We begin each year with the best of intentions. We make resolutions. We vow change. We commit ourselves to improvement.
I’ve seen you.
You're in my gym each morning before dawn, taking the boot camp session with the trainer, sweating, scoping out the maniacal fitness freaks to learn their secret. Often we don't share our development goals publicly because part of us realizes that it’s going to be difficult to keep these promises. It’s that same part of us that sneaks cupcakes after dark. Sometimes, life gets in the way.
Me? These days, I've learned not to make promises I can’t keep.
As we near February, I look to the second half of my presidency. While I have so many hopes for our Society, I realize that with the amount of things in play for transplant I may not finish them all. This time of year is typically a period of transition where the President Elect picks their working staff on committees, figures out where to place the Board meetings, and establishes their goals.
This is also the time they learn the extent of the working agenda of the Society, often one not of their choosing but a combination of projects and pathways set by past presidents and Board mandates. What they will learn is that more commonly, pressures from the public (particularly regulatory issues that are constant and demanding of everyone's time) are the true drivers of the schedule. A subtle context here is a fear of omission, just as it is a fear of commission.
Here is my promise to you. While it would be easy to accept this period as one of transition, or to sit back and coast the last few months of my presidency, I vow to remain steadfast to what we set out to do in the beginning. As we slog through winter, AST offices continue to tackle numerous projects simultaneously, and the Board and I have made some resolutions of our own:
- We Resolve… to remain engaged and work efficiently and effectively and strategically
- We Resolve… to tackle two key problems for our society – a financially independent program of support for research funds, and finding a path to support educational opportunities in the absence of industry support
- We Resolve… to weigh in on drug development and work with our Federal partners to find new ways to bring key therapies to our patients
- We Resolve… to continue to have AST as the key choice for the legislative and regulatory agenda in Washington, maintaining the right positions for our patients
- We Resolve… to be your voice and meet your needs
When it comes to resolutions, I have no problem sharing these publicly. Like I said, I don’t make promises I can’t keep. (Though you’ll notice I didn’t have one in there about potato chips.)
I want to hear from you. Are you with me? Let’s use these last few months of my presidency to enact real, lasting change.