Presidential address 2019

EuGMS Presidential Address – New Year 2019

Dear friends and colleagues, New Year greetings to you all. Now, with renewed energy is the time to think about what you and we all can achieve this year. A great EuGMS Congress must be high on the list. The planning is going well for this main event in the beautiful and historic Polish city of Krakow on September 25th to 27th. Get thinking about abstracts. Check the Congress website, and do it soon if you’re thinking of submitting a symposium, as the deadline for this is March 1st.  To promote attendance from younger colleagues and those from lower income countries, we have a number of grants and lower registration fees, so please do look at these opportunities.

It looks like this will be a turbulent year for Europe. So much political change: so much uncertainty. The values underpinning our shared mission - for an age-friendly Europe with health services to match - will be as important as ever. What are these values? Collaboration, solidarity across our borders, sharing knowledge and experience, all necessary for promoting better health and care for our older populations. In practice this means developing and spreading our work on the principles and practice of geriatrics. Let me update you on some of our activities.

In Spring 2018, we launched the “Global Europe Initiative” with a team including members from South and Eastern Europe. This is clarifying what different countries or regions need from EuGMS. There was a successful “pre-2020” academic meeting in Athens in November which raised the profile of the multidisciplinary Hellenic Consortium for Geriatric Medicine: more events are planned for late 2019 and early 2020. We will hold our summer Executive board meeting this year in Prague in combination with an academic event: we hope to attract colleagues from neighbouring countries.

During discussions in 2017/18, the full board asked us to develop a campaign to promote geriatric principles and evidence that could be used by member societies in their own countries, as well as at the European level. Work has started on this to produce a “Manifesto” in collaboration with civic partners and with support from the WHO Europe region office. It will be a team effort drawing on the contributions of academics, EAMA graduates, and national experience and achievements of full board members. We hope to have an early draft this Spring and launch at our Congress in September.

This last year we have spent time improving our organisation with great help from our new secretariat at Aristea (Rome and Genoa). For example, agreeing rules for acceptance of commercial support for projects, strengthening and developing new SIGs and getting legal protection for our logo. Each and every member of the Executive board have made significant contributions but I hope the others forgive me for singling out Sofia Duque, our Communications and Web Director, for getting more of you in touch through social media, improved website (still much more to come there) and Newsletter. Thanks to all of them.

Finally, continue supporting our growing journal, European Geriatric Medicine, as it starts its second year with the energetic editor, Alfonso Cruz Jentoft and the new publisher, Springer. (  

See you in Krakow. Finbarr C Martin, President 2018-19.