International Society of Travel Medicine
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)

ISTM Foundation

Refugees The ISTM Foundation, Inc., promotes and fosters healthy and safe travel — it focuses not only on travellers, but also on their destination and on their home communities. With increasing global mobility, health and safety issues for everyone becomes more and more critical. This applies to the movement of refugees and migrants, to tourists including low budget backpackers, to humanitarian aid workers, to business travellers, to the military and government employees, and even to sports and entertainment figures who spend much of their time traveling.

Refugees The Foundation's mission is to support the scientific underpinnings of the fields of travel and tropical medicine in order to best provide for the health and well-being of all travellers. The Foundation also acts to raise awareness of social, environmental, cultural and health issues resulting in part from travel and tourism within destination communities, with the responsibility to encourage and conduct research and develop strategies to protect these local communities from the negative impacts of tourism.

The ISTM Foundation, established 2014, is guided by:

ISTM Foundation Executive Board

President: Robert Steffen, Switzerland

Robert Steffen Robert Steffen, Emeritus Professor, is currently concentrating on research projects at the University of Zurich Centre for Travel Medicine, where until 2008 he was the Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention of Communicable Diseases in the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine and Director of a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traveller's Health. Further, he is Adjunct Professor in the Epidemiology and Disease Prevention Division of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX and Honorary Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Steffen began systematically investigating illness and accidents in travellers in 1975. He organised the First International Conference on Travel Medicine in Zurich 1988 and became a co-founder and President of the International Society of Travel Medicine. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Travel Medicine and has published more than 350 papers, book chapters, monographs - mainly in the field of travel health. For 12 years each, Dr. Steffen presided over the Swiss Influenza Pandemic Planning Committee and the Expert Committee for Travel Medicine; he was Vice-President of the Federal Commission on Vaccination and of the Swiss Bioterrorism Committee.

Dr. Steffen has held a number of critical roles in ISTM since its inception. He has served as President-Elect, President and Past-President, as well as chairing the Exam and Liaison Committees.

Board Member: Christina Greenaway, Canada

Christina Greenaway Chris Greenaway is an infectious disease physician, clinician researcher and internationally recognized expert in migrant health. Her research program has focused on identifying and addressing the infectious disease health disparities among migrants. The overall objective of her research program is to promote the health of the migrant population and decrease their health disparities. To achieve this she has conducted observational studies, retrospective cohort studies with large linked administrative datasets, systematic reviews, economic analyses and has developed screening and clinical guidelines for migrants in Canada and Europe using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) methodology.

Chris has a long standing interest in TB and been involved in clinical care of patients with TB for almost 20 years. She established the TB clinic at the Jewish General Hospital in 2001. She has conducted research related to the diagnosis and treatment of TB and the TB burden and screening strategies for the migrant population. She has written screening guidelines for active and latent TB for the Canadian Collaboration for Immigrant and Refugee Health (CMAJ 2011) and for the European Centers for Disease Control (2018 She is a co-PI on a multi-province CIHR funded study (2017-2020) that is using linked administrative databases to develop a risk prediction tool for the development of active TB among migrants. This data will be used to determine the most cost-effective screening and treatment strategy to achieve TB elimination in Canada.

Board Member: Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands

Martin Grobusch Professor Martin Peter Grobusch (MD, PhD, MSc, DTM&H, FRCP) specialized in internal medicine, infectious diseases and tropical medicine in the UK and in Berlin, Germany. Following a period of full-time research at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Tübingen, Germany, and the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, he was appointed Full Professor (Chair) of Infectious Diseases at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2005. In 2010, he became Professor (Chair) of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine and Head of the Center of Tropical Medicine and Travel Medicine at the University of Amsterdam. He is Visiting Professor at the University of Tübingen, Germany; Clinical Work Group Leader at CERMEL in Lambaréné, Gabon; Adjunct Member and Professor at the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Director of the Masanga Medical Research Center in Masanga, Sierra Leone. MPG’s main research interests are malaria, HIV/tuberculosis and co-infections, viral haemorrhagic fevers, travel medicine and general infectious diseases topics. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers (h-index: 51) and contributes to several journals in editorial functions as well as in various functions to several infectious diseases-related societies (MPG is ISTM Fellow).

Board Member: Michael Jones, United Kingdom

Michael Jones Dr Mike Jones, MB, ChB, FRCP(Edin, Glasg & Lond), FFTM RCPS(Glasg) graduated from Aberdeen University in 1972, and after training in internal medicine, was appointed a UK Key Cadre Technical Aid Officer as a Specialist Physican at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Tanzania 1976-1982.

On return to the UK he co-founded HealthLink360 with his wife Elizabeth who became its first Director of Psychological Servces. Located near Edinburgh, this not-for-profit charity provides whole person health care for expatriates working with voluntary agencies throughout the developing world. He was Medical Director 1983-2006, volunteer Honorary Consultant until 2018 and is now a Consultant Advisor. He set up a thriving public access HL360 Travel Clinic in 2004.

He was a staff physician at the Edinburgh Regional Infectious Diseases Unit (RIDU) from 1983, Associate Specialist from 1989, Consultant from 2005 and founded the RIDU Travel Clinic in 1993. He had a strong interest in the management of HIV infection, managing his own patient cohort for nearly 30 years. Retiring in 2014 he continued in clinical practice at the Spire Hospital, Edinburgh and HealthLink360 until end 2018.

He has lectured widely on HIV, Infectious Diseases and tropical medicine, and internationally on Travel Medicine. He wrote a module for the Glasgow Diploma in Travel Medicine in 1998. In 2007 he was invited to chair the Faculty of Travel Medicine Examination Committee at RCPS Glasgow, became Vice Dean in 2009 and Dean 2012-15, where he encouraged international links, educational development, and enjoyed chairing an enthusiastic Board.

Mike was Editor of the quarterly developing world journal Tropical Doctor, 1995-2002, edited the vaccination and anti-malarial prophylaxis pages for the GP Newspaper Pulse from 1994 and was Associate Editor of Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease 2015-18.

He joined the International Health Advisory Committee of the Mission Agency SIM, based in Charlotte, NC in 2001. From 2003-9 he made five visits to Zambia supporting the roll out of ART with the Lothian-Zambia HIV/AIDS Partnership. In 2014 he co-authored a report on developing Travel Medicine services for the Government of Oman, and helped orgnaise the first conference on Travel Medicine in the Arab world in Oman in 2015.

He was a founder member of ISTM in Atlanta in 1991 and has attended every CISTM since, presenting 34 posters and lectures over the years. He was Chair of the Psychological Health of Travellers Interest Group 2014-17 and became Secretary-Treasurer for the International Society of Travel Medicine in June 2019. He enjoys downhill skiing, cycling, golf, swimming and home maintenance.

Board Member: Kevin Kain, Canada

Kevin Kain Dr. Kain’s research efforts are focused on new diagnostics and interventions for global infectious disease threats particularly as they pertain to maternal-child health, migrants and travellers. His efforts are also focused on global equity, knowledge sharing including the transfer of appropriate technologies and the training of research scientists in low and middle income countries, enabling and empowering them to address global health problems in a sustainable fashion. Dr. Kain is the recipient of the C. Woolf Award for the Excellence in Teaching from the University of Toronto, a Career Scientist Award from the Ministry of Health, the Bailey Ashford Medal from the American Society for Tropical Medicine, awarded for “Distinguished work in tropical medicine”, and the SL Medal (from Mahidol University, Thailand) for “Outstanding Achievements and International Leadership in Malaria Research”. Dr Kain was profiled by TIME magazine as one of “Canada’s Best in Medicine”. He has also received the: Pfizer Visiting Professorship, University of Washington; Fred Barrett Lectureship, University of Tennessee; Distinguished Global Health Service Award, University of California; The Henry Wong Lectureship In Medicine, MacMaster University; Tom Marrie Lectureship, University of Alberta; Forbes Lectureship, University of Melbourne. He has over 335 peer-reviewed publications with an h-index of 73.

Board Member: Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America

Phyllis Kozarsky Phyllis Kozarsky, MD is a Professor Emerita in Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Emory University. She started Emory’s travel and tropical disease clinic in 1988 and began working as a consultant to US CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) shortly thereafter as the chief of Travelers’ Health. She remains a consultant to CDC’s DGMQ in Travelers’ Health and is the chief medical editor of CDC’s Health Information for International Travel, also known as the “Yellow Book.”

Dr. Kozarsky has also been a consultant to many organizations including the Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, CNN, and Habitat for Humanity International, and now consults for Hollywood Health and Society. She is the author of many peer-reviewed articles, and is an active member many professional societies where she has held leadership positions, including the International Society of Travel Medicine and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. She has received numerous awards for her work, several from the US Department of Health and Human Services, where she earned a Secretary’s award for Distinguished Service. Dr. Kozarsky was one of the founders of the ISTM and of the GeoSentinel Surveillance system, where she serves as senior advisor. Her current research efforts have primarily focused on issues in clinical tropical medicine and travelers’ health including the epidemiology of travel-related infections.

Board Member: Joseph Torresi, Australia

Joseph TorresiProf Torresi is an infectious diseases physician at Knox Private hospital, Epworth Eastern hospital, Box Hill and the Austin hospital Hepatitis Service, Victoria, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Faculty of Travel Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and has a PhD in Microbiology. Prof Torresi heads the Hepatitis Virology Research laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne and the travel medicine service at Eastern Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine in Boronia. He was the former director and is now co-director for the Melbourne GeoSentinel Surveillance network, the current chair of the Older Travellers Special Interest group and chair of the ISTM Publications Committee.

He is the author of over 150 publications including original papers, reviews and book chapters and books. He has been chair of numerous conferences and committees including the 2nd and 3rd Southern Cross Conference of Travel Medicine 2018, CISTM8, CISTM9, associate chair CISTM10, Chair of the 4th Regional ISTM, (APICTM 2008), Viral Hepatitis SIG of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, Co-chair, 7th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference, 2010. His papers have over 7000 citations and he has a h-Index of 46.

Executive Director: Diane L. Nickolson, United States of America

Diane L. Nickolson Joining the Secretariat in 2010, Diane brings more than 20 years of experience in professional societies to ISTM. She has worked with healthcare associations and international societies as both a manager and a consultant throughout her career. Highlights of her career includes more than fourteen years with the American Bar Association as a director in its continuing legal education department developing national continuing legal education courses and products. She served as Deputy Director to an international medical society, where she was responsible for strategic planning, financial budgeting and reporting, marketing and membership activities, development and sponsor relations, international congresses and regional meetings, operations, and its peer-reviewed journal and newsletter. Immediately prior to coming to ISTM, she served as Executive Director of a national optometric association, focusing on strategic planning, accreditation and certification programs, membership and marketing, as well as the typical functions relating to managing an association. Diane has managed staff teams ranging from three to more than 75 people.

Diane has lectured and published in the field of association management, and has been active in the association community through the years. She has lived in the Atlanta area since 2004, and takes pleasure from the temperate weather, nearby mountains and lakes. In her personal time, she appreciates spending time with Robert, their families, and of course Zeus, their beagle. She also enjoys cooking, reading, volunteering, boating, and traveling to explore new cultures, experiences and cuisines.

Non-Voting Member of the Board

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Click here to view the 2016-2019 ISTM Foundation Report

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Activities and Projects

International Migration Conference. Human migration is now at an all-time high, accounting for 240 million persons and is shaping world events and fueling political and public debates. People have been migrating since the beginning of human history to escape natural catastrophes, wars and suffering. As a result, migrant populations are heterogeneous and are facing a broad range of health needs. Migrant medicine is a rapidly developing discipline to address the complexity of such needs.

The ISTM is held an international forum October of 2018 to discuss scientific evidence on migration-related issues, with a specific focus on the health aspects affecting migrant populations and host communities in Rome, Italy. The forum will brought together public officials, policy makers, clinicians and others who care for migrants and their introduction into their host communities.

Annual travel medicine research grants. Grants are awarded through a peer review process, and are designed to stimulate travel medicine research by supporting pilot studies or small research projects. These awards typically assist young or newer investigators and investigators in lower income communities to learn skills in investigative work and test hypotheses so that they may then apply to other agencies for more substantive research grants.

Our goal is to support needed research by promising young researchers who may not otherwise find funding, as federal and other institutional research support becomes more difficult to obtain. By cosponsoring awards, we hope to expand the awareness of our awards among the research community and attract the best possible candidates each year. We award research grants on global health, travel medicine and migration medicine issues.

Biennial travel grants for ISTM conference presenters. Travel grants and a waiver of registration fees are awarded to presenters of abstracts from resource-poor countries as well as to young investigators who otherwise do not have the funding to attend international conferences.

GeoSentinel. This emerging infectious disease network was created in 1995 as a joint project between the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

With the recognition of growing problems related to emerging infectious diseases, global health security has become an important agenda item for many countries. New microbes, drug resistance, the potential for accidental or purposeful release of hazardous bioagents, and the globalization of travel and trade continue to be serious challenges.

The U.S government recognized with GeoSentinel's creation that real- time evaluation and reporting of illness in returned travelers (tourists, missionaries, migrants etc.) across multiple sites in multiple continents could serve as an early warning for incipient epidemics and spread of infectious diseases from one country to another. Over the past 20 years, the GeoSentinel Surveillance network has provided robust data that for the first time defined the spectrum of illness and its relation to place of exposure for many significant health risks that face travelers and migrants. GeoSentinel has several major objectives that include serving as an emerging infections sentinel network to conduct surveillance for emerging infectious diseases; rapidly sharing novel data on emerging infections with participating sites, internet information services, and public health authorities (e.g. World Health Organization, European CDC, Public Health Agency of Canada, US CDC); and analyzing, presenting, and publishing surveillance results collaboratively with CDC, GeoSentinel sites, and our two regional partners, CanTravNet and EuroTravNet.

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Please Donate to the ISTM Foundation

Diane L. Nickolson We encourage contributions to the ISTM Foundation to help support these important efforts. You can donate through our secure online portal by clicking here or on the "Donate Now" button below. All contributions to the ISTM Foundation, as a 501(c)(3) organization are fully tax deductible under the United States law. Please check with your tax professional for details in your home country.

Border For more information please contact Diane Nickolson of the ISTM Secretariat. The Foundation greatly appreciates your support and thanks you for your commitment to developing tomorrow's leading healthcare professionals addressing travel medicine and global health.