July 1, 2021
We are just a few days away from the opening of the 2021 Annual Meeting! After a year and a half of gathering without sharing science through our Society, we could not be more thrilled to meet again as a Society, whether in person or online!
As this is my final President’s Message, I would just like to thank everyone for their support over the last year and a half. Extending my tenure as president was never something that was planned, but thanks to the hard work of an outstanding Executive Committee, Council, Program Committee, Finance Committee, and our SRI staff, I am delighted to report that our Society has “weathered the storm” of the COVID-19 pandemic and an exciting meeting will be happening in July!
Two years ago, the SRI leadership and Council held a strategic planning meeting during which we developed several hypothetical scenarios of the future to consider and predict how the SRI might adapt to benefit its membership. While I must admit a Global Pandemic was not on our radar, the nimbleness of our leadership and dedication of our membership was certainly a topic of these discussions. The past year and a half has not been easy, but it stands as a testament to the strength of this community and our society.
Reflecting briefly over the past year, the Society adapted to this crisis in several imaginative ways. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SRI has conducted virtual meetings, webinars and seminars; and thanks to the many hours of hard work of Drs. Burd, Seli and Rueda, SRI is hosting our first ever hybrid meeting! Also in response to the pandemic, Dr. Nanette Santoro led task forces to respond to the circumstances and consider how best to serve our members. These task forces have done a terrific job as they responded, re-imagined, and renewed our Society. To address Diversity in our society, the Council created the position of Vice President for Diversity and Structural Change and Dr. Neal-Perry has begun her tenure as the inaugural VP. Furthermore, this past year SRI partnered with 20 like-minded organizations to join the Collective Action Addressing Racism initiative, led by ACOG. To address health disparities and inequities in funding for women’s research, the society supported advocacy for increased research funding. Additionally, Drs. Matthews and Mitchell are working to forge an international consortium to support reproductive research. Drs. Al-Hendy and Ku have launched new initiatives at Reproductive Sciences. A special shout out to Dr. Rozance and the Finance Committee for their work! I want to thank the stalwart members who donated their registration fees in March, 2020. These are just a few of many examples of special effort and selfless dedication to our Society. Truly, the SRI could not have weathered the storm without the efforts of our Executive Directors, Leah Miller and Anne Krowlikowski, with assistance from Kay Whalen, Morgan Derby-SRI Program manager, Ciera Arias-Administrative Coordinator, and Jamie Brouws-Meetings Manager. To all that have helped, a hearty thank you!
In closing, thank you all for the honor to serve our Society. I see so much potential for SRI in the future. The passion of our members and the quality of the science is only a fraction of the promise that this community holds. SRI is a vibrant and robust society that will continue to push forward to achieve its mission to advance reproductive science.
There is much to celebrate next week, and we hope that everyone is able to share in this very exciting meeting! Please join me with a warm welcome for Dr. Santoro as SRI President 2021-2022!
Jim Segars, MD
SRI President, 2019-2021