St. George’s University Establishes Teaching Hospital in Grenada

St. George’s University and the Government of Grenada have signed an agreement which establishes a teaching hospital on the island. The project, which has been in development for some time, speaks to the 35-year relationship the University has with the Government.

“This agreement further cements St. George’s University’s commitment to help in the development of a quality health education program to the Caribbean for students from Commonwealth nations and from around the world,” says Charles R. Modica, St. George’s University Chancellor. “By adding to the elective and intern program already in place and establishing this full teaching program that operated by the University, we are able to provide a quality graduate and post graduate program in Grenada. Our students will be able to perform clinical rotations in Grenada, in addition to the clinical rotations available at many top affiliated hospital and clinical centers in the US and UK. Our students have the opportunity to experience yet one more system of healthcare delivery in a hospital setting while at the same time providing Grenada with an influx of much-needed healthcare practitioners to local healthcare facilities.”

The government too recognizes the significance of this agreement as demonstrated by a statement earlier this year when discussions were being held, Finance Minister Nazim Burke said “…the establishment of a teaching hospital in Grenada would help to raise the standard and quality of healthcare for citizens at home, citizens abroad desirous of returning home to retire, as well as our visitors.”

Undoubtedly, the development of a graduate and post graduate teaching program at the General Hospital is a significant investment by the University and will contribute to an improved standard and quality of healthcare available on the island. The University has, for over 35 years developed ane extensive scholarship program for the educational benefit of citizens of Grenada and other Commonwealth countries. The formation of the clinical teaching program will be of great benefit to the island and the region as well.

Lupus Foundation Celebrates Life with Butterfly Gala

The Lupus Foundation of Grenada hosted its second Butterfly Gala at St. George’s University’s Taylor Hall on July 9th. This event was held under the patronage of their Excellencies, Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean and Lady Glean, with the theme, ’Celebrate Life’. The Lupus Foundation was launched in Grenada in October 2008 with the main objective to raise awareness of lupus in Grenada by educating about its symptoms and health effects.

President of the Lupus Foundation, Hazel Bierzynski explained that “The Butterfly is the symbol of lupus primarily because of the rash that appears across the bridge of the nose and the cheeks of some lupus patients. It is often one of the first signs for diagnosing lupus. The Butterfly is also a symbol of transformation, love and joy and represents hope for persons living with the disease.”

Proceeds from the gala will be used to conduct a Train the Trainer Workshop for a Chronic Diseases Self Management Programme in October this year. Since its inception the Foundation has held a one-day forum on Living Well with Chronic Illnesses in addition to its monthly meetings, which features a special presentation on a topic of interest to persons living with chronic illness.

St. George’s University is committed to its support of the Grenada Lupus Foundation and applauds it effort to raise awareness and improve the quality of life of persons living with lupus and other chronic illness.

St. George’s University Raises More Than $28,000 USD for the Grenada General Hospital

SGU raises $28000 Nintento wii olympics 2011

Earlier this year St. George’s University students raised over $14,000 USD during the second annual Nintendo® Wii Olympics hosted by student organizations, Urban Humanitarian Project (UHP) and Iota Epsilon Alpha International Honor Medical Society (IEA). The University’s Chancellor Charles R. Modica generously matched the efforts of the student body, allowing for a total donation of $28,344 USD to the Grenada General Hospital.

More than 80 volunteers came together and transformed the normally academically-intense Keith B. Taylor Hall into a video game arena, where 24 teams competed for a Wii Olympics grand prize—a 40-person boat cruise sponsored by First Impressions Ltd. Teams in the main tournament competed on six different games from Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Mario Kart. Aside from the main tournament, there were mini tournaments which comprised of Halo Reach, Street fighter, Call of Duty, Rock Band, and FIFA 2011 among others. Prizes were also awarded to winners of the mini tournaments. Apart from the gaming, the night was filled with music, raffle prizes, and refreshments for visitors and gamers.

students playing nintento wii olympics 2011“The success of the events highlights the desire of our student body—in particular, the leadership of UHP—in enhancing the lives of people in need,” stated Assistant Dean of Graduate Students Dr. Feisal Brahim. Dr. Brahim, along with Dean of Students Dr. C.V. Rao, supported the students as faculty advisor. All SGU student organizations were invited to participate in the fundraiser in addition to faculty, administration, and tutors. Two dozen student organizations came together to raise the bulk of the proceeds with local businesses in Grenada also showing their support by contributing nearly $2,000 USD to the cause.

The Wii Olympics, as part of the Grenada Health Project, began with a mission of providing Grenada General Hospital with additional diagnostic and treatment equipment to increase overall health for the island’s population. Given the hospitals long-standing and close relationship with the University, students believe it is imperative to provide the hospital with much needed tools and equipment that will help provide healthcare service to the local population. Therefore, proceeds from the first Olympics went to Pakistan relief efforts; however, the UHP decided that for the foreseeable future, funds raised at its events would be earmarked for the Grenada General Hospital.

About the Urban Humanitarian Project 
The UHP is registered as a non-profit organization in NY, and it gives the opportunity for St. George’s University students to participate while in their clinical years in the Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York tri-state area. Future plans for the student organization include establishing branches of UHP in other cities in the USA and Canada.

SGU Hosts 43rd International Seminar on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention

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Photo (L- R) Professors Labarthe, Khaw, Reddy and Poulter, Dr. Macpherson and Brendon LaGrenade, Coordinator of Support Services, SGU

St. George’s University welcomed 31 of the world’s leading cardiovascular and epidemiology specialists to the 43rd International seminar on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. The Ten-Day Teaching seminar will run for the period June 26- July 8 and participants, who include two members of faculty at St. George’s University, Drs. Johansen Sylvester and Dolland Noel, represent twenty-four (24) different countries.

In addressing the physicians during the opening session, Dr. Calum Macpherson, Director of WINDREF (Windward Islands Research Facility), stated, “We are delighted to have the faculty and participants here at St. George’s University. We regard ourselves as an international institution and this seminar links very closely to our philosophy as a University.”

Facilitators include experts in the field of hypertension, aging and cardiovascular diseases, stroke epidemiology and disease prevention and control. Among the diverse group of participants are also bio-statisticians, nurses, behavioral scientists and nutritionists.

According to Professor Darwin Labarthe, one of the Coordinators, the seminar is designed to introduce and educate young professionals without substantial experience in research or teaching in the science of preventions, on various methods of prevention as it relates to heart diseases, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes. He says the primary objective of the seminar is “to introduce young professionals to the current knowledge and methods of research in heart disease and stroke. The goal is for them, after this experience, to be able to work more effectively in their home-based organizations, agencies and institutions.”

Dr. Labarthe further explained that, over the past twenty years emphasis has been placed on developing countries, having recognized the burden placed on these economies by an increase in cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. It is because of this that the seminar has been strategically located. He says, “This has been a very successful approach and has greatly increased representation from developing countries.”

The annual seminar retains a general format from year to year, and includes both lectures and group activities about the latest science in cardiovascular diseases and epidemiology, as well as an introduction to the methods of research within the field.The International Ten Day Teaching seminar on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention began in 1968 by what is now known as the World Heart Federation, out of a recognized need for training throughout the world and physicians and other persons interested in research, teaching and practice in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Since 1968 the seminar has been held in twenty-four different countries, with Grenada being the first English speaking Caribbean to play host.

St. George’s University Chancellor Modica Honored by Brooklyn Hospital

On Thursday, June 3, 2011, The Brooklyn Hospital Center (TBHC) honored St. George’s University Chancellor Charles R. Modica at the annual Brooklyn Hospital Foundation Founders Ball for his long-time collaboration with the hospital.

Chancellor Modica received the inaugural Partner in Health Award, which recognizes partnership with TBHC to provide outstanding care and service to the community. “He will set the standard for this award in the future,” said The Brooklyn Hospital Foundation Chairman J. Barclay Collins, II. “Many [St. George’s University] alumni enrich our Brooklyn Hospital community,” he continued, noting how the University’s students and alumni have contributed to the growth and progress of the hospital.

Chancellor Modica graciously accepted the award, and commended the hospital’s tireless efforts to bring quality health care to New York City. “Brooklyn Hospital has been a premier hospital, and you have no idea how you are enriching the lives of those students who are becoming doctors today,” he said. He specifically called attention to the opportunity TBHC provided alumna Portia Siwawa, SGUSOM ’05, a native of Botswana who completed her surgery residency at TBHC. “It thrilled me tonight to come here and receive a hug from Portia,” Chancellor Modica exclaimed, highlighting Siwawa’s gratitude for the chance to study medicine on an international level.

Current students Danielle Krol and Jessica Best—who recently completed clinical rotations at TBHC—were also present at the awards ceremony. They said they were privileged to celebrate the Chancellor’s acceptance of this esteemed award and praised the University’s collaboration with TBHC. “Chancellor Modica’s continuing commitment to enrich the medical community of Brooklyn is undoubtedly recognized to be among the best the hospital has seen, and the honorary award for his contributions he received on behalf of TBHC has proved this true,” Krol said. “His effective, skilled, and visionary leadership has created wonderful opportunities for students at The Brooklyn Hospital, which will continue to strengthen the University’s standards by creating a unique learning environment.”

This year’s Founders Ball celebrated the transformation of TBHC, the surrounding Brooklyn community, and those making change within the health care industry. Dr. Richard B. Becker, President and CEO of TBHC, noted the local community’s movement for better living, greener living, and improved health care in Brooklyn. “We are at the leading end of that transformation,” Dr. Becker stated. “We’re proud of our progress to date,” he continued, adding that TBHC looks to continuously expand its services to and care for Brooklyn’s growing and changing population.

Chancellor Modica was one of five honorees to be awarded for their contributions to TBHC’s growth and wellbeing. The evening’s other honorees included Jonathan M. Weld, of counsel at Shearman & Sterling and immediate past chairman of TBHC; Dr. Shafiqur M. Rahman, attending physician in TBHC’s Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases; Dr. Sumatilal C. Shah, senior attending physician in TBHC’s Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology; and Rev. Dr. Herbert D. Daughtry, national presiding minister for the House of the Lord Churches and president of the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance.

Each year, the Founders Ball raises critical funds to advance the mission and vision of TBHC. “Proceeds fund the priorities of the hospital and raise the quality of care and quality of life of patients and caregivers,” Collins said. This year’s benefit raised more than $700,000, according Collins. Additional contributions were raised throughout the evening from a silent auction of sports, entertainment, and music memorabilia.

Established in 1845, TBHC was the first hospital Brooklyn. It is now a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, a network of more than 30 hospitals in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut area. It has nearly 3,000 medical professionals and staff, and it treats more than 300,000 patients each year. The University began its partnership with TBHC in 1986 and offers core clinical rotations and residency placements, including specialty electives such as neurology, pulmonary medicine, and radiology. More than 2000 students and graduates have completed clinical and residency training at TBHC.

St. George’s University Partners with Global Health Organizations to Address Occupational Safety of Health Workers

St. George’s University has partnered with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Grenada’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide a workshop geared at addressing the concerns of occupational hazards to health care workers specifically in relation to needle stick injuries and exposure to blood borne pathogens. The workshop, which is in line with a growing global movement towards dealing with this very critical public health issue, aims to “prepare leaders in health care to provide training on occupational health and prevention of blood borne infections, implement and evaluate policy and intervention measures to protect health workers, and establish a regional surveillance network for occupational health.”

The three-day workshop which began on June 7, 2011 is being attended by 40 health care professionals with combined experience of more than 500 years. The attendees come from nine countries—including Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Dominica, St. Lucia, Belize, Nevis, Suriname and the British Virgin Islands—and various professions and foci within the health care sector, including physicians, Ministry of Health officials, professors, nurses, and other health care workers working in the areas of infection control, trauma / accident care, midwifery, and neonatology. The attendees will be responsible for conveying the knowledge and skills learned from the workshop to their respective organizations and countries.

The workshop is the brainchild of Dr. Omar Cinar Elci, Director of St. George’s University Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (DPHPM). In his opening address he commented, “We need to take care of our working people. We rely on our health care workers for our health but often do not consider their safety.” He pointed out that health care workers were exposed to even more occupational hazards than agricultural, construction, or factory workers. Dr. George Mitchell, a Ministry of Health official and graduate of St. George’s Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, represented Grenada’s Minister of Health Senator Ann Peters who was out of the island. Dr. Mitchell stated, “We are ever conscious that a healthy, uninjured workforce is vital to our country’s well-being.” He urged participants to find ways to implement what they learned in the workshop.

Presenters at the workshop included Drs. Ernest Pate and Marie-Claude Lavoie representing PAHO; Drs. Ahmed Gomaa and Maria Lioce representing NIOSH/CDC; Drs. Gillian Benjamin and Francis E. Martin representing Grenada’s Ministry of Health; and Drs. Omar Cinar Elci and Praveen Durgampudi from St. George’s University DPHPM. Among topics to be covered at the workshop are the risk of occupational transmission of blood-borne pathogens, management of these risks, measures to be taken after exposure, how to conduct workplace assessment, and how to carry out a rapid assessment for blood-borne pathogens. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to apply some of what they learnt at a hospital site visit on Wednesday, June 8. Participants are very excited about the workshop, as the sessions promise to be interesting, informative and interactive and believe it will certainly go a long way in addressing this long standing issue.

About St. George’s University
St. George’s University is a center of international education, in Grenada with graduates, students, and faculty from 140 countries, including 1,342 from Grenada and 476 from the Caribbean. St. George’s is affiliated with educational institutions worldwide, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. The University’s nearly 11,000 graduates include physicians, veterinarians, scientists, and public health and business professionals across the world. The University programs are accredited and approved by many governing authorities and repeatedly recognized as the best in the region.

WINDREF Hosts the Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue (CCELD)

Attended by Dialogue President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne

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Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne with members of the CCELD

On Saturday, June 4, 2011, Grenada welcomed members of the Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leader’s Dialogue. The conference lasted four days at the Windward Islands Research & Educations Foundation (WINDREF) and was part of an intensive two-week program. The program initially began in Ottawa, Canada where 80 participants of the Caribbean, along with 40 participants from Canada, engaged in two days of presentations, discussions, and networking. They then divided into study groups of 12 participants each, travelling to different locations in Canada and the Caribbean to visit communities and workplaces from both public and private sectors and civil society.

Grenada was one of 10 Caribbean countries hosting a study tour before the full dialogue reconvenes in Barbados for the final three days. This year’s conference was held under the theme “Growth Through Connections: Enabling Sustainable Progress.” During the study tour in Grenada, the participants visited local businesses and industries as well as met with several stakeholders including government, the police, and community leaders. These visits provided an opportunity for the team to be exposed to the diverse challenges being faced by these leaders.

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As Dialogue President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne attended a number of CCELD visits and events. On Tuesday, June 7, 2011 she visited the participants at WINDREF where the day’s session included a panel discussion with Deputy Commissioner of Police Franklyn Redhead, Mr. Nigel John, and Mr. Robert Frederick as well as a culture and history presentation by Mr. Richardo Keens-Douglas—renowned story teller, playwright and author. Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne and attendees were also joined by Dr. Nicole Phillip, author and Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies at the T.A. Marryshow Community College.

Margaret A. Lambert, St. George’s University Dean of Enrolment Planning and WINDREF board member, stated “WINDREF through its research has been able to contribute to advances in health and environmental development through multidisciplinary research and education programs. We see hosting this conference as another opportunity to bring intellectual talent together to address challenges and issues of international importance.”

WINDREF is an independent nonprofit organization located on the True Blue campus of St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. WINDREF is registered in the United States with the Internal Revenue Service 501(C) (3) as an educational non-profit foundation. It is also registered in Grenada as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in compliance with section 328 of the Companies Act 1994, and in 1999 it was registered in the United Kingdom as a charitable Trust, Charity in compliance with UK Charities Act 1993.

St. George’s and American University – A Unique Partnership, A Remarkable Experience

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St. George’s University student Krystle Noel recently returned from American University’s Washington DC campus. She is the first School of Arts and Sciences student to take advantage of the Washington Semester Program, a partnership between St. George’s University and American University. The International Business major spent her fall semester at American University—including a three week visit to China in November. Krystle has returned to the St. George’s campus with rave reviews of the program, saying, “This program reinforced so much of what I have learned at St. George’s—I felt very well prepared for participation in the program.”

Dr. Reccia Charles, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the Department of Business, is behind the St. George’s partnership with American University. On the success of the first participant, Dr. Charles said, “In observing Krystle after her return, I can see a transformation in her outlook on the world as well as an increase in her overall confidence.” The Washington Semester Program allows students to research topics in their field of study, network with leaders and experts in their respective fields, engage in international travel, and build friendships with other college students— the byproduct of which is usually an increase in a student’s enthusiasm in their education. Dr. Charles continued, “I am very proud of Krystle’s success.”

The Washington Semester Program’s intense schedule included presentations from more than 50 guest speakers—including Krystle’s now favorite author, Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist and author of The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Freidman. In addition to rigorous study, Krystle, along with her classmates, had the opportunity to visit various government agencies and corporations in the US and China, including the Library of Congress; the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman; the International Monetary Fund and World Bank; the United States Federal Reserve; the New York Stock Exchange; Goldman Sachs; Beijing’s Peking University, Hyundai, and IDC China; Shanghai’s Autodesk (the company which produces AutoCad); and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Additionally, Krystle volunteered at the Annual Global Services Summit and interned at the Center for Social Leadership.

“It was better than I thought possible,” commented Krystle. “The University put so much effort into making the experience remarkable. It is something that I will be able to draw from for the rest of my life.” Krystle was very impressed by the cultural diversity she met in the Washington Semester Program and was happy to have been exposed to the business cultures of both China and Washington DC.

Dr. Charles offered insight into some of the challenges of recruiting for a study abroad program for local students. “The families of some students are often reluctant to allow their children to study abroad or travel much on their own or with peers,” she said. “However, the Washington Semester Program offers a supervised compromise that is acceptable to parents, especially with available generous financial aid. This unique program gives students an opportunity they might not have otherwise had to expand their knowledge beyond the borders of their home country.”

The next group of students is expected to go to Washington DC in Fall 2011. Beginning this spring, directors of the Washington Semester Program plan to hold information sessions via video conference to answer any questions students may have regarding the program.

St. George’s University, which began its partnership with American University in 2009, is the only university in the Caribbean (apart from Puerto Rico) to be part of this affiliation. Dr. Charles and the rest of the University have high hopes for the partnership as it extends St. George’s mission to offer an international education beyond its Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, to a blossoming School of Arts and Sciences.

SGU Knowledge Bowl Champions Achieve Record Breaking Scores

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St. Joseph’s Convent and Westmorland Secondary went head to head at St. George’s University’s Charter Hall on Saturday, April 9th in the 2011 St. George’s University Knowledge Bowl Championship. In their debut at the finals, Westmoreland Secondary emerged victorious after scoring 65 points over St. Joseph’s Convent’s 48 points – an all-time high score for the tournament.

The SGU Knowledge Bowl, held annually in the spring on the St. George’s University True blue Campus, was developed by St. George’s and Community Channel 6 (CC6) in association with the Ministry of Education to encourage and facilitate academic exchange between secondary schools. Schools are invited to send teams to compete against each other as they test their knowledge of science, information technology, and the arts and humanities, as well as their understanding of geography, Spanish language, bible studies, Caribbean culture, sports, and current affairs.

“Our continued sponsorship of this event is important to the university community and we are proud of the commitment of the teams, coaches and schools to this event,” remarked University Chancellor Charles R. Modica. “The record breaking high scores attained at this year’s final match are to be commended.”

As Knowledge Bowl Champions for 2011, Westmoreland Secondary was awarded $10,000 EC for their school from St. George’s University along with the Knowledge Bowl Trophy. Additionally, the team members–Sean Harford, Aziz Batihk, Pavan Sean Mahbubani, Chinwe Oluonye, and Edward Fakhre, each received a $500 EC saving account from the Grenada Co-operative Bank; a laptop computer system compliments of NEWIM Life and General Assurance Co.; and three months of free broadband internet service from FLOW. Second place St. Joseph’s Convent received $5,000 EC from St. George’s along with a saving account for each team member in the amount of $500 EC.

While St. George’s University and Flow are the primary sponsors of the event, the corporate support of the Grenada Co-operative Bank and NEWIM Insurance has been integral to the success of this event. Additional support provided by Glenelg, La Sagesse Nature Centre, Petite Anse Hotel, Duty Free Caribbean Holdings, Ribena, Colombian Emeralds International, La Source Resort and Spa, Kool System, Digicel, and Grenada Postal Corporation has provided further support for the event and stand as testimony to their commitment to community development.

The entire season of the SGU Knowledge Bowl will be re-broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday on Community Channel 6 in Grenada.

IFMSA-Grenada Attends General Assembly in Indonesia

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Members of the Grenada chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) recently attended the 60th IFMSA General Assembly (GA) March Meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia where the week-long conference focused on health equity and disparity. Through lectures, panel discussions, field work, and committee sessions, delegates were encouraged to promote health equity on the national and international levels by engaging with national health care systems within developed, developing, and poor countries.

Students from more than 55 countries were in attendance and the delegation from Grenada reflected the diversity found at St. George’s. Students represented Asian, Indian, European, and Caribbean ethnicities as well as the nations of the United States, United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago. “Regardless of our citizenship, we were eager to introduce the other delegations to Grenada—the country where we receive our education and that has become our second home,” recounts Ayan Sanyal, Secretary-General of IFMSA-Grenada. “There was rarely a moment when our delegation was not proudly wearing bandanas or handkerchiefs with Grenada’s colors or waving our flags.”

Ayan represented IFMSA-Grenada at the Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE), which oversees the exchange of students between member countries for the purposes of working on research projects. He made several contacts with the Research Exchange Officers of other countries who expressed great interest in helping to establish IFMSA-Grenada’s SCORE program and who would like to offer research exchange between their schools and SGU.

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Ayan, along with IFMSA-Grenada President-External Antonio Thomas, also participated in plenary sessions, where they cast votes on motions and resolutions involving constitutional by-laws, elections, future meeting sites, and position statements. Members from the SGU delegation distributed information about the University and Grenada to other attendees, as well as discussed the opportunities for Professional Exchanges in Grenada.

“Its really unique to have that many countries under one roof who all care about global health issues,” says Yon Chong, Alumni Coordinator for IFMSA-Grenada. “I’m grateful to St. George’s and IFMSA for allowing me to participate in amazing experiences like this.”

Ayan adds of his experience, “Despite different cultures and modes of education, we all found common ground in the joys and struggles of a medical student.”

IFMSA organizations meet biannually in March and August. IFMSA-Grenada delegates attended their first General Assembly last August in Montreal, where the group was voted in as a full National Member Organization (NMO). Copenhagen, Denmark, will host the next General Assembly in August 2011, with the focus on both possibilities and challenges concerning health in the future.