CALL TO ORDER
The annual business meeting of the American Pancreatic Association (APA) was called to order by President Martin Freeman at 2:00 P.M.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The minutes of the 2012 business meeting were distributed to those in attendance for review. The minutes were approved by unanimous voice vote.
Dr Freeman noted that the APA is a unique organization not only in the field of the pancreas but also among all medical organizations for embracing multiple specialties and perspectives on the same topic. The APA allows close and collaborative interaction among basic scientists, clinical pancreatologists, surgeons, and, increasingly now, interventional endoscopists to an unprecedented level. Bringing more interventional endoscopists into the fold of the APA has been the main focus of his term as president. He also commented on the value of turning these collaborations into improved care for patients with pancreatic diseases. He thanked Nalini Guda and the rest of the committee who put together this year’s premeeting on the State of the Science in Idiopathic Recurrent Acute Pancreatitis.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Hirshberg Seed Grant, which has been a seminal program made possible by the ongoing magnanimous support of Agi Hirshberg. Dr Freeman commented that we are pleased to honor her with the Distinguished Service Award and cohost a symposium on Saturday to honor the achievements both Agi and her foundation have facilitated.
Dr Freeman also thanked the board of the APA and especially Dr Saluja for their work in putting together an outstanding meeting.
SECRETARY TREASURER’S REPORT
Dr Saluja presented the treasurer’s report and indicated that the APA is doing quite well financially. The year 2013 has been a very good year for fund-raising. We do not have the final expenses for the 2013 meeting, but we are within budget and expect to be in better financial standing for the meeting.
This year, a total of 247 abstracts were received from 21 different countries. We had 405 registrants for our annual meeting. Our abstract submissions and registration numbers are on par with previous years. We have participants from a wide range of countries this year, the same number of countries that participated in the joint meeting last year.
Dr Saluja reminded that the APA is continuing to grant Mini-Sabbatical Funding of up to $5000. This is for young investigators who want to learn new techniques by visiting other institutions. Six awards have been granted since the start of the program.
This year, the APA has incorporated the APA Foundation as a tax-exempt organization. It was created as an endowment fund to support initiatives of the APA. The initial board of directors will consist of Vay Liang Go, Peter Banks, William Chey, Howard Reber, Andrew Warshaw, Ed Bradley, Agi Hirshberg, Barbara Kenner, Paul Webster, Ashok Saluja, and Ed Purich. The APA President will also serve as an ex officio member of the board.
2014 APA MEETING
Dr Saluja reported that the 2014 meeting will be held on November 5 to 8 in Hawaii. This meeting will be a joint meeting with the Japan Pancreas Society in honor of both groups’ 45th anniversaries. The hotel details are being finalized and are forthcoming.
APA AWARDS AND HONORS
The Vay Liang and Frisca Go Award for Lifetime Achievement in Pancreatology was given to Drs Masao Tanaka and Michael Steer. George Perides was on hand to present the award to Dr Steer. Kyoichi Takaori presented the award to Masao Tanaka. In addition, the Distinguished Service Award was presented to Agi Hirshberg in recognition of her contributions to both the APA and the field. Two abstracts were selected to receive the Hirshberg awards in the field of pancreatic cancer and 2 additional abstracts were selected to receive the National Pancreas Foundation awards for abstracts in the area of pancreatitis. These awards were presented during the Awards Dinner on October 31, 2013. The Frank Brooks State of the Art Lecture was given by Steven D. Leach, MD. Christopher Forsmark was invited to give the Clinical State of the Art Lecture. Dr Saluja announced that, beginning next year, this lecture will be named in honor of Paul Webster.
YOUNG INVESTIGATOR AWARDS
Dr Saluja reported that, because this year the organization is in good financial shape, 34 awards were granted. These awards are designed to encourage the continued participation by young pancreatic specialists by defraying the travel costs to attend the meeting. All awards were for $500, plus the $300 member registration fee was waived.
REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Stephen Pandol, as Chair, gave the report on behalf of the Nominating Committee. Other members of the committee included Ashok Saluja, Carlos Fernandez-del Castillo, Martin Freeman, and Diane Simeone. The slate of candidates recommended for election by the nominating committee, as specified in the bylaws, was as follows:
- President-Elect: Anirban Maitra, MD (1-year term)
- Councilor: Darwin Conwell, MD (3-year term)
The slate was approved unanimously for election by voice vote.
PANCREAS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF’S REPORT
The Pancreas remains the top journal of our field, and all members of the APA have free online access. The Pancreas is now a hybrid journal with open access articles. Our publisher, Wolters Kluwer, has expanded APA membership benefits to receive discounted print and online subscriptions to other Wolters Kluwer journals and also provides APA guidelines and consensus statements with free online access. The journal continues to grow and is still processing more than 1600 articles per year, but the acceptance rate unfortunately continues to drop, with only 1 submitted article out of 4 being accepted for publication. Our publisher is working on increasing our page allocation. In 2013, the Pancreas increased the 5-year impact factor to 3.093 and the 2-year impact factor is 3.008 up from the 2.923 in the previous year. Our publisher, Ms Elizabeth Durzy, discussed with the Editorial Board how best to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the journal’s continuous publication since 1986. A new publisher, Ms Stella Bebos, will be assigned to the Pancreas. The Pancreas is currently also sponsored by the Japan Pancreas Society and the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society.
Ashok K. Saluja, PhD