From the President: At the Starting Gate

  • Pauker, Kenneth, MD
| May 23, 2011

Since taking the helm as President a few days ago, it’s as if someone has dropped the CSA flag, and now we’re all accelerating out of the blocks, pumping our arms, digging in, and working to attain our full stride on a long and winding road. For the moment, the way seems unexpectedly straight and smooth and inviting, stretching away toward a goal on a distant horizon, a place invisible now but surely out there. With the passing of the baton of leadership to me—a temporary steward of an office high and noble—in a race enduring for years already, my leg of the race has just begun, preparing even at the outset for my own hand-off to the very next steward in waiting. A veritable “Tour de CSA” is underway!

The CSA Annual Meeting in San Jose, May 13-15, was extremely well received, on many different levels. My congratulations to Dr. Andrew Patterson for organizing a simply wonderful educational program, and to our Speaker and Vice-Speaker, Drs. Pregler and Moore, for “speaking us through” virtually flawless governance sessions. Kudos as well to the CSA office for putting in play the pieces that allowed both the education and governance components of the Annual Meeting to be so successful!

It is gratifying indeed to hear of so many CSA members already responding to my call for increased engagement and involvement. Many things are beginning to happen, on so many different levels within the CSA. District Directors have begun to engage the members in the trenches. CSA Officers have informed me of efforts to examine their roles and identify what needs to be done. Committee chairs are strategizing and organizing, and many projects are already in play. The CSA office is humming with various projects — digesting commentary from this Annual Meeting, working on membership retention and recruitment, planning future meetings, rolling out web-based improvements and innovative communication projects, refining CSA Bulletin content and analyzing structural issues — you name it, it’s going on.

On my end, it’s only been a few days since I’ve held this new position. I’ve edited a handful of articles, revised and signed a few letters. Past presidents have been organized to participate in some innovative projects such as writing historical pieces about their presidential terms and their perspectives on the present, as well as mentoring residents on lobbying and the political process. Several senior leaders met with our appellate attorney, Mr. Curtis Cole, concerning our Opt-Out litigation, and suffice it to say that we came away feeling very, very good about our team and our strategy.

So, we are out of the starting gate and the shuttle has cleared the tower, but we have only just begun…

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