Supporting Families and Furthering Research

Alyssa KirkmanJournal, Water Cooler Chat

Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE headshot

Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE

I am a passionate, voracious reader.  While I prefer memoirs, historical fiction and thrillers – I have been accused of reading a wide variety of books. I attend author events and was inspired by Daniel J. Levitin several years ago at the Union League Club of Chicago. At the time, he was discussing his book The Organized Mind, Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. It is a tome; my autographed hard copy measures 1 ½ inches.

To expand the amount I could read, I began listening to books while I drove, paid bills, walked, flew…giving me the opportunity to finally begin The Organized Mind. Levitan combines the latest neuroscience while revealing various techniques to master the non-stop flow of information. He includes insights gleaned from interviews with successful leaders that are simple and transferrable. I am finding the book to be more about how our brain works than organization skills.

In the chapter “Organizing Information for the Hardest Decisions, when Life is on the Line”, he discusses the science of probability and Bayesian theory, which combines base rate information with other relevant diagnostic information. It underscores the importance of scientific research related to making difficult medical decisions. This chapter prompted me to think about difficult decisions our patients and families face along their journeys. I was reminded of the important role our members and teams play in working with families as they encountered these decisions; how we help patients and families wade through the data and information.

The book also reminded me of the role ACPA plays in furthering research and science related to cleft lip, cleft palate and craniofacial differences with ACPA’s Annual Meeting and The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal (CPCJ).  With that in mind, I’d like to recognize everyone who is working to submit abstracts to our 2019 meeting by September 19.  I’d also like to thank all of our CPCJ Peer Reviewers as we celebrate Peer Review Week. Thank you for your service to ACPA and the profession.