Picture of Ciara Harraher, MD

Ciara Harraher, MD

CANS President

President's Message

As I sit down at my desk to write a “President’s Message”, I look out my window on what is usually a beautiful view. However, this last week due to the strong winds and general oversaturation from extensive rains, we lost one of our oldest Cypress trees. We think it is at least 80 years old. At first glance you can see that it fell across our driveway and broke our fence. My husband and I had both gone down that driveway moments before, each with a child in our car. So that part is scary. However, it avoided our home and three parked cars that were in our driveway at the time. So that part is fortunate.

This experience has gotten me thinking about change. In California there have always been cycles of rains, flooding, fire, and drought. Yet when it affects us personally, we are somehow surprised and resentful.  Now as I take over the day-to day business of CANS I am also confronted with the discomfort of change. Our organization needs to adapt and grow to meet the needs of California neurosurgeons. We are only reaching a small proportion of our practicing colleagues and we must look at the painful reality of why that is. Neurosurgeons are so busy being neurosurgeons that they may not see the value in being part of an organization like CANS. It is now my job, and that of your board, to convince them otherwise. Or we too face the possibility that we become irrelevant and come crashing down.

Rest assured that the CANS board and committees are already hard at work addressing multiple topics including increasing membership, improving communication and visibility, long-range planning and establishing clear policies and procedures. But this work involves change. Some of which might be uncomfortable for some of us.

One benefit to the tree falling is that now the entire front of our house has

more sunlight, and our view of the beautiful adjacent ridge line is much clearer. Change can force a new perspective. I hope CANS can face change with that in mind.