One of the virtues of a society our size is the relative ease and openness of communication it allows. The detailed responses given by CNS members to two recent surveys on the CNS website—the 2006 Annual Meeting/CME survey and the Long Range Planning Committee Survey—yielded a treasure trove of insights into the present configuration and future needs of the Society and the subspecialty it represents.
Of the 230 members responding on-line in November to the Long Range Planning Survey, roughly 60 per cent characterized their primary practice environment as academic, 30 per cent indicated they were in private practice, and 10 per cent checked “other” (most were retired). That 60/30 split closely mirrored the 65/35 split registered in the Annual Meeting survey the previous month. There was a near-unanimous endorsement of the need to have a Long Range Planning Committee, with a solid majority indicating committee members should be appointed by the CNS Executive Committee for a minimum five-year term. Our greatest opportunity was perceived to be strengthened ties with academic pediatrics and neurology, our greatest strength the perceived need for our unique services, and our greatest weakness— in virtually direct tension with that perceived need—is our inability to capture revenue. Outgoing Executive Committee members Leon Dure and Donna Ferriero have agreed to co- chair the reconstituted LRP Committee, focusing their energies on the three issues identified in the survey as being most critical: 1) Workforce, 2) Education, and 3) Training.
One added bonus of the CME and LRP surveys was the overwhelming number of members indicating a willingness to be a part of the solution to the challenges identified by serving on one or more CNS Committees. Newly reconstituted committees will be posted on the CNS website and the roster of those expressing interest in serving will be regularly updated as, year-by-year, members are rotated on and off each committee with an eye toward maintaining a regular infusion of fresh insights and energy while also ensuring continuity and longterm focus on coordinating committee initiatives in the broader interests serving the Society’s mission.
Looking ahead to October, the newly reconstituted and renamed Meeting Planning and Scientific Selection Committee reviewed 26 outstanding symposia proposals submitted by CNS Members for the fall meeting, from which three morning and two afternoon symposia were selected, as well as nine breakfast seminars. Responding to years of survey feedback suggesting the meeting is becoming frenetically overscheduled, the committee has trimmed the afternoon schedule to a single symposium each afternoon and created a window of opportunity from 3:00 – 6:00 pm Friday afternoon with no scheduled sessions, thus allowing delegates to schedule Special Interest Group or Alumni Meetings or kick back and enjoy the autumnal delight of walking around Quebec City.
Watch for meeting updates on the CNS website in the coming months: this one promises to be very special.