As the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to reflect on the activity of the Association in recent months as we prepared, contributed to and enjoyed our very first virtual congress E-AHPBA 2021.
In September, the 14th Congress of the E-AHPBA was virtually and hosted by our friend and colleagues in Bilbao, Spain. Although it was disappointing that we were not all about to travel and meet in person in Bilbao, I am sure you will agree that the Congress was a huge success. It was wonderful that event after all the worry and concern of Covid-19 we were able to log-on and see many familiar faces and to welcome new colleagues. My compliments to Professor Andres Valdivieso and his colleagues for keeping faith and helping us deliver a Congress where many organisations had decided to postpone or cancel.
The scientific standard was extremely high, and thanks must be awarded to Professor Marc Besselink, Scientific Programme Chair and Ms Carol Nicol from the Management Office for pulling together a jam-packed, exciting and current programme for us all to enjoy. We had over 800 registered delegates from 62 countries, and a record-breaking 812 abstracts presented.
It was memorable meeting, and we look forward to when we can meet face-to-face again in Lyon 2023.Following the Congress and General Assembly there have been many changes in the Council, which we will outline further in this Newsletter. With these changes comes a great opportunity for our Association to grow and develop further, reaching more of the HPB community in our region.
The Council and Committees of the Association have recently met and outlined exciting and ambitious goals moving forward. We have set strategic goals for membership and are looking to reach a membership of 1500 in the coming two years. We aim value diversity and work to actively promote equity and inclusion within the HPB community. Professor Isabella Frigerio from the Executive Committee has aims to start a Mentorship Programme which we hope to be able to roll out to all trainees that would be interested. Of course, the Education Committee under the leadership of Professor Wojciech Polak continue to develop an in-depth Course Programme in line with the UEMS Syllabus to assist trainee surgeons with preparation for the UEMS Exam. All course information can be found on our website.
As always, we truly appreciate your ongoing support, and we welcome suggestions as to how we can improve our Association and make it more relevant to your professional life and to ultimately help improve the care of our patients.
I appreciate the honour of being your President and look forward to working with you all over the next couple of years.