Throughout history, scientific groups that have remained on the forefront of disseminating new ideas have survived various obstacles and turmoil. In the survival process, each has had to revisit and reflect on its original purpose in light of changing circumstances. Each has recaptured, restated, and restructured its original mission to meet current member needs and those of society at large, and thus has experienced a rebirth and renewal. They have all emerged wiser, stronger, and more courageous as world leaders in their respective disciplines.
Like many other professional medical societies, the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) is struggling with issues dealing with changes in research focus and funding, healthcare delivery and quality, the numerous guidelines and position papers available, disclosure and conflict of interest issues, and organizational structure and member needs. To manage these issues, the society has implemented a major paradigm shift, as noted by Dr Suzanne Oparil in her March 2007 leadership message referencing the implementation of the new strategic reorganization of the mission and role of the society. With that initiative, ASH has refocused its mission, not only on scientific research in hypertension and vascular health, but also on translation into the community.
As Dr Robert Phillips noted in his recent leadership message, "translational research, bringing to the fore the recognition that although bench to bedside and efficacy trials are critical, without dissemination of these results into the community through education and community-based activities, the public will not benefit from our scientific advances."
The ‘renaissance’ within the society has prompted a number of initiatives at every level of the organization. These initiatives include position papers on hypertension topics being presented to the 2008 ASH public health meeting, hypertension community outreach programs that started in New Orleans and will continue throughout the country, launching of an ASH Educational Alliance with www.Medscape.com and www.theheart.org, and translation of state-of-the-art research topics in the scientific meeting program for current and new target audiences. Furthermore, in his address at the May 16, 2008 ASH Annual Membership Meeting, Dr Henry R Black issued a call for members to embrace their role as ASH members with engaged commitment, contribution, co-operation, collegiality, and consensus to advance the mission and goals of the society.
As in most medical societies, the ASH Annual Scientific Meeting is its cornerstone, highlighting the focus of the society on current hypertension research translated into effective treatment strategies for patients. The Annual Scientific Meeting serves as the scientific forum where new ideas are presented and others are borne through discussion and critique from other researchers and clinicians from around the world. The key to its success is the volume and quality of the abstracts submitted.
The ASH Annual Scientific Meeting is the forum for the presentation of your scientific research. We want high-quality basic science as well as translational, clinical trial, and outcomes research. The meeting this year will feature many more oral presentations, with a reduced number of posters. We invite abstracts from basic and clinical scientists. The program committee has been revamped this year, with many new faces and with younger and more diverse talent generating new concepts for the meeting. Please note that awards will be given for best presentation in a given category, and travel awards will continue to be granted. We invite all who have attended ASH Annual Scientific Meetings in the past to come and experience the renaissance.
To individuals who have never attended, come and see how a highquality meeting can provide a boost for your career. For a group to be successful, they must work together. The discussion and knowledge disseminated is dependent on the abstract number and quality, so the more the merrier. I invite all of you to try ASH again or try ASH for the first time, and to submit an abstract and see what we are today. See you at the May 6–9, 2009 ASH annual scientific meeting in San Francisco.
The American Society of Hypertension, Inc. (ASH) is the largest organization of hypertension researchers and healthcare providers in the US committed to eliminating hypertension and its consequences. ASH has a domestic and international membership of basic science and clinical investigators, physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and individuals with a scientific interest in hypertension. The Society was founded in 1985 in order to provide a forum for the exchange of information among basic scientists, clinical investigators, and others involved in the study or management of high blood pressure. The specific focus of the society is to translate current research findings on hypertension into effective treatment strategies in order to better address the needs of hypertensive patients. The Annual Scientific Meeting of the society is held in spring. Through varied educational formats, annual scientific meeting registrants have the opportunity to interact with fellow scientists and physicians from around the world to review and discuss issues relating to current scientific research and education related to hypertension linked to cardiovascular health. Meeting highlights include state-of-the- art lectures by renowned faculty, original oral and poster scientific abstract presentations, scientific sessions and workshops, debates, technical and scientific exhibits, and thought-provoking satellite symposia.