Dr. Kelly A. Carden was announced as the 34th president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) board of directors. Carden assumed the role during SLEEP 2019, the 33rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), which is a joint venture of the AASM – the leading professional society in the medical subspecialty of sleep medicine – and the Sleep Research Society (SRS). She will serve a one-year term leading the physicians, scientists, advanced practice providers and allied health professionals who make up the AASM’s 10,000 members.
“It’s an honor to assume the position of president of the AASM,” said Carden. “This is an invigorating time for the field of sleep medicine as we seize new opportunities to expand our workforce and embrace new technologies.”
An AASM member since 2004, Carden has served on the board of directors since 2013, was secretary/treasurer from 2015 – 2018, and served a one-year term as president-elect from 2018 – 2019. With an interest in health policy, she also has served in multiple ways to help address practice management issues related to coding and reimbursement. She was a member and vice-chair of the Health Care Policy Committee and chair of the Coding and Compliance Committee, and she was the AASM advisor to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel of the American Medical Association (AMA). She also has lectured extensively, most recently giving a presentation at the AASM’s annual Sleep Medicine Trends course, during which she described the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants as members of the sleep team.
“We need to provide an opportunity for the millions of people with untreated sleep disorders to receive a diagnosis and effective treatment, as undiagnosed sleep disorders increase the risk of chronic diseases and mental health problems,” said Carden. “One of my top priorities as president is for the AASM to lead the way in improving patient access to sleep care by involving primary care physicians, advanced practice providers and other medical specialists in a collaborative, team-based approach.”
A practicing sleep physician with Saint Thomas Medical Partners – Sleep Specialists in Nashville, Tennessee, Carden earned her medical degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, and she completed her residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Carden then completed fellowships in pulmonary medicine, critical care, and sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She now devotes all of her clinical time to the practice of sleep medicine.
Another of Carden’s priorities is to help medical providers understand how to leverage new sleep technologies to improve patient care.
“Sleep medicine is primed to take the lead in health care innovation,” she said. “I’m eager to help the AASM continue to explore how disruptors – such as artificial intelligence, consumer wearables and big data – can help us provide even better care for patients.”