April update from the ESE President
It is amazing to me that this is the last ‘from the ESE President’ that will occur within my tenure, and that in less than one month at the ESE AGM on 26 May, I will officially step down and hand over the reins to your President-Elect – Martin Reincke.
To say I am proud of what has been achieved over the past two years, under the most unforeseeable of circumstances, would be an understatement. The aim of this short piece is not to give a full list of what we did during my mandate (there will be space for it in the ESE 2020 Annual Review which will be published soon), which led us to achieve the vast majority of what I set out to do under the Inclusion Plan. In fact, it is not me but you all as ESE members and the future to come which will tell the final word on the impact of my Presidency on the Society and on the entire world of Endocrinology.
What I would like to do in the next few lines is to share with you my emotions in this transition phase and some reflections on the past two years which can represent part of my legacy for the future generations of Endocrinologists in Europe and beyond.
One of my sweetest feelings has been seeing progressively the coming together of my dream, the creation of a global endocrine community in the most challenging of times. With the help of other extraordinary international leaders, we were able to show the way forward to all endocrinologists over the world and that “inclusion” was not just a word but a way of living and that united we were much stronger! This path is irreversible and can only improve in the future, breaking even further the barriers in our community and making the most of the advantages from our diversity which has become one of our biggest strengths. Clearly, the pandemic has been a catalyst to mobilise our community as never before, and for me and ESE, to be able to lead this epochal change, supporting our people has been an honour. All the initiatives started in this last year – facilitating webinars, statements, publications and research grants, accomplished at best the goal to represent, for all Endocrinologists, a reference point - providing them with all the support they asked for at this difficult time.
One of the most rewarding objectives reached over the past two years was that such an environment allowed us to reach one of my other initial goals, i.e. to see our membership grow substantially (by nearly 18% in 2020 alone), and even much more in perspective with the launch of the ESE Advocacy Representative Scheme (EARS) which allows all endocrinologists (over 20,000 throughout Europe) to speak with one voice for endocrinology. Our national societies who have signed up for this scheme and are represented through the ESE Council of Affiliated Societies (ECAS), have become, and will continue to be, absolutely integral to our activity. Size not always, but very often, matters and only involving all Endocrinologists in Europe and beyond we will be able to stand up and effectively represent the global community at the highest Institutional levels.
An additional thought along these lines, is that working hard together with all our National Societies in a symbiotic fashion, and bringing them to the core of ESE was a great pleasure and honour. One of the outstanding results of this mutually fruitful engagement was the development of the “Summa Theologica” of my activities as President – the production of the ESE White Paper on endocrinology: “Hormones in European Health Policies: How endocrinologists can contribute towards a healthier Europe”. This historical document, first of its kind in Europe, has been endorsed by 45 National Endocrine Societies and seven ESE associated Specialist Societies representing the vast majority of the more than 20,000 Endocrinologists across Europe. I am sure that you share my vision that the launch of our White Paper at the core of our EU Institutions in Brussels will be a seminal moment in the life of ESE and for European Endocrinology. You are all invited to join and, in this way, also express our strength registering here for this historical event which will take place on Tuesday 4 May (10.00 – 12.00 noon CEST).
The White paper is a crucial step in our greatly successful path of these last years toward an increased awareness of the key role of our discipline in the Brussels health policy agenda. This objective is of such huge global relevance that I will not stop advocating for Endocrinology and Endocrinologists leaving the conduction of ESE! In fact, I look forward to taking up the reins as President of the European Hormone and Metabolism Foundation (ESE Foundation) which has been set up and located in Brussels. The ESE Foundation will keep also a careful eye on the needs of the patient towards the development of that so much needed “social Endocrinology” which aims to promote equal access to endocrine care all over the world, supporting our policy and advocacy and public engagement efforts. You will hear more about the aspirations and activities of the ESE Foundation over the coming months!
Finally, I very much look forward to the focal point of our ESE year, e-ECE 2021 (22-26 May). It is here that we can come together to celebrate endocrinology once more, with outstanding science being presented by world leaders in all the fields of our discipline. Additional to last year’s excellent e-ECE 2020, you will be able to interact with your peers though groups which appeal to your interest, or on a 1:1 basis. There are many exciting new sessions in store, and certainly something for everyone! I look forward to seeing you there from the Opening Ceremony, at which there will be a few surprises and special guests - last year the Opening Ceremony attracted over 7,000 viewers – let’s try to beat that number!
Before I go, I would like to thank for their support during my Presidency the Executive Committee members and our ESE Office, without them none of the above objectives could have been reached, for sure not with the same fun and reward. But mainly my thanks go out to you, all our members, for your trust and continued support. It has been one of the greatest honours in my life being able to represent my beloved discipline in the world and fulfilling all the expectations that you had when you elected me as ESE President four years ago!
I look forward to seeing you all finally for an in person ECE in Milan in 2022!
With my warmest wishes
Your ESE President