On Aug 1, Steve Van Hout became the executive director of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), succeeding Jerome A. Barrett, who retired after 21 years as executive director of the AASM.
“Steve represents the start of a new era for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and we are excited about the expertise and experience that he brings to the position,” says AASM president Ilene Rosen, MD, in a release. “Steve’s collaborative style, impeccable work ethic, and his understanding of our field and the members we serve will be a great asset as he and the board of directors work together to advance our strategic initiatives.”
Van Hout rose through the ranks of the organization over the past 15 years to become the director of information technology and then the director of organizational operations before being named assistant executive director in 2015. He also is an accomplished computer scientist who was the architect and visionary for some of the AASM’s resources, including the AASM SleepTM telemedicine system and the Inter-scorer Reliability assessment system.
“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity to work with our dedicated board of directors and talented staff to help the Academy achieve its mission to improve sleep health and promote high quality, patient-centered care,” says Van Hout. “I will ensure that our organization innovates to keep pace with the changing needs, priorities, and demographics of our membership.”
The board of directors hired an outside search firm and conducted a year-long search process to identify the next executive director. More than 50 candidates were considered before Van Hout was selected. This decision was announced on the morning of June 5 at the plenary session of the SLEEP 2017 annual meeting in Boston, and Van Hout was introduced to AASM members that afternoon at the organization’s general membership meeting. He now leads a professional society that has more than 60 full-time staff and a combined membership of 10,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists, and other healthcare professionals.
“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has a legacy of excellence as the leader in setting standards for the sleep field, and we will continue to equip our members with the resources they need to stay on the cutting edge of the practice of sleep medicine,” says Van Hout.