2012 AANS Annual Report - page 5

Mistakenly thinking that simple brainstorming
is progress, many professional associations
label themselves as dynamic, high-volume
generators of innovative ideas.
The illusion is compounded when a new service
or benefit is actually introduced to members,
only to die of neglect thereafter because the
leaders who originally championed the new
idea exit the governance stage as terms of
office expire.
Unfortunately, one of the most energizing advantages associations
have — the annual refreshing of their volunteer leadership’s
composite profile — often sentences this year’s new idea to the
next year’s “black hole” in many organizations. As leader’s agendas
change, when external urgencies overshadow strategic priorities,
or merely as a result of the scheduled ebb and flow of planned
leadership rotations, many associations simply don’t get the chance
to evolve new member benefits to their next level of improvement
and innovation.
One of the AANS’ greatest strengths as an association is that the
revitalizing and intentionally planned turnover of its leaders is
guided by governance policies designed to ensure that previous
initiatives evolve over multiple years and are carried forward by
multiple leaderships.
Nowhere is this more evident than looking at the past year’s major
initiatives and recalling their origins as “new ideas.”
NeuroPoint Alliance (NPA), the data-collection organization that
surveys, analyzes and reports on nationwide clinical data from
neurosurgical practices using online technologies, was officially
established by the AANS in 2008 by the AANS Board led by then-
President James Bean.
The Collaborative Spine Research Foundation, a non-profit
fundraising and grants administration organization co-created by
the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) and
the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF), was
negotiated and finalized under the 2011-2012 Board of Directors of
AANS President Paul McCormick.
The genesis of what has become the cornerstone program of the AANS’
collaboration with corporate partners, the annual AANS Corporate
Leadership Council weekend meeting, was in the multi-year efforts and
leadership of 2007-2008 AANS President Jon Robertson.
And it was under Dr. Robertson’s two consecutive years as President-
Elect and President that two seminal documents in defining the
parameters of the relationships between its corporate partners
and both AANS and AANS members were developed and accepted
by the Board of Directors — the 2007 Neurosurgeons and Industry
Policy Statement and the 2008 Guidelines on Neurosurgeon-Industry
Conflict of Interest. These policies were the foundation of the dynamic
development of the association’s collaborative partnership with
neurosurgery’s corporate partners.
The creation of the “FAANS” designation for AANS members
originated in 2009 by then President-Elect James Rutka.
And one of the truly watershed changes in AANS’ culture, the
continually evolving delivery of the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting
via wireless device technology beginning with the iPod Touch, was
first initiated by 2009 President Troy Tippett. The innovations and
enhancements of that single decision continue to propel AANS
forward in interconnected products and services to this day.
Even the primary system designed to ensure this consistency
in productivity — the AANS’ own strategic planning protocols —
underwent radical deconstruction and subsequent rebuilding that was
initiated by 2003-2004 AANS President John Popp, who over two years
personally guided the implementation of the planning and ongoing
assessment procedures that are still operative today.
Clearly, the consistent dedication to accurately anticipating its
members’ needs, and then producing services to meet those needs,
have been critical core competencies of AANS as a professional
association for years. But the ability to sustain and improve those
priorities over multiple years and amidst changing external urgencies
is one of its signature trademarks as an organization.
The themes, stories, vignettes and service initiatives highlighted
in this 2012 Annual Report you are about to read illustrate those
signature characteristics over and over again. The intrinsic link
between previous years’ innovative ideas and tomorrow’s new services
is actually strengthened by the annual evolution of AANS leadership,
rather than weakened by it.
As always, the initiatives developed by the AANS, as well as the
goals of the physician leaders who consistently drive them forward,
are rooted in one primary purpose — their value to you, the AANS
member. This Annual Report is a testament to years of physician
members, leaders and volunteers dedicated to advancing an evolving
professional association whose mission is to serve their specialty, its
practitioners, and their patients.
Thank you for choosing to be a member of the AANS.
Thomas A. Marshall
AANS Executive Director
The secret to success is constancy to purpose.
— Benjamin Disraeli
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