Members Sent 19,000 Messages to Congress in 2011

January 20, 2012


Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
January 2012


  • Congress has reached a two–month extension of current Medicare payment rates (SGR) with the goal of working out a long–term agreement with the House–Senate conference committee. The AAN will continue to advocate for a permanent fix that is fair to all physicians.
  • Congress also approved FY 2012 appropriations bills that fund government through September 2012, which includes the National Institutes of Health receiving almost $300 million over FY 2011 levels.
  • Thank you to all members who took a moment to respond to emails from the AAN Grassroots Network in 2011 as a record 3,069 AAN members sent more than 19,000 messages to Congress.


  • The first subspecialty version of NeuroSAE™ will launch this month. This NeuroSAE edition will focus on neurovascular and offers the opportunity to earn eight CME credits. As the same CME credits can be used to satisfy MOC requirements for multiple specialties and subspecialties, NeuroSAE Vascular is a great value for vascular neurologists seeking self–assessment and continuing education in activities directly related to their field of subspecialty.
  • Clerkship directors will have a free access to the new NeuroSAE™: Medical Student Edition starting this month and ending in March. NeuroSAE: Medical Student Edition offers 100 high–yield questions about diagnosis and management of the most common neurologic symptoms and disorders, incorporating interpretation of neurologic examination findings and diagnostic testing. The examination is available in both online and mobile accessible formats. 

Medical Economics

  • As part of a new process, the recent AAN guideline on transverse myelitis was reviewed by the AAN’s Payment Policy Subcommittee prior to release for potential policy implications resulting from the findings. Consequently, a new highly practical section titled “Policy Implications” was added to the clinician summary of the guideline to help clinicians—as well as insurers and policymakers—understand potential policy implications the AAN sees resulting from implementation of the guideline.
  • The 2011 Practice Management Webinar series concluded with 963 total participants in both live and recorded webinars, including 848 AAN members. This was a 279–percent increase from the 2010 Practice Management Webinar series member participation of 345 AAN members. The 2012 series, which kicked off on January 10, continues to improve by now offering the recording free of charge to any live webinar participant, and also the option to purchase webinar recordings at a bundled rate (previously only an option for live webinar purchases).

Clinical Practice

  • The evidence–based guideline Clinical Evaluation and Treatment of Transverse Myelitis was published in the Neurology® journal electronically ahead of print on December 7, 2011, and in print on December 13, 2011. A clinical summary, patient summary, clinical case example, and slide presentation were produced. The Consortium of MS Centers endorsed this guideline; several professional medical societies participated in dissemination.
  • The evidence–based guideline Antiepileptic Drug Selection for People with HIV/AIDS was published simultaneously in Neurology and in Epilepsia electronically ahead of print on January 4, 2012, and in print on January 10, 2012. MSN Health and U.S. News & World Report are among the media that covered the guideline launch.
  • The evidence–based guideline Update: Intraoperative Spinal Monitoring with Somatosensory and Transcranial Electrical Motor Evoked Potentials will be published in Neurology on February 21, 2012, and the evidence–based guideline Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) in the Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders” will be published on March 27, 2012. A clinical summary, patient summary, clinical case example, slide presentation, and press release will be produced for each guideline.


  • A CV review service will be evaluated by a sample group of members starting this month. If approved, the service would be added to the Neurology Career Center to aid job seekers. The service was requested by 74 percent of respondents to a recent Career Path survey.  

Annual Meeting

  • The Leadership Program will be offered again at the 2012 Annual Meeting. A new program called “Leading Others” will be held on Sunday, April 22. Back by popular demand will be the program “Leading in a Complex World—The Power of Authenticity” on Monday, April 23. Allison Brashear, MD, FAAN, and Terrence L. Cascino, MD, FAAN, will direct the program.

  • The entertainment for the Celebration for Research event has been finalized. The night will start with Neurobowl® and the Main Stage Act will be a Mardi Gras Extravaganza Featuring Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters. The Neuro Film Festival® also will screen the best entries in the competition


  • The Science Committee will meet January 12–13 in Miami. The committee will finalize the scientific program for the 2012 Annual Meeting, including selecting the rest of the Plenary Session speakers, platform sessions, and poster sessions. Abstract presenters and award recipients will be notified at the end of January if they were selected.
  • A new Clinical Research Training Fellowship will be offered in 2012. The AAN Foundation and the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation will offer a fellowship in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.


  • The first issue of Neurology® Clinical Practice, a spin–off journal from Neurology, was published on December 13, 2011, and the journal will publish quarterly during 2012. The journal is available in print, online, and by app for the iPad without charge for a limited period.
  • The Neurology Today® iPad app launched with the January 5, 2012, issue. The digital app provides neurologists with a portable and easy–to–navigate medium for reading clinical, research, policy, and practice news. 

Public Outreach

  • The White House has invited the Academy to participate in its Joining Forces campaign to raise awareness and promote best practices among health care providers in caring for neurologic and psychologic health issues among military service members, veterans, and their families.
  • The Academy is one of the key collaborators in the Joint Commission's upcoming Speak Up for Stroke campaign. The campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the signs of stroke and the importance of calling 911, will launch February 1, 2012, in conjunction with the International Stroke Conference.


  • As of November 30, 2011, 3,039 gifts, pledges, grants, and sponsorships totaling $3,920,129 have been invested toward the year–end goal of $4 million to support young investigators, education, improved patient care, public awareness, and operations. The total includes these generous commitments:
    • 55 Champion Circle members' gifts (annual gifts of $1,000 +)
    • AAN staff giving campaign
    • AAN Foundation member dues check–off
    • Corporate Roundtable dues