AASLD 2021 Year In Review
Like many organizations, the global pandemic presented unique challenges for AASLD in 2020. However, we approached 2021 with reflection and great optimism about the future, and a steadfast commitment to continue serving as a platform for innovation in support of our mission to prevent and cure liver disease.
We are pleased to report the diligent work of our members, volunteers, and staff yielded tremendous results in 2021. The Liver Meeting® - Digital Experience (TLMdX) was a great success for a second year; our member and customer communities grew; and our Committees, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and Task Forces made groundbreaking, notable achievements in their work.
We invite you to take a few moments to explore and to celebrate with us on how AASLD delivered for our community in 2021!
Download AASLD 2021 Year in Review
Annual Meeting Education
- Reviewed and suggested programming changes to several core programs delivered at The Liver Meeting, including the Postgraduate Course, ASGE Endoscopy Course, Hepatology Associates Course and NASPGHAN Pediatric Symposium.
- Identified topics and speakers for the General Hepatology Update.
- Developed and implemented the Basic Science Symposium, Cellular Heterogeneity and Crosstalk in Liver Physiology and Disease: New Insights from Single Cell Technologies program for The Liver Meeting®.
- Reviewed and provided recommendations to the SIG Annual Meeting and Emerging Topic Conference program proposals.
- Developed the 2021 Clinical Research Workshop (Basics of Navigating Artificial Intelligence in Liver Research) at TLMdX.
- Reviewed and provided recommendations to the SIG Annual Meeting program proposals.
- Reviewed and provided recommendations on Emerging Topic Conference proposals.
Communications and Technology
- Tested the logic of AASLD's new digital ecosystem's site map, validating the placement of valuable content to ensure members can easily locate the resources they seek.
- Developed highly-attended social media program for TLMdX.
- Provided ongoing subject matter expertise to help guide the digital transformation.
Continuing Medical Education (CME)
- Performed a thorough conflict of interest review for the DDW and TLM 2021 faculty; ensuring we continue to deliver educational programming that is free of commercial bias and maintains the integrity of our accreditation.
- Reviewed The Liver Meeting 2021 CME Evaluation survey and shared constructive feedback to ensure AASLD is asking questions that yield targeted results, so we can continue to implement quality educational programming.
- Reviewed Conflict-of-Interest (COI) Policy and recommended the establishment of a $50K aggregate compensation for consulting and adviserships per year by members holding key leadership positions which has become policy.
- Reviewed disclosures of members serving in or nominated for key leadership positions
- Provided ongoing adjudication and guidance related to compliance with the COI policy.
- Completed and successfully reviewed AASLD and AASLD Foundation’s first ever fully virtual independent audit with no adjusting entries and clean opinions for both entities.
- Maintained a long-term focus on the investment portfolios throughout the COVID-crisis. As equity markets continued to recover, the Committee and Mill Creek Capital Advisors continually monitored and rebalanced the portfolio throughout 2021 which resulted in double digit returns.
- Completed the implementation of new financial reporting software to bring automation and efficiencies.
- Created subcommittees to explore Foundation Endowment Strategy and Socially Responsible Investment Options for AASLD and Foundation investment accounts working with Mill Creek Capital Advisors.
- Distributed $2.8 Million in Awards and Career Development Funding.
- Approved a Foundation Strategic Plan.
- Raised $51,000 from Committee and SIG leadership Challenge.
Fundamentals of Liver Disease (FOLD)
- Started a module on alcohol-associated liver disease working closely with the Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease SIG to develop a comprehensive and clinically relevant curriculum for primary care, learners and hepatology associates.
- Launched the revised Hepatitis C 2.0 and revised Cirrhosis 2.0 units in 2021.
Global Outreach and Engagement
- Developed the global strategic plan to be rolled out starting in 2022.
- Planned and hosted successful networking sessions for three regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America) at TLMdX.
- Successfully developed a half day educational course for The Liver Meeting that was held on-demand.
- Reviewed applications submitted for the NP/PA Fellowship award and selected top scoring recipients.
- Reviewed quarterly reports submitted by fellows as part of the NP/PA fellowship award.
Inclusion and Diversity
- Provided comments to the Public Policy Committee on several DEI-related policy documents from NIH and OMB. These comments were presented based on requests from the Public Policy Committee.
- Received acceptance of diversity white paper for publication in HEPATOLOGY. Created a supporting video based on the white paper that was shown at TLMdX.
- Collaborated with the Membership and Mentorship Committee to launch a Small Group Mentor Program.
- Planned several committee-sponsored webinars, including one scheduled for February 2022 based on the diversity white paper.
Individual Fundraising (Foundation)
- Launched the first Team Raiser (technology based fundraising system) bringing in $51,000 to support a Pilot Award.
- Received Foundation donations from almost 500 AASLD members in the first 6 months of the Fiscal Year.
Industry Advancement (Foundation)
- Continue to meet and cultivate new partners.
- Explored a corporate partnership program to facilitate the translation of discovery through the continued support of grants and awards to members of the AASLD community.
- Initiated a HepComm Editor-in-Chief search to be completed by year-end 2021.
- Approved a redesign of the AASLD Journals' cover designs, to be implemented in January 2022.
- Supported strategic investment in graphical abstracts in the Journals program.
Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
- Reviewed and collectively drafted AASLD's response to the ABMS Draft Standards for Continuing Certification - Call for Comments (in July).
- Held preliminary discussions regarding the development and maintenance of an MOC Question Bank.
Membership and Mentorship
- Kicked off new longitudinal 1:1 mentoring program, by soliciting applicants for both mentor and mentee matching.
- Expanded the Early Liver Scholars Program to include applicants from Canada and Mexico.
- Prioritized gender balance on committee along with inclusion of underrepresented minorities and Emerging Liver Scholars.
- Recommended additional steps to ensure that adequate numbers of Associates and Trainees are nominated.
- Offered more committee positions to those who have not had the opportunity to serve.
- Conducted careful review and selection of Journals Publications and Practice Guidelines Committee members who will oversee numerous AASLD publications.
- Ensured that committee composition reflects institutional and career-level diversity.
- Launched the Cirrhosis Quality Collaborative (CQC) Enduring Activity in April 2021.
- Worked on the upcoming launch of the Addiction Medicine for Liver Care Providers course to be released in 2022.
Patient Engagement Committee
- Expanded patient committee representation and number of committee positions available for patients.
- Started development of patient-facing practice guidelines, with more to be released in 2022.
- Increased patient participation at TLMdX 2021 by 20% from 2020; doubled patient programming and abstract tours, including keynote lecture; 4 externally hosted community conversations, with two at max capacity.
- Finalized Ascites & Hepatorenal Syndrome; Malnutrition, Sarcopenia & Frailty; Palliative Care; Hepatitis C Update.
- Worked on Wilson Disease; Non-invasive Assessment of Liver Disease +3 systematic reviews; Portal Hypertension; ACLD, HCC, PSC – Cholangiocarcinoma; TIPS; NAFLD in Adults; DILI.
- Initiated Guidelines for Patients on Reproductive Health in Liver Disease.
- Completed quality measures in HCC and scoping review: Highlighting the patient voice.
- Working on transplant and coagulopathy quality measures.
- Changed structure to make working groups, changed processes by using Delphi Method and work flow to increase collaboration.
- Successfully planned and held 1st NASH Congressional briefing.
- Finalized and received approval for 2022 Public Policy Agenda.
- Reviewed 75 applications for 2022 Research & Career Development Awards program.
- Revised Pilot Research Award and Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Fellowship programs.
Scientific Program Committee
- Selected educational content for all AASLD 2021 and 2022 educational activities
- The Liver Meeting: Including, but not limited to scheduling all education programming, creating oral abstract and poster sessions, evaluation of new programming for inclusion, and determining all programming delivery formats
- Digestive Diseases Week (DDW): Including but not limited to scheduling, education programming, creating oral abstract and poster sessions, nominating the “Best of AASLD at DDW” speaker.
- Emerging Topic Conference selections for 2022, including expanding the number of approved programs to include both in-person and fully virtual events.
- Created Best of the Liver Meeting online slide deck.
Surgery and Transplantation
- Developed a successful 3-hr Transplant Surgery workshop for The Liver Meeting.
- Nominated the Starzl Transplant State-of-the-Art lecture presenter for consideration by the president to implement in The Liver Meeting. Kimberly A. Brown was selected to present the Thomas Starzl lecture in 2021.
- Successfully reviewed the joint AASLD/ILTS Transplant course content which was held as an on-demand course during The Liver Meeting.
Training and Workforce
- Worked with ACGME and representatives from the other GI societies to update the GI and Transplant Hepatology Milestones 2.0 that became effective 7/1/2021 and wrote a paper for assisting Program Directors in implementation.
- Launched a digital Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Application to standardize application process in December 2021.
- Launched new leadership program designed to promote female hepatologists in leadership.
- The objectives include providing early career guidance to AASLD members—specifically women in hepatology—through informative seminars, networking and 1:1 mentoring to allow them to become future leaders in the field. This 12-month program will target hepatology professionals within 5 years of independent practice in North America. Potential mentors will be identified by the Committee and invited to participate. The initial cohort size will be 10 mentors and 10 mentees.
- Started planning for a joint webinar with Women in Transplantation scheduled for 2022.
Cirrhosis Quality Collaborative (CQC)
Successfully proposed to the Governing Board a multi-year investment of approximately $2 million to fund AASLD staffing and other projects to scale up the registry and expand the registered centers past its implementation grant that ends February 2022.
Hepatitis Elimination Task Force
- Developed a Viral Hepatitis Elimination session at TLMdX.
- Started planning the 2022 Viral Hepatitis Elimination summit with the task force, AMH, and CASL.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
- Executed successful SIG day at TLMdX 2021
- Received proposal submissions from all SIGs for 2022 TLM, Early Morning Workshop, Digestive Disease Week and 2023 Emerging Topic Conferences