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GFHM 2013
GFHM 2013 Booking


Dear Friends, The 9th Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery was held in Geneva, Switzerland, June 26-29, 2013.

This Global Forum (GF) was the most outstanding GF so far with more than 170 participants from all continents.

The 1st day, June 26, was dedicated as a learning session for the International Quality Improvement Collaborative (IQIC), launched at the GF meeting in 2007, with now more than 20.000 entries from participating sites. More than 70 participants from IQIC partner sites from all corners of the world were present. The program was put together by the Executive Board of the ICQI under the leadership of Professor Kathy Jenkins, Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA... Participants were sponsored by great generosity by Children’s Hospital in Boston, Children’s HeartLink, Minneapolis and through local funds. Professor Jenkins presented the 2013 data. The entered data is validated through site visits which makes the data reliable. The data presented is truly amazing and the registry’s future is bright.

The first session dealt with IQIC data collection followed by lively and open discussion mainly addressing difficulties and how to overcome them.

The second session concentrated upon using collaborative tools to build team communication and culture. IQCI partner sites presented local experiences from Guatemala, India, Colombia and Mexico followed by a very interactive and constructed discussion.

The plenary session was given by Patricia Hickey from Children’s Hospital in Boston presenting new interesting data on nurse staffing experiences and outcomes – empowerment of nurses.

During the afternoon a session geared into sharing experiences. Presenters were participants from partner sites in India, Singapore and Argentina.

The next session addressed quality improvement and the IQIC, with two presentations one from Boston and one from India. This was followed by breakout session where the participants in small groups discussed and planned for various quality Improvement programs that could be incorporated in or extracted from the IQIC database .Presentations from the groups followed by a lively and interactive discussion which continued during an organized dinner for all the participants.

All the IQIC partner sites present at the meeting had prepared posters (storyboards) regarding their local work, successes and pitfalls. The posters were all of excellent quality. There were in all 24 posters that were exhibited at the entrance of the Auditorium in the area set aside for breaks throughout the entire GF meeting.  

On June 27 a plenary session followed the official Opening of the 9th GF by The GF President A. Kalangos and a speech (see below) by Professor UNGER, the state councilor of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

The plenary session included excellent addresses from the World Health Organization (WHO, Dr. S. Mendis), World Heart Federation (WHF, Prof. K. Taubert), Frontier Lifeline, India (Dr. R. Agarwal) Heart-to-Heart Inc (Ms Josie Everett) and from the Pan African Society (PACaTS, Dr C. Mestres). The auditorium was nearly full and an open and friendly discussion followed the excellent presentations.

During the lunch break the Oscar nominated best short documentary movie “OPEN HEART” produced by Kief Davidson and Coral Shepard Stern was shown in collaboration with the Italian NGO Emergency.

The next session was a teamed session by the IQIC on measurements of quality and outcomes of cardiac medicine in emerging countries concentrating on infection rates and mortality. Professor Jenkins, based on data from the IQIC database demonstrated a significant reduction in infection and mortality rates following introduction of infection reduction programs.  This was followed by IQIC partner site presentations regarding various infection reduction programs from China, Vietnam, Mexico and India.

The last session of the day included various types of successful projects to achieve sustainability. Presentations came from Italy (Prof. Frigiola), Vietnam (Mrs. Austin King), Children’s HeartLink (Bistra Zheleva), Frontier Lifeline Hospital (Dr. Agarwal) and Chain of Hope Belgium (Dr, Rubay). The session finished with lively discussions followed by bus transport to Chateau de Penthe for an excellent piano concert performed by the concert pianist Mr. A. Shachal and after the concert a welcome reception followed.    

On Friday June 28 the morning sessions were dedicated to the Global Heart Network (GHN) platform, yet another important milestone launched by the GF. Annabel Lavielle and her team presented the GHN platform followed by several important possible applications for the network. These presentations included telemedicine program via the GHN, strategies working with medical supply manufacturers, presentation of the Medtronic‘s Global Health strategy, presentations the World Heart Federation and the importance of a collaborative platform. The importance of collaboration to promote shared objective (Global Health-East meets West) was discussed, OpenPEDiatrics was presented as well as GHN guidelines for standards and ethics for best practices in building medical missions.

The morning sessions were finished by a panel discussion with presenters and representatives from Vietnam, Nigeria, Liberia and India. Efforts will now move to attract more participants on the GHN platform.

The afternoon was dedicated to discussions regarding comprehensive cardiovascular program in Rwanda. The program was organized by Prof. Bohlman, Team Heart Inc, Boston, which included a telemessage from the Minister of Health, Rwanda and experiences of visiting teams and the local team.

Following the presentations from Rwanda, Australia, Belgium and USA, a lively and interesting discussion followed.

The evening was free for the participants.

On the last day, June 29 in the morning 4 free papers on humanitarian activities were presented from Brazil, UK, Italy and Morocco.

The last session covered the importance of education and training with presentations from Surgeons of Hope, Children’s Hospital in Boston and Chain of Hope France, Congenital problems in adulthood was presented by Dr Somerville, UK.

By noon the Forum came to its conclusion after 3.5 days of excellent transfer of knowledge and lively discussions.

Before ending this summary of the GF 9th meeting I wish to thank all those who made this meeting successful, participants and presenters alike. I also want to thank the sponsors and the GHN, IQIC and Children’s HeartLink for their generous support, without their contributions this event would not have been the great success.

We are in the process of upload to our website most of the presentations given during the meeting after permission from the presenters, as well as the poster presentations (storyboards).

The next Global Forum will be organized by Professor Novick and his team in Memphis, TN, USA, October 17-19, 2014. More information will be found on our website in due time as well as registration for the meeting. Please earmark already now the dates in your calendar.

I wish you all a wonderful, productive year to come and hope to see as many of you as possible in Memphis next year.

The 11th GF will again be held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015

All the best to all of you,  

Dr. Jan T. Christenson, MA, MD, PhD

Secretary General

Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine

In Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

Welcome Speech of Professor A, KALANGOS for the 9th GFHM

Addressed to:

The State Councilor Mr Pierre François Unger,
Distinguished Guests,
Dear colleagues and friends,
Ladies, Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you to the inauguration of the 9th Global Humanitarian Forum. Over the years, the Global Forum has come to surpass the dimensions of a simple meeting to become an institution comprised of competent, motivated and empathetic professionals at the height of their careers, who volunteer their expertise for the humanitarian cause. As I look at the progress made during the previous Forums, I realize the numerous challenges we can undertake because of the devotion that drives us all.

This Global Forum allows us to define our priorities, and better understand the daily realities that are confronted by our patients and the health professionals working in developing countries.
It constitutes a platform for exchange of ideas, dialogue, and communication between those who need help and those who can provide it, through visionary projects and realistic solutions to problems encountered.

And when one speaks of durable solutions, this clearly entails capacity building and ensuring training abroad and on site. These two critical elements are the basis for motivating professionals within developing countries and for driving us to invest our energy and resources in them.

It is this sense of structured and durable contribution upon which we build our humanitarian acts that allows for the realization of projects inspired by our partnerships in these countries of need that in turn motivates us to continue to participate and express our concerns on these vital issues.

This Global Forum, that we have all created together, is strengthened by our conviction that it is indeed indispensable, and that it provides an opportunity for our partners in developing countries to communicate and specify their needs so that we can better answer them.
It is for them that this Global Forum was initiated, and I am pleased to see that more and more of our colleagues are able to participate each year, despite the financial burden that this entails for them.

I would like to emphasize my gratitude to the State of Geneva, the University Hospital, my collaborators and staff members, and the sponsors who make it possible for this Forum to take place every two years in Geneva. I hereby wish you a Global Forum rich in knowledge and lasting friendships.

Geneva, June 27, 2013
HUG, Salle Marcel Jenny