Message from the President, Professor James Garden

It has been a great honour for me to have been asked to take over the leadership of the Association. I appreciate the challenging task ahead of me in following Wright Pinson who has done such an outstanding job over the last two years.

It seems as if it was only yesterday that we met in Paris and enjoyed our 10th World Congress in Paris. The meeting attracted the largest attendance of any of our previous Congresses and demonstrated that our organization is at somewhat of a crossroads. Our membership continues to grow and it does seem that there is a need to deliver even greater quality to the membership at its congresses and in the intervening years. We need to capitalize on the success of the highly successful postgraduate course and the tremendous educational content of lectures and videos that were delivered during the meeting. The high quality papers have generated a record submission of manuscripts to HPB but we need to find ways of generating added value for the membership and not just wait until we meet in Seoul. The Paris Congress attracted over 1000 poster presentations that remain at the heart of our congresses and remain important for our trainees and young researchers for whom the meeting should be a highlight of their training. The planning of future meetings needs to be meticulous to ensure their success and to demonstrate their value for those attending. We are therefore working hard with the organisers of future world congresses to ensure that our expanded attendance can be accommodated to meet these expectations.

Already this year, I have attended with executive members of council two excellent regional Congresses. We are developing a good understanding of common goals with the regional associations and have agreed shared responsibility for your Journal’s continuing success. The record attendances at the congresses of the AHPBA in Miami and the Asia-Pacific HPBA in Shanghai bode well for the future. We are sure that the forthcoming E-AHPBA congress in Belgrade will also reach out to delegates that might not have previously attended form that region. These meetings have also shown the importance of a good relationship with our industry partners. The success of our meetings is dependent on industry support but we need to appreciate that they too are looking for educational legacy. Oscar Imvertanza and his Development Committee will be key in nurturing new relationships with industry in the coming months.

The last 9 months have seen a lot of work behind the scenes. Our new administrators, Camilla O’Brien and Alison Shamwana from ACS Global, have had a huge impact since they were appointed to replace Crow Segal. They have provided quality support for the workings of the executive, council and our various committees. The rather mundane process of updating our contracts, bylaws, congress bid manuals and committee infrastructure will be invaluable and pay dividends in the future. The Association has a relatively secure financial base and our membership continues to grow.

However, to be successful in the future, we need to deliver effective communication to the membership. Our website, although functional, has looked dated for some time and with our change of administrative support, there has been opportunity to effect radical change. From next month you will have access to a completely redesigned website with improved access to all the key information about our association activities. In the next few weeks, members will see the product of an extensive amount of work supported by our Publications Committee under Steve Strasberg’s leadership. By May, you will have access to our new educational platform, myHPB. This should allow one click access to the journal and additional educational resource in the coming months. Ideally, this will incorporate quality material that has been identified from our world congresses but we wish members to bring their own resource to stimulate discussion and interaction on the discussion boards. Finally, we will be able to deliver continuing medical education (CME) that members may find of value as evidence of their continuing professional development.

Your Scientific Committee under the Chairmanship of Professor Ronnie Poon is now finalising a full and exciting programme for our next World Congress in Seoul, Korea. SG Lee and his Local Organising Committee promise to deliver an outstanding Congress with live operating and a full postgraduate programme.

I would urge you to ensure that you have renewed your membership and encourage others to join our Association. We appreciate that there is need to demonstrate the benefits of being affiliated to the association if it is to retain and build on its membership. We hope that our efforts in this coming year will be appreciated and that we now have a means whereby the membership can contact us directly to tell us if we have got it right!

James Garden, President, IHPBA

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