Dear Colleagues, I’m honoured for being elected to serve you as your new President.
The list of past Presidents includes prominent figures in the field like, Andreas Tzakis, David Grant, Thomas Fishbein, Kareem Abu-Elmagd, Douglas Farmer, Debra Sudan, George Mazariegos, and Simon Horslen; and with them an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and commitment to this Association, which for the first time chose a president from a different region, Latin América.
I joined the SBTS in 2001 and over the last 20 years, I witnessed a significant series of changes including a slow but progressive improvement in patients and graft survival; the development of rehabilitation surgery in adults and children, as well as the increasing use of enterohormones as part of the medical rehabilitation. These achievements were only possible due to acceptance of having a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach for the care of our patients.
The daily interaction between physicians, surgeons and allied health professionals has become the strongest and leading force to continue improving patient care worldwide, and which inspired the leading council to modify our name to Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplant Association in 2015.
Over the last 6 years, the global medical and surgical intestinal rehabilitation leaders helped to consolidate our association. In the coming years, we will face the challenge to better understand the current availability of rehabilitation and transplant programs worldwide; of providing better options to patients living in underserved areas of the globe, and of becoming "The Association” that will provide guidelines to rule-out the field in order to sustain its mission: optimizing the lives of intestinal failure patients worldwide.
Having worldwide registries for adults and children will help to better understand individual needs. Today there are countries lacking Home Parenteral Nutrition Programs, others do not have rehabilitation surgery, and less have the possibility of offering transplant services. We have the responsibility of working to start reducing this inequity for the benefit of our patients.
I’m proud of the group of executive leaders and council. With them, we will outreach countries, programs, and physicians, in order to better serve them by increasing the number of members and centers joining IRTA and advancing the support of professionals working in the field of rehabilitation and transplantation by increasing education, research and advocacy. We will be their mentors.
Transplantation surgery will remain as our main area of work. The International Intestinal Transplant Registry, the development of multicenter, basic sciences and communication committees together with new task forces, will focus on trying to better understand the current causes of graft loss in order to improve long term graft survivals.
Excellence, Collaboration, Advocacy and Integrity will only continue being our core values if we all commit to serve all members and patients by creating a global community of practice.
I’m pleased to serve and work for you.
The IFR is endorsed by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN)
The IFR is supported by non-restricted and education grants by Takeda LTD and Stanford University & the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital