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ISTM Executive Board from left to right. Back row: Annelies Wilder-Smith, Alan Magill, David Shlim, David Freedman. Front row: Karin Leder, Diane Nickolson, Fiona Genasi, Lin Chen, Francesco Castelli
From Fiona Genasi, ISTM President
As we approach the end of 2012, the focus of the society is on 2013 - including membership renewals, the CISTM13, the 2013 Examination and Course, the research awards, new expert opinions and more. I'm happy to announce some recent developments as well.
Introduction of New Editor-in-Chief of NewsShare and Communications
With Peter Leggat's appointment to the ISTM Secretary-Treasurer position in May of 2013, the ISTM has appointed Christopher Van Tilburg (USA) to the NewsShare Editor-in-Chief position. The position has been enhanced to include member communications, including social networking possibilities and activities. Christopher will take helm of the NewsShare with our first issue in 2013 and brings a great deal of experience and enthusiasm. An excellent article on Christopher by Karl Neumann, a former editor of our NewsShare, can be found at the end of this publication. Please take a moment to read about this newest member of the ISTM Leadership Council.
Continuing Professional Development
After many months of hard work, the CPD Committee, led by Phyllis Kozarsky, Chair, has released the proposed new ISTM Continuing Professional Development Program. A 90 day call for comment period has begun, after which the committee will review all comments and submit the final version to the Executive Board. Please send your thoughts on the program by 11 February 2013 to the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org. Details of the program are outlined in an article found later in this NewsShare.
My term as President will end at the ISTM Membership Assembly during the CISTM13 in May. At that time, I will turn the Presidency over to David Shlim, who will begin his two year position as President. In addition to this change, two new Executive Board members will be elected to begin service this May, as well as the next President-Elect. The Nominating Committee is currently evaluating all nominations and finalizing the ballot. The elections will take place from early January through mid-March of 2013. Please watch your emails for the link to the electronic ballot. The results of the election will be announced during the ISTM General Assembly in Maastricht.
This past year has seen many accomplishments within ISTM, due largely to the hard work and valued contributions of many ISTM Members. We participated in travel medicine conferences around the globe, including Singapore, Dublin, Greece, UK, USA and South Africa. We celebrated as many of our Members received awards and recognition for their accomplishments, and we mourned the untimely loss of one whom we served alongside. In the January NewsShare, I will take a few moments to look back on the year, even as we look forward to the fantastic 2013 ahead of us.
From the Editor
As reported by our President, Fiona Genasi, in her President's Message, it has been announced that Christopher Van Tilburg has been appointed as the new Editor-in-Chief of NewsShare and has been given a broader role of Communications on the Leadership Council. Good communications is a central pillar of any professional organization and I wish to congratulate the ISTM Leadership for their vision in expanding this portfolio area. Christopher will assume the Editorship of NewsShare from the first issue of 2013. For those who may not know Dr Van Tilburg, Karl Neumann has excelled once again in writing a profile of our new NewsShare Editor and readers will quickly get a sense of the enormous energy that Christopher will bring to the NewsShare Editor and Communications role.
In this issue of NewsShare, we are reminded of the next cycle of key ISTM activities focused on 13th Conference of the ISTM (CISTM13) in Maastricht, The Netherlands, from May 19-23, 2013. This includes the opening of registration for the conference and the Certificate of Travel Health (CTH)® examination, as well as the pending elections for the President-Elect and two counsellors to replace our outgoing Immediate Past President and retiring counsellors. The Secretary-Treasurer in his column reports on the results of the 2012 fiscal year and outlines the many challenges for our organization in the current financial climate, which is reflected in the projected break-even budget. I appreciated David Freedman's kind words and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to transition into the role of Secretary-Treasurer under the mentorship of an experienced campaigner who has the best interests of the ISTM at the forefront of his considerations. Members will read with interest the content of their latest ISTM mailing, which was put together and mailed this year by the Secretariat. The Executive Director, Diane Nickolson, in her column outlines the opportunities for those seeking the newly established Retired and Associate membership categories.
Several committee and group reports are also provided in this issue. They are a useful way of keeping up to date with ISTM activities and opportunities. The development of the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program to assist with the maintenance of the CTH®, particularly those awarded the CTH® from 2011, where participation is mandatory. The details of the new CPD program are currently open for comment by members. Dr Irmgard Bauer also reports on the successful South African Society of Travel Medicine Conference held in Sandton, Johannesburg, in September 2012, as well as the 20th Anniversary of the Australian Postgraduate Travel Medicine Course. Once again, there is the interactive ISTM Crossword Puzzle to test readers' knowledge and you can immediately get feedback on your answers.
Christopher Van Tilburg's appointment means that this will be my last contribution to NewsShare as the current Editor. As NewsShare Editor since January 2011, I have been fortunate to edit nine issues containing well over 100,000 words provided by our ISTM office bearers, committee chairs and other contributors without whom there would be no NewsShare. It has been fantastic working with our industrious Executive Director, Diane Nickolson, Kathy Smith also from the Secretariat staff, and our graphic designer Dawn Keough, which have provided the well-oiled and efficient engine room for NewsShare. For the ISTM Membership, NewsShare provides a unique portal into the life of the ISTM. As the incoming Secretary-Treasurer from May 2013, I could not have wished for a more useful insight into the current workings of all our ISTM committees and groups, which Editorship of NewsShare has provided. I wish to thank the ISTM President, Executive Board and members for the opportunity to serve for two years as your NewsShare Editor and wish Christopher every success as my successor.
Editor, ISTM NewsShare
I am pleased to report on our current financial status and on our budget plans for next year. An audited financial report for the 2012 fiscal year, 1 July 2011 - 30 June 2012, prepared by our independent auditing firm, Fulton Kozak, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, USA, has been sent out to all ISTM members.
Our Balance Sheet at the end of our fiscal year on 30 June 2012 showed net assets of USD 2.14 million. Net assets at the end of the 2011 fiscal year on June 30, 2011 were USD 2.25M. In reviewing these Balance Sheet fluctuations, several considerations are important. June 2011 marked the absolute peak of what is for us is a four-year cycle due to the timing of our CISTMs, North America exams and North America review courses. These revenues from early 2011 will need to maintain ISTM operations and programs for another year until the next CISTM and major exam administration; membership dues alone only cover a portion of ISTM's many programs and initiatives. Additionally:
- the bulk of our membership revenue comes in from November through March but we must maintain operations year round;
- During any fiscal year we have up to USD 200,000 "loaned" as the start-up costs to future CISTMs, as well as other courses/meetings; this money is on our balance sheet and belongs to us, but is not available for operating expenses;
- We must maintain long-term reserves in case of a catastrophic, several hundred thousand dollar failure, of one of our meetings and also keep 12-18 months operating cash for emergency situations. While we are invested cautiously, fluctuations are inevitable and we need to keep a buffer there.
The financial success of our meetings face threats due to the economic constraints on our delegate pool, increased travel costs for speakers, and trends towards decreased sponsorship support that all meetings worldwide are now facing. In 2011, we set aside half the surplus generated due to large turnouts for the exam, course, and Boston meeting to be spent in 2012. In addition, we had a slight operating surplus in 2012, so that the drop in net assets was actually less than we expected.
We also understand the increasing difficulties members have in the current financial times in finding employer or institutional support for dues, attending meetings and courses and thank you sincerely for your dedication to ISTM and for your continued strong support of all our activities.
A break-even budget for 2012/13 based on anticipated revenue and expenses was passed by the ISTM Executive Board at its May 2012 meeting. However, this depends on the success of CISTM13 in Maastricht and we hope to see all of you there!
This is my last annual report to you as my 8 years as Secretary-Treasurer is finished in May. It has been a privilege to serve the membership and I am pleased to be able to leave with the reserves and balance sheet on solid footing and a membership base that has grown 50% to 2700 since 2005. You are extremely fortunate to have my successor, Peter Leggat from Australia already selected by the Board and able to participate in full transition mode. I can already attest that the ISTM Secretariat and finances are in excellent, dedicated, and steady hands. I look forward to meeting everyone in Maastricht.
News from the Secretariat
The Secretariat has been an especially busy place lately! We have recently finished the 2013 Annual Membership mailings, activity surrounding the upcoming CISTM13 is building, the Exam registration is open, the Review Course is being finalized, and a multitude of other special activities are in process. We are grateful for the help provided by so many members within ISTM.
As you look through the 2013 Membership materials, you might have noticed two new categories on the Membership application itself. The Retiree Membership had been requested by the ISTM members and was recently approved by the Executive Board. The Associate Memberships category is a result of the Task Force on Internationalization. Led by Robert Steffen (Switzerland) and David Shlim (USA), the Task Force was charged to help ISTM become an international society truly representative of the travel medicine community across borders and continents. One of their many recommendations was the addition of the new Developing Country Associate Memberships. In order to encourage a broader membership base, those travel health professionals who reside in a country classified by the World Bank as Low Income or Low-Middle Income can become ISTM members at reduced rates.
If you have not already done so, please renew your membership today! Members have access to the TravelMed ListServe, the Travel Clinic Directory, and many specialized publications. In addition, with the CISTM13 coming in May, you will not want to miss any important emails or announcements on various special events or programs. Memberships can be renewed online at our website www.ISTM.org.
The 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine
Early Registration Open
Excitement is building for the 13th Conference of the ISTM! Early Registration, held until 31 December 2012, is now open. The Scientific Programme Committee Leadership of Mary Wilson, Chair (USA), Leo Visser, Co-Chair (The Netherlands), and Associate Chairs, Blaise Genton (Switzerland) and Christina Greenaway (Canada), along with the entire Committee, have been working tirelessly to insure that this year's conference has outstanding scientific content. Invited speakers include key opinion leaders and experts from each continent and a variety of professions within the travel medicine field. With four plenary sessions planned, 13 symposia, workshops, debates and panel discussions, expect to find cutting edge scientific sessions addressing a wide range of pre and post travel topics, new technologies, therapies and approaches, as well as ample opportunity for delegates to learn from each other by sharing their own knowledge and experience.
Antibiotic Resistance: Mobile Bugs in a Connected World
Dr. Herman Goossens - Belgium
Dr. Li Yang Hsu - Singapore
Dr. Antoine Andremont - France
Malaria: From Research to Recommendation
Dr. Abdisalan Mohamed Noor - Kenya
Dr. Quique Bassat - Spain
Dr. ValÃ©rie D'Acremont - Switzerland
One Health: Travellers and Zoonoses
Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou - USA
Dr. Peter Rabinovitz - USA
Dr. Roel Coutinho - The Netherlands
Mass Gatherings: Local and Global Consequences
Dr. Robert Steffen - Switzerland
Dr. Brian McCloskey - United Kingdom
Speaker to be determined
Abstract Submissions Now Being Accepted
The CISTM13 abstract submission program has now been activated. Abstracts must be submitted no later than 7 January 2013. If you have research results that you want to present at the meeting in Maastricht, you are encouraged to visit the abstract website for information on how to submit one or more abstracts describing your travel medicine related work. There will be opportunities for both oral and poster presentations in Maastricht. Although the abstract deadline is 7 January 2013, we hope that you will begin work early and submit your abstracts before the end of this year. You can access the website and submit your abstract. (Please note: you will need to establish a unique account on the abstract server website. Your ISTM username and account login will not work in that program.)
Enjoy the Local Environs During Your Stay
The Local Organizing Committee, led by Gerard Sonder (The Netherlands), has also worked hard to plan a conference that will offer attendees a welcoming venue and exceptional activities. CISTM13 delegates will enjoy an intimate setting in a state of the art conference centre. Maastricht, as one of the oldest cities in The Netherlands, is a wonderful place to explore magnificent buildings and culture, lovely cathedrals and a spectacularly cobblestoned town centre. The city is also well known for its fine cuisine, excellent shops and multicultural atmosphere.
On Tuesday evening, 21 May 2013, CISTM13 delegates will have the opportunity to dine in a unique and breathtaking venue at La Caverne de Geulheim - located in a beautifully decorated marl cave 30 metres below ground! You will dine to the light of more than 400 sparkling candles to a meal prepared to the highest culinary standards. Dinner at La Caverne de Geulheim is a separate ticketed event which can be purchased at the time of registration. Tickets include dinner as well as transportation to and from the venue. Space is limited, so be sure to include this dinner in your plans early.
Charity Donations Program
This year CISTM13 delegates have a unique opportunity to contribute to those in need around the world through the new ISTM Matching Charity Donations Program. The ISTM will match contributions made by delegates up to a maximum of USD 15,000, so donations made by you will be doubled by ISTM. The organizations selected to receive the donations for 2013 have been nominated by the ISTM membership and are: Chad Relief Foundation (www.chadrelief.org), Mae Tao Clinic (www.maetaoclinic.org), Neary Khmer (www.nearykhmer.org), Vine Trust (ww.vinetrust.org) and the Australian Himalayan Foundation (www.australianhimalayanfoundation.org.au). When you register for the CISTM13, please consider donating to these wonderful organizations.
Members can obtain the latest news on the upcoming CISTM13 on the ISTM website at www.ISTM.org. The Conference is also listed on LinkedIn, FaceBook, and Twitter. Updates on abstract submission, registration, sponsors, deadlines, and other Conference news will be also available.
In addition to the many Conference sessions, receptions and activities, the 2013 Certificate of Travel Health® Exam will be held Sunday, 19 May 2013 from 09.00 to 13.45 just prior to the opening of the CISTM13 in the MECC.
We hope to see you in Maastricht in May!
2013 Exam Registration Open!
The next Certificate in Travel Health ® (CTH) Examination will be held Sunday, 19 May 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The Exam will be held from 09.00 to 13.45, just prior to the opening of the CISTM13 in the Maastricht Exposition and Conference Center (MECC). If you plan to take the Exam in 2013, consider staying to participate in the CISTM13!
Registration for the 2013 Exam is available through 1 April 2013. No registrations can be accepted after 1 April 2013. Registration fees are payable only in U.S. Dollars and payment must be made by VISA, MasterCard or American Express through the electronic registration program.
If you plan to sit for the exam in 2013, please be sure to review the Candidate Bulletin.
More detailed information on the Exam, including application requirements, can be found on the ISTM website at www.ISTM.org.
2012 Body of Knowledge Updated
The 2012 Body of Knowledge Survey was conducted during August and September of 2012. The survey was created in Survey Monkey, and email invitations to complete the survey were sent out to 3,253 people. The survey was active for approximately a month, and three email reminders were sent out after the initial distribution. Responses were initially segmented by two groups. 1,595 invitations were sent to CTH® holders, and 1,658 invitations were sent to ISTM Members who do not hold the CTH®.
The response rate received is higher than typical for this type of survey. Overall the response rate was 20.69%, though ISTM Members responded at a higher 24.49% rate than those who hold the CTH® 16.74%.
Based on a review of the responses and extensive discussions, the 2012 Body of Knowledge was revised and is now available on the ISTM website here.
2013 ISTM North American Travel Medicine Update and Review Course
Toronto, Canada has been announced as the location of this year's Travel Medicine Update and Review Course. The Course will be held on 8-10 March 2013 in cooperation with the University of Toronto. As always, the Course will continue to provide the most current and relevant information needed by physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals who provide medical care and advice to travelers, expatriates, and migrants. Many attendees come every year to hear the latest information and remain current in their practices. Topics this year will include travel consultation and risk assessment, vaccinations, high risk and special needs travelers, travel clinic management, special populations, malaria, enteric infections, and various challenging travel cases, as well as a Mock Test review.
The Course provides a thorough update and review of the Body of Knowledge for the practice of travel medicine and assists in preparation for the CTH® exam. Participants have ample opportunities to interact with the faculty through question and answer sessions and informal discussions. CME and CE credits will be offered.
Registration will be open soon. To register or for more information please go the ISTM website at www.ISTM.org.
ISTM Announces the New Travel Medicine Continuing Professional Development Program Details
As with most healthcare disciplines, the practice of travel medicine is a changing and evolving field. In recognition of the critical need for travel medicine practitioners to maintain and increase their skills and knowledge, the ISTM has developed a continuing professional development program for travel medicine practitioners. The program is structured around a 10-year cycle of professional education, study and involvement in the field of travel medicine. Activities which comprise this program include, but are not limited to: passing an examination, educational programs and products, writing, editing and reviewing publications, teaching, research, clinical work and other professional development in which travel medicine practitioners participate.
The first step of this process is passing the CTH® examination. Beginning with the CTH® Certificates awarded in 2011, there is a mandatory maintenance process every ten (10) years to keep the certificate active. There are two avenues for maintaining an active CTH® - either accruing a specific number of credits through the professional development activities in which most travel medicine professionals already participate or retaking and passing the CTH® examination. Since the program became effective in 2011, travel medicine professionals who were awarded certificates prior to 2011 are encouraged to consider participating on a voluntary and not mandatory basis.
Detailed information about the requirements for the ISTM Travel Medicine Continuous Professional Development Program can be found online here. The ISTM is releasing this information to all ISTM Members and current CTH® holders in this draft format. The ISTM is allowing for a comment period to provide ample opportunities for the community to review the plan and submit comments, questions and concerns to the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org. The Call for Comment period will last ninety (90) days from the initial distribution of the program details on 11 February 2013.
The ISTM Travel Medicine Continuing Professional Development Program will provide greater confidence to the public and patients we treat, and enable the CTH® holders demonstrate to compliance authorities that the credential is relevant. Additionally, these activities will enhance and elevate the practice of travel medicine around the world.
The ISTM encourages comments, questions and concerns on the proposed plan. Please send your thoughts on the program to the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org.
New Additions to the Excellent Array of Expert Opinion Cases
The Professional Education Committee is pleased to announce the posting of two new Expert Opinion cases on the ISTM website. The first case is by Martin Haditsch of Austria on the topic of Tick Borne Encephalitis. Dr. Haditsch reviews the epidemiology, clinical features, and useful TBE vaccine information. The second case is by Christopher Van Tilburg of the United States who specializes in wilderness medicine and mountain search and rescue. His case is an adolescent traveling alone to competitively ski in the Andes Mountains. Dr. Van Tilburg covers the topics of altitude, tools for communication in remote areas, as well as practical travel and evacuation advice. Up and coming will be a Dengue case done by Poh Liam Lim and a case about patients traveling while on anti-coagulants medications, which will be done by Susan McLellan. Don't miss viewing these great cases!
Nancy Piper Jenks
17 Research Award Proposals Received
Many excellent research award proposals were submitted for review again this year. The Research and Awards Committee is initiating the process of review of the 17 submitted proposals, which will be completed by early next year. There appear to have been many exceptional and interesting proposals submitted that we hope will eventually generate new evidence to improve the practice of travel medicine. The awards will be announced at the 13th Conference of the ISTM in Maastricht in May of 2013.
The Role of Pharmacists in Canada
The practice of pharmacy varies in Canada's 10 provinces and 3 territories as pharmacy legislation is a provincial/territorial responsibility. As such, you will find what duties a pharmacist can perform is determined by location within the country. While it appears that all Canadian pharmacists are working towards prescribing and vaccination administration privileges, the current variance seen is due to ongoing legislative changes that the provinces and territories are undergoing and the fact they are at different stages in the process.
The specific interest in travel health is a self-directed study. There are vaccination courses available in a number of the provinces as vaccination by pharmacists, albeit new, is now finding its way to Canada but they are not focused on travel health but rather public health.
In regards to what pharmacists in communities are practicing there is a full range of experiences.
On the more traditional end, some provinces have pharmacists dispensing travel medications and vaccines as a result of a prescription presented by the patient. The pharmacist is not able to administer vaccines and the patient must return to their physicians office to have administered.
On the other end of the spectrum is the province of Alberta. Pharmacists are able to obtain prescribing rights and perform full travel health assessments, supply the prescription, fill the prescription, and administer vaccinations. Of note, prescribing rights are not specifically given just for the field of travel health.
Somewhere in the middle are the provinces such as Nova Scotia and British Columbia which allow pharmacists to administer vaccines but do not have prescribing rights.
With the exception of Alberta, a pre-travel consultation with a pharmacist is rather a grey area and not necessarily included in current legislation. This has not stopped pharmacists from being involved in the process of travel health and most pharmacists who have become involved have found a niche for themselves. Although the following models are not common some examples of current practices include: hiring of nurses (to perform vaccination), having collaborative agreements with physicians/clinics wherein the pharmacist does the consultation but the physician signs off on the order, and/or working in a travel clinic directly with a prescriber.
This is the current snap shot of pharmacists in Canada. As the provinces move through outdated pharmacy legislation and perform updates, the duties of the pharmacist will continue to evolve.
Destination Communities Support Interest Group
SASTM Conference, Johannesburg, September 2012
The superbly organized conference 'Travel Health Africa - the Past, Present and Future' took place in the Convention Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg and, apart from general travel medicine topics, focused particularly on topics of interest for African travelers and African destinations. Several ISTM Destination Communities Support Interest Group (DCSIG) Council members presented:
Irmgard Bauer - Romance Tourism: Curse or Blessing for African Destinations?
Santanu Chatterjee - 1) Out of Africa: Travel to India; 2) Travelling to Africa: India
Martin Haditsch - Travelling to Africa: Europe
Sheila Hall - Travelling to Africa: United Kingdom
After the conference, some of us had the opportunity to join a Medifari to Kruger National Park (organized by Albie de Frey) which included a visit to the rural Matikwana Hospital in Mkhuhlu, and lectures on local tropical diseases and zoonoses.
Before the conference, the DCSIG Council held an extensive general meeting (the minutes will be posted on the group's website). Also, Council members attended a meeting between SASTM Executives and ISTM executives exploring possible future directions of collaboration between the two organizations. The theme "Building bridges across the African continent" focused particularly on ways of expanding travel medicine to other African countries.
CISTM13 Maastricht, May 2013
We are currently working on the group's involvement in the conference. Our proposed pre-conference symposium has been approved in principle. There will also be a General Meeting for all DCSIG members. Details will be announced in time.
We also wish to advise that the current term of office of the present Council will terminate at the Maastricht conference in May 2013. Soon a call for nominations will be emailed to all group members including an indication of the time and workload involved with council business. Please consider self-nominating, or nominating another group member, to be involved in the group/s activities and future directions. The elections will take place in February 2013.
I was invited to participate in the 20th Anniversary Postgraduate Travel Medicine Course at James Cook University where I took the opportunity to market ISTM and DCSIG with a view of attracting more members.
Michael Muehlenbein and Garth Brink are currently working on a survey with the aim to develop tools assisting travel medicine practitioners with aspects related to ecotourism.
Latest News: Our website has been revamped. Please visit and explore all the links. Also let us know any feedback about the site. You will find that we also have started to include publications of DCSIG members if the topic is linked to the DCSIG mission. We invite all DCSIG members who have published or presented on a relevant topic, to please let us know and we will put your reference details on the site as well.
Psychological Health of Travelers Interest Group
Bibliography Available for Reference
Members of the Psychological Health Interest Group have compiled the latest and most informative list of published books, articles and other items on mental health and international travel. The extensive list of topics includes pre-travel preparation and screening, culture shock, problems during travel, post-travel consultation and repatriation, and special populations and circumstances. ISTM Members can access this information by clicking here. If you have suggestions for additional items to post, please let the Interest Group know by emailing the ISTM Secretariat at ISTM@ISTM.org. They will be working to keep this new resource updated and current.
ISTM Chooses a New Editor for NewsShare
Chris Van Tilburg
Travel and adventure are practically synonymous. Travel generally involves some adventure and adventure usually requires travel. Adventure travel is an integral part of travel medicine, perhaps the most interesting and challenging part for travel medicine practitioners, certainly the part that consumes most of their time. Just check the programs at ISTM meetings and ISTM listserve discussions.
So what has all this travel/adventure talk to do with choosing a new editor for NewsShare? A lot. For the chosen one is Christopher Van Tilburg. If, indeed, the leaders of the ISTM sat down and wrote out their "wish list" for the ideal person to fill that position, no matter how detailed and comprehensive their list was, very likely Christopher's accomplishments would easily trump it. Emergency medicine physician. Travel medicine practitioner. Adventurer. Professional science writer. Journalist. Author of books and lecturer on adventure travel for both practitioners and the public. Former editor (for ten years) of the Wilderness Medical Society newsletter, with six years on the executive board of that Society. What else could one ask for?
But that is just the beginning. Senior Aviation Medical Officer with the Federal Aviation Administration. Extensive experience in wilderness search and rescue operations. Consultant in medical-legal aspects of outdoor sports. Participant in numerous international medical relief missions.
And there is more. Much more. Christopher has been all over the world on person-to-person exchanges, educational programs and expeditions. He recently led a medical relief group to Haiti, a ski tour in the Andes, and educational programs to Peru and the Alps. He has authored ten books, including Mountain Rescue Doctor: Wilderness Medicine in the Extremes of Nature (St. Martins, 2007), which was a finalist for Oregon Book Awards and Banff Festival of Mountain Films. His latest project is Adrenaline Junkies Bucket List: 100 Extreme Adventures to do Before You Die (St. Martins, 2013). He has written for National Geographic Adventure, Outside's blog, Adventuremedicalkits.com, Backcountry, and Portland Monthly.
As a volunteer, he works with Hood River Crag Rats, the oldest mountain rescue team in the nation. He volunteers to get people off mountains in blizzards, dig them out from under avalanches, and lift them up out of deep canyons, to mention just a few. He works in travel and occupational medicine in Hood River, Oregon, and volunteers at the Mountain Emergency Services on Mount Hood. He is a member Mountain Rescue Association Medical Committee.
To amass a CV this impressive, he started his various careers very early in his life. "I grew up skiing, hunting, fishing, and traveling the world. My parents were involved with Friendship Force, an international person-to-person exchange program started by [former U.S. President] Jimmy and Roslyn Carter. By the time I graduated from medical school, I had been to 50 countries on five continents. I got my start writing as a sports reporter for a local newspaper when I was 16 years old.
"I first became interested in travel and wilderness medicine the summer before medical school. I went on a medical/dental mission with my dad, an orthodontist, to the jungles of Ecuador. That trip led to a research project, "Attitudes Towards Medical Relief in Developing Countries," published in the Journal of Wilderness Medicine. And that in turn began my career in writing and medicine. I found that travel and wilderness medicine were a way to blend my passion and profession."
Apparently, passion for travel and the wilderness must be a dominant gene, one Christopher inherited from his father and passed on to his two teenage daughters. They have skied in the Andes, snorkeled in the South Pacific and spent many nights in a tent on backpacking trips. Next year Christopher is taking his older daughter to Haiti on a medical mission.
"In my spare time, I trail run, windsurf, mountain bike, stand up paddle*, cycle, and compete in the crazy sport of cyclo-cross.** And I write all the time. I also am a big proponent of volunteerism: I work in the local school and coach youth soccer."
"I am very much looking forward to being editor of NewsShare. I hope to foster communication within the ISTM, promote the field of travel medicine, and improve awareness of the society, possibly through kindred professional societies and social networking."
*Stand up paddle surfing and stand up paddleboarding is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and has reemerged as a way for surfers to paddle longer distances. Unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. (Wikipedia)
** Cyclo-cross is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter and consists of many laps of a short (2.5-3.5 km) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles, requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigating the obstruction and remount. Races are generally between 30 minutes and an hour long, with the distance varying depending on the ground conditions. (Wikipedia)
Karl is a frequent contributor to ISTM NewsShare and its former editor. He also preceded Christopher as the editor of the Wilderness Medical Society newsletter.
ISTM Crossword Puzzle
Test your CTH® Knowledge!
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