Message from the EAST President

Friday, December 17, 2021

It is so hard to believe that 2021 is coming to an end so quickly.  This will be my last newsletter as President, and it is so great to see what Dr. Stein will do during her year as President of EAST.  Thank you for allowing me to serve such an incredible organization. We have seen our beloved organization grow to become over 3000 members.

You should be receiving a ballot to vote on the bylaw’s changes.  These suggested changes are a result of EAST leadership working to modernize the language of our bylaws and to remove restrictions of office based solely on age.  The key mission of EAST is as follows:

EAST is a scientific organization providing leadership and development for [early career] surgeons active in the care of the injured patient through interdisciplinary collaboration, scholarship, and fellowship.

I have discussed the proposed bylaws changes with past presidents and leaders as well as many other members who are also supportive of the changes.  We look forward to continuing to move EAST forward to be the best trauma organization in the world.  This can only be done through transparency and involvement from membership.

I would like to personally thank all of you for providing care for our patients, especially during these past two years.  We have witnessed two major society events which have pushed our profession to new highs and some new lows: a viral pandemic and gun violence epidemic.  Many of us have stepped up to care for patients outside of our comfort zone to help patients, our health care system, our communities, and humanity.  At the same time, we have experienced personal loss of family, patients, and even colleagues from Covid.  Health care professionals have given the ultimate sacrifice to help others.  Several of us have also experienced skyrocketing numbers of trauma patients after gun violence.  I would like to thank you for all that you do.

It is evident that providing care to these patients in the current environment wears on our souls.  I encourage you to find things to recharge and rejuvenate yourselves.  For me, it is family activities and having purpose in what I do.  One fantastic recharging event is attending the EAST Annual Assembly.  I really hope to see people there and can’t wait to recharge with you.

In closing, I would like to thank all the supportive EAST members for accomplishing all that you did and all that you will achieve.  Thank you to the EAST staff and Board for all the support.  My colleagues at MetroHealth have diverse backgrounds and serve so many roles from providers, administrative support, to coordinating care, and providing program management support.  I can not thank you enough for your hard work and dedication. Lastly, I would like to publicly thank my wife Becky for all that she does for our family.  Thank you.

Jeffrey A. Claridge, MD, MS, FACS
President, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma

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