Dear E-AHPBA members,
It is with pleasure that I write these few words as a contribution to the Newsletter. After the very successful IHPBA 2018 congress in Geneva, we are getting closer and closer to the next E-AHPBA meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in June 2019. I sincerely hope to meet many of you there. As this is my last contribution to the Newsletter as the Secretary General of the E-AHBPA, I am going to write a few words as a summary of some important achievements in the past 4-5 years under the guidance of our presidents Claudio Bassi, Martin Smith and Christos Dervenis.
In short, the enormous success of the E-AHPBA and IHPBA congresses held within the region over the past two years, have contributed to a three-fold membership growth. The harmonization process, combing IHPBA and E-AHPBA membership, has also had a major impact on this growth. Equally, more focus was given towards encouraging young surgeons and allied health professionals to join, as well as multi-disciplinarily. These initiatives , in turn, have also helped to stabilize the E-AHPBA financially.
In this context, it is important to mention the increasing development of National Chapters. Most recently, the Israeli chapter, the Belgian chapter and the Polish chapter were created. All national chapters are mentioned on the E-AHPBA website. Here and there, people have joined forces across countries and have created National Chapters such as the Scandinavian chapter, the West-East Balkan chapter and the MENA Chapter (Middle East and the Arab World). Such collaborations are wholeheartedly supported by the E-AHPBA and obviously make it easier to apply for example for organizing the E-AHPBA or IHPBA biennial congress.
In terms of teaching and training, in the past year, several courses have been organized by members of the E-AHPBA to train people with an interest in HPB. Thus, there was the post-graduate Liver Malignancies Course in Innsbruck (Austria) in May 2018, the Introductory Course on robotic surgery in Ghent (Belgium) in November 2018 and the post-graduate course on Pancreatic Cancer in Athens (Greece) in January 2019. According to the E-AHPBA education pyramid, these were endorsed with the Gold Seal. At the E-AHPBA congress in Amsterdam congress, there will be another post-graduate course on randomized controlled trials.
It has been a pleasure to work as the Secretary General for the E-AHPBA.
Kees Dejong, E-AHPBA Secretary General