Dear E-AHPBA members,
It has been some time since I have written to you in a newsletter, and I am sure you will all agree that 2020 has been a year we will never forget. For our members, the COVID pandemic has been horrendous for their patients, hospital and communities and many of us have faced challenges we have never encountered but we have built a resilience as we have dealt with this unprecedented pandemic.
Even through this time the Association has continued its work, meetings have continued online throughout the region, new chapters have been formed, and we have launched some of the initiatives agreed upon during the strategy meetings held in Amsterdam.
Firstly, I must cast your mind to earlier this year and advise that our first Gold Seal Post-Graduate Course of 2020 took place at the beginning of February in Guadalajara, Spain. The course was focused on Bile Duct and organised by Professor Jose Ramia and Professor Fernando Pardo. It was also paired with an UEMS HPB exam organised by Professor Michelle De Oliveira. Overall, both were really successful, and I personally thank all involved for their passion and dedication on making this course a success. Little did we know then what they would have had to face in Guadalajara because of Covid.
This course was followed by the launch of registration for the E-AHPBA Gold Seal Post-Graduate Course on Pancreas in London, United Kingdom. It was originally scheduled from 28-29 May 2020; however, this will now be rescheduled in too 2021. More information regarding this will be posted on the education section of the E-AHPBA Website.
Even with the postponement of the Gold Seal Post-Graduate Course on Pancreas we are delighted to announce that we will be running two Gold Seal Courses on Liver before the end of the year. We are all too aware of the restriction in travel and therefore will aim to make these courses available online. The first course will be in my hometown of Dublin, Ireland on Friday 13th November organised by Professor’s Tom Gallagher and Emir Hoti and the second will be in Zurich, Switzerland from 3-4th December 2020 organised by Professor Michelle De Olivera. More information regarding these courses will be sent to our members in the coming weeks and posted on the education section of the E-AHPBA Website.
As part of our strategic goal of increasing our educational activities in the run up towards E-AHPBA 2021 in Bilbao we are planning an exciting series of short educational webinars. The first two webinars took place in September and were hugely successful; you can catch up with the recording and download the resources on the E-AHPBA Website. The webinars are be open to members and free of charge. They cover a range of topics within the HBP field and we look forward to sharing more of the programme with you all soon.
Most importantly, we are excited to be planning a virtual element to our 14th E-AHPBA Congress in Bilbao. Covid-19 has changed the congress industry and we are working with the local organising committee to develop a wonderful programme that can be enjoyed remotely, but more over we hope that the pandemic will be in decline and we can meet with as many of you as possible in Bilbao. In addition to these format changes that were introduced a further step has been agreed by the Executive Committee and the E-AHPBA 2021 Bilbao Local Organising Committee to move the dates of the Congress from June to September 2021. This change in will provide an opportunity for more of us to meet face to face and continue enabling the networking and collegiality that the E-AHPBA Congress is renowned for. The new dates will be Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th September 2021 with the Post Graduate Course on the Wednesday followed by two main Congress days on Thursday and Friday.
Our aim is to highlight the next generation of HPB leaders. Professor Marc Besselink and his colleagues on the Programme Committee are focused in assembling a programme which reflects the State-of-the-Art in HPB. The faculty will represent all that is best in HPB surgery within our region with a special emphasis on young and female surgeons. As we exit the pandemic it is important that we celebrate the future of our speciality and highlight the advances in patient care that are being developed. I will write about again this in future newsletters. But, for now I will look forward to welcoming you to EAHPBA Bilbao 2021!
Finally, we look forward to the 14th IHPBA World Congress which will take place virtually from the 27th to the 29th November 2020. For more information please visit the website, www.ihpba2020.com.
I look forward to working with you all over the coming months to continue the growth and development within our region.
Stay safe and take care,
Kevin Conlon, E-AHPBA President