Message from the President
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Several months have passed since the Historic inaugural Meeting in Washington, D.C. in May 2007. on behalf of the leadership of the World Society i would like to thank you for your enthusiastic participation and for making this meeting a historic success. the meeting was attended by a total of 385 delegates from 61 countries and from all continents. i would also like to thank richard a. Jonas, the local host, and the Program committee for putting together an unforgettable meeting. i would also like to thank christine Prader from our Management company and her tireless team, who in less than 6 months have helped us organize the World Society and put together a first class meeting in Washington, d.c. i would like to thank the members of the leadership of the World Society for their hard work, enthusiasm and support in this exciting journey. Let us reflect on our achievements since the first meeting of the constitutional council in Philadelphia on april 28, 2006. the constitutional council, composed of 30 members from all continents, meeting several times, has put together the constitution of the World Society, which was adopted by the membership at the Business Meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 2007. Since the launch of the founding Membership drive in the fall of 2006, the World Society for Pediatric and congenital Heart Surgery has become the largest organization in the world for pediatric and congenital heart surgery, regrouping 495 founding Members from 66 countries.
Since Washington your leadership has been busy planning the next phase in the journey of the World Society. over the next year, the World Society will be on a fact finding mission to determine the current state of pediatric and congenital heart surgery services across the world. this is essential in order to establish the needs and work on finding solutions to improve the care of children and adults with congenital heart disease across the world. this will be a difficult and long undertaking, but we have to start somewhere, and do it in an organized fashion. We cannot do this alone. We need to work with our partners from the related specialties dealing with the treatment of pediatric and congenital heart disease. We will need the cooperation of everyone. At the last meeting of the governing council in geneva, we have accepted the first research fellow of the World Society, to help gather the necessary information from across the world. His name is dr. Pierre-luc Bernier, a third year resident in cardiac Surgery at Mcgill university who is spending a year doing research. over the next several months, you will receive multiple questionaires from dr. Bernier on behalf of the World Society. i encourage you all to help him out. We need to also find individuals from each country that will be responsible to gather additional information on how is the care for patients with congenital heart disease organized, where are the centers performing pediatric and congenital heart surgery, how are the surgeons trained and how they maintain competence, how is data collected and what are the processes for quality of care assurance.
The World Society will then hold a World Summit on Pediatric and congenital Heart Surgery Services, education and cardiac care in children and adults with congenital Heart disease on June 19-21, 2008 in Montreal. We have reserved a great venue in downtown Montreal at the Sheraton center Hotel. the fact finding mission will prepare us for the Montreal Summit where the results will be presented. the Montreal Summit will be a great opportunity for the World Society and its members as well as interested parties and partners to clearly define the challenges and brainstorm on a systematic plan to begin the long process of improving care for children and adults with congenital heart disease across the world. i hope that as many of you as possible will attend and take active part in the deliberations. i also hope that many of you will populate the various committees that will get the work done.
I encourage all of you to let me know your ideas for precise topics of discussion and possible expert speakers. We need to think outside the box, and get as many key parties involved, whether they are from governments, medical organizations, humanitarian organizations, foundations, parents and patients groups, industry etc. We need as many countries as possible to be represented in this process from all regions of the world.
This is the first World Society newsletter. i believe that it will be a great information instrument for all of us to stay connected and to inform as many as possible on the activities of the World Society. as many of you have asked me for the text of the Presidential address i delivered in Washington, on May 4, it is published further in this newsletter, along with the letter of support we received from Mr. nelson Mandela. the World Society newsletter would also like to publish material that you submit to us, if we believe it to be of interest for the membership. for the next newsletter we would like to get your feedback on your impressions of the Historic inaugural Meeting in Washington and your thoughts on the World Society and the challenges it will face.
Finally, on a personal note, i thank you for having chosen me to be the founding President of the World Society. i consider this to be not only the highest honor i have received, but also the biggest challenge of my professional life. i will do my best to serve you and the World Society to the best of my abilities, with enthusiasm, diligence and a great sense of respect for the confidence i have received. I send all of you my best regards and I hope to see you all in Montreal in June 2008!