Message from the President
Tom D. Wang, MD
Our Fall Meeting in San Francisco marked the official kick-off for the Academy’s Capital Campaign, The Many Faces of Generosity – Facing the Future and Beyond. In truth, however, the entire project had much earlier beginnings. The first steps evolved from an initial feasibility and planning study conducted in the spring of 2010. Our members and corporate supporters were asked for feedback as to priorities they felt were most important for the AAFPRS. That study identified three areas of need:
- Providing excellence in education for our members,
- Ensuring relevant and evidence-based research is conducted on behalf of the specialty, and,
- Strengthening the FACE TO FACE humanitarian programs.
Based upon these findings, the AAFPRS Foundation Board decided in January 2011, to launch a major, multi-phased initiative to raise funding for these three core areas of need. A minimum projected target of $4M was deemed to be a realistic and feasible objective. This amount is to be pledged and paid over five years. This critical initiative is designed to help position the AAFPRS Foundation to meet the needs of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons today, tomorrow, and into the future.
Campaign efforts began in April 2011, with the organization of a National Steering Committee drawn from the leadership of the AAFPRS and industry. We are fortunate in having Jonathan M. Sykes, MD, and Vito C. Quatela, MD, as national co-chairs. In addition, Ted A. Cook, MD, and M. Eugene Tardy, Jr., MD, are the honorary co-chairs. Keith A. LaFerriere, MD, is chair of the President’s Club.
Other key leaders include: Andrew C. Campbell, MD, Neil A. Gordon, MD, and Andrew A. Jacono, MD, as co-chairs of the Leadership Committee; Daniel E. Rousso, MD, and William H. Truswell, MD, as member co-chairs; and Edwin F. Williams, III, MD, and Mr. Richard Linder (president/CEO of PCA SKIN) as corporate co-chairs. Assisting Drs. Rousso and Truswell with the member initiative are Harrison C. Putman, MD, as major gift chair; Cynthia M. Gregg, MD, as advanced gift chair; and Shan R. Baker, MD, as special gifts chair.
The “quiet phase” of the campaign was launched with a goal to raise $2M prior to the Fall Meeting. Through the tireless efforts of this focused group of surgeons and corporate participants, and, not in the least due to the persistence of Dr. Sykes, over $3M in pledges was able to be secured from 100 members and two corporate donors! A list of all donors to date may be found on page 14.
Facing tomorrow and beyond
From the standpoint of education (1.5M goal), the focal point of the AAFPRS Foundation, this future represents online resources and educational tools accessed via a Web educational portal. The ability for our members to easily tap into the full breadth of the Academy’s educational resources online has obvious advantages including convenience and flexibility. Members can access content with an Internet connection from anywhere around the globe. They can work at their own pace. Often, these resources can reach a broader audience and may be less expensive to administer online. And, of course, new tools and resources can be offered, including interactive programs, which might otherwise not be available to our members.
In addition to our excellent John Dickinson Memorial (video) Library, resources can be expanded to include core didactic lectures, online CME courses and workshops from renowned experts, non-CME virtual workshops and meetings, research projects and studies outcomes, member articles and newsletters, and peer-to-peer consults. These options may range from the latest technical innovations, practice management issues, and didactic reviews to self-assessment. This latter aspect has particular relevance in regards to fulfilling Board MOC requirements. This endowment will also allow CME programs and educational resources to be fiscally independent, while allowing members to keep abreast of the rapid advances in our specialty. As I noted in my incoming address, this becomes particularly important during current times of decreasing income from membership dues and weakened industry support for CME activities.
The role of research ($2M goal) is of vital importance to the advancement of our specialty. The Educational and Research Foundation for the AAFPRS already has significant award funding to our members performing exemplary research. We all realize innovations derived from research outcomes ultimately drive improvement in patient care. The Academy has positioned itself to advocate research by our members and encourage resident research interest in facial plastic surgery. The importance of evidence-based research in guiding our treatment decisions has been well established. The Capital Campaign endowment will allow the establishment of a Facial Plastic Surgery Research Center to educate surgeons on the process and techniques of conducting quality research. It will also expand funding to support essential research and evidence-based studies necessary to advance the knowledge frontier for our specialty.
Our unique FACE TO FACE program ($500K goal) is one of the many things that make me proud to be a member of our Academy. First started nearly two decades ago, FACE TO FACE has evolved today to comprise International, Domestic Violence Project, and FACES OF HONOR programs. These programs offer a true reflection of the generosity of our members as they depend completely upon our surgeon volunteers for staffing and support. In the words of Dr. Putman, “These programs represent the Academy’s deep sense of commitment to social responsibility and the service of mankind.”
Through these programs—the Domestic Violence Project, FACE TO FACE International, and FACES OF HONOR—our members volunteer their skills to restoring lives by restoring faces. We need to ensure expanded organizational support and financial means for these programs. I am frequently asked by interested surgeons on how to become involved with FACE TO FACE surgical teams. This fund will allow recruitment of a dedicated coordinator to assist in expansion of the already well-established three branches of FACE TO FACE. The coordinator will also help us increase public awareness of the programs and ensure that they become financially self-sustaining over time.
Into the future we go
The Capital Campaign will culminate at our next Fall meeting in Washington, D.C. in September, 2012. Our minimum goal of $4M is attainable. With support from all members of the Academy, I think this sum is even surpassable.
I am especially proud to note that, as of this writing in December 2011, your Academy leadership, including every person on the Board of Directors, all chairs of the National Steering Committee, have personally pledged support for this campaign. This 100 percent commitment represents a truly unprecedented level of support, further highlighting the importance of achieving our objectives.
At our next Fall Meeting, all donors will be invited to a private reception to celebrate the success of the campaign. This will also be an opportunity to provide donors with the proposed plan for implementation of the three core components: educational excellence, relevant and evidence-based research and humanitarian programs expansion.
I would personally love to see the entire Academy membership present at this important event. At this time, I challenge each and every one of us to step up and pull our share of the load. Remember, we are investing in ourselves, our specialty, and our own future. Let’s make it a bright one!
Thank you for your generosity.
Tom D. Wang, MD