Francisco J. Lopez-Valdes, PhDDear colleagues,

It is amazing how fast time goes by! This is my last message as President of AAAM, as I will pass along the presidency to Dr. Federico Vaca during the upcoming 67th AAAM Conference in Indianapolis. Without any doubt, I have enjoyed this time very much, mostly by getting to collaborate closer with many amazing professionals who contribute to making our association truly unique. And I refer both to AAAM’s staff and to all the volunteers that contribute to the organization. So my first message in this letter is THANK YOU for this opportunity.

I hope that you have already made plans to attend the conference this year. The Scientific Program Committee has worked really hard to put together an excellent scientific program covering many of the cells of the Haddon Matrix to guarantee the interdisciplinarity of our group. The two excellent keynote speakers, Dr. Mary Pat McKay and Dr. Trent Victor will also contribute to this unique interdisciplinary perspective by highlighting aspects of post-crash care and investigation and automated driving. I would like to mention all the extra effort of the Annual Program subcommittee to manage the transition to partnering with Accident Analysis and Prevention, one of the leading journals in our field – it has not been easy and required a lot of extra time and effort. And the conference is a unique opportunity to meet old and new colleagues and discuss ideas and projects. I sincerely hope to see each of you there.

Looking back to these two years but, at the same time, looking into the future, the most relevant chapter in AAAM during this time has been the drafting and implementation of the Strategic Plan. The Board of Directors started this task in 2019, and it has been recently that the plan has been communicated to the SIGs and Committees so that it gets implemented. The main purpose of the plan is to achieve our mission of saving lives and reducing injuries worldwide. For that, the Board has identified that AAAM’s activities need to be impactful, innovative, international, and interdisciplinary. This will be the frame for all AAAM initiatives in the coming years. The plan will be communicated in detail during the Conference, but also through SIGs and Committees so that everyone can participate in its implementation. I believe that if we are faithful to the plan, we will see AAAM growing in many unexpected directions but, most of all, contributing to eliminating injuries in many places in the world. Is this not the reason why we joined this field?

I look forward to the future of AAAM under the leadership of Dr. Federico Vaca and thank you for your support during my time as president. May we all continue to use our voices and research to reduce and eliminate road traffic injuries worldwide.

Francisco J. Lopez-Valdes, PhD