The International Academy of Perinatal Medicine held its 12th meeting on May 26, 2016 in Tirana, Albania. The refined Tirana City Hall hosted perinatal academicians from all over the world. The regular, associate and honorary fellows attended all dresses in formal frac uniforms/gowns to signify academic dignity. The Administrative meeting was chaired by the Academy President Professor Asim Kurjak of Croatia. As a new president he inaugurated several dynamic innovations including scientific presentations as a part of administrative meeting. The first presentation addressed the role of neonatologists in perinatal team presented by Professor Ola Saugstad of Norway. Second one discussed a single embryo transfer – new challange in preventing preterm delivery presented by Professor Elisabet Clua of Spain. Professor Ola Saugstad was awarded this year the Academy Presidential Award. He is an extrarodinary scientist with more tan 8,000 citations.
The Academy President Professor Kurjak in his welcome address emphasised strong commitment to the highest standards of academic medicine and scientific curiosity while maintaining the best clinical standards of perinatal medicine in collaborative fashion. Professor Ivica Zalud of the USA presented updated and re-designed Academy webpage. The treasury report followed as presented by the Academy Treasurer Professor Vincenzo D’Addario of Italy. The solidarity actions were discussed by Professor Bernat Sera of Spain highlighting activities in Africa, more precisely in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The report of proposed Inter-Academy activities was presented by Professor Marina Degtyareva of Russia. Consisted with the Academy Constitution, one new regular fellow was elected along with 8 new associate and 2 honorary fellows. Professor Orion Gliozheni of Albania reported on the status of the Academy Meeting in Tirana. Next Academy meeting is scheduled in February 17, 2017 in Khartoum, Sudan hosted by Professor Ashmaig followed by 2018 meeting in Shanghai, China hosted by Professor Duan.
Formal Academy Ceremony was opened by the Academy President Asim Kurjak followed the music of the chorus. The Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj eloquently addressed the academicians. The solemn session continued by reading the last Academy meeting minutes by the Secretary General Frank Chervenak of the USA. The Status of the Academy is strong and ever evolving as elegantly illustrated by the Academy President Professor Asim Kurjak. The Chorus contributed to festivities again.
The festive ceremony continued under leadership of Professor Serge Uzan of France. Professor Frank Chervenak read nomination for a new regular fellow Professor Manuel Sanchez Luna of Spain. Professor Milan Stanojevic of Croatia read illustrative laudatio. At that moment the candidate was asked to enter by Professor Ola Saugstad of Norway and Professor Apostolos Papageorgiou of Canada in their role of the Academic Godfathers. The President of the Academy imposed the academic medal to the new Regular Fellow and gave him a Diploma.
The International Council has appointed following colleagues as Associated Fellows:
Before handing over the diplomas, the individual presentation and laudatio of each new associated fellow was held by one of the Academy regular fellows. Professor Vincenzo D’Addario of Italy effected the laudatio for Professor Tuangsit Wataganara of Thailand. Professor Aris Antsaklis of Greece effected the laudatio for Professor Nikolaos Papantoniou of Greece. The next associated fellow, Professor Olus Api of Turkey was presented by Professor Eberhard Merz of Germany. Professor Ritsuko Pooh of Japan effected the laudatio for Professors Masayuki Endo and Jun Yoshimatsu both of Japan. Next, Professor Ola Saugstad of Norway effected the laudatio for Professor Dorota Agata Bomba-Opon of Poland. Professor Joseph Schenker of Israel effected the laudatio for Professor Orion Gliozheni of Albania. Finally, Professor Joachim Dudenhausen of Germany effected the laudatio for Professor Dan Farine of Canada. Professor Serge Uzan proceeded to ask the new associated fellows to approach the presidential table. The solemn oath of the associate fellows took place under auspice of the Academy Secretary General Frank Chervenak of USA. The Academy President Asim Kurjak delivered the Diploma that will identify them as associated fellows of our Institution.
The Secretary General of the Academy Frank Chervenak read the document with the designation of the two new Honorary Members: Professor Galina Savelyeva and Professor Alexander Strizhakov both of Russia. The new Honorary Members of the Academy received the Diploma. Professor Asim Kurjak, President of the Academy, on behalf of the International Council closed this academic ceremony. To finish this solemn ceremony a choir performed Gaudeamus Igitur.
Following his ever energetic, inspirational and innovative leadership style, the second day of the Academy meeting was inaugurated by a new Academy President Professor Asim Kurjak. Four sessions and 25 scientific academic presentations high lightened depth and breadth of current research, leading edge, controversies and clinical practice in perinatal medicine. Opening lecture was presented by Professor Erich Saling of Germany. His scientific and clinical contribution were essential to advance and promote unique transition of care between obstetricians and neonatologists for healthy babies and healthy mothers. In his key note address Professor Saling addressed some future aspects within perinatal medicine considered by a senior fellow. He discussed too frequent use of antibiotics with its negative side effects such as altered intestinal flora. He also discussed re-birth of amnioscopy due to low expense and high safety. A current progress of great importance for perinatal medicine future is the field of perinatal programing. Epigenetics results in a life long disposition for overweight, obesity and diabetes across generations. He also outlined a fascinating new field of fetal neurology. Fetal behavioural patterns assessed by 4D ultrasound are directly reflecting developmental and maturational processes of the fetal CNS. Such information could be further investigated in cases of cerebral palsy. This scientific meeting was open to the public resulting in lively discussions.
Professor Orion Gliozheni proved again to be the most gracious host. The meeting took place in the legendary Tirana International Hotel. Carefully organized social events reflective of widely known traditional Albanian hospitality complimented the scientific meeting. This was the largest Academy meeting till now with 362 participants and 60 speakers, total 422 participants. The academicians left Albania inspired and energized to further the goals of the International Academy of Perinatal Medicine in the finest tradition of the Academia.
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