I am quickly coming to the end of my term as President of the Child Neurology Society. The approaching denouement means I repeatedly ask myself two questions: “What has the Child Neurology Society accomplished in the past 2 years?” and “What will become of these accomplishments once I step back?” These questions relate to making a difference that is durable beyond one’s tenure. Every teacher hopes his or her students will carry the torch to the next level. Every clinician hopes his or her patients will use lessons learned at the clinic to make the next generation in their families and communities healthier than the present ones. Every parent hopes to create a legacy that informs and enables that of the family’s children someday. I am no different.
In the past two years, the Child Neurology Society and its partners have endowed the Philip R. Dodge Young Investigator Award, ensuring the future for physician-scientists and their patients and the legacy of one of the founders of Child Neurology, Dr. Philip R. Dodge. We have renewed and refreshed our relationship with the Child Neurology Foundation, an organization that is “flesh of our flesh” – that shares our lineage, our genotype – from which we had become estranged over the years. We have directly participated in the evolution of the mission and vision of the CNF and the two organizations are now rapidly growing together, reflecting both their singular purpose at the CNF’s inception and their newly unique vantage points in the ever-changing landscape of child neurology. Our patients and their families and our trainees and colleagues will be richer for the collaboration of these complementary organizations. We have begun defining the relationship between the two sets of research and training awards offered by the CNS and CNF, respectively, and are redesigning the application and evaluation process to solidify further the relationship between the two organizations and to bring both vantage points to the nurturance of our professional progeny. Our committees are more engaged and more aligned with our collective mission and vision than ever and they are making a national impact. Our Maintenance of Certification portfolio benefits all child neurologists throughout the U.S. We are more solidly at the policy and practice tables of the AAN and the AAP than ever before. We participate in PAS meeting programs more broadly than before. We have much to celebrate!
Because we are more like a family than a club, I am confident our leadership will be mindful of legacy and continue to build on the foundation afforded by their predecessors. Just as my administration built on the enhanced programmatic offerings for and mentoring of junior members, so will future CNS leaders continue to welcome and foster the careers of young child neurologists. Just as Steve Roach’s administration worked to warm the inexplicable chill between the CNS and CNF, and as my administration used that beginning to forge a durable collaboration around strategic planning and research awards, so will the Ken Mack’s administration grow and nurture the relationship between CNS and CNF for the best of our community and its charges in our cities, our clinics, and our hospitals.
I am proud and excited to have been a small part of this legacy and very much looking forward to seeing and learning together with you at our National Harbor!
Nina F. Schor, MD, PhD