Kannan Ramar, MBBS, MD, became the 35th president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) board of directors. Ramar assumed the role during the virtual AASM annual membership meeting. He will serve a one-year term as president of the AASM.

Ramar will lead an organization with a combined membership of 11,000 individual members and accredited member sleep centers. Individual members of the AASM community include physicians, scientists, and other health care professionals who provide care for patients who have sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea and chronic insomnia.

“During my term as president, the AASM will continue implementing our strategic plan, which we introduced to our members in January,” Ramar says in a release. “We are focused on raising awareness that sleep is essential to health, advocating to improve patient care, expanding the sleep team workforce, and positively influencing technology innovation to improve patient access to high quality, safe, and efficient sleep care.”

A member of the AASM since 2006, Ramar is a sleep medicine physician at the Center for Sleep Medicine and a professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn, where he serves as the safety officer for Mayo Clinic, Rochester and as the assistant dean of clinical learning environment optimization (CLEO) through the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education. He previously served as the education chair for the division and program director of the pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship programs. Ramar also serves on the board of directors of the AASM Foundation, American Board of Sleep Medicine, and Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety.

“As I begin my term during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to recognize the negative impact this crisis has had on the sleep quality, mental health, and emotional well-being of many people,” says Ramar. “In anticipation of a potential resurgence of COVID-19 later this year or next, the AASM will continue to equip sleep medicine professionals to be adaptable and innovative while advancing sleep care and optimizing care delivery.”

Ramar completed his medical education at the Madras Medical College in Chennai, India. He completed his residency at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and fellowships at the University of Wisconsin, the University of California, Irvine, and Stanford University.