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 hosted virtually by our friends and colleagues in Bilbao, Spain. Although it was disappointing that we were not all able 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 after all the worry and concern of Covid-19 we were able to log-on and see so many familiar faces and welcome new colleagues. My compliments to Professor Andres Valdivieso and his colleagues for keeping faith and helping us deliver a Congress.
The scientific standard was extremely high, and thanks must be given to Professor Marc Besselink, Scientific Programme Chair and Ms Carol Nicol from the Management Office for pulling together a packed, exciting, and contemporary programme for us all to enjoy. We had over 800 registered delegates from 62 countries, and a record-breaking 812 abstracts presented.
It was a 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 come a great opportunity for our Association to grow and develop further, reaching more of the HPB community across all of Europe and Africa.
We have set strategic goals for membership and are looking to reach a membership of 1500 in the coming two years.
We are developing a mentorship programme which supports younger HPB surgeons and embraces diversity and the different needs of surgeons across our region.
In response to feedback, we are developing an educational day at congress to cover basic core aspects of HPB such as interpretation of liver MR and liver transection and haemostatic techniques.
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. We continue to provide a regular webinar programme to keep members up to date and informed of developments in HPB. 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.