During the past five years, the American Society of Nephrology has seen significant membership growth. ASN now represents a more complete picture of the nephrology community, including a significant international presence and health professionals across many job roles and interest areas. To engage with this diverse membership, ASN has established a new member benefit: ASN Communities.
ASN Communities provide an online platform for discussion, networking, and collaboration among nephrologists around the world. Unveiled in March 2016, the Communities allow members to connect to each other, to the society, and to the broader kidney community. Every ASN member has access to the ASN Communities and may log in through the ASN website with the same username and password they already use.
By providing many options for engaging with colleagues, the Communities are designed to fit the busy lifestyle of ASN members. Daily digest emails summarize the latest conversations, allowing members to keep up with discussions on their own time. Members may respond to or begin a new thread via email from any device. The site also includes a resource library, allowing members to share presentations, documents, videos, and more. The site even recommends contacts based on individual interests, institution, or geographical area.
For the past two months, the society has tested the site with a small group of members in an effort to create an easy-to-use and valuable platform. During that time, members have used the Communities to get advice on issues they face in daily practice, to share ideas on addressing nephrology workforce issues, and to provide input to the society on public policy matters. Kidney professionals from around the world—including Bahrain, China, India and Italy—have all engaged with ASN Communities, interacting with professionals at all levels, from nephrology fellows to “seasoned” nephrologists. ASN members engaged in the Communities represent all the different facets of nephrology: PhD basic researchers, academics, practicing nephrologists, and many more.
As engagement grows, the Communities will become a venue for topical debates, “Ask the Expert” opportunities, and journal article discussions. Over the coming months, ASN plans to introduce interest-based communities, which will serve as a virtual home for members interested in in-depth discussions about a specific subject area with like-minded peers. Every member interested in a subject area will be able to join the group and be a part of exciting, relevant discussions led by engaged and respected Community leaders. Once established, each community will be able to have a voice in selecting its own leadership. The ASN Communities will also streamline member input on important topics, such as integrated care delivery models, maintenance of certification, and educational interests. The Communities will ensure ASN activities and priorities accurately reflect the vast interests of the society’s growing membership.
To explore the new ASN Communities site, visit community.asn-online.org and join the conversation.