It is hard to believe that two years have passed since I began my tenure as President of the AUPN, but indeed they have, and the time to pass the torch is upon us. Certainly, the years of 2020 through 2021 will go down in history as two of the most challenging years of this century worldwide, due to the ravages of the COVID pandemic. In early 2020, as the pandemic was just beginning, we at the AUPN had already begun to plan for an enhanced level of digital engagement, and the last two years have been transformational for the AUPN in very positive ways. Our pivot to webinar-based seminars, workshops, and programs enabled us to increase the frequency and depth of our interaction with our members (and also the interaction of our members with each other), resulting in record levels of attendance and AUPN membership. During this time, we have conducted over 26 virtual programs (double the number of total sessions of previous years), including our very first Women Leaders in Neurology program, and our first VA Director’s Workshop, a program we inaugurated after inclusion of the Chiefs of academically-affiliated VA Neurology Services into AUPN membership.
We also created, produced and launched the highly popular AUPN Leadership Minute segments. Over 20 Leadership Minutes have been produced over the last two years, along with the launch of the AUPN Leading Edge podcast series. Together, these new digital offerings have been accessed over 1000 times, which is quite remarkable for an organization of our size. Our most recent AUPN Leadership Minute, Putting the Burn on Burnout, presented by Dr. Corman O'Donovan (Wake Forest) and moderated by Dr. Rohit Das (University of Texas, Southwestern) was just released. Also starting in 2020, our Saturday newsletter was revised and retooled to provide even more timely and relevant information, not only about the offerings of the AUPN, but also on a variety of leadership topics, along with a wide range of engagement opportunities for the Chairs in our allied neurology organizations and with other AUPN partners.