A priority for this year has been to facilitate interaction among North and South American epidemiologists and public health professionals. This is a joint effort with Jaime Miranda, South American representative. Two initiatives illustrate some of what we have been doing. First, discussions are underway as to whether in 2016, the North American Congress of Epidemiology will become the “PanAmerican Congress” with IEA as a co-sponsor. Second, a Latin American Public Health Conference (Congreso Latinoamericano de Salud Pública) will be held in Cordoba, Argentina in November 2012, and IEA will participate in developing the scientific program, aiming to include some speakers and audience from North as well as South America.
The 2014 IEA Congress in Anchorage will become an increasingly central focus over the next two years. A specific plan for publicity, recruitment, and funding will be made after the August 2012 IEA Council meeting in Anchorage. Some support has already been arranged, however, for travel awards for early investigators from low income countries. Also, the Congress is being announced at various meetings with an international audience and where global collaborations are of interest, drawing in investigators such as Drs. Fiona Stanley and Sandra Eades (pictured here, with Dr. Marcus Pembrey). Drs. Stanley and Eades are working on a multi-generational study of Aboriginal people, relevant to the themes of the 2014 Anchorage conference.
At the same time, we are sustaining (and when possible extending) ties between IEA and North American organizations. An IEA Symposium will be held at SER in June 2012, “Toward an epidemiology of Global Mental Health”. The potential co-sponsorship of the 2016 Congress by IEA, noted above, would also be a significant long-term contribution toward this goal. Also relevant here, a conference call was held that brought together past North American representatives over a 25-year period, in order to learn from their experiences. The advice received was extremely helpful, and moreover, past IEA representatives are leaders in epidemiology and an important ongoing constituency of IEA in North America.
Ezra Susser, Regional Area Councillor (North America)