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Report to the General Assembly, 2001
In line with the objectives presented on my appointment (in 1995) education programmes have continued annually: 1998 to Lithuania, 1999 to Czech Republic, 2000 to Poland.
This year to Hungary in the autumn, where the programme will include assessment, evidence based practice, patient education, and exercise tolerance. Workshops on splinting, hydrotherapy, collaborative care plans, and documentation will also be held.
The appointment in 1999 of an education coordinator, Ms Anne Bos, has produced numerous benefits, including devising courses to meet the individual needs of the host country.
In addition to the annual educational visits a proposal for individuals to undertake educational visits has been approved and supported by the executive committee. Such visits will have agreed objectives and learning contracts, the participants being invited to present their outcomes at the annual conference.
The standing committee has been active in producing the programme for the annual conference.
In 2000 the first newsletter was published by the editor, Ulla Nordenskiold. It was well received, but Ulla emphasises that the newsletter is only as good as its contributors. She looks forward to receiving content from anyone for the next issue.
All member countries without health professional representation in EULAR have been recently contacted to nominate a representative—I eagerly await their responses.
The Italian Health Professionals organisation is being reformed with the support of Professor Mattucci Cerinic. The standing committee looks forward to supporting them in their formation and future education programmes. With the support of Professor Brancho, we hope to facilitate the formation of a health professionals organisation in Portugal.
Topics for allied health professionals research are being sort, the funding having been agreed. It is hoped that proposals for multicountry/multicentre initiatives will be exciting and innovative.
In September 2000 Willy Peeters retired as the Belgian representative. Willy, along with Vicky Stephenson, was the originator and backbone of the EULAR Health Professionals. The sincere thanks of EULAR and the standing committee go to Willy for his support and contribution.
The first vice president of the health professionals, Jana Korandova, is retiring from her term of office. Jana has set very high standards. Her contribution as vice president will be missed, but I know she will join me in wishing her successor every success in this challenging role. Jana will continue as her country's representative, so her talents will not be lost to us.
Finally, a thank you to Fred and Ellie Wyss, to Eugenio Plozza, to Sophie Edwards for her support as personal assistant to the health professionals, and last, but by no means least, the standing committee for their total support of me as Chair.