Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)
ISTM Executive Board from left to right: back row, Alan Magill, David Shlim, David Freedman, Annelies Wilder-Smith, Francesco Castelli and front row Fiona Genasi, Lin Chen, Karin Leder
As reported in my July NewsShare column, a major focus for my presidency is to ensure the ISTM meets the promise drafted in the following vision statement:
The ISTM is a vibrant and inclusive international society committed to ongoing and sustained contributions to the advancement of the practice and science of travel medicine globally.
I tried to encompass in this statement what I hope for the ISTM, with particular emphasis on the terms vibrant, inclusive, advancement, practice, science and global. It is really much of what is already in our mission statement, but I have just put it into my own words with my particular emphasis.
The following three objectives are critical to the success of meeting this vision:
- Stimulate education, service and research critical to the advancement of the practice, science, and specialty of travel medicine.
- Grow as an international society, representative of the travel medicine community across borders and across continents.
- Strive for a diverse membership, actively engaged with each other internationally and globally.
I am delighted to report the ISTM Executive Board (ISTM EB) and wider Leadership Council accepted this focus and objectives with enthusiasm and tremendous support. After an invigorating strategic discussion during the May ISTM Board Meeting in Boston, the ISTM EB approved the formation of an ISTM International Outreach Task Force to take this forward. The Task Force is charged with evaluating how best to grow ISTM as an International society and will identify and evaluate:
- Benefits, liabilities and obstacles of doing this
- Activities and actions which may facilitate this
- Sentiments of travel medicine community regards this (particularly national societies, international organizations, under-represented countries, North American practitioners)
- Make a set of recommendations for the ISTM EB to consider.
Robert Steffen, Switzerland, has been appointed to chair the Task Force. Robert is uniquely qualified to lead such a Task Force being a founding member of the society and having an in-depth understanding of the issues which the Task Force is being asked to address. The Co-Chair of the Task Force is David Shlim, United States. David will bring his many years of experience and balanced approach to the Task Force, and ensure there is broad-based geographical representation.
Robert and David have appointed the following Task Force members representing appropriate geographic locations, professional associations, relevant affiliations and past experience.
Chair: Robert Steffen, Switzerland
Co-Chair: David Shlim, United States
Jesse Alves, Brazil
Jacquie Brezovski, Canada
Julie Gallagher, United Kingdom
Tony Gherardin, Australia
Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands
Rogelio Lopez-Velez, Spain
Watcharapong Piyaphanee, Thailand
The Task Force will deliver a written report to the EB by March next year with specific recommendations on how international outreach could be facilitated. The deliberations of the Task Force should address the following items, as well as provide any other recommendations considered:
- Revisions to ISTM organizational structure
- Revision of membership categories and fees
- Additional benefits included in memberships
- Revisions to CISTM and RCISTM strategies and structure
- Revisions to liaison mechanisms with other organizations
- Approaches and marketing with regard to membership recruitment
- Changes to operating guidelines for Committees and Groups
I am personally thrilled that we have been successful in gathering such a distinguished group of travel medicine professionals to help guide the ISTM through this strategic initiative. I invite you all, as members of the ISTM, to send any comments and considerations you would like to share regarding the objectives identified above. Please send your comments to the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org so that they may be distributed appropriately.
From the Editor
Thanks to the hard work behind the scenes from all the contributors, in particular our Executive Director, Diane Nickolson, we are back on track with a regular edition of NewsShare. You will read in the President's column by Fiona Genasi of the wonderful initiative of the ISTM in establishing an ISTM International Outreach Task Force chaired by none other than Robert Steffen and Co-Chaired by David Shlim. Together with the committee of seven members from different regions of the World, this Task Force has the major task of making recommendations to the Executive Board on how to shape the ISTM and its main activities moving forward. This is particularly important for our Society, which is now well-established in its 20th Anniversary Year, to keep the ideas and activities fresh and to ensure greater outreach to all those working in travel medicine throughout all parts of the world. As you can see from the Secretary-Treasurer's Report, membership is growing strongly with 2645 members from 80 countries, which does make the ISTM a significant global force in travel medicine.
ISTM members will no doubt be starting to make plans to participate in the 5th Regional Conference of the ISTM to be held in Singapore from 2-5 May 2012. The theme of the conference is "Travel Health and Vaccines: The Asia Pacific Perspective" and has already attracted some of the big names in travel medicine. It is particularly pleasing to note the slate of professional groups collaborating with the ISTM and the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society working towards the development of a successful program. Annelies Wilder-Smith lists the session topics, which certainly resonate with a strong regional perspective, and are sure to attract participants throughout the world. Needless to say, planning is already well underway for the 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine to be held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from 19-23 May 2013. Do check out the ISTM.org website, where you will find a host of useful resources for ISTM members.
ISTM NewsShare Readers will be impressed by the scope of activities of our ISTM Committees and Professional Groups, led by hardworking ISTM members. It is not often possible to single out individual members, who are helping to shape our Society, but I am pleased that we have a Guest Editorial in this issue from our immediate past Editor, Karl Neumann, in the form of a Member Profile for Phyllis Kozarsky. Phyllis has been closely involved with the ISTM throughout its history, often taking the lead for various initiatives of the Society. Enjoy this issue of the ISTM NewsShare. As always, we welcome contributions and suggestions from our members.
I'm pleased to report that the ISTM continues to grow and is now 2645 members strong, with members in 80 countries. In 2005, we had fewer than 2000 members. Each year ISTM has a very healthy number of new members join, and so far in 2011 we have had more than 500 people join the ISTM for the first time. In 2011 our overall retention rate of 85.35% compares very well with similar organisations.
The membership has seen steady increases each year in North America, Oceania and Asia. The Caribbean and Central America, South America, Africa and the Middle East remain fairly stable in membership, with very slight changes. Historically membership from these continents increases when the CISTM is nearby and decreases when it is not. The European membership has been declining slightly the past two years, which typically occurs when the CISTM is held in North America. Current economic challenges are also likely contributing to the lower than typical number of European members. North America has seen the most consistent significant growth in membership each year, though highest when the CISTM is in North America. 86% of the ISTM Members reside in the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.
The ISTM Global Travel Clinic Directory is increasing each year and now has 2035 listed clinics from 83 countries. Every full member is allowed one clinic listing, and can purchase additional clinic listings. In fiscal year 2010-2011, there were 101 additional clinics purchased for inclusion in the directory.
Growth by discipline for the ISTM has been the most significant in percentage for pharmacists, with an increase of 69% in 2011 to a total of 142. Historically during the years CISTMs are held in North America nurse members demonstrate the strongest growth and to date in 2011 there are 684 nurse members, the highest number in our history.
The ISTM Professional and Interest Group memberships are also on the rise; the ISTM Nursing Professional Group currently has 429 members from 18 countries and the Pharmacy Professional Group currently has 124 members representing 11 countries. The largest of the Interest Groups, Migrant and Refugees has 388 members representing 52 countries, followed closely by the Destination Community Support Interest Group which has 359 members in 48 countries. The Psychological Health of Travelers Interest Group currently has 279 members from 43 countries and our newest Interest Group, Pediatrics has 282 members from 42 countries.
News from the Secretariat
In the last issue I began reviewing the many resources provided for ISTM members available from the ISTM website - most at no cost for ISTM Members. Continuing the review in this issue of NewsShare, I'll cover the ISTM Expert Opinion Series, new Online Learning Program and the ISTM Teaching Slides. You can easily find these resources by clicking on their titles below.
ISTM Expert Opinion Series
Posted in full on the ISTM website are more than 15 cases addressing issues that you face every day in your travel medicine practice. These educational vignettes not only include an expert opinion from travel medicine specialists from around the world, but also generate the discussion of varied clinical approaches from ISTM members through the ISTM TravelMed ListServe.
Cases available include:
Accelerated Hepatitis A and B vaccine in a student travelling to India
Pierre van Damme, Belgium
Pregnant female with urgent travel to Ivory Coast
Dale Carroll, United States of America
Malaria prevention in traveler to Hong Kong, Thailand and India
Stephen Toovey, South Africa
Spacing of live virus vaccines (yellow fever and MMR) in a student to Ghana
Hilary Simons, United Kingdom
Travel advice for Southern Africa trip
David Freedman, United States of America
Testing for latent tuberculosis in patients with prior BCG
Frank Bia, United States of America
Occupational HIV exposure in a medical student to Africa
Joel E. Gallant, United States of America
Rabies post exposure case from China
Philippe Gautret, France
Enteric fever (typhoid/paratyphoid) in a traveler to Nepal
Buddha Basnyat, Nepal
Influenza vaccine in Travelers
Karin Leder, Australia
Schistosomiasis in travelers
Eli Schwartz, Israel
Yellow fever vaccine in an elderly traveler to Senegal
Elizabeth D. Barnett, United States of America
Altitude illness prevention in a hypertensive patient to Macchu Picchu
Alan J. Magill, United States of America
Prevention and treatment of travelers' diarrhea
Will Cave, United Kingdom
Evaluating the risk of acquiring Japanese Encephalitis for travel to India
David R. Shlim, United States of America
Quality management in the travel clinic
Gail Rosselot, United States of America
New ISTM Online Learning Program
To expand the reach of the its educational curriculum, the ISTM established a distance learning program. Beginning with the 2011 CISTM12 and the 2011 Travel Medicine and Review Course we have captured sessions and made them available through the internet. If you were not able to attend the CISTM12 in Boston last May - here is your opportunity to easily tap into one or more of the scientific sessions presented.
Offering both video with synchronized slides, and audio with synchronized slides, individual sessions range from 30 minutes to four hours. There are more than 60 sessions currently available.
As a special bonus, the History of ISTM presentation given by Robert Steffen, Switzerland, during the Opening Ceremonies of the CISTM12 is available to everyone, with or without a purchase.
The modules can be ordered individually, or with volume discounts and they will be available for viewing at your convenience over the internet for six months after purchasing.
ISTM Teaching Slides, Introduction to Travel Medicine
This 158-slide PowerPoint Presentation has doubled in size since the 2008 version to include enhanced materials on special needs travelers (children, pregnant women and compromised hosts), and entirely new material on common post-travel syndromes and specific infections.
The presentation is suitable for lecturing to both healthcare professionals and lay groups. Slides are grouped by subject area (e.g., Risk Assessment, Vaccines, Malaria, Travelers' Diarrhea, Special Needs Travelers, Post-Travel Syndromes) for easy customization of lectures. Material and teaching points are international in scope, allowing the presenter to elaborate on specific local dosing and availability issues.
The slide set can be downloaded directly from the ISTM Website upon purchase with a 50% discount for ISTM Members. Sample slides and ordering information can be found on the ISTM Website.
I hope you will find these resources helpful to you, and that you will take some time to explore the ISTM website where these and many other resources can be found. I'll be sure to continue to highlight ISTM resources and educational items in future issues of the ISTM NewsShare.
Thank you for all you do to support the ISTM and the practice of Travel Medicine!
Travel Health and Vaccines: The Asia Pacific Perspective
The 5th Regional Conference of the ISTM is being organized in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society on 2-5 May 2012 at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore. The conference will focus on issues critical to the practices of regional clinicians, physicians and any other healthcare professionals working in the field of travel medicine covering fields such as emerging infectious diseases, preventive medicine, primary health care, clinical tropical medicine and vaccinology. The conference offers the opportunity to exchange and receive the most up-to-date information on travel medicine in the Asia Pacific region. Asia has the most rapidly growing tourism industry in the world, with Asian emerging economies sending more travelers than ever before, but also receiving staggering numbers of travelers from all over the world.
The conference features plenary sessions, high level debates, country highlights and symposia, and will offer delegates ample time to network and meet colleagues in the area, as well as speakers who will be brought in from around the world. There will be an ISTM Certificate in Travel HealthTM examination offered on 2 May 2012.
Chaired by Professor Eli Schwartz in close collaboration with Associate Professors Karin Leder from Australia and Pornthep Chanthavanich from Thailand, the Scientific Committee has been working diligently to identify the most compelling topics and speakers. Session topics include:
- Travelling superbugs
- Dengue: the known and the unknown
- Vaccines: past, present, future
- Travel Medicine in the Asia Pacific Region
- What's new in Malaria?
- Special Needs Travelers
- How not to MES it up: Medical Tourism, Ecotourism and Sex Tourism
- Vaccines for Low Incidence, High Impact Diseases
- Extreme and Adventure Travel
- Important Infections in the Region
- Mass Gathering and Population Movements
- Differential Diagnosis in Returning Travelers
World renown experts in the field have accepted the invitation as plenary and symposia speakers and these include Nick White, Jeremy Farrar, Robert Steffen, Mary Wilson, Alan Magill and Balbir Singh.
In addition to the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society and the ISTM, the following organizations are collaborating to ensure the success of the conference:
Singapore Infectious Disease Society
Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
Japanese Society of Travel Medicine
Japanese Society of Travel and Health
Thai Travel Medicine Society
Consider joining us in Singapore, a country that is known for the fashion emporiums of Orchard Road, antique shops in Chinatown, diving with sharks at Underwater World on Sentosa, Mountain biking around Bukit Timah and waterskiing or wakeboarding on the Kallang River.
For more information about the conference see the website of the Asia Pacific Society of Travel Medicine (www.aphts.org), or to register, please go to the Conference website (www.apthc2012.org).
CISTM13 Planning Begins - Opportunities for All ISTM Members to Contribute
19-23 May 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands
It seems we just arrive home from a CISTM, take a quick breath, and need to begin focusing on the next one. Since the July issue of NewsShare, we can report on a number of planning milestones that have been met for the CISTM13. The ISTM Executive Board has appointed the four Chairs of the CISTM13 Scientific Program Committee. They are:
Mary E. Wilson
Leo G. Visser
Mary E. Wilson, Chair, United States of America
Leo G. Visser, Co-Chair, The Netherlands
Blaise Genton, Associate Chair, Switzerland
Christina Greenaway, Associate Chair, Canada
The Scientific Committee Chairs have already implemented the Call for Proposals, inviting all members of the ISTM to consider submitting symposium and workshop ideas to review. You can find the submission form directly on the ISTM website at www.ISTM.org.
The content of the meeting should reflect the interests and needs of the membership. Please take a few minutes to help plan CISTM13 by contributing your ideas and suggesting topics and possible speakers. Only through broad participation can we plan a meeting that effectively serves the interests and needs of the members of ISTM and the world-wide travel medicine community. Submissions will be accepted through 15 February 2012.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the CISTM13 has been formed, and already has had its first meeting in Maastricht. Chaired by Gerard Sonder, the LOC is already working on making the CISTM13 in Maastricht a memorable event.
LOC Members include:
Gerard JB Sonder, Chair, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Peter de Beer, Maastricht, The Netherlands
John Bosch, Terneuzen, The Netherlands
Steven Callens, Gent, Belgium
Perry van Genderen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Alfons Van Gompel, Antwerpen, Belgium
Christian Hoebe, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Michiel Laaper, Sittard, The Netherlands
Yves Van Laethem, Brussels, Belgium
Philippe Leonard, Luik, Belgium
Pieter van Thiel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Member Profile: Phyllis Kozarsky
In the English language, calling a person “one of the fathers” of a particular discipline in science is just about the supreme compliment one can bestow. But what does one to say if that individual happens to be (fe)male? Do we still call her one of the fathers? Or is female father a more apt title? What about mother? Probably it is wisest to abandon this train of thought, stay on safe ground, take a more neutral approach, and merely refer to the person as one of the important founders of the discipline, which in this case is, travel medicine.
It is of interest to note how few “fathers” of a scientific discipline are female, making our Phyllis Kozarsky even more unique. She has done it all. Ask for her CV only if your computer has lots of spare memory, the CV being 37 pages long - and that is with using fairly small fonts. And, says Phyllis, the CV may not be entirely up-to-date! There are hundreds of entries, more than 11,000 words (thank goodness for word counters) and the entries cover just about every aspect of travel medicine and numerous closely and distantly related fields.
Phyllis was born in New York City, and not all that many years ago, considering her accomplishments. She grew up there, went to college in upstate New York, medical school in Pennsylvania, and medical training back in New York City, and then in Atlanta, where she has resided ever since. Her move south to Atlanta is especially telling, one of her numerous astute and prophetic decision, a move to the city on its way to becoming an ever more important center for infectious disease research, international health and travel medicine, the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Today, Phyllis is a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and the director of TravelWell, Emory’s travel clinic. Her current research efforts are primarily focused on issues in clinical tropical medicine and travelers' health, including the epidemiology of travel-related infections, and she is one of the developers and project directors of GeoSentinel.
Within the ISTM, Phyllis has served or is serving in virtually every leadership position. She is one of the founding members of ISTM, and has been Councilor, Secretary/Treasurer, Special Advisor, President-elect, Executive Board member, chair and co-chair of many of the all- important Organizing Committees for several CISTM conferences, to mention just a few.
If indeed, whoever is the President of the ISTM does not have a “Kozarsky” button on his or her telephone, he or she should install one to save themselves dialing time. For whenever the ISTM looks at new initiatives or wants to shore up ones that need shoring up, chances are that Phyllis will head the committee or, at least, serve on it. She chaired the committee that established the very important and very successful Certificate in Travel Health (CTH ) program, for example. Now she is chair of the Continuous Professional Development Committee which has been charged with developing the structure and processes around a new 10 year cycle for CTH maintenance. The recertification process will provide the public and patients greater confidence in their providers, demonstrate to compliance authorities that the credential is relevant and elevate the practice of travel medicine. A grandfathering option will be put into place for those who have received their CTH prior to 2011.
Phyllis is also closely involved with the CDC. Having been chief of Travelers’ Health, she is now expert consultant within the Division of Global Migration & Quarantine, whose focus is to reduce morbidity and mortality among immigrants, refugees, travelers, expatriates, and other globally mobile populations, and to prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases. She also is one of the medical editors of the prestigious “Yellow Book,” Health Information for the International Traveler.
In her “spare time” Phyllis serves or has served on numerous other committees/ licensure boards/ working groups/ task forces / teams/ editorships/ consultant/ reviewer - and the list goes on and on for several pages in her CV. Some of the more intriguing sounding ones include: WHO Working Group on International Airlines and Tuberculosis Transmission, the Department of Transportation task force for International Health Regulations implementation by the US, Consultant to the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, CNN Broadcasting, the Coca Cola Company, Delta Airlines, Atlanta Botanical Garden and the White House Medical Unit.
Her CV also contains several pages of “honors and awards,” citations for over two hundred “articles” and “textbook updates”...
However, her greatest joys are spending time with her husband, Eliot; her son, Aaron; stepchildren Kevin, Staci, and Pearl; and her granddaughter (yup - granddaughter!), Maya.
How does she do it all? Only Phyllis knows.
Research and Travel Awards
ISTM is pleased to offer Travel Medicine Research Grants to ISTM Members. The grants range from USD 5,000 to USD 10,000, although a single grant of USD 20,000 may be considered for exceptional proposals. Grants are awarded annually through a peer-review process implemented by the ISTM Research and Awards Committee. The awards are designed to stimulate travel medicine research by supporting comprehensive research projects or, for larger projects, providing support for pilot studies to enable researchers to collect data/test hypotheses so that they can then apply to other agencies for more substantive research grants.
Grant requirements include:
- Research must be travel medicine or immigrant/refugee health oriented.
- Application and protocol proposal must be scientifically sound and must be in accordance with international ethical guidelines.
- There must be no conflicts of interest for any of the investigators who apply for research funding.
- Grant applicants must be ISTM Members in good standing
For research priorities, please consider the topics described in Talbot EA et al.: Travel Medicine Research Priorities: Establishing an Evidence Base. J Travel Med 2010;17:410-415.
Applications are invited for projects which can be realistically completed with ISTM grant money alone.
Award recipients are expected to provide updates to the ISTM every 6 months. The research project should be completed within 2 years of receipt of funds and published within one year of project completion. All awardees are expected to present their data to the scientific community, and are encouraged to publish their findings in the ISTM Journal of Travel Medicine.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2011-2012 ISTM Research Awards. The submission deadline is 9 December 2011. The application and instructions for proposal submission are available on the ISTM website at www.ISTM.org.
Nurses Professional Group Update
NPG: Activities of the Council
CE for Nurses Task Force: Deadline for Volunteers Extended to October 15
The NPG Council has asked nurses to volunteer for a fall 2012 task force to explore the issue of CE credits for registered nurses at ISTM meetings. Nurses at the Boston CISTM asked that CE credits be offered to nurses at every ISTM conference. Recently an email went out to all NPG members about this initiative. If you are a nurse, but not yet an NPG member, you, too, can volunteer for the task force. The email reads as follows:
To All NPG Members:
Earlier this summer we sent out a request for volunteers to help with our CE for Nurses Task Force. To date, only one nurse, a nurse practitioner, has offered to help the NPG Council look at this issue. As you may know, many registered nurses in North America look for continuing education credits when they are making the decision to attend a professional conference. ISTM has not always offered separate CE credits for registered nurses at its biannual meeting. In Boston, nurses spoke at the NPG Assembly requesting that all ISTM conferences have nursing CE credits. The NPG Council has chosen to address this request as our first initiative, but we cannot do it without your active participation.
We have extended our deadline for volunteers. If this issue is important to you or if the offering of nursing CE credits will impact your decision to attend the Maastricht meeting, we need your help now. The NPG Council will lead the effort to explore this issue fully, but we need to know how our members really feel and we need some registered nurses to help us.
At the present time, most nurses requesting CE credits live and work in North America. The current NPG Council of 7 has only one nurse from North America. In most parts of the world, CE credits are not yet a concern for nurses. If this is an issue that matters to you professionally, please volunteer to help. We welcome any NPG member to join this task force, but we definitely need nurses from the U.S. and Canada to come forward.
You can volunteer by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 15, 2011. If we do not have at least three more RNs to help us, then the NPG Council will most likely decide that this is not an important issue and we will put it aside for at least the next two years.
We welcome your questions, comments, and most importantly, your offer to help. We want to look at the CE issue over the next few months and make some recommendations to the ISTM Executive Board by January 2012.
NPG Prepares 90 Minute Nursing Session for Singapore Conference
Lani Ramsey, Briar Campbell and Gail Rosselot, with the help of the full NPG Council, are hard at work developing a program for nurses at this May 2012 meeting of the Asia Pacific Travel Health Society. For more information about the conference, go to their website at www2.kenes.com/apthc/committees/Pages/Organizers.aspx. If your travel plans might take you to Southeast Asia next year, why not plan to attend the conference as part of your trip?
Volunteers for the Maastricht Scientific Committee
We had an amazing response to our request for nurses interested in serving on the Scientific Committee that will plan the program for CISTM13 in Maastricht. In the end we sent forward the names of 8 candidates, all of whom have had experience reviewing abstracts, planning conferences, or working on similar committees within ISTM or other professional organizations.
NPG Members on ISTM Committees
As part of our mission, NPG supports the participation of nurses on all ISTM committees and task forces. Lani Ramsey, NPG Vice Chair, is now the liaison to the Pharmacy Professional Group and will work with them to develop joint projects such as a JTM article on the role of nurses and pharmacists in travel health.
In the past few months, 2 nurses have joined these standing committees:
Claire Wong, UK, has recently been appointed to the ISTM Exam Committee and will be working with Ken Dardick and his group to update the ISTM Body of Knowledge and add questions to the exam bank. Claire has a special interest in nursing education in travel health. In her capacity as Specialist Travel Health Nurse at the National Travel Health Network and Centre she advises health professionals on complex travel health issues. Claire is currently completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.
Adrienne Wilcox, UK, has recently been appointed to the ISTM Research and Travel Awards Committee. She will work with Dave Hamer and his group to review submissions next spring for these awards. Adrienne recently completed her PhD and is active in nursing research.
NPG is always looking to nominate qualified nurses to ISTM committees and we welcome your interest. For more specific information about the different ISTM Committees, you can go to www.istm.org.
NPG: Looking Ahead
Call for Abstracts for Maastricht Meeting in 2013
Planning starts early for the biannual ISTM meetings and the first call for abstracts has gone out. NPG wants to encourage all our members to submit proposals for symposia and other sessions. Are you interested in presenting at this meeting? Perhaps give a poster or participate in a workshop? Now is the time to start thinking about your submission. In many travel health clinics, nurses have a central role. Look at your practice and see if there is something you want to share with colleagues. Are you seeing a cluster of travelers? Have you overcome a particular challenge? Perhaps you want to explore an issue in vaccine administration or health counseling? There is still time to initiate a clinical research project on your own or collaborate with others. The NPG Council is committed to supporting nursing participation at the Maastricht conference. In the next newsletter issue, we will share more ideas for conference topics and ways nurses can participate.
NPG: News From Around the World
In each issue of NewsShare, NPG would like to highlight travel health nursing events around the world. In this issue we share an account of the Nurses Networking Event at the recent 15th Conference of the Japanese Society of Travel and Health Conference held in July in Sapporo, Hokkaido. NPG Council member Nahoko Sato shares her experiences presenting information about ISTM and NPG to a group of nurses in her country. She highlights how she presented her information to her audience and how NPG functions in support of all travel health nurses.
“The Conference of Japanese Society of Travel and Health was held on 30-31st of July. Recently, we, the Japanese people, have been through a lot of challenges which have required us to change our lifestyle. Thus, the relocation of the conference venue was also unavoidable. The conference was moved from Saitama Prefecture (near Tokyo) to Sapporo, Hokkaido. More than 150 members were able to attend and we had very active and interesting discussions.
The Nurse networking event was held simultaneously with other sessions. In this event I introduced the ISTM Nursing Professional Group to the participants. I wanted them to better understand ISTM and to learn how NPG works to successfully support travel health nurses around the world. I also wanted to encourage the attendees to join ISTM and to consider adopting some of the working methods of NPG to enhance the leadership of our own Japanese nursing group.
Usually only a few Japanese nurses can attend the biannual Conference of ISTM (CISTM). Using the ISTM advertising slide, I explained the Mission of ISTM and the organizational structure of ISTM and of the Nursing Professional Group (NPG). I also introduced the new NPG council members whom include the Chair of the NPG Council, Ms. Gail Rosselot, and the ISTM President Ms. Fiona Genasi. Ms. Genasi is the first Nurse President in ISTM history and provides a lot of support to the NPG Council.
To explain more about how NPG functions and what is its mission, I showed the result of the 2010 NPG Survey, which was reported by the NPG Council in the 12th CISTM in Boston. I used the survey to explain the background of the international travel health nurses who are ISTM members. I also shared the NPG charter and spoke about recent activities of NPG council including the initiative to look at nursing CE credits for the 13th CISTM in Maastricht.
I then shared some important aspects of NPG functioning so Japanese nurses could be more familiar with their activities and how the NPG is managed. I suggested that there are some good clues to improve the leadership for our nursing group:
- The NPG has good leadership and organization that seeks to solve issues quickly and efficiently and sets a time period to finish tasks.
- Transparency is important and all their meeting reports and teleconferences are recorded and updated on the NPG homepage.
- The NPG Council tries to be aware of its members’ needs and listens to its members’ voices. On the NPG webpage, all nurses have a chance to send their opinions directly to the NPG Chair.
- The NPG council is working to set some qualification standards for nurses who are applying to be members of ISTM Standing Committees, conference committees, and other ISTM task forces and activities. This effort gives nurses good opportunities to prove their value in travel medicine.
- Most importantly, the NPG council is aware of the globalization of its members, so the NPG council would like to be attract all travel health nurses to join ISTM.
I hope that Japanese nurses will feel more comfortable in attending the international conference ( 9th APTHC in Singapore, 13th CISTM in Netherlands) and that this will encourage them to become a member of ISTM. I want Japanese nurses to have the opportunity to communicate with nurses from other countries and exchange more information.
Nahoko Sato (JAPAN)
Member of NPG Council
ISTM Pharmacist Professional Group (PPG) News
The ISTM Pharmacist Professional Group (PPG) Leadership Council recently elected Ms. Claudine Leuthold, Switzerland, to serve as its Vice Chair. Ms. Leuthold will serve for two years as Vice Chair, after which she will succeed Dr. Goad as Chair in 2013.
Federation of International Pharmacists (FIP)
(from left to right) Larry Goodyer,
Claudine Leuthold and Jeff Goad
at the 2011 FIP Congress in India
The ISTM Pharmacy Professional Group participated in the Annual Congress of the Federation of International Pharmacists (FIP). At its September 71st World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, the ISTM PPG produced and delivered a travel medicine symposium. Presenters included Jeff Goad, United States, Larry Goodyer, United Kingdom and Claudine Leuthold, Switzerland, as well as panelists from Germany. The faculty discussed travel medicine practices in the United United States and Europe. In addition, travel vaccinations and malaria were covered in case-based fashion to an audience of pharmacists from around the world. Larry Goodyer served as co-chair for this session.
ISTM PPG Bibliography
The bibliography has recently been updated. All ISTM members can download the latest version from the ISTM PPG page on the ISTM website. We welcome suggestion for additions to the bibliography and ask that you send your suggestions to the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org.
APA March 2012 Meeting
The ISTM PPG is planning to have a booth and a presence at the upcoming American Pharmacists Association Meeting scheduled for March 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. If anyone is planning to attend - please be sure to visit our booth. We hope to see you there!
Destination Community Support Interest Group (DCSIG)
I am pleased to report the DCSIG Leadership Council has received the responses from the recent survey conducted and we are beginning to move forward on activities based on the recommendations in the survey. You can read the results of the survey posted on the DCSIG page of the ISTM website located here.
One outcome of the Survey was that the Responsible Traveller document should continue to be freely available to the ISTM members and translated into several languages also available to download. The DCSIG plans to release the document in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, German and Italian over the next year as the translations become available. If anyone is interested in helping with the process of translating the document or to review translated versions, please alert us through the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org.
The DCSIG Council is also working on two documents related to Sex Tourism, one for professionals and one for travellers. We hope to have the documents finalized and released next year in English, followed also by translated versions.
The DCSIG is planning for a number of activities in conjunction with the upcoming Regional Conference in Singapore. We will be holding a symposium on: “How not to MES it up - aspects of Medical, Eco and Sex Tourism”. We also plan to submit a poster based on the results of the recent survey. Finally we are planning for a full Group Assembly Meeting for any members in attendance. More information will be made available about the meeting as the time approaches.
Another outcome of the survey was the need to make contact with other organizations which could have similar objectives as the DCSIG. The following have been earmarked for initial contact:
- End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT)
- The Travel Foundation
- The International Council for Responsible Tourism (ICRT)
- Roll Back Malaria
- Alliance for Rabies Control
If any members currently have contacts with any of these organizations, please let us know through the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org. We hope to identify common interests and joint projects to further the mission of the DCSIG.
If you have an interest in promoting the development of travel medicine in developing host countries and have not yet joined our group, please considering doing so. There is no additional cost to join, and we would welcome your contributions.
Garth Brink, Chair, ISTM DCSIG