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November 2016
A Steady Focus in Uncertain Times
William G. Powderly,
MD, FIDSA, President

I think it is safe to say that no matter one’s political leanings, every one of us is reflecting on the recent U.S. election and political events in the U.S. and abroad. For us, they leave us wondering what it means for medical research, public health and our patients’ access to quality medical care. There are many questions about the priorities of the new U.S. government, but one thing is certain: IDSA’s commitment to improving the health of individuals and communities throughout the world will never change.

As your new IDSA President, I will work closely with my colleagues on the Board to move forward in measurable ways on each of IDSA’s strategic priorities. Our Society’s staff and leadership are reaching out to the new Administration and Congress to help shape their understanding of critical health care challenges and opportunities, including efforts to improve patient safety, lead cutting-edge biomedical research, strengthen public health infrastructure, and guide the development of critically needed new antibiotics and diagnostics.

The strategic priorities of the Society are rooted in science and in our shared commitment to meet the needs of the infectious disease community and the patients whom we serve. Working together, we will continue to:

  • Promote the value of the ID specialist
  • Attract the best and brightest to the field of infectious diseases
  • Promote leadership in antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship
  • Produce useful, timely, and relevant guidelines
  • Promote ID and HIV research and its clinical translation
  • Advocate for funding of prevention and public health programs in ID and HIV

The IDSA Board of Directors includes strong representation from women and men whose experience and perspectives reflect the diversity of our field, including clinical practice, public health, and research. Your representatives on the Board for 2016-2017 are:

Paul Auwaerter, MD, MBA,FIDSA
President-Elect, IDSA
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Cynthia Sears, MD, FIDSA
Vice President, IDSA
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Larry Pickering, MD, FIDSA
Secretary, IDSA
Emory University
School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA

Helen Boucher, MD, FIDSA
Treasurer, IDSA
Tufts Medical Center
Boston, MA

Johan Bakken, MD, PhD, FIDSA
Past President, IDSA
St. Luke’s ID Associates
Duluth, MN

Angela Caliendo, MD, PhD, FIDSA
Brown University
Rhode Island Hospital
Providence, RI

Henry “Chip” Chambers, MD, FIDSA
University of California-San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Janet Englund, MD, FIDSA
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Seattle, WA

Thomas Fekete, MD, FIDSA
Temple University Medical School
Philadelphia, PA

Joel Gallant, MD, MPH, FIDSA 
Southwest CARE Center 
Santa Fe, NM

Lawrence Martinelli, MD, FIDSA
Covenant Health
Lubbock, TX

Daniel McQuillen, MD, FIDSA
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center
Burlington, MA

Thomas Moore, MD, FIDSA
IDC of Kansas
Wichita, KS

Trish Perl, MD, MSc, FIDSA
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

David Kimberlin, MD, FIDSA
PIDS Liaison
University Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, AL

Keith Kaye, MD, MPH, FIDSA
SHEA Liaison
University of Michigan
Medical School
Ann Arbor, MI

As your new president, I bring the perspective of someone who attended medical school and underwent residency training in Dublin, Ireland. I came to the U.S. for my ID fellowship training at Washington University School of Medicine, where I currently serve as co-director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Director of the Institute for Public Health. I was the inaugural chair of the HIV Medicine Association of IDSA and was a founding member of the St. Louis Infectious Diseases Society.

I would like to highlight the newest additions to the Board: Angela Caliendo, MD, PhD, FIDSA; who brings expertise in diagnostics; Joel Gallant, MD, MPH, FIDSA, well known as an HIV clinician, educator and clinical researcher who will serve as our HIVMA representative; Dan McQuillen, MD, FIDSA, a clinician who brings a wealth of understanding and experience with compensation issues; Larry Pickering, MD, FIDSA, a pediatrician and long-time leader in immunization issues; and Cindy Sears, MD, FIDSA, who has done substantial work for IDSA on guidelines, our journals, and as treasurer, and whose research interests include bacterial pathogenesis, the microbiome and colon cancer.

During our most recent meeting in October, the Board of Directors discussed several important initiatives related to our strategic priorities. The Board reviewed and discussed the results of an IDSA-funded survey of recent graduates of ID fellowship programs which looked to assess demand for ID physicians entering the job market and also explored opportunities to provide federal loan repayment for ID physicians who work in public health through new legislation. The Board approved a recruitment and retention campaign that will build a solid structure for our efforts to raise awareness of and attract talented young doctors to our field. In addition, I am pleased to announce that the Board approved a Gender Disparities in ID Task Force, which will be chaired by former Board member, Judy Aberg, MD, FIDSA.

I very much look forward to working with this talented group of individuals to promote the field of infectious diseases, and I urge each and every one of you to reach out to the Society to lend your perspective and expertise to work with us on our strategic priorities. Please volunteer your time and expertise, and join the dialogue at MyIDSA.

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