Being new to the job of CNS president, I am still trying to learn the basic requirements, as well as the many diverse duties and responsibilities attached to the position. The first requirement must surely be humility, something anyone standing in my position and looking back over the long list of predecessors could manage easily enough. The second requirement, it strikes me, would be a sense of gratitude. That too is easy, beginning with the thanks I owe you, the membership, for honoring me with your trust and confidence, and continuing with a word of thanks both from myself and on behalf of the entire CNS to my immediate predecessor, Ann Tilton. Ann’s dedication to the Society demonstrated over the course of her entire career as Councillor, Secretary-treasurer, and for the last two years as President, is second to none. The strength, grace and consistency with which she represented the interests of the Society and its members on the national pediatric and neurological scene were all the more remarkable in light of the fact that she did all of this in the wake of Katrina which displaced her family from its home and Ann from her practice for several months. It must have been a very difficult time and I think she did an amazing job.
As pleased as I am to receive the baton from Ann, I am equally pleased to hand off the baton as outgoing Newsletter editor to Dr. Katherine Mathews, from the University of Iowa. I have held this post for the last several years, but felt it was notappropriate to be both President and editor of the Newsletter. Not that the job was especially onerous;
no job related to the Society is thanks to the outstanding, tireless efforts of Mary Currey and Roger Larson in the National Office. If something gets done, relating to the society, it is one of these two that do it. They need to be told how much we as members of the CNS appreciate their hard work and extraordinary dedication.
Finally, I would like to thank my colleague in Phoenix, Dr. Vinodh Narayanan, for agreeing to take over chairmanship of the Scientific Selection and Program Planning Committee from Dr. Gary Clark. Big shoes to fill for sure, but things have been made a little easier by the implementation of the on-line submission of seminar and symposium proposals from the membership that Gary initiated during his tenure. Vinodh has increased the membership of the committee so as to ensure both broader representation of our increasingly diverse Society, and more thorough review of each abstract submitted. We hope this year to place increased emphasis on the abstracts presented at the meeting, allowing more time for more attendees to present their work and discuss others’ work in the uniquely creative environment the Annual Meeting affords.
Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Barry Kosofsky and the members of his Electronic Communications Committee, Drs. Steve Leber and Mickey Segal in particular, for their work in refurbishing the newly relaunched CNS website. Many of its features are still in development as I write, but in the coming months members will come to appreciate the many ways in which it will enhance their daily practice, enlarge the scope of their professional development, and help spark and sustain a lively interest in child neurology among a younger generation of students searching for a career that will fully engage both head and heart for the rest of their life in a way few other fields can match.