As 2017 draws to a close and we prepare to greet the New Year, it is a time of both celebration and reflection.
In October I was honored to assume the role of President of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO). I thank all of the Presidents who have come before me, the Member Societies and Regional Affiliate Associations that support the WGO, and all of the past WGO Officers, and Committee and Interest Group members for your many contributions to WGO. I am humbled by your accomplishments and eager to see your legacies carried into the future.
The success of an organization requires many hands and hearts to be achieved. In our efforts to carry out the mission and vision of WGO, I am joined by the members of the WGO Governing Council. With the support of the members of the WGO Committees and Interest Groups, we endeavor together to coordinate the many WGO activities worldwide.
WGO's mandate to be the global guardian of digestive health is accomplished through a variety of activities organized around four main pillars of service: Train, Educate, Inform and Advocate.
I would like to share with you some examples of the work that is being accomplished under the umbrella of these four pillars.
WGO TRAINS primarily through its flagship program comprised of 23 WGO-endorsed Training Centers. The Training Centers exemplify what is truly unique about our organization. These centers provide training and education opportunities where the need is greatest and where delivery of health interventions and treatment options, as well as the application of expertise and skills, can be retained at the local level in underserved regions globally. WGO supports scholars and trainees who have the opportunity to train in a WGO Training Center. The organization also funded a broad array of training and education activities this past year, all of which are held in the WGO Training Centers.
WGO EDUCATES primarily through its uniquely-formatted Train the Trainers workshops. Train the Trainers workshops bring together trainers in gastroenterology, hepatology and other related disciplines from all corners of the globe who engage in an intensive and highly interactive format designed to develop teaching and training skills. In April 2017, WGO was proud to present its first French-language TTT in Marrakesh, Morocco. And looking ahead to 2018, we are planning to convene the first TTT to take place in Sub-Saharan Africa.
WGO INFORMS over a variety of platforms to communicate with all of our members and other constituents. There is e-WGN, WGO's digital quarterly newsletter, overseen by its Co-Editors, Christine Surawicz (USA) and Mario Reis (Brazil), whose efforts to produce this superb and informative publication we applaud. Over the past year, WGO has also seen its online presence grow through its Facebook and Twitter accounts. Our Facebook and Twitter feeds, along with the WGO website, provide the latest news and information on the society and what is happening in the world of gastroenterology, hepatology, and other related disciplines, while also highlighting all of the exciting events, tools and resources that come out of each annual World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) campaign. In particular, our presence on social media has provided a platform for real-time, direct communication with our members and other constituents. In 2018, WGO will expand its online presence to include LinkedIn, providing yet another opportunity to engage with the greater GI community as well as the general public.
We invite you to join our social network and stay current with WGO, the WGO Foundation (WGOF) and WDHD in 2018.
And finally, WGO ADVOCATES through its annual advocacy and public awareness campaign to create global awareness of digestive health, World Digestive Health Day (WDHD). A yearlong campaign, WDHD is officially celebrated annually on 29 May. Through each WDHD campaign year, WGO aims to put into perspective several aspects related to the annual theme, from prevalence to diagnosis, prevention and treatment. In 2017, WGO focused on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). A collection of tools and resources were developed around this campaign and are available on the WGO website. WGO is especially grateful to the many WGO members, regional affiliate associations, organizational sponsors and partners, and the general public as they organized and participated in WDHD-dedicated events around the globe. Join us again in 2018 as we bring awareness to Viral Hepatitis, B and C, and strive to lift this global burden!
Any success that WGO has achieved has come through the joint efforts of those who have come before me and the colleagues who will join me over the next two years in service to the WGO. I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate and work with our Member Societies and Regional Affiliate Associations, and the many individuals who give the gift of their time to the WGO. WGO's programs and initiatives would be impossible without the support and enthusiasm of each member and contributor to our organization. On behalf of the WGO, I thank you.
I look forward to our work together in the months to come.
Best wishes to you and your family for a joyful and safe holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year!