The opening ceremony of Euroanaesthesia2019 #EA19 kicked off this morning in Vienna, Austria. The ceremony began with some excellent entertainment for the audience, followed by short chats with key European leaders in anaesthesiology.
First and foremost was an overview of ESA goals and initiatives as presented by the President of the ESA, Prof. Dr. Stefan de Hert. Prof. Hert highlighted some new initiatives from the ESA, including the newly designed ESA hub, Euroanaesthesia TV, and the ESA's active presence on social media. He then talked about the 3 core initiatives that he has introduced during his Presidency, which include second victim, sustainability, and gender equality in leadership.
Second victim touches just about everybody. That is why it’s important to raise awareness for the problem, said Prof. Hert. It's a problem that is underestimated and underreported. Prof. Hert highlighted that this year, there were a number of sessions at #EA19 to raise awareness about this issue. He also said that the ESA has a task force and that they were working on a toolkit which local hospitals and national societies could use to treat the problem.
Prof. Hert also talked about sustainability and explained that this was a big problem that the ESA is also trying to combat. He said that we could do much more in this area and talked about certain measures by the ESA in this direction including no carpets anymore, no plastic anymore, no printed programme and so on. Ultimately the goal is to create a positive impact on the environment through small changes that can make a big difference.
Another important issue that was discussed was gender equality in leadership. This is a challenge in the medical sector as well as universities. Prof. Hert explained that last year, he closely evaluated the ESA, and he came to the realisation that less than 10% of leadership positions were taken by women. In order to rectify this, the ESA started to do an active policy where they stimulated talented women to take leadership positions. Because of these initiatives, they have now doubled the presence of women in all committees at the ESA. Also, he said that the chair of our biggest committee is a woman. Finally, he was proud to reveal that the new CEO of next year is also a woman. The number of female speakers has also increased at the Congress, and the same was true for female chairs of sessions.
Prof. Hert discussed the next 12 months and highlighted the major events, including the focus meeting in Rome, the topic of which will be mother and child. Next year will also see the 10th year anniversary of the Helsinki declaration and the ESA has a big event to celebrate it.
Prof. Doctor Radmilo Jankovic also welcomed everyone to #EA19. He highlighted the strength and success of the ESA with almost 30,000 members, 10,000 active and 20,000 associate members. He also pointed out that ESA was a society of young people. They had a trainee committee who are doing a good job. and almost 3000 trainee members. Prof. Jankovic highlighted the fact that ESA was a society of equal chances for everybody. It was the first society having a President coming from Eastern Europe. And there are also board members from the Eastern European region. The ESA attracts people from all over the world. It is also very active on social media networks with a great media committee and numerous followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Last year #EA18 was tweeted 9 million times on Twitter, and this year will be no different.
President of the Austrian society of anesthesiology. Prof. Dr. Klaus Markstaller also welcomed the participants to #EA19. He highlighted the role Vienna has played over the years in the field of medicine and then went on to highlight a few interesting sessions that will be held on Sunday and Monday.
Finally, the ESA President Prof. Dr. Stefan de Hert acknowledged three new ESA honorary members.
Overall, it was a great ceremony, and as the sessions now begin, the Congress is only going to get better!