May 9, 2016
With spring slowly changing to summer, I wanted to give you an update on what’s happening in the Association.
First, it gives me great pleasure to announce and congratulate the richly deserving recipients of the 2016 ASTDA Recognition Awards: Dr. Anne Rompalo (Distinguished Career Award), Dr. Joan Chow (Achievement Award), and Dr. Lindley Barbee (Young Investigator Award). Thanks very much to the members of this year’s awards committee that yielded such excellent results: Dennis Fortenberry, Anna Wald, Marc Steben, Ina Park, Bobbie van der Pol, and Kim Workowski. The awards will be presented at the Annual ASTDA Awards Luncheon during the National STD Prevention Conference on Thursday September 22. All attendees to the conference are invited to the event.
Preparations for the STD Prevention Conference are in full swing. ASTDA and the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), the Pan-American Health Association (PAHO), and Public Health Agency of Canada are closely collaborating with CDC to put together a very attractive program. The deadline for abstract submission has past (the deadline for late breakers is July 1, 2016) and the Conference Scientific Committee will meet in June to select abstracts for oral and poster presentations. Many ASTDA members are represented in the Scientific Committee and we thank them for their commitment.
In addition to the Awards Luncheon, ASTDA will organize a breakfast symposium that will focus on young investigators, especially in the area of program science. The session will feature a selection from submitted abstracts that epitomize the program-science interface. These presentations are followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Bill Miller, the Editor of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. As the owner of this journal, ASTDA has a keen interest in publishing the best work presented at the conference and to identify mentorship and other resources that assist young investigators in bridging the gap between a good abstract and a good publication. ASTDA will also lead the effort to select the best oral and poster presentations at the conference and conduct guided poster walks.
In a first for this conference, ASTDA will partner with NCSD, ASHA and CDC for another lunch symposium on Tuesday, September 21. ASTDA, NCSD, and ASHA are among the prime organizations advocating for STD prevention in the U.S., each serving different constituents; ASTDA represents clinicians and researchers, NCSD STD program officials and disease intervention specialists, and ASHA the general public. Over the past few years, these organizations have collaborated closely with each other and with CDC in developing a shared agenda. At the symposium each organization will briefly describe its mission, its short- and long-term objectives and then focus on specific areas for future collaboration. I hope that ASTDA members will attend this meeting in full force as this symposium is more specifically geared towards membership involvement than the awards luncheon.
The STD Prevention Conference will also mark the changing of the guard for the ASTDA Executive Committee. We are currently soliciting nominations for President Elect, Secretary Treasurer, and at-large members. Please let me know if you are interested by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for (self-) nomination is May 15th, so there is some urgency!
Finally, we have recently released a request for applications (RFA) for our Young Investigator Developmental Awards. Established in 2008, this is a 2-year, $50,000/year grant that has provided over $ 1 million for 12 investigators to date. The deadline for applications is July 1, 2016 and one award will be made this year. More information on the ASTDA website: www.astda.org.
Enjoy the summer season and see you at the National Conference!
Kees Rietmeijer, MD, PhD
American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association