Message from the President, November 2018

Louise E. Wilkins-Haug, MD, PhD

Welcome to the October-November edition of Global Updates. I am honored to be the new ISPD president and will take this opportunity to reflect with you on the Society’s accomplishments in the last few years. Under the leadership of Igna Van den Veyver, ISPD expanded global outreach providing onsite co-sponsored courses with societies in China, Taiwan, and later this month, Mexico. In the United States, we increased our presence as educators of genetic fundamentals and their relevance to fetal care at courses during the American College of Medical Genetics and the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine meetings. We are reaching out to corporate supporters with similar interests and pursuing a Corporate Advisory Council to help further support ISPD educational projects.

As we transition to the next two years and to an updated strategic plan, another pivotal goal emerges – engaging the next generation. As genetic technologies move forward, so does the diversity of persons who bring genetics to their fields. This is especially true in fetal diagnosis, care, and therapy. Engaging the trainees of today in ISPD paves the way for their future involvement in a Society in which they have had a hand in shaping. Over the next year, ISPD will reach out further to trainees in various clinical and research arenas with avenues for their participation in ISPD – complimentary membership, travel awards to the conference, a preconference course to help them prepare for their careers, and a mentorship program. Most importantly, we will work on several initiatives for trainees to build networks with each other as well as with longtime members of ISPD.

Looking to the next two years, I feel privileged to carry forward long-held ISPD traditions of inclusiveness and acceptance and to continue newer customs such as the Pioneer Award. If you are not already a member, we invite you to join and help shape how the next generation will approach ISPD’s mission of advancing the science and practice of genetics and fetal care worldwide to promote the health of children, their mothers, and their families.