Message from the EAST President

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Bruce A. Crookes, MD, FACS

Friends and Colleagues,

The term "Kaizen," which is Japanese for continuous improvement, was first introduced to the West in 1988 by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan's Competitive Success. When used in the business sense, "Kaizen" refers to activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees, ranging  from the CEO to the assembly line workers.  Today, Kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of any organization's long-term competitive strategy. 

EAST, which is dedicated to providing  "leadership and development for young surgeons active in the care of the injured patient through interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarship, and fellowship," is now stronger than ever.  Kaizen is a part of our everyday organizational culture. 

Over the course of the last four years, we have revised the governing structure of our organization, re-aligned our committees, and made our structure more transparent. Our Board of Directors has completed its evolution into a "strategic board."  What is a "strategic board?" In simple terms, it is a board that looks to the future, establishes goals, monitors our progress towards those goals, thinks critically, and promotes accountability.  Kaizen. 

But we do not rest, and we continue to strive.  

"What do our members need?" "How does this initiative benefit our members?" "How would the young surgeon feel about this?" "How does this benefit patients?" These are common questions asked at our annual assembly, in our committees, are part of every Division leader's mantra, and are asked at our Board Meetings.  Daily, we labor to improve. 

Our penultimate goal at EAST is to bring "continual improvement" directly to you and your patients: leadership classes, surgical skills workshops, research scholarships, practice management guidelines, and injury prevention outreach are all examples of how EAST strives to continually improve the lives of our members as well as the lives of our patients. 

In fact, "continual improvement" is not optional for our profession - our patients, medical students, and fellows demand it.  As a result, Kaizen is not optional for EAST.  I am proud to say that EAST will never stop improving.  I look forward to another year of Kaizen. 

Imai would be proud. 

With respect, 

Bruce Crookes, MD FACS 

Leadership.  Development.  Scholarship.  Fellowship.  Collaboration.

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