ISCD recently welcomed Dr. George Helmrich as the President of the Board of Directors 2021 Virtual Annual Business Meeting on March 4, 2021. Dr. Helmrich has been an active member of ISCD for over 10 years and served as Chair for the ISCD’s first fully virtual Annual Meeting and Scientific Conference. This is his initial address to the ISCD membership.
Members and guests,
Thank you for participating with us at the 2021 Annual Meeting of ISCD. Hopefully, you are enjoying this unique educational offering.
I’d like to first thank Dr. J.K. Lee for his exemplary leadership. He has always been a leader, both in our field and within the Society, but this past year dedicated himself to the presidency. I’d like to public thank J.K for navigating what could arguably be one of the most difficult on record.
For each of us as well, it has been a challenging year. Many of us work with those affected with COVID on a daily basis. I suspect all of us have lost someone they care about to this virus. It has changed everyday life, some temporarily and some likely permanently. It has changed the way we interact with each other. Warm hugs and firm handshakes are but memories for now. Online meetings are the norm rather than the exception.
Even before COVID, most professional societies struggled with meeting attendance and even membership. The question about “How do we stay relevant?” has been asked many times.
I am the eternal optimist and like to find the proverbial silver lining is any circumstance, even a global event like we are experiencing now. The pandemic not only kept us from having an in-person meeting, it forced us to look at how we offer educational products to our attendees. The old model wasn’t going to work this time.
I distinctly remember moving from Kodachrome slides to PowerPoint presentations. There was trepidation initially but it made talks much better. I see us at the next inflection point as we move from PowerPoint to digital content and learning. This transition also helps with the new paradigms of adult learning.
There is still room for didactic teaching and the need for interactive learning. We can’t discount the value of student/ teacher and student/ student interaction in some meaningful form. This year’s innovative Annual Meeting highlights new ways to tackle these challenges and a new style of learning. Our next step is to take these lessons and apply them to ISCD’s educational offerings throughout the year.
With the graying of many professional societies and funding become tighter and tighter, the ISCD Board has looked at ways to adapt, to be more relevant to our potential members. One of the products of this endeavor has been the launch of new membership model. In developing a strategic plan back in 2017/2018 ISCD identified the need to look at our membership model especially as we expand internationally, the old model was no longer relevant. Several working groups were formed to look at our membership from many perspectives. The process also included member surveys, focus groups, and looking at our benefit utilization. The result was a recommendation approved by the board in 2019 to move away from a membership model based on job function and instead focus on benefits desired. Those whose needs are not as robust would have the option to choose a different tier of membership. This new model was then designed to roll out with our new technology initiatives in November 2020.
While our world has evolved and needs may have changed as we discuss education and membership, our mission has not. ISCD is a professional association dedicated to advancing high quality musculoskeletal health assessment in the service of superior patient care. We need to continue to improve access to QUALITY DXA evaluation, fracture risk assessment, and guidance for clinicians. These needs haven’t decreased, and with the growth in the high-risk population the world over, they are as important as they have ever been. We continue to see potentially preventable fractures. We continue to see patients that have had fragility fractures that don’t have access to educated practitioners post-fracture. We see surgical procedures done in the aging population with limited knowledge of bone quality going into surgery. Knowledge that would likely change the approach to the surgery and likely improve outcome.
My goals for this coming year include:
I again thank you for your attendance. I challenge you to take the lessons you’ve learned and put them into practice, continue to raise the bar, and encourage others to join you on this journey.
Dr. George Helmrich, MD, MS, MBA-HC, FACOG, NCMP, CCD
President of ISCD