Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is an incredible honor and privilege to serve as the President of EURAPS for the year 2018/2019. I will assume this responsibility with my utmost dedication and respect.
I first became involved in the EURAPS organization as a member of the Scientific Program Committee in 2004. Since then, I have been a member of this Committee multiple times- in 2014 also as a Representative of the Reviewers. From 2006 to 2010, I have served as the German delegate of the EURAPS-Council. As Chair of the By Laws Revision Committee my colleagues and I updated the EURAPS-By-Laws this year.
During the last twenty years I have encouraged young staff members from my Department at the University Hospital in Aachen to submit abstracts to the EURAPS Research Council and the EURAPS Meetings. Several of them were among the Winners of the EURAPS Best Paper, the Young Plastic Surgeons Scholarship, the Hans Anderl Award as well as the EURAPS Research Council Best Papers. During the last 15 years I also could gain some experiences in political work as a Board Member and as President of several European and International Plastic Surgery organizations.
Our 29th meeting in Madrid was very successful with about 400 registered participants coming from 29 different countries and with 318 submitted abstracts, from which only a small fraction could be accepted. In the well-attended sessions, the auditorium could enjoy the highest quality of the academic program. I would like to congratulate the local host, Prof. Bernardo Hontanilla and the Scientific Program Committee for the excellent organization. I am particularly thankful for the high attendance of our American colleagues, among them the President, The Vice President and the President Elect of the American Association of Plastic Surgery (AAPS) as well as the Past President (2015) of the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS).
During my term as EURAPS President I strive to work on the EURAPS key objectives: The promotion of excellence of Plastic Surgery in Europe, the stimulation of research and the preservation of the unity of Plastic Surgery. In addition to that, it is my mission to support the education of trainees and junior specialists. It goes without saying that the young generation represents our future.
To that end our Executive Committee and General Assembly in Madrid established an Education Committee, chaired by Prof. Daniel Kalbermatten.
This committee supported by our very active EURAPS Junior Working Group will elaborate a program and start negotiations with the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery (SBCP). Recently, I was contacted by Dr. Nelson Piccolo, the Chancellor of SBCP and Dr. Osvaldo Saldanha, the Director for Training Services in Brazil, to found an international education program together with the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS).
Currently EURAPS counts 249 members and the number is still growing in its 30th year – despite of strict admission criteria. However, some European countries – especially in East and North Europe – are underrepresented. Therefore, one major task for the coming years is to integrate top-level Plastic Surgeons from these countries.
My vision for EURAPS is to maintain its status as one of the most respected associations of Plastic Surgery in the world and to connect it with other sister associations, as it has proven to be very successful with the American Association of Plastic Surgery (AAPS). Therefore, I will closely work with the Secretary General, the Executive Committee (ExCo) and the EURAPS Committees to continue the prosperous development of our Association.
Of course, moving on successfully is based on hard work and service. That starts at the top with the excellent performance given by our current Secretary General, Prof. Fabio Santanelli di Pompeo, and by all the members of our Executive Committee. To realize and fulfill the tasks, it requires volunteers, who are willing to take the burden of continuous honorary work. They are essential pillars of our Association and deserve our great recognition. In this context I would like to thank our current Secretary General and all his predecessors for their exemplary dedication for EURAPS. My gratitude also to all the previous Presidents, Treasurers, ExCo- and Committee members, who led EURAPS to the most successful and elitist Association of Plastic Surgery in Europe.
It is my great pleasure to invite you all to the 30th annual meeting in Helsinki on May 23rd -25th 2019, where the local host Prof. Sinikka Suominen will organize an exciting event honoring the 30th anniversary of EURAPS. The high scientific level program will be combined with an outstanding social program and with an energized exhibit hall, where you can interact with our industry partners.