Wrapping up 2021
What a year 2021 turned out to be!
Membership in ASAM returned to pre-pandemic levels, as we finished out the year with well over 6700 members. Back in April, ASAM’s 52nd Annual Conference (a.k.a. Virtual 2021) drew 2047 registered attendees. In July, our virtual Board Review Course drew 552. By the end of 2021, over 3200 physicians held certification in Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS); many physicians also held certification in Addiction Medicine by the American Osteopathic Association. Our highly regarded Journal of Addiction Medicine (JAM) continued to grow in quality and influence. JAM’s impact factor hit an all-time high of 3.7. And, toward the end of 2021, you may have noticed that our website, ASAM.org, revealed a new look and feel.
But this would not have been 2021 if we had not endured our share of ups and downs. The ASAM State of the Art Course, which was originally scheduled to take place in Washington DC in late October, was postponed to 2022 due to the rising Delta variant. Long-anticipated in-person October meetings of the Board of Directors, along with Finance Council and Medical Education Council, were flipped to hybrid formats. Those of us who opted to gather in person made the most of our time together. Having joined ASAM in May 2020 at the height of pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions, these hybrid meetings were my first opportunity to work with some Officers and Directors face-to-face -- a fitting capstone since we only knew each other by Zoom until then.
Pleased to be a federal contractor, ASAM staff achieved an extremely high vaccination rate along with 100% compliance to the Presidential Executive Order on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. Throughout 2021, ASAM continued to be a mostly telework environment. In November, staff local to DC were encouraged, but not required, to work from the Rockville Maryland office once a week to foster connectedness and open collaboration.
Under the leadership of ASAM President-Elect Brian Hurley and a small task force of Directors appointed by ASAM President Bill Haning, the Board spent a significant amount of time in 2021 developing a new strategic plan for the next four years (2022-2025). Along with an environmental scan and constructive criticism from other addiction organizations, this plan drew upon the wisdom of ASAM members, with 310 responding to a Q4 2020 survey on structural racism in addiction medicine, and 333 responding to a Q3 2021 survey on strategy. We are very excited about this new strategic plan and look forward to sharing more about it in the next issue.
Happy New Year,
Julia L. Chang