Minutes of the 90th Annual Business Meeting

July 30, 2019

Minutes of the 90th Annual Business Meeting

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Rio All Suites Hotel, Las Vegas, NV

Call to Order (Vermeiren): A quorum for the meeting was established at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Dr. Roland Vermeiren, President, called the meeting to order. 
   In Memoriam (Vermeiren): The president asked attendees to pause to remember those members who passed away this
   Recognition of Past Presidents (Vermeiren): Dr. Vermeiren invited the Past Presidents of AsMA to rise.
   Report of the President (Vermeiren): To highlight the year, we have improved on several parts of the association. We have produced a clear ethics process for internal complaints to be evaluated and acted upon. Under the leadership of Joe Ortega, we updated our business plan. We have worked on a new type of membership for low-income countries. Membership would be $50 and would allow access to our Annual Scientific Program for free. This will be a trial program over the next 2 years. We hope it will expand our access to low-income countries. We are also busy providing liaison to other national and international aerospace medicine associations. In 2020, AsMA, IAASM, and the French Aerospace Medicine Association will be working together for a Paris joint meeting. We also have been utilizing GLOC for providing connections to the world to produce collaborations.
   Report of the Executive Director (Sventek): Mr. President, officers, and members of the Aerospace Medical Association, it is my pleasure to report that this past year was extremely active and very successful. I especially want to recognize all who volunteered this past year to help move the Association forward. Thank you for your continued strong support of the Aerospace Medical Association. I’d also like to recognize the Headquarters Office staff and our journal independent contractors. They work hard every day to provide a high-quality scientific journal as well as outstanding customer service and administrative support to our members.
   AsMA membership seems to have stabilized at around 2,100 paid and active members. As of this report, AsMA membership total 2,118. The AsMA President, Vice President of Member Services, Vice President of International Services, Chair of the Membership Committee and Chair of the Global Liaison and Outreach Committee have been working with the AsMA Executive Committee and the AsMA Council to develop an Allied Membership designed to expand AsMA membership to residents of countries with developing economies and low incomes. The proposed Allied membership is still in development and should be ready for AsMA membership consideration over the next year. This initiative could offer Aerospace Medicine professionals, who currently cannot afford AsMA membership, the opportunity to join our Association and work with our current members to further the Aerospace Medicine profession within their countries.
   As of this morning, total registration for this meeting is 1,639, compared to 1,445 at the same time for the 2018 meeting. Of that total, 1,552 were registered in advance of the meeting and 87 attendees registered here on site. This represents an increase of 194 attendees or 13% above the 2018 meeting in Dallas. The 1,639 registrations represent the largest meeting registration total in the last 15 years. Revenue from our Annual Scientific Meetings represents a large portion
of our annual operating budget.
   AsMA Council approved the expenditure of $13,400 for the first-year subscription to OpenWater software. The online
application system was setup to during the summer and fall of 2018 and was used to manage all scientific abstracts for the AsMA Annual Scientific Meet, AsMA Award nominations, scholarship applications, and AsMA Fellows applications. A total of 550 scientific abstracts were submitted for the 90th Annual Scientific Meeting. A total of 52 AsMA Award nominations were submitted for the 19 annual awards. A total of 65 scholarship applications for the 9 available scholarships were collected. And, a total of 41 AsMA Fellows applications were submitted for the Fellows Evaluation Committee to review. The new Fellows application form automatically provides scoring as the Fellow nominee enters data into the form. This is done in real time and provides the nominee with an estimate of their score. The Fellows submission form and scoring required the OpenWater team to approach our requirements very differently and then design our Fellows submission form via back-end programming they had never done previously. The result is a new submission form with greater capabilities and functionality than any of OpenWater’s previous submission forms. The OpenWater team is very proud of the AsMA Fellows submission form and they requested an opportunity to market this new capability via their blog. I agreed and participated in the blog article review. You can all read the article on the OpenWater blog at:
   Feedback from applicants and reviewers for the OpenWater online system has been predominantly positive. Dr. Warren Silberman, Fellows Group Chair, commented on the new Fellows process stating “ I LOVE the new application. It makes scoring easier! Thanks for this!!!”
   Finally, I am required to report the Aerospace Medical Association financial status for 2018. I will leave the details to our Treasurer to explain but I am pleased to report that our 2018 financial records completed a full audit by Gross, Mendolsohn, & Associates, P.A., on April 2, 2019. According to the Audit Report, “In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Aerospace Medical Association as of December 31, 2018, and 2017, and the changes in its net assets and its cash flows for the years then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. The financial statement disclosures are neutral, consistent, and clear. We encountered no significant difficulties in dealing with management in performing and completing our audit. For purposes of this letter, a disagreement with management is a financial accounting, reporting, or auditing matter, whether or not resolved to our satisfaction, that could be significant to the financial statements or the auditor’s report. We are pleased to report that no such disagreements arose during the course of our audit.”
   Report of the AsMA Foundation Chair (Broadwell): The Foundation spent the last year supporting awards and scholarships
and the annual Trumbo Fun Run and Walk. We gave out about $10K in scholarships this past year. We will have about $400K in assets by the end of 2019. Last year we introduced tiered donors and have several levels. We can now take credit cards and you can now donate at any time at the meeting. We will also be able to accept donations on our website. We now have set an annual goal of $50K per year in donations. We desire to increase our awards and scholarships and provide seed money for research projects.

GOVERNANCE (Joe Ortega):
   Bylaws Committee (Baisden):
Bylaws change – governance goal needs to be modified : (Governance) Under Vision, Mission, Goals [Published in the February issue of the journal: AMHP 2019; 90(2):148.] The motion passed unanimously. 
   Nominating Committee (Gradwell): The slate of officer candidates was presented: President-Elect: Chuck DeJohn; Vice Presidents: Volker Damann, Joe Dervay, and Barry Shender; Secretary: Kathy Hughes; Members at Large: Denise Baisden, John Charles, Ilaria Cinnelli, and Susan Fondy. A motion was made to accept the slate of officers. There was one opposed and 9 abstentions. The motion passed.
   Treasurer’s Report (Sevilla): The report is based on Susan Barnes, CPA and UBS reports. We are doing well. Net Income: $66 net loss 2018 EOY (due to investment market losses). Ordinary Income: $66K in profit, realizing that we had to pay for the deposit early for this meeting and our 4th quarter investments were down.Our investments are improved this year. UBS Performance: $896K investments in 2018; now in 2019 over $1M in investments. $461 K income last year for AsMA’s Annual Scientific meeting. In summary, we have met our strategic financial goals last year and expect it for years to come.

REPRESENTATION AND ADVOCACY (Alex Garbino): Communications Committee is updating tabs on the website. Social Media is working hard this meeting #AsMA2019. The Air Transport Committee was asked by FAA to review airline medical kits and the report is ready to be sent out. Resolutions Committee--all resolutions have been cleared from the slate. The electronic voting worked well. We are working with bringing global members to AsMA and we are working with several other international aerospace medicine organizations to take part in their meetings. We are working with several U.S. organizations such as the American College of Emergency Physicians with their new Aerospace Medicine Section; this collaboration will help both organizations.

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH (DeJohn): The Mental Health Working Group is finalizing a draft report of their perspective on psychological testing in pilots. There was a study on Neurocognitive Assessment for Fitness to Fly. AsMA provided money for the study, and there is a draft report of this research available at the meeting. The Science and Technology Committee came up with draft criteria on funding research in Aerospace Medicine. The Education and Training Committee fielded the “This Is Aerospace Medicine” presentation. Also, Pilot and Non-Aerospace Medicine tabs have been produced and will be active shorty on the AsMA website.

MEMBER SERVICES (Jim De Voll): Cheryl Lowry, Joe Dervay, Dick Leland all deserve recognition. The Awards Committee reports that the Honors Night Program will be outstanding this year. e AsMA Executive Committee, in coordination with the Corporate Membership Committee, approved three new corporate sustaining members this year. Membership Committee has been working new members very well. Also, auto-dues renewal is an ongoing effort and we are on track to complete it by the end of the year. It will help to stabilize our membership.

INTERNATIONAL SERVICES (Damann): GLOC did a great job in making a global contact list for aerospace medicine leaders. They developed the Allied Membership for AsMA based upon the UN List of Developing Countries. We are a diverse multinational association, but we are lacking membership from low income countries. There was a proposal about 3 years ago to expand our membership by engaging people in countries that are developing. We worked on what constituted developing countries and what membership fees and meeting registration fees should be. We desired to make it lean administratively on the HQ staff. We utilized the UN emerging economy list. We did not want individuals to prove their individual income, rather than they are a member of a low income country on the UN emerging economies list– Table E. The lower middle to low income sections appear most applicable to our recommendations. The applicant would need to prove citizenship. The member would become a full member but would pay at student rate for membership ($50 annually) as well as student rate for meeting attendance (which is free for international students, so it would be free for these folks to attend). No financial support would be provided for travel to the meeting. Members residing in those countries who are current members would convert to Allied Members. We would need to recruit 90 new members to cover the cost difference in the conversion of current members. We may gain many more members by lowering the threshold in order to get into the association. This has been approved by Council as a 2-year trial.

President’s Conclusion (Vermeiren): The ethics process recommendations will be soon available to the membership for a vote. We are actively engaged in sending representatives to ICASM and other meetings. The 2020 joint program in Paris is on schedule. Finally, I desire to thank the vice presidents, council, the HQ team, committees, constituent organizations, and all of the members.
   Old Business: None.
   New Business: None.
   Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 1:06 p.m.

Jeffrey C. Sventek, M.S., CAsP, Executive Director
Brian Pinkston, M.D., Secretary