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It is my pleasure to invite you to join us for the 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine (CISTM13) on 19-23 May 2013 in Maastricht, The Netherlands. ISTM has grown to more than 2700 members in over 80 countries and is the largest organisation of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the field of travel medicine. The ISTM Conferences are outstanding opportunities that occur only every two years and allow travel medicine practitioners from around the globe to come together to update on the latest science and evidence, enjoy a collegial environment and do a bit of travelling themselves.
The Scientific Committee for the conference is exceptional - being led by Chair Mary E. Wilson, United States, and Co-Chair Leo G. Visser, The Netherlands - and is hard at work creating a truly outstanding scientific programme. You can see the full Committee list here. Invited speakers include key opinion leaders and experts from each continent and we are thrilled to assemble such a distinguished faculty for this conference. Expect to find cutting edge scientific sessions addressing a wide range of pre and post travel topics, new technologies, therapies and approaches, workshops designed to unravel and make sense of the daily perplexities and problems which many of us face, and ample opportunity for delegates to learn from each other by sharing their own knowledge and experience. In addition to our internationally-recognized CTH® Examination on Sunday, 19 May, we are also planning to hold a number of specialty pre-CISTM courses.
I can't imagine a more appropriate place than Maastricht in which to hold a conference of the ISTM. I have visited Maastricht several times in the planning of the CISTM and I become more enchanted each time I go there - it will be so perfect for our meeting. It is nestled between Amsterdam and Brussels and will offer delegates an intimate setting in a state of the art conference center. As the oldest city in The Netherlands (a claim it shares with Nijmegen I am reliably informed), Maastricht is a wonderful place to spend time exploring its magnificent buildings and culture, lovely cathedrals and spectacularly cobblestoned town centre. The city is also well known for its fine cuisine, excellent shops and multicultural atmosphere.
ISTM is delighted to be working with a number of eminent local travel medicine professionals, from Netherlands and Belgium, on the planning for the meeting. Indeed I have been inspired by the activities of my colleagues in this part of Europe â€“ where travel medicine has been very well organized and practiced for many years. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) includes representatives from Amsterdam, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Sittard and Terneuzen in The Netherlands, and Antwerpen, Brussels, Gent, and Luik, Belgium. The full LOC is listed here. Gerard Sonder, Director of the Netherlands National Coordination Centre for Travellers Health Advice (LCR), is the Chair of the LOC and they have been hard at work planning for a welcoming venue and exceptional activities!!
When I stepped into the role of ISTM President my vision was to make the ISTM more inclusive â€“ a major part of which included engaging more deeply with the various national societies and organisations. I hope CISTM13 will help cement a lasting relationship between ISTM and the various organisations and groups involved with Travel Medicine in the Netherlands, Belgium and more widely in Europe.
In addition, at an individual delegate level, I am absolutely certain Maastricht will provide the perfect setting for the kind of friendly and intimate ISTM meeting we all love.
I really hope you will join us in May of 2013 for the 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine in Maastricht - it will be truly amazing!