Readers of this journal know there are many interesting aspects of my work as an executive director... but planning an event like the Sleep Apnea Awareness Day (SAAD) lecture is the most challenging.
After last year's less than spectacular event, I did not retreat. I rethought, and with the benefit of the collective wisdom of our Board of Directors, redirected the focus of the lecture.
Perhaps the biggest problem for "us" in the sleep community is "translating" the incredible research done by the sleep researchers into content that is accessible to the layperson. What good are the findings of the studies if they remain locked up in a prestigous, but inscrutable medical journal.
The idea of bringing what is known from sleep research to the general public is what the lecture should be all about. In Washington, DC, where we make our home... the public can include policy folks from trade and professional associations as well as members of Congress, their staff and members of Federal agencies.
Dr. Terri Weaver's presentation on snoring and sleep apnea: the effects on the family will do that on Wednesday. Words will never fully express my gratitude for her willingness to share what she has learned with those will assemble this coming week.
That adjustment alone will be a guarantee of a successful lecture. But this year we will stretch and add another dimension to the proceedings, personal experiences.
We have the good fortune to have a new member of our Board of Directors Nancy Rothstein, who, has in the past year, become very active in raising public awareness about the negative effects of snoring and sleep apnea. Her experiences are captured and elegantly depicted in a children's book My Daddy Snores. She will provide the introduction.
We also have the good fortune to know Ashley Keenan, a young woman who willing to share her experience with sleep apnea.
I think it is fitting there are three women speaking at the SAAD lecture, in light of the National Sleep Foundation's National Sleep Awareness Week (r) theme of Women and Sleep.
I hope those of you can attend the event on Wednesday March 7th will, and those of who can't will take the time to view the proceedings when the webcast link (funded by a generous donation from the American College of Chest Physicians - Sleep Institute) is established.
I'll be back with a report on how it went... don't touch that dial, er, mouse.