17 December 2009

Global Outreach Committee Annual Meeting Summary

At its meeting during the 8th Annual ISDS Conference in Miami, FL, the Global Outreach Committee acknowledged the work of Duncan Cooper over the past year as Board Liaison. Jean-Paul Chretien, newly elected to the Board of Directors, will step up as Board Liaison for 2010, along with Louise Wilson, who has agreed to be the Committee Chair.

The meeting began with a review of the Global Outreach mission, which includes ensuring that international needs of the Society are met, and that the group aligns itself with the overall strategy of the ISDS.

2009 was met with many successes, including the continuation of the Committee’s newsletter, “The Network.” The newsletter has been well received by the ISDS Board of Directors, and may potentially serve as a model for a Society-wide publication in the future. Volunteers within the Committee will be needed to help keep the newsletter moving forward.

In 2010, the Committee hopes to renew its goal of increasing international awareness of the ISDS and what has to offer, as well as liaising with other ISDS Committees to increase their international perspective. The Committee will continue to host regular teleconferences and foster collaboration so that its members can share best practices and common elements of surveillance.

In order to increase international awareness of the ISDS, it was suggested that informational flyers could be dispersed at meetings in Europe and beyond. Another possibility is strengthening the European ISDS network to form a European chapter of the Committee. A European chapter could potentially explore ISDS co-branding at other meetings and focus on convening at key conferences outside of North America in 2010.

Looking forward to the 9th Annual ISDS Conference, to be held in Utah, it is hoped that the Committee can provide advice to the 2010 program planners on increasing international content, and possibly pursuing funding for international travelers.

Other suggestions for how the Committee can expand its outreach included: leverage of the Distribute Project outside of the U.S., involvement with International Health Regulations (IHR) and major event surveillance (such as the Olympics).

Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 27th at 10:00 am U.S. EST.

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