Spring has arrived and, as always, a new edition of Breathe is here. We would like to present our first elected Junior Members Committee (JMC). You already know most of us; however, please allow us introduce our entire team. Check which assembly you belong to, and please do not hesitate to contact us! (table 1)
Our new team members are Agnes Boots, Andras Bikov and Hanneke van Helvoort. You will have the chance to meet us at the 12th Lung Science Conference (LSC) (March 21–23, 2014) in Estoril, Portugal. We would be delighted to interact with you and to invite you to attend the first ever LSC–JMC roundtable. The aim of this meeting is to bring together all junior delegates for a discussion, and to provide a valuable networking platform for young individuals who wish to interact with members of the JMC and experienced European Respiratory Society (ERS) officers or who wish to share their experiences with other young fellows.
Another important announcement is the launch of the JMC postgraduate course to be held at the ERS International Congress in Munich, Germany. All junior members and all respiratory healthcare professionals are warmly invited to attend. The topics chosen for this course were selected by the JMC and designed by the senior and junior ERS faculty. We would be delighted to have your input for future editions in terms of topics, contributions and speaker proposals. All juniors are strongly encouraged to join this initiative. Please, check out the preliminary programme (http://juniors.ersnet.org/item/435-pgcoursejuniors) and register!
In Munich, we also aim to organise the first ever ERS knowledge contest! If accepted, four teams composed of 3–4 participants will compete on stage and respond to questions. The quiz master will present illustrated cases that focus on various fields of respiratory medicine and will ask questions. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates to take part. Please contact us by email before March 31, 2014 () if you wish to take part. We are also looking for volunteers to co-chair sessions and wish to create a list of juniors who are willing to be speakers at ERS events. We are ready to do our best to promote you as junior candidates. To increase your chances of success please contact your assembly’s junior member representative.
There is more good news! JMC founding member Anders Bjerg was elected to the ERS Scientific Committee. His presence there guarantees that our voice will be heard in this extremely important committee.
The European Lung Foundation (ELF) has launched a new collaboration with the JMC. Georgia Hardavella, JMC member from Assembly 11, has been elected as the JMC representative to the ELF Professional Advisory Committee. Her role is to bring the juniors’ voices into ELF and contribute to ELF’s work of bringing together patients, the public and respiratory professionals to improve lung health. This collaboration will generate opportunities for the ERS juniors to interact with patients and members of the general public, with the aim to influence respiratory research and guidelines at the European level.
The Chair of the JMC, Indre Butiene, was invited to attend the meeting “Understanding Lung Health in Europe”, held in Brussels, Belgium, at which European Lung White Book and its concise version, Lung Health in Europe Facts and Figures, were officially launched. Discussion during the meeting particularly noted the need for greater public awareness, more focus on education for both patients and professionals and the need for European Union to act in areas where it has the power to bring about changes that will benefit respiratory health. Thus, involvement of all ERS members, especially junior members, is extremely important to spread the information contained in the European Lung White Book and promote wider recognition of the impact lung disease has on the lives of people across Europe. We are delighted that ERS juniors have also contributed to the European Lung White Book.
The ERS is not limited to science within its scientific assemblies, congresses and education. One of the most important goals set by ERS leadership is to create and sustain links with all members of national respiratory societies. The number of national delegates within the ERS has exceeded 70. This demonstrates that the ERS has become not only a European but also a worldwide organisation. To reflect this, the JMC has elected Georgia Hardavella to try to set up a Junior National Delegates Group with representation from all ERS member countries. We hope that each country will have a Junior National Delegate who will represent junior members in their own country and will be expected to collaborate with the Senior National delegate and the JMC to promote juniors’ interests in the ERS and offer them opportunities in the Society. Georgia will be the link between the Junior National Delegates Group, the JMC and the ERS. You are encouraged to contact her if you are interested in being the Junior National Delegate for your country.
We are keen to promote national respiratory events within the ERS member countries that aim to promote junior members work and knowledge. For example the Polish National Delegate organises annual meetings of the Polish ERS group. The purpose of this meeting is to encourage juniors to show data which they are going to send as abstracts for next ERS International Congress. This opportunity aims to increase abstract quality and improve their chances of being accepted for presentation at ERS International Congress.
You can find more information about JMC and our activities online (http://juniors.ersnet.org), please feel free to contact us there!
Szymon Skoczynski, Indre Butiene, Georgia Hardavella, James Chalmers, Tiago Jacinto
- ©ERS 2014
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