Dear Members of the North American Skull Base Society:
It is with honor and humility that I serve as the President of the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) for 2022-2023. Since my first meeting as a chief resident in 2004 I have enjoyed presenting abstracts, podium presentations, participating on committees, publishing in the Journal and meeting many of the true greats of skull base surgery. The last two years have truly been challenging for the NASBS and for all of us as physicians and friends. Dr. John Golfinos has helped guide the Society during these trying times with thoughtfulness and grace. John built upon the foundation laid by previous leadership on all aspects of our mission including patient care, education, community efforts, internal administration, and fiscal responsibility. He and the Scientific Program Committee led us through a successful Virtual Symposium in 2021 and a successful 31st Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona this past February. Even with the pandemic and travel restrictions, we had well over 600 attendees in Phoenix. I want to personally thank all levels of leadership for making this happen.
With the guidance of Past Presidents Ian Witterick and Jim Evans the Society has revamped and streamlined our committees. Before then many committees were placeholders for our CV’s more than an integrative group designed to improve the health and educational offerings of the Society. Our members should notice these changes in the dynamic and representative nature of the Annual Meeting. Our committees are structured to optimize their functionality, productivity, and member participation. Each committee member serves a three-year term with one third of the committees turning over each year. This allows ample opportunity for NASBS members to become involved in the operational structure without allowing high turnover and loss of experience. Thank you to everyone who volunteered this year to serve on a committee. We are organizing our member database to facilitate inclusion and track participation.
The Membership Committee, led by Eric Wang, continues to earn our highest praise. They have done a wonderful job promoting membership growth among multiple specialties but even more importantly retention of our membership. I look forward to Eric’s continued leadership in this position.
Our Research Committee has done a wonderful job over the years receiving, ranking, and awarding research grants. Special thanks to Anand Devaiah and Shaan Raza who recently termed off as Co-Chairs and who will serve as Immediate Past Co-Chairs this year. They welcome new Co-Chairs of this committee Linda Bi and Nyall London. The NASBS provides $60,000 each year to fund amazing research projects. We will continue to explore Society resources and philanthropy to increase the funding for these projects.
The Surgical Education Committee continues under the leadership of Chair Christopher Rassekh. After successfully organizing two Virtual Courses in a row, featuring 3D lectures over Zoom, the committee is looking forward to a return to our in-person Skull Base Surgery Course at LSU this summer.
The Value-Based Health Care Committee had a dynamic few years led by Erin McKean. The committee executed a multi-university study on the use of antibiotics in endoscopic skull base surgery. This was a tremendous accomplishment and laid the groundwork for new Co-Chairs Varun Kshettry and Corinna Levine to add on to this success.
The Website & Communications Committee will be led by Sanjeet Rangarajan and Aashish Bhatt. They will continue to improve the informational nature of our website and continue the promotion of the NASBS and Rhoton collection through Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. Special thanks to Carlos David for chairing the Website & Communications Committee for many years and to the Social Media Director, Christopher Graffeo for expanding NASBS’ visibility on multiple platforms.
The Scientific Program Committee Co-Chairs for our 32nd Annual Meeting in Tampa are C. Arturo Solares and Donato Pacione. This is the third year for Arturo to represent Otolaryngology as a Scientific Program Co-Chair. I am confident that Arturo and Donato will assist me in creating another dynamic and exciting program.
The NASBS 32nd Annual Meeting will be held at The JW Marriott Tampa Water Street in Tampa, Florida; February 17-19, 2023 with a pre-meeting hands-on dissection course February 15-16, 2023. Tampa has blue skies and sunshine, a sparkling waterfront, world-class chefs, family fun, and a century of Cuban culture. The theme of the 2023 Annual Meeting, NASBS: Friends and Family, will present the opportunity to discuss technological, technical, societal, and economic changes affecting the way we deliver care to our patients. We will provide this in a culture of friends and family and how our personal success is dependent upon our interactions with those around us. I look forward to my year as President and would like to thank the many mentors, friends and family who have supported my journey in the NASBS.
Lee A. Zimmer, MD, PhD
NASBS President 2022-2023
Mercy Health Cincinnati
Director of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery