During the weekend of 16 – 17 April 2016 IA (the Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Support Group) celebrated their 60th anniversary. I was invited by the executive committee of IA to attend this special meeting in Hinckley, United Kingdom. It was very special for me to be together with more than 200 members of IA.
On Saturday morning 16th April, Professor Neil Mortensen, National President of IA, welcomed everyone to the meeting and the President of the local member organisation, Leicestershire IA, opened the meeting with a warm speech. Looking back – Moving forward was the theme for this national meeting.
The program presented us with a lot of very interesting lectures:
- Advances in Endoscopy for IBD, by Dr. James East, gastroenterologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
- The vital role of stoma care nurses in research and development, by Angie Perrin, Clinical Lead, Research and Development from Salts Healthcare.
- The story of my life, by Mrs. Prisk, about her surgery 60 years ago and her life being a young stoma patient. This moving story was very touching and emotional for all the participants and for me.
- Philip Salt, Salts Healthcare illustrated the important role the company played in the establishment of patient support in the UK.
During the meeting there was a lot of time for the members of IA to discuss the proposals concerning a new structure of IA. It was very interesting to hear opinions of the members about the suggested proposals.
It was nice to meet Jackie King, the successor of Anne Demick. Jackie is the new National Secretary of IA. As you probably know Anne Demick is retired of but she is now elected as Chairman of the Executive Committee of IA.
During the morning programme I had the opportunity to congratulate IA on its 60th anniversary on behalf of the EOA-EC and all our 42associations.
To remember this Anniversary and to motivate IA in the future, I presented on behalf of EOA a little bronze sculpture, named “Join Hands Together”.
Thanks to the Board of IA for inviting me to this well organized meeting of the National Council of IA.
I wish IA all the best for the future.
Ria Smeijers President EOA
The Netherlands, May 2016