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  • David P. Blake, MD, MPH, FACS, DMCC
    Inova Medical Group

    Greetings to all of my esteemed colleagues of the Surgical Infection Society.  It has certainly been a busy several months since we met in Dallas, and I hope that your endeavors both academic and otherwise have been fruitful and smooth.  I have been remiss in my duties as your President in not providing a Presidential “update” for our group; for that I do apologize.  I do now want to recap a few items, and provide some inspiration as we move towards the holiday season, well entrenched in this next academic season.

    We have emerged from our Pandemic “slump” rejuvenated and vital, with our finances reasonably intact and our scholarly productivity continuing to thrive.  Our meeting in April was a success; it brought us together to network, to collaborate, and to display the academic achievements in surgical infections which are the foundation of our organization.  Our program included 30 oral podium presentations, as well as more than 30 mini-oral presentations.  The special aspects of the program included a nice overview of multi-disciplinary engagement with our Medical Infectious Disease colleagues, thanks to Drs Duane and Tessier, and an update on our Global Surgery initiative led by Dr Mayur Narayan.  Our Altemeier lecturer, Dr Manjari Joshi stimulated our Global perspective even further.

    In an afternoon session, our recent Fellowship Award recipients captivated the attendees with updates on the continued academic research projects, supported by our Foundation and led by Drs Barie and Kreiner.  Dr Huston then moderated a superb session on updates to management of Clostridioides difficile disease, and Drs Rosengart and Pieracci provided some academic “entertainment” for the crowd, placing some well-known personalities on the hot seat in a lively Pro-Con Debate session.  All of these endeavors culminated with our Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening, filled will some appropriate recognition and a much-deserved respite from our day-to-day activities to engage in some relaxation and light-hearted conversation (over a few two-carbon fragments as well, for some).

    With our 2022 success now behind us, Dr Heffernan and his team are crafting a fantastic line-up for this year’s Annual Meeting.  Our theme, the “Year of the Trainee,” will place specific emphasis on our most foundational resource – our young students, residents, and fellows – who represent the future of our organization and those like it.  I have no doubt the program will achieve its goals of providing a superb scientific forum, showcase our many talented members and their mentees, and offer a bit of light-hearted entertainment along the way.

    As part of this year’s academic curriculum, Dr Kao and her team are re-creating our previously popular and successful “Update Symposium” as part of the foundational curriculum for the Fellowship of the SIS.  This will offer an educational experience to tantalize both new and experienced members, and provide opportunity to convey the latest hot topics to a wide audience.

    Drs Kreinder and Shupp diligently continue to work our Awards program.  I await a full slate of new awardees for this year’s cycle, as we begin to solicit for proposals and candidates.  I would ask each of you to push your colleagues who meet the various criteria for award application to pursue this milestone.  Dr Pieracci and his Informatics team will assist with this endeavor by putting out the call for nominations, in addition to other critical news and information pertinent to the Society. 

    Dr Lorenzo and his Membership team continue to solicit for and screen our candidates for membership to the Society.  I would encourage each of you as members to simply look around your institution and identify those of your colleagues who demonstrate a similar interest and passion for antibiotic stewardship or the study of surgical infection.  Those are the folks we should encourage to participate in our Society’s activities and become members of this dedicated consortium.

    Scientific Studies, let by Drs Schubl and Gelbard, continue to pursue endeavors ripe for study and pertinent to the mission and vision of our Society.  Similarly, Dr Huston and his team from Therapeutics & Guidelines continue to cull the current literature to craft position statements and guideline manuscripts which will serve as a reference for others to follow.  Dr Rickard and her team for Global Health also will partner with other teams from the Society to promulgate topics pertinent to the broader global nature of our mission.

    Finally, Dr Ho and her team from DEI, Dr Valenzuela and her team from By-laws & Special Projects, and Dr Narayan and his team from Strategic Planning, along with our Executive Director and other Executive Council members, continue to work a platform for smooth and equitable operations for our Society, being mindful of developing and fostering a diverse and inclusive environment in which we do so.  This, in my view, will establish a new baseline for our Society as we continue to grow into this post-Pandemic and somewhat socially challenging climate.

    I am honored to lead this team of hard working and dedicated individuals.  I look forward to serving you as President during this 2022-2023 term, and continuing to serve in the years beyond.