As the year is progressing quickly, I feel it is timely to look back on the events that have happened since the majority of us met in Amsterdam early summer and to plan for the remainder of the year.
In June, the 13th Congress of the E-AHPBA was held in Amsterdam. The event was a huge success. It was wonderful to see many familiar faces and to welcome new colleagues. We had over 967 registered delegates from 62 countries, 526 abstracts for posters presented and over 200 oral presentations. My compliments to Professor Olivier Busch and his colleagues for organising and hosting such an outstanding meeting. I would also thank our management team led by Carol Nicol for all their hard work and efficiency. I would like to congratulate all who presented abstracts and made oral presentations. The scientific standard was extremely high. Congratulations are also due to the successful candidates who sat the UEMS HPB examination which was held during Congress. We certainly had a memorable and enjoyable time and now can look forward to Bilbao in 2021.
Our Association is at an exciting stage of growth and development. There have been many changes in the Council, which we will outline further in this Newsletter. I would like to highlight two new positions. We have for the first time created the posts of Secretary General-Elect and Treasurer-Elect within the Council and Executive. This will improve continuity and enhance our deliberations. I am delighted that Professors Roberto Salvia and Maximillian Bockhorn have accepted these appointments and I look forward to their contributions in the coming years.
The Amsterdam Congress was a productive week for the Council and Committees of the Association. There was an extensive meeting schedule which has in turn generated exciting and ambitious deliverables for the Association. We have set strategic goals for each of the Standing Committees which we believe will deliver added membership benefits and see real growth for the E-AHPBA. As an example; the Education Committee under the leadership of Professor Wojciech Polak is working to develop an in-depth Course Programme in line with the UEMS Syllabus to assist trainee surgeons with preparation for the UEMS Exam. As I write, we have two courses planned for Guadalajara, Spain in February and in London, England in May. Details can be found on our website. In addition, the Education Committee in collaboration with the Innovation and Development Committee are running level 1 and 2 Robotic training courses in the ORSI academy in Ghent, Belgium. Level 1 was delivered successfully in September and Level 2 is planned for late November. This will give established surgeons opportunities to train with these new innovations and technologies. Again, details can be found on the website. Places are limited for the November and I would encourage interested members to sign up now.
We always appreciate your ongoing support and input and welcome suggestions as to how we can improve our Association and make it more relevant to your professional life. I appreciate the honour of being your President and look forward to working with you all over the next couple of years.