A Message from the President January 2020
Wishing you all Season’s Greetings and a very Happy New Year!!!
I want to extend a special thanks to all those involved with the organization of a great scientific and social feast at Nice. We not only had great scientific discussions, we could also deliberate at length on various administrative issues, especially the ISCoS Strategic plan.
2019 has been a whirlwind of a year for ISCoS. It has also been a year of surprises. Could you ever have imagined that three out of the four ISCoS Executive members would be women? Well, it has actually happened with Ruth Marshall elected as President-Elect and Ellen Merete Hagen as Treasurer! Together with Susan Charlifue, the ISCoS Secretary, they bring in a great strength to the ISCoS Executive.
Our updated Constitution and Bylaws are taking a final shape thanks to your inputs. We are also at present finalizing a wonderful and accessible meeting site in Canada for 2021. However you would agree that one of the hall mark initiatives under taken by ISCoS in 2019 was commencement of work on the ISCoS Strategic Plan.
The ISCoS Strategic Management Committee (comprising of ISCoS Board members and five Past Presidents) discussed the Strategic Plan at depth and decided on the following priorities for ISCoS:
- Streamlining Activities, Organizational Structure and Governance (including Financial Management)
- Scientific Activities
- Education, Training & Capacity Building
- Partnering/ Collaboration.
A committee comprising of Dr Ruth Marshall, Dr Susan Charlifue, Mr. Stephen Muldoon, Dr Marcalee Alexander and Dr James Middleton are working on the draft ISCoS Mission, Vision, Core Values, Goals and Objectives. We will now be deliberating on the initiatives to meet each strategic priority/objective. In a previous Newsletter message we had discussed on the various possible initiatives of Research. In this Newsletter let’s deliberate on the possible initiatives pertaining to Advocacy.
- Create awareness for prevention and management of SCI:
- Strengthening prevention committee
- Conducting awareness programs in various LMICs.
- Renewing the tradition of having an Injury prevention workshop at each ASM.
- Using social media or tele health to spread awareness.
- Development of guidelines for SCI prevention programs which could be adapted in different countries as per their requirements. ISCoS should collaborate with WHO, NGOs, related societies /organizations and consumer groups for the same.
- Promote SCI Day globally
- Increasing awareness amongst all related Societies
- Lobbying with International bodies like WHO/UN to get their recognition for SCI day
- Promoting SCI Day through social media and consumer groups.
- Improvement of SCI care across the globe
- Liaising with concerned authorities for inclusion of SCI management within the curriculum of health professional degree programs and encourage students to take electives on SCI management
- Liaising with WHO and other health organizations with regard to its various educational activities
- Promoting affiliated/regional spinal cord societies to come out with their journals/newsletters/bulletins, organize conferences/symposiums and to be proactive for other educational & training activities pertaining to SCI
- Promoting community awareness about SCI management. This would include not only awareness about acute management after SCI but also long term management and community inclusion including various issues like sustainability
- Promoting networking of various NGOs/Societies /organizations working in this field
- Regional and global training and research activities for professionals, promoting newer techniques for management of spinal cord injury.
- Promoting researchers to highlight newer techniques at the ISCoS annual meeting
- Sensitize government officials &NGOs/organizations as well as medical/paramedical professionals about the impact of SCI management and prevention on the quality of life following SCI and the need for setting of spinal cord injury management cum research centres.
- Involving SCI consumers in various educational activities
- Promote ethical practices in SCI management:
- Encouraging development of guidelines/legislation on various issues faced by the health professionals/consumers.
- Compiling position statements on various ethical issues; popularizing these statements.
- Raising awareness about ethical clinical practices/guidelines pertaining to patient physician relationship, industry physician relationship, availability of adequate infrastructure for SCI management, diagnostic evaluation, appropriate patient selection for conservative/surgical management, multidisciplinary comprehensive management, ventilatory dependent or terminal ill patients, experimental procedures like stem cell transplantation.
Is ISCoS doing enough as a professional body with regard to Advocacy pertaining to spinal injuries, its prevention and management? I would encourage members to think of various initiatives in this regard which should be covered in the ISCoS Strategic Plan 2020-2021. Members should also deliberate on prioritizing of these strategies for optimal utilization of available resources.
So keep brainstorming! Let us rise up together to the challenge posed by spinal injuries.