Greetings to my fellow members. It is a great honour to serve as the 70th President of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy & Developmental Medicine. I follow Eileen Fowler who has provided outstanding leadership over the past year, and look forward to continue to work with Eileen and the dedicated members of the Board of Directors, as I take over the baton for the next lap of this amazing relay that is the Presidency of this Academy
This past year as 1st vice President, my focus was largely on the organization of the annual meeting that was held from September 20 to 24, 2016 in Hollywood, Florida. By any measure the meeting was a great success, in no small part due to the efforts of the Program Committee led by the co-chairs, Sarah McIntyre and Joshua Hyman, who breathed life into the theme and content of the meeting that challenged us with the question: “Making a Difference – Are We?” Every year, I come away from the annual meeting energized and excited by the breadth, depth and quality of work that we have come to expect from our members. This year was no exception, with outstanding preconference symposia, breakfast seminars and instructional courses in addition to the high quality papers and posters that were presented. We had an extraordinary slate of plenary speakers whose presentations were provocative, inspiring and informative; covering a broad range of subjects of interest to our diverse membership.
I anticipate a busy and productive year ahead. We are in the fifth and final year of our five-year strategic plan that was established under the leadership of Maureen O’Donnell. The strategic plan has been an invaluable road map to prioritize and implement a number of initiatives with many successes. I look forward to working with the Board and our various committees to see the strategic plan through to its completion in 2017. Within the 6 buckets of priorities, I plan to focus my attention specifically on three areas: expansion of the talent pool; fostering of research; extending partnership & collaborations. During my mandate, one of my major priorities will be to engage the Board and the membership at large, in discussions about ways to include and involve more formally, parents and persons with childhood onset disability in the activities of the Academy.
To accomplish these goals, I have the good fortune of working with an incredibly dedicated, thoughtful and talented group of people on the Board, and supported by Tracy Burr, our executive director and the staff at EDI. Over the next year, you can expect to hear through the newsletter and special e-mail updates about the progress we are making in the efforts the Academy is pursuing to fulfil its mission. Just as importantly we want to hear from you about your priorities. When you receive an invitation to participate in a survey, we hope you will take the time to respond to make your views known. I look forward to an exciting year ahead serving as your president.
Unni G. Narayanan, MBBS, MSc, FRCP(C)