President Mrs Reic speaking to ELPA members in Split
In the period 12 – 16 September a series of meetings of the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA) was held in Split, Croatia. The meetings were organized by the national member of ELPA from Croatia – the Croatian Association of Treated and Ill with Hepatitis “Hepatos” (CATIH “Hepatos”).
The first meeting on the agenda was the meeting of ELPA’s Steering Committee held on 12th September at Hotel Park. Many important topics were discussed at the Steering Committee meeting, but special emphasis was put on development and building capacities of ELPA and its national members.
The ELPA Stakeholders meeting was held on 13th September at Hotel Park. The participants of the meeting were the members of ELPA’s Steering Committee, ELPA national members as well as the representatives of six pharmaceutical companies: Merck Sharp & Dohme, Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen, Novartis and Gilead.
On this occasion, the ELPA work plan for 2013 was presented to the attendees along with the corresponding budget for all planned activities. Special emphasis was again put on the necessity to diversify ELPA’s financing in order to diminish the possibility of wrong interpretation of ELPA’s motives as organization and in order to show what ELPA really is – an independent organization representing European liver patients and fighting for their rights and well-being. Important organizational changes have been initiated within ELPA leading to greater self-sustainability of the organization and consequentially to diversification of financing sources. The presentation of the ELPA work plan was followed by a discussion which was a great opportunity for the present Stakeholders to clarify any questions with the ELPA Steering Committee, but also for ELPA to ask them for suggestions on how to move more quickly and successfully towards diversification of ELPA’s financing sources. The feedback received from the stakeholders following the meeting was extremely positive and we at ELPA are certain that we’re facing another very successful year.
ELPA’s national members and invited guest associations, a total of 16 associations from 15 countries, gathered in Split on 13th September along with the representative of consulting company Hanover Communications and industry representatives from Astellas Pharma, Abbott and Janssen.
The programme of the ELPA Advisory Board meeting on Liver Transplantation and Liver Cancer commenced on 14th September at 09:00 h at the Radisson Blu Resort Split. The first on the meeting agenda was a workshop for the members dedicated to the upcoming launch of the European Hepatitis Care Index. The workshop was conducted by the representative of Hanover Communications and the members received all necessary instructions about steps to be taken in order to successfully finalize the Index and make the launch on 6th November a success. The Index workshop was followed by industry presentations, and later in the afternoon by a training session on liver transplantation conducted by PhD Anna Mrzljak, gastroenterologist from Clinical Hospital “Merkur” in Zagreb. On day two, Saturday 14th September, two trainings were held for the members, covering the topics of hepatitis B and Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The presentation on hepatitis B was held by Ingo van Thiel from Deutsche Leberhilfe and the HCC training was held by PhD Irena Hrstic, head of internal medicine at General Hospital Pula. ELPA members have expressed their contentment with the quality of organized trainings and lectures and it can be safely said that this ELPA Advisory Board meeting really was a successful beginning of ELPA’s activity in the fields of liver transplantation and HCC.
The series of meetings in Split ended on 16th September with a 2-hour round table meeting of ELPA members and guest associations from Turkey, Lithuania and Finland, chaired by ELPA President, Tatjana Reic. The objective of the meeting was to learn about the needs of the guest associations and how ELPA could help them. The meeting was also an opportunity for the members to report about their ongoing activities, exchange experiences with other each other and seek advice and assistance.
The events in Split were used also to provide free liver elastograpy checks using the FibroScan device to over 90 citizens of Split and the Split-Dalmatian County. This unique intiative was well covered by local radio stations and press.