Season Greetings to Our ICMRS Members and Friends,
As we count down the days to the new 2021, I have never been so eager in my life to turn the pages of the calendar and welcome the arrival of a new year. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first group of COVID patients reported in the hospital. One month after the first case, the entire city of Wuhan was locked down due to the outbreak. Two months later, COVID cases emerged in Europe and the US, escalating the disease from an epidemic to a pandemic. Since then, new rules and travel restrictions have been set in many areas across the world, effectively severing in-person networking and collaboration among ICMRS members. This year has been extremely challenging for all of us.
With support from our members, ICMRS has responded quickly to the changing world. Earlier this year, we organized a mask donation and distribution program that collected and delivered protective masks first to our frontline surgeons in China Collaboration Centers and then to our members in hotspots throughout the US. As it became clear that travel would not be possible, we adapted to the new reality by establishing the biweekly Scientific Frontier Webinar Series. To date, 16 ICMRS members have given lectures at this seminar series with attendance from all over the world. We continued our efforts to recruit the best researchers/clinicians and expand our influence in the musculoskeletal field. This year, we welcomed 29 new Lifetime Members (LTMs) and 2 Collaboration Centers to our society, expanding the LTM family to 243 members and the Centers to 34 members. We also organized the first online membership meeting in September with a record number of attendees. While the virus disrupted our routines, we deployed new strategies to keep our society connected and moving forward. All of us can be justifiably proud of how well we performed and how much we achieved in 2020.
Looking forward, with the promise of several COVID vaccines, we are currently planning for the 5th International Chinese Musculoskeletal Research Conference (ICMRC) to be held in November 2021. We look forward to seeing each other in Shanghai at that time. One lesson from this year is that while technology is advancing, face-to-face conferences are far more effective and desirable in sharing research findings and establishing new collaborations. I hope you will all share our optimism for the future.With a few days left in 2020, we would like to thank you for your continued support through this eventful and difficult year. We wish all our members a Happy Holiday Season, and we wish you and your loved ones safety, health and happiness in the new year of 2021!
Ling Qin Yi-Xian Qin
President Chair of Board of Directors