The last month has brought to mind a phrase from American critic, Dorothy Parker, “What fresh hell is this!” Who of us could have imagined this ending to 2021 that started with such hope with the COVID-19 vaccine? I, like most of you, am setting realistic goals for this new year and learning to embrace uncertainty. To help us continue navigating during this difficult time, AUGS is also evolving its programs and activities.
In December the AUGS Board held a strategic planning meeting to ensure we have a roadmap for the next two to three years. The Board approved an updated AUGS’ mission and vision statement along with four strategic goals. As many of you know, our specialty is undergoing a name change from “Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery” to “Urogynecology.” As a result, the board agreed with Linda Brubaker’s suggestion to change the name of our journal to “Urogynecology.” This change will be implemented in July 2022, when the journal also transitions to publish online only. Likewise, our mission statement reflects our new (actually old) name. Our revised vision statement is to eliminate the impact of pelvic floor disorders on a woman’s quality of life and our updated mission statement is as the leader in urogynecology, AUGS drives excellence in comprehensive care for women with pelvic floor disorders.
The strategic goals that will guide our work in the coming years include to:
- continue to ensure that a rich membership value proposition exists for all members
- protect and strengthen the interests of urogynecology professionals and their patients
- provide advanced research, education, training, and clinical best practices to urogynecology professionals
- preserve and align our resources with AUGS mission
In support of these goals, one of the Board’s first action items, and it was a difficult one, was to end ACQUIRE. While the goals of ACQUIRE were inspirational, only 3% of our membership was actively involved in the registry. The details of this decision have been shared with all of our participating sites and our excellent Quality Committee. I want to thank all AUGS members who have been so supportive of this endeavor over the last few years. The relationship we have built with the FDA and MDEpiNet will continue, and we look forward to publications describing this experience and the data that we have obtained.
The AUGS/IUGA Scientific Meeting in June is quickly approaching. Please clear your calendars for what promises to be an exciting event. For our international partners, this will be their first in-person meeting since 2019 and for us, it will be a great opportunity to connect in person and celebrate our shared interests.
Lastly, I want to encourage you to consider reinstating your membership with AUGS. AUGS is the home for all urogynecology professionals. It is with your support, engagement, and participation that AUGS is able to fulfill its mission and provide a platform for us to come together to exchange ideas, network, and advance the field of urogynecology.
I, along with the Board and the AUGS staff, wish you and your families a happy, healthy, peaceful, and normal new year!
Beth Mueller, MD