capacity. I have been an active member of the ASNM since 2002. I have volunteered in membership, education, research, guidelines, monitor, and applied philanthropic committees. I have been fortunate to have attended every annual meeting since 2002; however, this year will be the first time, where I would have missed a physical meeting of ASNM. I pray that we meet again under better circumstances.

Let’s first discuss some of the challenges we as IONM people face under the current times. The current COVID-19 situation has significantly changed not only our personal lives but the manner under which we operate professionally. The beginning of the pandemic saw the cancellation of elective surgeries, which significantly affected IONM services as well. We have soon picked after; however, we are not out of the woods yet. We need to keep striving to keep ‘IONM’ out of the ‘elective’ category. As IONM professionals, one of the most critical tasks that we should always keep in mind is to educate the healthcare staff around us about the essential nature of IONM. The current pandemic has resulted in the world being connected more than ever in the virtual environment. It has thus made it easier to educate about IONM with all the different platforms available for meetings, webinars, and such. No longer do we have to wait to meet in conferences to disseminate knowledge about IONM. We can do so at the click of a button with groups of various sizes. Reimbursement for IONM services by insurance companies is another challenge that we in the ASNM society face regularly. However, I feel that this challenge is again primarily related to the lack of information and education that is prevalent about the necessity of IONM services. This second challenge is also perhaps related to some unethical practices by a handful of IONM practitioners that have resulted in insurance companies getting into the practice of denying IONM claims.

Let’s talk about education now. Over the past years, first, as a member and later as the membership committee chair, I have been able to get your inputs about education. ASNM has been successfully offering multiple webinars free to its members every year. This year we had a successful virtual winter symposium, and recently our first Town Hall Motor Evoked Potentials (MEP) Interactive Webinar. We plan to provide more educational activities for our members this year – however, a tremendous amount of work is needed in the coming years. We need new people to volunteer in various committees. I request every member to pitch in their services, whether it be joining a committee, speaking at a meeting, submitting new research for conferences, or running for office, etc. I would like to invite you to participate in multicenter high caliber research, publish outcome studies to show the benefits of IONM, ask colleagues and friends to join as members, combine forces with other related organizations, educate the insurance companies about the benefits of IONM and strengthen our advocacy efforts to lobby for ASNM and IONM related issues.

Over the next year, we will continue to strengthen our professionalism through education, training, research, and better resources. I believe if we work hard and together, ASNM will become stronger and better and reemerge as a leading society in the field of IONM. We are proud of our past and excited about the ASNM future.

I would like to thank ASNM past president, Rich Vogel, for his dedication and contribution to the ASNM. I would also like to thank the outgoing Board of Directors Jeff Gertsch, Leah Hanson, Bryan Wilent, and of our members for making last year possible. I would like to thank everyone else at ASNM here that I have not mentioned by name – thanks for being a mentor, an educator, and for raising the ranks of ASNM at which it stands today. I would like to welcome our new President-Elect, Dr. Laura Hemmer, and board members Clare Gale, Cheryl Wiggins, Tara Stewart, Lanjun Guo, and Larry Wierzbowski. Special thanks to our industry sponsors for their continuous support and a tremendous job by our management team at Affinity Strategies.

Thank you again for this opportunity.

Best regards,
Faisal R. Jahangiri
MD, CNIM, D.ABNM, FASNM, FASET
President ASNM

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President's Message - April 2020

Posted By Rich Vogel, Monday, April 6, 2020

Dear Members,

 

As I look back on my year as ASNM President, I am reminded of Shakespeare's Henry IV who once remarked, "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown". To King Henry I say, “Indeed”.

 

The President of the ASNM volunteers his or her time to work nights and weekends for the benefit of this profession and everyone who works in it. Set aside for the year are hobbies, goals, dreams and time with family and friends. There are nights of lost sleep amid persistent feelings of stress and worry. There are thousands of emails to read and respond to. There are hundreds of decisions to make; each, it seems, with lobbying from different points of view. The President of the ASNM experiences admiration and disregard, support and opposition, loyalty and betrayal. Amid all of this, one comes to recognize that the dominant feeling about this profession, coming from those who work in the profession, is one of indifference. That, I believe, takes the greatest toll... indifference. Heavy lies the crown indeed.

 

Despite all of these feelings, my presidency has proven to be ephemeral in hindsight. It seems like only yesterday when I gave my Incoming President’s Address at the ASNM Annual Meeting in May of 2019. And, here we are a year later, ready to transition to a new President. Despite the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, which has put the whole world on hold and caused us to cancel our much-anticipated Annual Meeting, this past year has been a successful one for me, and for the ASNM.

 

A lot of people have asked if my final President’s Message was going to be another big speech, similar to the long, passionate address that I delivered last year. The answer to that question is no. My feeling is that a speech of such magnitude should probably be reserved for exactly what I used it for... to unleash a scathing indictment of an entire profession and reveal a strategic vision for how it can be improved over both the short and long term. So, no big exit speech. Today, my final message to the ASNM Membership will simply consist of a few important things I want to say before I pass the torch.

 

As I look back on my presidency, I can honestly say that I’m proud of every decision I made and every action I took. As President, I experienced both success and failure. In hindsight, I am left only with peace of mind knowing that I led the ASNM with integrity, I persevered through difficult times, and I learned some important lessons that I’ll take with me to the next stage of life. At the end of the day, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ASNM and happy to see us moving in the right direction.

 

I would like to take a moment and extend my sincere thank you to every single person who stepped up over the last year and offered to help. In fact, so many people answered my call to assist, we weren’t even able to use everyone’s help. Having too much help is always an asset in a volunteer society. So, thank you to everyone who offered to volunteer their time to the ASNM.

 

I’d also like to thank the people who supported me over the last year, both personally and professionally. My supporters are too numerous to name, but you know who you are, and I want you to know that I’m deeply appreciative of you.

 

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be working with Faisal to make sure we have a smooth transition of leadership on May 4th, 2020. I am confident in Faisal’s leadership and I certainly hope everyone will give him the help, support and encouragement he needs to have a successful year.

 

So, what’s next for me? Well, I will remain on the Executive Committee for one year in the position of “Immediate Past President”. After that, I will cycle off of the ASNM Board entirely. We’re moving in the right direction. Now, it’s time for new leaders to emerge and take us to the next level. Personally, I’m going to take a step back and focus on me. It’s about time for that.

 

It has been an honor and a privilege serving as ASNM President.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rich Vogel, PhD, DABNM, FASNM

ASNM President 2019-2020

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President's Message - March 2020

Posted By Rich Vogel, Friday, March 6, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Dear Members,

 

We just finished our 2020 Winter Virtual Symposium and it was a resounding success!! We had more than 90 attendees logged in, and over 120 total attendees if you include faculty and Board members. The exhibitors who submitted video commercials got lots of air time, benefiting from the individual attention of all attendees. We got so much positive feedback on all fronts. This is definitely something that we’ll consider doing again. 

 

As we begin to look toward our big 2020 Annual Meeting, I want you to know that award nominations close March 15th. We have two awards that you can nominate someone for right now. Click the link below to learn about these award, and please take the time to nominate someone!

 

Founders Award.

ASNM Fellow.

 

Winners of these awards, and others, will be recognized at the Saturday Luncheon at the 2020 Annual Meeting.

 

Speaking of the Annual Meeting, registration is open. We're starting to get lots of questions about whether or not the annual meeting will happen as concerns over COVID-19 escalate. As of now, we have no plans to cancel or alter the meeting, but we are preparing, as should you. My recommendation is to book your travel now, rather than wait; here's why: many airlines are presently offering indefinite waiving of change fees if you book travel in the next couple of weeks. So, under these circumstances, booking travel is of little risk. I also recommend buying travel insurance as an added precaution. In the meantime, we're full speed ahead with planning for this meeting!

 

Last year, in my inauguration speech, I asked an audience of over 200 people to raise their hand if they would pledge to go home, tell two people about the ASNM and bring them back to the meeting in 2020. Every...single...person in that room raised his/her hand high! If everyone in that room keeps their promise, we will have over 600 people at this meeting. What about you? Did you raise your hand? Time to dig deep again and look within. Are you the type of person who makes a pledge and keeps it? Now is the time to make that decision. Register for the 2020 Annual Meeting and bring someone along! The meeting will be held May 15-17, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

In case you missed my previous announcement, I’ve invited someone very special to be my Presidential Speaker, Dr. Marty Makary. His work is known the world over, he’s published 2 NYT best-selling books, he’s frequently interviewed on national and international news outlets, and he fills venues of thousands every time he speaks, so we’re very lucky to have him in such an intimate setting. 

 

The last thing I want to let you know is that the ASNM Board is presently working on a major overhaul of the Bylaws. The Bylaws are essentially our constitution. They describe how we govern ourselves. This update is long overdue because the Bylaws are written for a smaller organization, and they are outdated. I’m telling you all of this because you need to be part of the process. Once we have a draft done, we will send an announcement to the entire membership, opening a 30 day window for you to submit comments. Look for an email from the ASNM around March 25th. We’ll need to close the comment period by April 24th in order have the Bylaws done in time for the Annual Meeting in May. That's the plan, anyway. 

 

Thank you all for taking the time to read. I hope you'll take time to nominate someone for one of our awards. I hope you all can enjoy the waning days of the winter season. I’ll be back in April with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!

 

Disclaimer:

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author(s). Blog posts do not represent the thoughts, intentions, strategies or policies of the author’s employer or any organization, committee or other group or individual, including the ASNM. The ASNM, along with the author(s) of this post, makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, suitability, validity, usefulness or timeliness of any information in this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Any action you may take based upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk.

 

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President's Message - February 2020

Posted By Richard W. Vogel, Monday, February 3, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dear Members,

 

A lot has happened in the couple months since I’ve communicated to you, so let’s jump right in. 

 

Many people have contacted the ASNM over the last few months asking what’s happening with the 2020 Winter Symposium. We’ve also been dealing with lots of questions over the past few weeks about what’s going on with the leadership of the ASNM. I want to spend some time today talking to you about both of these things. 

 

The first thing that I want you all to know is that the leadership of this society is strong, our vision is clear, our direction is unwavering, and our Board is united. I can tell you all that achieving and maintaining this high level of organizational grit and chemistry is not easy, and doesn’t come without experiencing some bumps in the road, but our collective passion, perseverance and dedication to promoting the highest quality of patient care in IONM is what keeps us going. 

 

The second thing I want you to know, because it’s relevant, is that one of our Board Members, Dr. Gene Balzer, resigned from the BOD in late December, and the Executive Committee accepted his resignation. Dr. Balzer was a founding member of this Society, indeed a founding “father” in this profession, and he has a long-standing record of dedication to the ASNM and accomplishment as a leader within the Society. So, it goes without saying that his contributions will be missed. On a personal note, I can say that I consider Gene to be a friend and mentor, and I wish him well. 

 

I will also note that, in a Society of volunteers leading a profession notoriously plagued by apathy and disengagement, Gene was always one of those people who raised his hand to help. Gene was not just a member of the BOD, but he was also Chair of 2 of our Standing Committees, he was the sole Program Chair of the 2020 Winter Symposium, and Program Co-Chair of the 2020 Annual Meeting. We thank Gene for the work he did in all of these roles. The ASNM BOD will work together to back fill all of these roles with minimal disruption to our organization. 

 

Regarding the Winter Symposium, I can tell you that the symposium is full speed ahead. It will take place February 22-23, and it will be 100% virtual (no onsite presence). Attendees who sign up will experience a world-wide broadcast of educational content (some live and some pre-recorded, along with live Q&A from a panel of experts) and they can experience this content, including getting CME and CEUs from the comfort of their own home. This means we have completely eliminated expenses associated with travel and accommodations. 

 

The meeting is open to everyone, regardless of whether or not you are a member of the ASNM. The cost to view the content live is $300, again, regardless of membership status. If you just want to view the recorded symposium after the fact, the cost will be $400, but this option is open to members only. If you want to view the content live and get all the benefits of 2020 ASNM membership, you can purchase a package for $450 (for a total savings of $35). 

 

We have more-and-more people registering for this Symposium by the day. We also have exhibitors that have produced videos which will air during commercial breaks. Despite whatever setbacks we experienced, I have no doubt this grand experiment, this virtual symposium, will be a resounding success. 

 

Turning to our 2020 Annual Meeting, This meeting will be held May 15-17 in St. Louis, MO. I’ve taken over for Gene as one of the Program Co-Chairs, and I’m working with two rock stars to make this one of the best meetings ever: Rebecca Clark-Bash and Clare Gale. Together, we are developing an outstanding Program, which you can expect to see on our website by March 1 at the latest. 

 

The final meeting this year will be our Fall Symposium, and I’m very happy to announce that we have partnered with the Canadian Association of Neurophysiological Monitoring ht to develop a joint ASNM-CANM Symposium September 18-20, 2020 in Vancouver, BC. We’re very thankful to the leadership of CANM for joining forces with us in a shared venture, and shared vision, to build bridges in the IONM community. 

 

While I have you, just a couple other quick announcements. 

 

First, on January 15th, we sent an email to membership informing you that nominations for ASNM office are now open. This is your opportunity to choose who gets to be on the election ballot for ASNM office later this year. Please look for that email from Jan 15th. Think about who you’d like to see run for ASNM office, and submit their name. The deadline for submission is April 15th, but don’t wait that long or you’ll forget. Take action today!

 

Second, on February 1st, we send out an email to membership informing you that nominations for ASNM Fellowship are now open. If you know someone who meets the criteria, please do submit their name for consideration to receive this prestigious title. I can tell you that you will need to collect and submit a lot of information to nominate a candidate, so you need to start that process ASAP. Nominations close March 15th. Again, take action today!

 

Finally, I made due on my promise to roll out new awards to recognize members of the ASNM who make outstanding contributions in various ways. You can read about our awards on the website, but I want to give you a heads up that you can expect to see another call for award nominations in the weeks ahead. There is one award in particular that comes from nomination by general membership of the society, and we’ll be asking you to nominate someone special. 

 

I’m heading off to the ACNS meeting in NOLA. It reminds me of how important it is to participate in our profession, to be engaged and support the folks who are out here working to advance this profession. I encourage our members to also support our sister societies, like ACNS and ASET.

 

I’ll be back in March with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!

 

Disclaimer:

 

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author(s). Blog posts do not represent the thoughts, intentions, strategies or policies of the author’s employer or any organization, committee or other group or individual, including the ASNM. The ASNM, along with the author(s) of this post, makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, suitability, validity, usefulness or timeliness of any information in this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Any action you may take based upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk.

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President's Message - November 2019

Posted By Rich Vogel, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dear Members,

 

Just a few announcements this month:

 

ASNM elections open this coming Monday (November 4th). Please look for an email from the ASNM with a link to access information about the candidates, and a link to access the ballot. We have 2 people running for one open position as ASNM President, and 9 running for 4 open positions on the ASNM Board of Directors. Once ballots open, you will have 2 weeks to vote. We’ll announce the winning candidates in December. Winning candidates will take office at the ASNM Annual Meeting in May of 2021.

 

Our new industry prospectus is out, on time, as promised. I’d like to thank our Exhibitor Taskforce, Executive Committee and the team at Affinity for all the hard work that went into developing this prospectus. As our society grows and experiments with new educational platforms, we’ve elected to offer our industry partners a variety of new options to tailor their support of the ASNM to their individual needs.

 

We finally have a date for the ASNM 2020 Winter Symposium. It will be held Feb 22-23. As I said previously, this will be a (mostly) virtual meeting, consisting of a live, interactive, world-wide internet broadcast. We’ll plan to air commercials from our sponsors between talks. 

 

Symposium attendees will be able to attend via an internet portal without the expenses associated with travel. Virtual attendees will be able to purchase individual sessions or the entire symposium. The fee structure will significantly reduce member’s cost unit of CME and CEU. Limited in-person audience attendance is available.

 

Why are we doing this? Because you asked for it! Last year, we conducted a membership survey which indicated that members wanted, 1) more innovative speakers and formats, 2) effective utilization of their time, and 3) lower cost CME/CEU options. Ask and you shall receive! This is a big experiment for us, and I certainly hope you will join us in February. I’d like to thank the Representation and Advocacy Committee for coordinating the membership survey, and many thanks to Dr. Gene Balzer for his vision and hard work in developing this virtual meeting program.

            

Finally, I have a very big and exciting announcement to make. I’m bringing in a very special guest as my Presidential Speaker at the 2020 ASNM Annual Meeting. This meeting will be held May 15-17, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri. If you want to know who it is and why I’m bringing this person in, you’ll have to watch my November President’s video

 

If you want to go back and watch my previous monthly video messages, just search for “ASNM President” on youtube.

 

I hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be back in December with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!

 

Disclaimer:

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author(s). Blog posts do not represent the thoughts, intentions, strategies or policies of the author’s employer or any organization, committee or other group or individual, including the ASNM. The ASNM, along with the author(s) of this post, makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, suitability, validity, usefulness or timeliness of any information in this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Any action you may take based upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk.

 

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President's Message - October 2019

Posted By Rich Vogel, Thursday, October 10, 2019

Dear Members,

 

We just finished our 2019 Fall Symposium in Boston. I was excited to hear from attendees and exhibitors alike that this was one of the best meetings they ever attended. Attendees liked the variety of speakers/topics and the practical advice for all levels of practitioner. Exhibitors liked the attendance, room setup, foot traffic and engagement. I’d like to extend my congratulations to our Program Chairs, Drs. Joe Moreira and Faisal Jahangiri, who developed the educational content. I’d like to thank all of our speakers, and a very special thank you to our industry partners for sponsoring the event. We couldn’t have done it without you!!

 

I think the success of our 2019 Fall Symposium foreshadows what is to come from future ASNM meetings. In taking office as ASNM President, I promised to double down on education, experiment with new technologies, expand our annual meeting and make the ASNM the best place in the world to learn about IONM. At this moment, today, there is no question in my mind that the ASNM has emerged as the nation’s premier resource for IONM education, we’re just getting started.

 

I’m happy to announce that the 2020 ASNM Winter Symposium will be a (mostly) virtual meeting to be held in early 2020. In a major departure from our traditional symposia, we will be offering a live, interactive, world-wide broadcast of the meeting. This allows attendees to get the same premier education they’ve come to expect from the ASNM, and without having to pay additional cost of travel and hotel. So, you can get your CMEs/CEUs in your pajamas! Of course, we still expect to offer in-person attendance to a limited number of participants. We’re still working out the specifics/logistics and finalizing the dates, but we expect to make formal announcements very soon. So, stay tuned. 

 

This leads me to the 2020 ASNM Annual Meeting. This will be our biggest and best meeting that we’ve ever hosted. We’re incorporating new formats, new technologies, new topics and new speakers. I won’t say any more right now, but I will say this: if you’re going to travel to one meeting in 2020, you will definitely want to make sure it is the ASNM Annual Meeting May 15-17 in St. Louis, MO.

 

Finally, if you have been a speaker at a recent ASNM meeting, or are a frequent audience attendee, you may have noticed that we’ve been changing our requirements for what speakers need to disclose, as well as what can/can’t appear on slides. We do this for two reasons, 1) because some of it is required by our CME provider, and 2) so the audience can readily detect any bias in a presentation.

 

When I say “bias”, I’m talking about bias driven by economic influence, not individual opinions about how to practice. So, someone saying that you should do BCR on all spine cases is certainly free to present evidence to support that argument; however, someone whose company sells the latest “BCR electrode” stands to make financial gain from that statement, and the audience has the right to know that. Also, we’re learning new things from our CME provider. For example, if you work for an academic institution, you can put your institution name and symbol on you slides, but you cannot do that if you work for a private company. So, we’re making changes to our rules over time to maintain transparency for the audience, as well as compliance to rules set forth by our CME and CEU providers. We hope you will understand and bear with us while we hone our technique.

 

Happy Halloween everyone. No matter where you live, I hope you get to enjoy some of the beautiful fall foliage that we see in the north. It’s a wonderful time to travel. I’ll be back in November with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!

 

Disclaimer:

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog post  are solely those of the author(s). Blog posts do not represent the thoughts, intentions, strategies or policies of the author’s employer or any organization, committee or other group or individual, including the ASNM. The ASNM, along with the author(s) of this post, makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, suitability, validity, usefulness or timeliness of any information in this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Any action you may take based upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk.

 

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President's Message - September 2019

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 5, 2019

Dear Members,

 

Summer is winding down and the cool winds of fall are beginning to make their way to my home state of Pennsylvania. This is my favorite time of year, but right now my thoughts are with the people affected by hurricane Dorian. I hope all of our members, as well as their loved ones, in affected areas are somewhere safe.

 

Over the past month, we’ve been busy getting ready for the upcoming Board Meeting, which will be held on Friday September 13th, just before our Fall Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts. More on the symposium in a few minutes. 

 

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on at our Board Meetings, you can always attend one as they are open to all members. In general, we discuss the business of running a society and shaping a profession. Each Committee gives reports to update us on their projects. We discuss various topics and takes votes on proposals that will shape the direction of the ASNM. I think it is excellent experience to serve on a board, and I’d encourage everyone to run for office at some point in their career. If you’re looking for a good entry point to get some experience, I’d strongly encourage you to start by serving on one of our Standing Committees. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to get involved. 

 

One big project we’ve been working on in August is a major update to our 2019 Industry Prospectus for 2020. You may remember from my Incoming President’s Addressthat I wanted to work more closely with our industry partners. In doing so, I created an Industry Partner Taskforceto advise us on certain topics that impact our partners. In developing our 2020 Industry Prospectus, we’ve worked closely with this Taskforce to ensure it works well for the ASNM and our partners who support our Society. The Board still needs to vote on the 2020 Prospectus, so it won’t be available for a few weeks. Stay tuned!

 

In the middle of August, I traveled to Kansas City to attend ASET’s Annual Meeting. The Neurodiagnostic Society celebrated its 60thyear. I had the opportunity to meet with ASET leadership to continue our close collaboration. As usual, I had a wonderful and productive conversation with ASET Immediate Past President Susan Agostini and the new ASET President, Connie Kubiac. I look forward to our continued collaboration. 

 

In late August, neuromonitoring was again in the national spotlightand, sadly, not in a positive light. I think we are on the verge of seeing more national news stories related to out of network (OON) billing for neuromonitoring. While the OON status of many companies is mostly the fault of the insurance industry refusing to allow us to be in-network, the news stories will sensationalize this and blame the IONM profession as a whole. Those of you who are engaged in business practices of questionable ethics (you know who you are), you’re not helping matters because stories that break about you will only make the rest of us look bad. 

 

Anyway, I’m sure you’re all aware of the NPR story about IONM that broke on June 17th. Well, a different version of this story also aired on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holton August 18th. In this segment, Ms. Cannon’s story was reported by Catie Beck in the Your Money Your Lifesegment. This particular story did not use quotes or comments from me, but it did talk about surprise bills and paint IONM in a negative light. 

 

On a more positive note, there was also a recent story about IONM published in Neurosurgery Market Watch. Among those interviewed for the story include myself, Dr. Faisal Jahangiri (ASNM President-Elect), Dr. Jay Shils (ASNM Secretary) and Dr. Marc Nuwer (longtime ASNM member and Fellow).

 

Turning to the future, the ASNM Fall Symposium will be held September 13-15at the Hyatt Regency Boston. You can view the program online and register here . There will be three pre-conference workshops covering the 10-20 system, TCD and electrode safety. As usual, the main conference will feature a variety of new speakers covering a variety of new topics. If you’re one of those people who continues to think of that ASNM as presenting stale topics with the same old speakers, I’d encourage you to set aside your prejudice and check out our program. Also, if you can’t make the fall symposium, I’d strongly encourage you to plan to attend our 2020 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO. We’re planning a bunch of new activities that will transform your meeting experience.

 

So, that’s my President’s Message for September 2019. In my October President’s Message, I’ll tell you about how our Fall Symposium went, and give you important updates from our Board Meeting. I hope you’re all enjoying the closing days of summer. I’ll be back in October with another update from the front lines. Thanks for being a valued member!

 

Rich Vogel, PhD

ASNM President

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