At this year’s annual meeting, CHEST will make it easy for members to learn about its special interest groups and how joining can facilitate collaboration with fellow practitioners for the greater good.
Seven sessions, each focused on a specific CHEST Network, will run simultaneously from 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM CT, on Tuesday, October 18.
“Our Network Featured Sessions used to be spread throughout the meeting, but now they have a dedicated time and are not competing with any major programming,” said Darrin Townsend, CHEST’s manager of volunteer operations. “As a result, we’re hoping to draw in as many folks as possible to connect with these Networks for the first time.”
Even CHEST members who are already involved in the Networks should attend to learn about the recent restructure of the original 22 Networks into seven groups, each divided into several Sections, Townsend said. The revamped Networks are: Airways Disorders; Chest Infections and Disaster Response; Critical Care; Diffuse Lung Disease and Lung Transplant; Pulmonary Vascular and Cardiovascular; Sleep Medicine; and Thoracic Oncology and Chest Procedures.
As attendees learn about the focuses of the Networks, they will have a chance to meet group members they may not have worked with in the past.
“This is an opportunity for clinicians to find a Network home, learn who the leaders are, and find out about opportunities they can contribute to in 2023,” Townsend said. “It’s an opportunity to reset a bit, because it’s the first time we’ve been together in 3 years, the first time under this new structure, and the first time a lot of them have been joined together.”
Currently, about 60% of CHEST members are involved in Networks, including fellows seeking a starting point for leadership within the organization. Membership activities can involve authoring or co-authoring articles, creating webinars, submitting sessions for the CHEST Annual Meeting, and serving as graders/moderators.
“The great thing is that, with this new structure, the Sections have leeway to create their own projects, like our Disaster Response [and Global Health] Section did,” Townsend said. “They’re working on a paper about trauma treatment for non-trauma doctors, detailing what should happen if you’re a small-town doctor facing a sentinel event, like a shooting, and your emergency room is flooded with patients you’re not used to dealing with. It will focus on the key things you need to know to save lives.”
Network meetings involve regularly scheduled Section calls and larger in-person gatherings in the spring and fall. A key advantage of involvement is meeting colleagues with similar interests and problems.
“Right now, there are ventilator shortages all over the world, so our Mechanical Ventilation and Airways [Management] Section pulled a meeting together to discuss a global approach to the issue,” Townsend said. “We met with members from the UK, Australia, France, Canada, the US, and Asia who discussed work-arounds that can allow the use of available ventilators to fill a wider range of needs. This represents real-time problem-solving across the globe that can save people’s lives.”
CHEST leaders believe that recruiting new Network members will benefit everyone across the organization.
“We want to create a wider diversity of voices and a wider diversity of thought within CHEST,” Townsend said. “Things change rapidly in medicine, so we have to make sure we’re covering a lot more perspectives now than even 5 years ago.”
Those who want to learn more about the work and focuses of various Network Sections also can attend short educational presentations by members of these groups at Experience CHEST in the Exhibit Hall from October 17 to 19.
Learn more about each Network Featured Session in the CHEST Events app:
Airways Disorders Network Session – Room 101BC
Critical Care Network Session – Room 101DE
Sleep Medicine Network Session – Room 106A