Dear friends and esteemed colleagues,
At the recent 48th ISPN Meeting in Singapore in December 2022, the first face-to-face meeting since the start of the pandemic, we had more than 500 registrations. This amazing unexpected number of registrations shows the need for active physical interaction among the members of this Society. The ISPN’s mission is to promote the health of our young patients, but as a Society, one of its role is also to be “there” for our members by providing support, training and most importantly, friends from different parts of the world through its networking capabilities, boosted by social media and information technology. ISPN meetings, courses and activities have always been open, cordial, friendly gatherings, with personal exchanges of work, education and experiences.
Our immediate Past President, Rick Boop, has led the ISPN to the forefront of surgical advocacy by joining the G4 – the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care, a coalition of 60-plus member organisations dedicated to advocating globally for the neglected surgical patient. The G4 Alliance has co-founded the Global Alliance for Spina Bifida F (GAPSBiF) which is currently working to introduce a World Health Assembly Resolution on folate fortification for the prevention of spina bifida in children. Several of our ISPN members, including Adrian Caceres, Kemel Ghotme and Jeffrey Blount have already been individually involved in the project. With the ISPN joining the G4 Alliance, it will carry the weight of the international pediatric neurosurgery community in getting the resolution passed, with Rick guiding the newly formed ad-hoc Advocacy Committee chaired by Kemel.
In the Education arena, Nelci Zanon, Education Committee Chair and Jeffery Blount, Co-chair, have worked very hard and planned a host of educational activities for this year, including face-to-face courses, webinars, medical student courses, and our popular Clash of the Titan debates. Expect also new changes to the Guide, our online e-book, as Rick Abbott and his team bring in new technology and new authors to refresh it. And of course, please make plans to participate in the ISPN 2023 meeting which will be held in Viña del Mar, Chile, from October 15-19, 2023, hosted by Sergio Valenzuela, who promises great food, especially Chilean seafood and wines and the friendly atmosphere and warm fellowship which is the hallmark of the international pediatric neurosurgery community whenever we meet.
Last but not least, due to the hard work and dogged determination put in by Shlomi Constantini, past Membership Committee Chair, and now our President-elect, and his then co-chair, now Chair, Suchanda, to grow the Society, the ISPN has indeed grown by almost 20% in the past year. This amazing increase in our membership signifies that there is a growth of pediatric neurosurgeons or general neurosurgeons doing pediatric work, who understand the need to belong to a community. The ISPN has much to offer to our fellow paediatric neurosurgeons and with the efforts put in by the ISPN’s leadership team, it will continue to do so. At the same time, I also urge our members to join the various committees of the ISPN so as to get involved in organised neurosurgery (by writing to us) and to help meet the needs of our colleagues world-wide.
The ISPN website will continue to be updated regularly, so check in regularly to browse for new programs, activities and news so that you can make the best use of your society membership.
Wan Tew Seow
ISPN President 2022-2023