ANS President William T. Couldwell's Message To AANS Membership Regarding Merger June 3, 2013 To all American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Members, As you are aware, there has been a call over the recent months for the AANS to reexamine the issue of whether the AANS and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) should merge into one membership association. We believe there has been incomplete and misleading information sent to our members regarding this issue. We wanted you to have access to better information, and to know that we have taken the issue very seriously and that we are addressing some of the concerns that have been raised. At the April 27 Council of State Neurosurgical Societies (CSNS) Plenary Session in New Orleans, this topic was discussed and thoroughly vetted as a Resolution that was presented at that meeting, and subsequently withdrawn by the Plenary Session delegates. In the robust discussions at that meeting’s Reference Committees, AANS Caucus meeting, and at the general CSNS Plenary Session, the histories and the ultimate impracticalities of both organizations merging were presented and assessed. A decade ago, both the CNS and AANS engaged a third-party mediator to explore with both associations’ leaders various merger models and their potential advantages and disadvantages to members. After more than six months of Neurocirugía-Neurocirugía / Vol. 22 / 2013
meetings at significant expense, it was determined that the material differences of mission, culture and governance structure rendered the possibility of a true merger impossible. We strongly believe that another attempt at forcing such a merger would have the same result and that this attempt would consume valuable resources from both organizations that could better be used to support our members. When Neurosurgery faces so many external threats we do not think it is in the best interest of our members or our patients for us to invest a great deal of effort and monetary resources into another quest at merging these organizations. In the debate during the CSNS New Orleans meetings, it was pointed out that, as with all neurosurgical professional organizations except the ABNS, membership is strictly and entirely voluntary. Those members who feel they no longer receive benefits from any association may simply terminate their membership at any time. The AANS leadership also announced to the membership at that April 27 Plenary Session a proposed solution to one of the most significant concerns of our members — a proposed amendment of AANS Bylaws that presently requires certain categories of AANS members to attend at least one of every three consecutive AANS Annual Scientific Meetings.