We had a successful IN-PERSON annual educational CME conference on March 11-13 in Monterey! It was wonderful to see so many new and familiar faces again. Some of the meeting highlights included the wellness and career development panelists discussion, the fellow's poster competition, and the women in PCCM event. I would also like to congratulate Dr. Shazia Jamil (Scripps Clinic and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSD), who not only received the CTS Clinician of the Year Award but is also ATS Outstanding Clinician of the Year as well! I would also like to thank the conference co-chairs Dr. Gaurav Singh and Kristina Kudelko, planning committee, faculty, and our executive office for executing a memorable event. On behalf of CTS, we are appreciative of our members and conference attendees who have supported CTS and particularly during COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to having another successful meeting in 2023.
As president for 2022, I am thrilled to lead CTS into its 81st year! I first became acquainted with CTS as a faculty speaker for the southern California educational conference in San Diego, and soon after, became deeply involved and served as the Chair of Education Committee and the annual northern California educational conference. I then accepted a position on the Executive Committee. What a wonderful journey it has been, and it is with such pride and honor that I serve as president of CTS. My commitment to CTS is to advance our mission by promoting California lung health through advocacy, education, and to advancing the science and practice of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. As one of the oldest and largest ATS chapters, CTS continues to lead the respiratory community in innovation, education, inclusion, and diversity. An important goal as president is to engage young faculty and medical providers to become active members and to join the CTS family. CTS provides networking, sponsorship, and mentorship for new and returning members. It is an amazing resource and venue for young clinical faculty striving to pursue academic achievements outside of their respective institutions.
I was reminded by Angela last week that this would be my “last CTS President’s message”…. as I prepare to transition to CTS immediate past president, it is truly hard to believe how quickly the year 2021 has passed. It was certainly a busy year, which is probably why it passed in the blink of an eye. Despite the environment that surrounded us, CTS has made many significant steps made as we have continued to work to meet the educational needs of our members and ensure the financial health of our organization. The pandemic has provided unique opportunities to innovate and improve. Most importantly, as we continued to ramp up the momentum of our online webinars with a revised pricing structure more favorable to CTS and free to members, we were able to consolidate to a single in-person annual conference, launch a new CTS Job Board, outreach in revised membership tiers, and focus on website redesign.
California, the former epicenter of the US pandemic, now has the lowest infection rate among all states as of October 22, 2021 thanks to the unwavering stand on masking, testing, and social distancing policies in place and emphasis on an evidence-based approach to vaccination wherever possible. As a CTS community, we have certainly done our part to promote vaccinations; more than 70% of California has now received at least one dose of the vaccine, more than any other state. There is hope of controlling the epidemic, and the CTS Board has unanimously voted for the 2021 CTS Annual Conference to be held in-person Friday March 11, 2022 through Sunday March 13, 2022 at the Portola Hotel and Spa, Monterey, CA with appropriate COVID restrictions in place. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
On behalf of CTS, I want to congratulate the entire CTS community for doing their part as front liners during the fourth and current COVID-19 Delta surge. While we have distinguished ourselves as the state with the lowest coronavirus in the USA, that wasn’t quite true for the Central Valley which got hit the hardest, resulting in the region’s most populous city’s medical center - UCSF-Fresno —going into disaster mode in early September. Although now at a very high plateau, the region seems to be past its peak. The rest of the state seems to have also plateaued if not down trending.