Message From The President

Message from the President
Professor Sally McCarthy
June 2020

As President-Elect of IFEM for the past two years, I have had the privilege to work with many committed and inspiring individuals to advance IFEM’s objectives, always keeping our vision – a world where all people, in all countries, have access to high quality emergency medical care – in sight. Sadly, the failures of availability and capacity of emergency and pre-hospital care and associated necessary resources, or lack of a planned and scalable public health response, are brought into stark reality in our current global situation. The devastation of COVID-19, and its resulting exposure of poor leadership and societal inequities irrespective of a nation’s resources, only underlines the need for a global organization like IFEM which is dedicated to changing this situation for the better.

What steps must IFEM take to advance its objectives and how can we enhance our capacity to take these steps? Such questions have been discussed by IFEM leaders over time and the organization has gradually grown in reach and output. With this foundation, our President Jim Ducharme has taken us to another level of action by his unwavering leadership and keen focus on the development and attainment of SMART goals, with the organization rising to the challenge as shown by the impressive achievements outlined in this annual report. And there is always more to do.

As President-Elect my task has been to focus specifically on the second part of the equation which is to build IFEM’s capacity. This includes building our “brand” and improving communication internally and externally, so that IFEM’s remit and achievements are widely known. In turn, this will facilitate renewed efforts to build a sustainable funding model and give IFEM more capacity to support the work of Committees and Special Interest Groups, and of Members generally. Efforts to grow IFEM’s funding and set up a sustainable financial model have become more urgent with the unavoidable cancellation of the ICEM in Argentina. This has clearly been very difficult for the local organising committee and extremely disappointing for all planning to attend, and it will also have a significant negative impact on IFEM funds. As of now due to work already undertaken, we are better positioned to attract potential donors, initiate new activities of value to emergency care stakeholders, and build new funding streams.

Considerable progress has been achieved through the tireless efforts of many individuals within the organization, and the generous donations of resources and expertise of those from outside IFEM and I thank them all. I would particularly like to mention Miranda Smith, IFEM’s Communications Manager, whose work has been fundamental to the improvements in communication across social media, video, newsletters, our website, in more languages, sharing stories, and connecting us together. I’d like to thank the volunteer experts working with IFEM to build our fundraising and social media outputs, and to improve the visual impact of our brand through graphic design and marketing expertise. As a member of Executive and Board it is really gratifying to see the efforts of so many working together to achieve IFEM’s vision. I cannot finish without adding my heartfelt thanks to Jim Ducharme for his huge contributions across every aspect of IFEMs work in his 2 years as President. He is a truly outstanding leader and will (I am very glad to say) be kept busy in his new role as Immediate Past President. Making use of the extraordinary expertise we have within IFEM and the emergency medicine global community, and securing a sustainable future for IFEM will be my focus for the foreseeable future.

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