October 14, 2021
As my two-year term as the PIDS president, draws to a close I have to tell you how in awe I am of what PIDS members have accomplished as individuals and as a team over the course of the pandemic. Your scientific contributions have been exceptional, your compassion for your patients heartening, and your support for one another inspiring. Despite the new professional and personal demands of a new virus and a new disease, you have somehow managed to continue important work begun before the world had heard of COVID-19.
Throughout IDWeek and during our October 5 business meeting, it was gratifying to celebrate and honor the achievement of so many of our members. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of our award winners (who are listed later in this newsletter).
I unveiled a high summary of our new PIDS strategic plan at our business meeting. We have a new vision statement that will guide our work over the next three to five years: Promote the health and well-being of children through the control and prevention of infectious diseases worldwide.
We will strive to realize our vision by focusing on four key strategic themes:
Identity: We are experts in the clinical care of children with complex infections and those with underlying immune compromise; antimicrobial stewardship; vaccine and antimicrobial development and implementation; basic, translational, and clinical research; infection prevention and healthcare epidemiology; public health; and medical education.
Inclusion: We use an inclusive strategy to grow our specialty and Society.
Impact: We promote discoveries that prevent, treat and cure infectious diseases and improve outcomes in children through enhanced research funding and dissemination.
Innovation: We promote discoveries that prevent, treat and cure infectious diseases in children through enhanced research funding and dissemination.
While each of these areas are equally important and crucial to our success, inclusion has been a priority for me over the last two years. In my first letter to you written in December of 2019, I emphasized that all are welcome in PIDS, no matter your academic rank, your job title, your place of employment, the focus of your research or your clinical activities. I believe we have made some progress, but I recognize we have more work to do.
Your new President, Buddy Creech, will share with you in November how we will undertake that work, along with our final strategic plan. We’ve set some aggressive and forward-thinking goals. Fortunately, we have a talented professional staff lead by Christy Phillips (a 25-year veteran of our organization), and an inspired Board of Directors, which will be joined by Bill Steinbach as president-elect, Deb Palazzi as secretary-treasurer, and Monica Ardura and Tanvi Sharma as directors. We also have a host of dedicated committee and taskforce chairs. Still, we are counting on each of you if we are to be successful.
I’ll close with some final words of gratitude. Thank you to outgoing Board members Paul Spearman, Susan Coffin, and Jason Newland for their extraordinary service to PIDS. It was a privilege to serve with each of them. Thanks to each of you for your friendship and collaboration over the last two years, and the trust you placed in me. Thank you in advance for your support of Buddy and our awesome new leadership team. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of children.
Can’t wait to see you in 2022!