Message from the EHA President
As the year closes, is with great pleasure that I reflect on 2021, six months into my Presidency of the European Hematology Association (EHA). It is also time to look forward to the new year. While navigating the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EHA remains focused on its mission: serving our community of medical professionals and scientists with an active interest in hematology, on behalf of patients with blood disorders.
In a year that marks great achievements for our organization, there have sadly also been losses. These include the untimely loss of Ton Hagenbeek and Anneke Brand. Both were highly valued, active members of the EHA hematology community. They remain in our memory and are dearly missed.
The EHA2021 Virtual Congress was an undoubted success, although all of us would have much preferred to meet in person. Looking forward, after two virtual editions, EHA is excited to organize its first ever hybrid Annual Congress, live from Vienna in June. We hope that many of you will join us there and are currently fully involved in preparations and eventualities.
For lifelong learning, the EHA Campus has grown significantly. Its learning formats and content have had tremendous success, not only via the Campus but also in social media. In the past months, considerable effort has gone into expanding the online experience outside the Campus platform, with weekly or bi-weekly items such as #LearningMondays, #ThinkingThursdays and EHA Cases. Looking ahead, we will launch a new resource for clinicians: The Diagnostic Repository. More information will be available soon.
The EHA Kick-off Grants represent a new horizon in EHA's approach to research funding. By supporting high-risk, high-impact research ideas, we can further push the boundaries of the field of hematology, and support early-career professionals; giving them a voice and empowering them to take the next steps in their professional development. We have also recently launched EHA Bilateral Collaborative Grants, which we surmise will be very popular.
EHA is broadening its mentoring scope, with a new program under development: the Computational Biology Training in Hematology (CBTH). We are also working on the inaugural EHA Research Conference, heavily inspired by the Gordon/Keystone models: more information will follow soon.
I am happy to see that the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force on optimising representation of and service to the various members of our community has been established. The DEI team is working on initiatives and activities to empower EHA, and will be advising the EHA Board and committees. YoungEHA, one of the engines for harnessing EHA potential, continues its progressive integration into EHA committee activities, with the enthusiasm that characterises it’s growing, dynamic membership.
Looking towards the future: the new year will be dominated by our Commitment to Excellence and at least two milestones, as we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of EHA, as well as the 5th anniversary of HemaSphere. We are prepared for the future opportunities and challenges that the “New Normal” will undoubtedly bring, at a time when the European Health space is becoming a reality.
On this happy note, I would like to thank the members of the EHA Executive Board, the EHA Board, EHA committees & taskforces, the staff of the EHA Executive Office, and all our partners around the globe for their incredible dedication and cooperation, allowing EHA to fulfil its mission in promoting excellence in patient care, research, and education in hematology.
Wishing you all happy holidays and a serene and successful but above all healthy new year.