Turn the Page


Scott C. Nelson, DPM, FACFAS
ACFAS President

I hope you didn’t take the title too seriously and literally turned the page. If not, thanks and as Clark W. Griswold would say, “Happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Hallelujah. Where’s the Tylenol?” 

It probably makes sense to start this off with a prayer and why not make it an Apache one that seems to be relevant. 

“Looking behind, I am filled with gratitude, looking forward, I am filled with vision, looking upwards I am filled with strength, looking within, I discover peace.” 

As we symbolically turn the page on 2020 and move on to 2021, looking back we can be grateful for what we have and carry hope for a better future this year. We can all take solace in the fact we are now stronger and smarter for what we have endured. I would hope we all have learned to look within ourselves and find peace. At some point, we can get back to being humans with genuine human interactions—one where the touch of human kindness can be returned and one where we don’t see each other as contami­nated sources of infection. That is the hope, but I know the future as well as your local weather expert. The bright and shining star is the Christmas miracle of a vaccine for COVID-19 being delivered akin to cousin Eddie showing up in his recreational vehicle—“that's an RV, Clark.”

Recollection of the history of vaccines should make you feel good about the outlook in the near future. Most of the vaccines used today represent a list of ‘forgotten diseases’ and it is a good thing to not have to worry about measles, mumps and tetanus. A great quote made by one of the pioneers in vaccination for polio, Dr. Jonas Salk states “There is hope in dreams, imagination, and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.” 

As we all dream, we need to have the courage and imagination to make it a reality and from the College’s standpoint, I believe we have that in place. Over the past year, I have updated you on current and future projects including our COVID-19 responses, political issues, research registry and our current plans for our Annual Scientific Con­ference. The ACFAS staff, committees, new education director, new executive director and Board members have all been fantastic and deserve so much credit for great ideas. They truly have your best interests in mind. 

“The need for imagination, as a sense of truth, and as a feeling of responsibility — these are the three forces, which are the very nerve of education.” — Rudolf Steiner. Imag­ination is required at this point for all of us, including the College. We have explored different options for our flagship program, our Annual Scientific Conference, and have developed a great game plan including virtual options as well as options for a face-to-face meeting. We may have the option of combining the two and that might be an exciting option to get in front of more of our members. We feel we have been upfront and honest in keeping our members’ health in mind as we make our decisions for our educational offerings. It seems we are trying to hit a moving target at this point, but developing three different options was the play call and intended to accomplish our goal. 

So as we begin to ‘turn the page’ on the pre­vious year, I’d like to bring it back to where this started. “The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin,” and I’d bet Clark’s Christmas bonus we will all get together soon! Because THAT will truly be “the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.” If we do, just don’t forget to save the neck for me.