By Ronald Sokol, MD, FAASLD, AASLD President
It is with great excitement that we announce that a record number of abstracts were submitted for this year’s Liver Meeting in November. The number of abstracts submitted is very often a leading indicator of research and clinical activity in our field, and attendance at The Liver Meeting® , so I strongly encourage you to register very soon and arrange for housing at The Liver Meeting®. Through this link you can also access the program at a glance, and it’s never too early to familiarize yourself with this year’s offerings. Please be certain to register and obtain housing through official AASLD websites. As always, the Postgraduate Course provides a broad update on important issues in clinical hepatology, with this year’s course named “A Hectic Day for a Hepatology Consultant.” The course is scheduled for Saturday, November 10, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, and will be chaired by Michael W. Fried, MD, FAASLD, President-Elect; Cynthia Levy, MD, FAASLD; and Tse-Ling Fong, MD, FAASLD. We will also hold a record number of oral abstract parallel sessions (over 40) and a record number of posters will be presented, again reflecting the growth and importance of liver science and disease. Please plan to register and attend!
Not Just Once a Year
AASLD is in the process of developing its new strategic plan. The goals that we develop in that plan will be highlighted at this year’s meeting. Two of AASLD’s best programs for dissemination of the best science and clinical care recommendations are our annual meeting and our portfolio of journals; however, one of the lessons we learned from this year’s strategic process is that AASLD cannot just connect with its members a few times a year, but must become an essential, go-to source for all things hepatology on a daily basis. That means our digital presence must be expanded and enhanced to reach our members. One of our goals in the upcoming years will be to offer more digital content and engagement so our members can reap the benefits of being an AASLD member when it is convenient for them to learn and connect. We are already in the process of finalizing two key programs in that area:
- LiverLearning® has switched to a new platform on August 15. Frankly, our first iteration of this valuable online learning system contained a wealth of information but was not always simple to navigate and search. This new system will have an improved look and feel, as well as offering the user much greater ease in finding the material he or she wants and needs. I encourage you to visit the new site and visit regularly as content from previous years will be posted online as it becomes available. One IMPORTANT special note – if you downloaded the LiverLearning® app you will need to delete it, as the new system will be mobile friendly for your tablet and smartphone; therefore, there is no need for the app any longer. Once you delete the app, go to liverlearning.aasld.org from your mobile device to access LiverLearning®.
- We are on the brink of launching an online community platform, which we are calling “Engage.” What does this mean to you? This new private social network will be launched for SIG members to connect with their peers, so they can join discussion groups and ask questions and exchange ideas. Engage will be available to SIG members in October. To learn how to get started using Engage, visit the AASLD Tech Bar at The Liver Meeting® and we will be happy to get you linked into Engage.
Never Too Old and Never Too Soon
You don’t, however, have to wait for The Liver Meeting® to strengthen your digital and social media skills. This year, AASLD launched the “Social Media Essentials” section of our website. Social Media Essentials is a toolkit for those who haven’t dipped their toes in the Social Media water and a way for those who are already involved to enhance the value of their efforts. View the three websites we have made available for hepatology professionals and get started or get better today.
On the Heels of The Liver Meeting®
I started this column discussing the record number of abstracts submitted to this year’s meeting, and the probability that this will be the highest attended meeting in our history. The dates for The Liver Meeting® are November 9-13, and the deadline for applications for our research and career development grants from the AASLD Foundation is less than a month after that – December 4. Please visit the Research and Career Development Awards section of our website to determine which of our expanded portfolio of grants is right for your application.