President's Blog
  • May 09, 2017 9:33 AM | Anonymous
  • December 23, 2016 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    December 22, 2016

    Dear MASM member,

    It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of MASM. I greatly appreciated the support and the vote of confidence that membership gave me during my term as your President.  I am passing on the baton of presidency onto Mark Goetting, MD, who has a wealth of experience and a passion for the field of Sleep Medicine.

    This past year due to efforts from professional organization(s) as ours, AASM and others, sleep disorders are being recognized as public health problem. Many insurances are waking up to the staggering cost of untreated obstructive sleep apnea and have plans to increase the screening for obstructive sleep apnea in its members.

    I envision that the coming years are going to very busy with increasing referrals to accredited sleep centers in Michigan. MASM members should brace to provide timely, cost effective, efficient and chronic management to patients with sleep disorders. Board certified sleep medicine physicians may need to collaborate with primary care physicians and other sub-specialty clinics to provide increased access to comprehensive assessments using innovative approaches such as Telemedicine. Challenges are inevitable as we have learned over the last few years but MASM has been advocating the value of board certified sleep medicine physicians to major insurances across Michigan. 

    MASM Board of Directors and Election Results

    I appreciate all MASM members who voted and election results are in. The incoming Board of Directors (BODs) will include: Mark Goetting, MD, as President, Q. Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, MD, as President-Elect, Cynthia Nichols, PhD, as Secretary-Treasurer, Soumya Madala, MD, Lee Marmion, MD and Mark Garwood as Directors, with me as Past-President. The next Board of Directors will be scheduled in March/April, 2017 in south-east Michigan. Karen Carter will continue to provide administrative support to our academy. Please feel free to write to her at with questions or concerns.

    MASM Annual Conference

    Our last annual meeting in October, 2016 in Bay City was a success under the leadership of

    Dr. Narendra Kumar and support from you, the MASM membership. We were able to provide higher CME and CE credits for the conference in comparison to prior years. Speakers and lecturers presented topics that were current and relevant to the practice of sleep medicine.  Recommendations for future conferences taken from the evaluations will be considered at the next board meeting. The 2017 meeting will be held in the Lansing area in October under leadership of Chandra Gera, MD, and Ashok Gupta, MD. Stay tuned for dates and venue as they are finalized.

    MASM Awards

    MASM recognized a clinician as well as a technologist with the President’s award this year. MASM intends to bestow the award at MASM conference annually. Please feel free to write to Karen Carter if you have any nomination(s) with a short narrative about the nominee for BODs consideration.

    MASM also recognized MASM members for their scholarly activities with “Excellence in Research” award. MASM plans to do this annually, please stay tuned for an announcement on submission of application(s) coming in spring of 2017.

    Call for Volunteers at MASM Committees

    Committees were created this year with an intention to strengthen MASM, making it more effective and increasing member participation. I greatly appreciate the MASM members who volunteered and had the opportunity to work with many of them very closely.  Many of the committee members felt it was a rewarding experience and we are seeking volunteers for the coming year. I would encourage interested MASM members to write to Karen Carter with your CV and a bio sketch.

    In 2017 Health Policy Committee, would be chaired by R. Bart Sangal, MD, Education & Practice Management Committee would be chaired Cynthia Nichols, PhD, Membership Committee would be chaired by Soumya Madala, MD and Annual Conference Planning Committee would be co-chaired by Chandra Gera, MD and Ashok Gupta, MD.

    Healthy MASM

    MASM remains in a healthy financial condition with support from the membership dues as well as participation from members at the conference. MASM members should have received membership due reminder, please renew your membership for 2017 and encourage your colleagues or co-workers to renew or join. Membership dues can be paid online at

    I wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.


    Neeraj Kaplish, MD

    President, MASM

  • August 12, 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    Dear MASM Members,

    Hope everyone is enjoying the summer and I wanted to provide updates to the membership of Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM). Public awareness on the importance of sleep has been increasing as our understanding of the ill effects of poor sleep has advanced. This is an exciting and challenging time for sleep medicine as the field needs to maximize its workforce to provide easier and quicker access to the services of a sleep disorders center. I encourage our membership to read the editorial published in Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: This was one of the hot topics for discussion at the recent APSS meeting in Colorado, Denver.MASM Members: 

    Making News and Providing Leadership Roles:

    Ronald D. Chervin MD, MS- President, AASM

    Please join me in congratulating University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Director; Dr. Ronald D Chervin who became the 31 st President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). Dr. Chervin has been a long time contributing MASM member who has provided direction to our professional society in the past. MASM has worked with AASM on many occasions in the past and we look forward to collaborating with Dr. Chervin during his one-year term as AASM President. I asked Dr. Chervin for his thoughts on MASM and he shared this:

    Dear Colleagues and MASM members,

    It was great to see many of you in Denver, at SLEEP 2016, and I hope your summer has gone well since then.  Sleep medicine has never been more exciting, as a profession that can have profound positive impact on patients, and as a frontier field when it comes to discovery and advances in human health.  As the oldest and one of the most active state sleep societies, the MASM is in an outstanding position to assist with making our practice here in Michigan as effective as possible.  On a national level the AASM is taking every opportunity to make you more effective in providing high quality care in sleep medicine. However, the MASM has the unique opportunity to address local and regional issues, and especially payer policies that can constrain or more hopefully facilitate provision of optimal sleep health on a daily basis.  With an outstanding President and Board, a new rotating fall meeting venue, and a record of outstanding annual conference speakers for many years now, I am looking forward to seeing this year set new records for the success of the organization in bringing together Michigan’s sleep community and building our reputation as one of the best states in which to receive sleep health care.


    Ronald D. Chervin, MD, MS

    Professor of Neurology, University of Michigan

    President, AASM

    Anita V. Shelgikar, MD, Past Chair, Sleep Medicine Fellowship Directors Council (SMFDC)

    Dr. Shelgikar completed her term as the Chair of SMFDC and continues to be a contributing member of the Education Committee of AASM. She is the program director of the University of Michigan fellowship program.

    Neeraj Kaplish, MD, Vice Chair Insurance Policy Review Committee (IPRC)

    I was named the Vice Chair of the IPRC which has been mandated with the task to develop recommendations from published AASM Guidelines which insurances can use to establish policies.

    Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, MBBS, MD, Member Accreditation Committee

    Dr. Uzzaman continues to play an active role on the accreditation committee which recently updated the Standards for Accreditation.MASM Annual Conference, October 7 th and 8 th , 2016 in Bay City, Michigan

    Our Annual Conference Planning Committee has put together a stellar speaker list for the upcoming annual conference. Our Keynote Speaker will be Alon Y Avidan, MD, MPH, Professor of Neurology at UCLA. Two of our featured speakers Dr. George Kipa and Luke Rolling will provide updates on Telemedicine. Dr. Anuj Chandra will provide an overview on Pediatric Sleep Medicine. In collaboration with AASM, we hope to provide up to 13 CME and CE credits for conference attendees on both days of conference.

    In addition, we will have a Special Dinner Event with a presentation on Friday evening, Oct 7, 2016 at 7 PM by Program Chair, Dr. Narendra Kumar.

    Excellence in Research Award Winners

    I greatly appreciated the efforts of membership committee, especially Dr. Leroy Marmion, for evaluating and grading the abstracts submitted for the 1 st MASM “Excellence in Research” award. Despite a late announcement, there were more submissions than we had anticipated.

    Congratulation to the winners:

    1st Place: Galit Levi Dunietz, MD: “Factors Associated with Parent Support for Later School Start Times”

    2nd Place: Talha Memon, MD: ”Gender Differences in Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Diagnosis by Home Sleep Apnea Test (HSAT)”

    3rd Place: Dezmond Sumter, MD: “Efficacy of Oral Appliance Therapy in Patients with persistent Obstructive Sleep Apnea following Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty”

    Winners will be awarded with complimentary registration for the conference, a plaque and cash awards at the Annual Conference on October 8 th during the membership meeting.

    Research Opportunities and Grants

    During my year as President, I intend to provide information to the membership on research projects or awards. I learned recently that American Sleep Medicine Foundation (ASMF) is accepting applications for the 2016 Focused Projects Award. Projects can involve a wide variety of topics or research questions that may involve patient outcomes, quality metrics or other related aspects. Applications must be received at the ASMF office no later than 11:59 PM CDT on August 29 th , 2016. Please review the full announcement at the ASMF website at

    President’s Award 2016

    MASM will recognize a clinician and also a technologist for their contributions and efforts. MASM membership is encouraged to recommend a deserving fellow MASM member colleague who has contributed to the field of sleep medicine in any capacity. Any nomination for the award must be accompanied by a paragraph supporting the nominee’s candidature and sent to Karen Carter at Each nomination will be reviewed by the MASM Board of Directors.

    AASM Updated the Scoring Manual and Standards for Accreditation.

    AASM has recently updated the scoring manual and standards for accreditation. MASM members will soon be receiving a letter from members of the Education and Practice Management Committee, Drs. Skiba and Nichols, who have worked hard on summarizing the updates.

    Efforts from the MASM membership are greatly appreciated in continuing to provide outstanding care to patients with sleep disorders and impacting their overall health.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone in Bay City, Michigan on Oct. 7 th and 8 th !


    Neeraj Kaplish, MD


  • April 20, 2016 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    The Michigan Academy of Sleep Medicine (MASM) Board of Directors (BOD) met in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 5th, 2016. We had a very productive meeting and I would like to share some actions with you, the membership, so you are aware of the direction the MASM is taking, especially regarding issues important to our field.

    Open Position on the MASM Board

    MASM Board nominated and Q. Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, MD accepted the position for Director to BOD. Dr. Uzzaman is the Director of the Ann Arbor VA Sleep Disorders Center. She has been active in AASM as a member of the Telemedicine Implementation Task Force as well as Accreditation Committee. MASM stands to benefit from her expertise and experience.

    MASM Annual Conference: Oct 7thand 8th, 2016

    • In 2016, our annual conference will be held at Bay Valley Resort and Golf Course ( in Bay City MI under the leadership of Dr. Narendra Kumar. Please mark your calendars and MASM with AASM will send “Save the Date!” notices soon.

    • The planning committee is reaching out to potential speakers for the conference. As the preliminary program becomes available it will be posted on MASM website (

    • Board discussed and appreciated the feedback provided by MASM members from our last conference. We anticipate AASM support to provide CME and CE credits for conference attendees on both days of conference. We hope to have our 2017 conference in Lansing area.

    • Registration fees for the conference for MASM members would remain the same as last year.

    MASM Committees

    In an effort to be more effective, efficient and increase member participation, the board discussed our present Health Policy Committee and formation of new committees. I am very pleased that many board members volunteered for the committees. Re-appointments to the committees would be conducted on a yearly basis. MASM member volunteers would be sought for open positions. BOD approved the following committees:

    • Health Policy Committee

    Mandate: Monitor the insurer policies for adherence with published practice guidelines. Recommendations and feedback to insurer on present or future evaluation, diagnostic and treatment strategies in the field of sleep medicine.

    Chair: R. Bart Sangal, MD

    Members: Harvey Organek MD, Mark Goetting MD and Mark Garwood, MD

    • Annual Conference Planning Committee

    Mandate: Coordinate educational initiatives; solicit speakers and vendors that will enhance the conference experience of attendees. Coordinate with local convention bureau or local hospitality companies for convention information, housing, parking, etc.

    Chair: Narendra Kumar, MD

    Members: Neeraj Kaplish MD, Harvey Organek MD, Soumya Madala MD, Judy Fetterolf, Julie Day, Greg Miller and Karen Carter,

    • Education and Practice Management Committee

    Mandate: Review and provide feedback to AASM on changes in accreditation and scoring manual. Provide updates to MASM member on changes in accreditation standards requirements.

    Chair: Neeraj Kaplish, MD

    Members: Cynthia Nichols, PhD, Q. Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, MD and Virginia Skiba MD

    • Membership Committee

    Mandate: Recruit and renew members. Develop and implement a membership marketing strategy. Highlight the contributions and publications from MASM members.

    Chair: Marmion Leroy, MD

    Members: Soumya Madala MD, Q. Afifa Shamim-Uzzaman, MD, Jennifer Speller, RPSGT, Ashley Brown, RPSGT, Lorraine Brierley, RPSGT

    Job Postings on MASM website

    Board agreed that MASM members would benefit if open job positions could be listed on MASM website. The option is being researched and updates willbe provided.

    President’s Award 2016

    Last year, MASM recognized Dr. Sangal for his contributions. This year as well MASM would recognize a clinician but also a technologist for their contributions and efforts.

    Administrative Support

    Karen Carter at the Wayne County Medical Society continues to provide exemplary administrative service to our academy. She may be reached at


    Neeraj Kaplish, MD

  • January 04, 2016 4:14 PM | Anonymous

    This is my last letter to you as President. It has been a privilege serving with the Board and you as President for the past year. It is an honor to pass the Presidency onto Neeraj Kaplish’s capable and energetic hands on January 1, 2016. Working together, we continue to achieve a lot, but there is always more to be done. Let us continue to work together, in order to strengthen the role of Sleep Medicine in the health of Michigan’s people.

    1. The election results are in. The incoming Board of Directors will include , Neeraj Kaplish, MD as President, Mark Goetting as President-Elect, Cindy Nichols, PhD as Secretary-Treasurer, Lee Marmion, MD and Soumya Madala, MD as Directors, with me as Past-President.

    That leaves one position on the Board open as a result of Dr. Goetting being elected President. A replacement to complete the term of his vacant position, according to the bylaws, will be filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at their next meeting. The meeting will be scheduled in the near future by Dr. Kaplish.

    2. We had a very successful annual meeting in October, 2015, at the EMU Student Center, Ypsilanti, under the leadership of Neeraj Kaplish, MD. The lectures and speakers addressed issues we face at the patient care level as well as a profession. Physician attendance was sharply up, and attendees have received their CME/CEU certificates from the AASM by now.

    3. The 2016 meeting will be held on September 1 - October 1, 2016, in the Saginaw-Bay City area under the leadership of Narendra Kumar, MD. Please mark your calendars.

    4. We hope to rotate the 2017 meeting site to the Lansing area.

    5. I had the honor and pleasure of presenting to our Past-President, Dr. Bart Sangal, the first annual, Physician of Excellence Award. Dr. Sangal has long served our community, advocating and lobbying on behalf of our profession at local, regional, and national professional organizations, and governments while conducting a full time private practice and publishing research.

    6. We continue to dialogue with various third party payers in Michigan over the past year. We continue to have variable success in positively influencing their medical policies relating to Sleep Medicine. We have had more success in helping to correct implementation issues that have negatively impacted upon our ability to care for our patients and conduct our practices. Continued work is needed.

    7. Dr. Sangal continued to represent our organization with the Healthy Sleep Project, which is funded by the CDC and led by the AASM. National Healthy Sleep Awareness Project launched the ‘Awake at the Wheel’ public education campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of drowsy driving in order to reduce avoidable motor vehicle accidents and save lives.

    8. We are in a healthy financial situation. Your membership dues and meeting attendance keep us this way. In addition, conservative management of the monies by the Board and by our Treasurer, in particular, has kept us healthy.

    9. The AASM has sent out membership reminders. If you have not already renewed your membership for 2016, please do so, and invite your friends in Sleep Medicine to renew (or to join if they are not yet members). You may renew at

    10. Karen Carter at the Wayne County Medical Society continues to provide exemplary administrative service to our academy. She may be reached at

    Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

    Harvey W. Organek, MD, President, MASM

  • December 28, 2014 11:31 AM | Anonymous
    This is my last letter to you as President. It has been a privilege serving you as President for the past two years, and it is an honor to pass the Presidency into Harvey Organek’s capable hands on January 1, 2015. Working together, we have achieved a lot, but there is much more to be done. Let us continue to work together, in order to strengthen the role of Sleep Medicine in the health of Michigan’s people.

    1. The election results are in. The incoming Board of Directors will include Harvey Organek, MD as President, Neeraj Kaplish, MD as President-Elect, Cindy Nichols, PhD, as Secretary-Treasurer, Lee Marmion, MD, Mark Goetting, MD and Chandra Gera, MD as Directors, with me as Past-President.

    2. We had a very successful annual meeting in October, 2014, at Grand Rapids, MI, under the leadership of Lee Marmion, MD. Attendance was sharply up, and attendees have received their CME/CEU certificates from the AASM by now.

    3. The 2015 meeting will be held on October 2 and 3, 2015, at Ann Arbor, MI, under the leadership of Neeraj Kaplish, MD. Please mark your calendars.

    4. The 2016 meeting will be held at Saginaw, under the leadership of Narendra Kumar, MD.

    5. We had a successful presentation at the Michigan State Medical Society annual meeting in Troy, MI in October 2014.

    6. We have worked hard to create a dialogue with various third party payers in Michigan over the last couple years. We have had variable success (more with some than with others) in positively influencing their medical policies relating to Sleep Medicine (consonant with Clinical Guidelines and Standards of Practice). Continuing work will be needed.

    7. We are in a healthy financial situation. Your membership dues and meeting attendance keep us this way.

    8. The AASM has sent out membership reminders. If you have not already renewed your membership for 2015, please do so, and invite your friends in Sleep Medicine to renew (or to join if they are not yet members). You may renew at

    9. There will be survey coming soon. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, please email Karen Carter.

    10. Karen Carter at the Wayne State Medical Society continues to provide exemplary administrative service to our academy. She may be reached at

    Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!

    R. Bart Sangal, MD, President, MASM

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