MESSAGE FROM the PRESIDENT
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is a privilege for a surgeon who has devoted much of his life to the study of trauma patients, to be the president of the Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS). The PTS is an organization in continuous development and growth. We have witnessed its evolution in the last thirty years and today, at the beginning of 2017, we must have the ability to face the challenges that the future brings.
First, I want to thank Dr. Rao Ivatury for his constant effort and commitment to the society for so many years. As Executive Director, he made multiple contributions which served immensely to further the growth of our society, and now, as editor in chief of the Panamerican Trauma Society’s magazine, he continues to demonstrate his passion and commitment to strengthen the pillars of trauma and emergency surgery (Trauma and Acute Care Surgery) in the Americas. Second, our former president, Dr. Michel Aboutanos - his commitment to the society was evident. During his presidency, the society maintained its course and strengthened international relations with other societies and organizations within the Americas, and throughout the world. Important alliances were formed with prestigious organizations, including the WHO (World Health Organization).
It is also important to congratulate the organizers of the last congress in Brazil, spearheaded by Dr. Sandro Scarpellini. This meeting was excellent; approximately 950 abstracts were submitted to be presented at the different academic meetings, 377 of them were selected - 73 for oral presentations, and 304 for mini-oral presentations. With more than 1,400 attendees, a wonderful congress was held in Maceio, Brazil.
We should also congratulate our new Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Scalea. Accepting this challenge requires much courage and dedication. I sincerely appreciate his interest in the society and hope that under his direction we will accomplish our pending tasks. That said, although the role of the Executive Director is essential, it is also important to receive support from all members of the PTS, as we will not be able to grow without teamwork. That is why I call on all members to offer their unconditional support to Dr. Scalea. The challenges facing the PTS require the commitment of all. Please send your concerns - all will be studied and addressed - they will help to drive the course of our organization.
The PTS has two important upcoming events in the immediate future. First, the publication of the new edition of the society’s book: TRAUMA. This book will be an important contribution for trauma and emergency surgery in the region, and we thank all the authors for their collaboration. Please support Drs. Aurelio Rodriguez and Dr. Ricardo Ferrada, who are coordinating this edition of the book; their commitment represents the fundamental values of the PTS, and the members and authors value their work. Second, the XXX Congress of the PTS in Mexico City. We hope that this congress will be a total success. Being that this is the most important meeting of our society, we must take that moment as an opportunity to build the way forward. The following topics, among others, should be of interest at our next congress: The development of trauma systems for violence prevention, the continuous improvement in the care of critically ill trauma patients, and strategies to promote trauma and emergency surgery in a world in which general surgery is disappearing.
In the medium term the society [leadership] should think about how to maintain and increase the number of affiliates. Two valuable strategies come to mind at this point. First, trauma and emergency leagues, and second, social media.
Trauma leagues stimulate health science students to improve the quality of trauma, emergency, and disaster care based on research, community outreach, and continuing education on issues related to trauma and emergency surgery. They promote the study and dissemination of knowledge, and improve the medical and academic training of its members. In trauma leagues, groups are formed and prepared to perform coordinated and effective work in response to disasters. More leagues = greater learning. We must promote the formation of leagues in all countries within the Americas - these young people are the new blood that refreshes the PTS, and they represent the future and the permanence of the society.
Social networks are a means of communication and information. They have the advantage of being interactive, which makes it possible to promote training. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are a vehicle to spread the mission, vision, and values of the PTS around the world. Through these networks, the PTS can be made known as an academic organization through the dissemination of various types of contents: management guides, comments on scientific articles of interest, presentation of cases of interest, and images in trauma and emergency surgery. If we look at it from a strategic point of view, young people today spend more time on social media than any other medium of communication, which is an excellent way to enhance learning. If we take advantage of this niche, the PTS could expand its range of influence. We must use social media to position the PTS as a leading organization in the education of trauma and emergency surgery within the Americas.
The efforts and achievements made by the PTS during the last decade – including the evolution and the successful implementation of the trauma registry in several countries – has resulted in the launching of the new registry; this is an updated version that is available to all of our members. The implementation of a trauma registry is not an isolated process, but rather a component within a broader approach to trauma care. In other words, it is an essential element of a comprehensive trauma system. The dissemination of the results of studies performed with the data of the registry is of fundamental importance for the formulation of strategies and interventions by the decision makers in trauma and emergencies. The registry should be the basis of the creation of public policies for the prevention and treatment of violence and its consequences. For this reason I invite all members of the PTS to actively promote and start using the registry in their region.
We want to extend an invitation to all members, as well as the entire community of the Americas and other latitudes, to attend the XXX Congress of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery, to be held in Mexico City from November 27 to December 1, 2017. We thank Dr. Ignacio Magaña, the coordinator of this great event. We hope, with the support of all, that it is a total success.
Finally, I thank all members for their continued commitment and hope that in this new year, the PTS will also contribute to the success of all of you.
Carlos Alberto Ordoñez D. MD, FACS