Dear ICS Members and Colleagues,
I am very pleased to update you on our achievements as a Society since I started my term of office as ICS General Secretary. These successes could not have happened without the great help of the ICS Board of Trustees and the ICS Office.
As soon as we departed Tokyo last year we began a rapid, dedicated and systematic programme to upscale the ICS into a more robust Society from all aspects. This was supported by extending our strategic planning, which has been successfully tested during the past 4 years. Following a strategic review meeting in February 2017, the Board agreed that the new primary aim for 2017 - 2022 is for the ICS "To be the global home of science and clinical education for LUTS, Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Disorders".
Work also began on an innovative scientific programme for Florence including “Live Surgeries” and with our ambitious promotion we achieved the highest ever number of abstracts in the history of ICS annual scientific meetings (sole meetings). We achieved a huge success this year in Florence (close to 2,800 delegates!) reflecting the increased interest in our society. My personal thanks go to Giulio Del Popolo, Enrico Finazzi Agro, Marco Soligo and all the local organising committee who worked tirelessly on making Florence a true success for the ICS. We are very excited for next year's meeting in Philadelphia, which will be the first annual meeting in the USA since 2009. We fully intend to make it a meeting to remember, with all efforts now heavily underway by the Board, ICS Committees, ICS office, Kenes, and the core LOC members: Alan Wein, Diane Newman, Roger Dmochowski and Lori Birder.
The ICS has many important committees that are working harder than ever. Without our dedicated volunteers the ICS would not be the Society it is today. Thank you to every committee and working group member for their dedication and generous efforts on behalf of the ICS. We are also proud to confirm a significant increase in membership numbers in 2017 to give the ICS the highest membership total in its 46 year history at 3,256! The membership is still drawn from a wide range of subspecialties therefore securing the multi-disciplinary nature of the ICS - a unique and important feature of the ICS.
We have been working in many directions including the editing, collation, production and printing of the "ICI book" which was completed by the ICS Office in partnership with the 4 ICI editors. To date close to 900 books have been sold, with the recently released e-copy now available to purchase. The Board also approved the new release of our “Annual Regional Educational Course” which took place successfully in Phoenix, Arizona in December. The ICS Regional Course will alternate each year between Europe and North America.
I am also very happy to announce the creation of a new and important feature of the ICS which is the “ICS INSTITUTE”. The Institute will be the hub of our e-learning and the start of different ICS Schools including (Male LUTS, Pelvic Pain, Female Urology & Pelvic Reconstruction, Anorectal Dysfunction, Neurourology, Transitional Urology, Urodynamics, Physiotherapy, Nursing and Translational Research Schools). Through the institute we shall create some “Training Centres" for hands-on training of certain surgical procedures. Pleas visit the Institute pages regularly as content is continually uploaded.
I am also very proud about the recent completion of the "1st ICS Cadaveric Course" on the treatment of SUI and Voiding Dysfunction. I want to thank Dr Hashim Hashim and the whole of the ICS Office for their sincere efforts to make the course such a success. The course was held in Bristol and I am pleased to confirm that the course will run again in Bristol over 21-22 April 2018.
Another item of very good news is the progressive increase of the “Neurourology & Urodynamics Journal” impact factor which reflects the steady performance of the Chief Editor and his associates, as well as the scientific integrity of the journal.
Our IT team led by Dom Turner have never been more active and I would like to personally congratulate them for their strategic role in all our activities. Dan Snowdon, as the ICS Executive Director, is part of every single move of the society and I appreciate his role in ensuring the continuity of our strategic planning from one Board to the other. Each member of the ICS staff is loyal and dedicated to the ICS.
In summary, I want to assure you that we are growing faster, more robustly, delivering both scientifically and financially and we are performing the best we can.
Please feel free to communicate with me personally or through the office to express your interest in any activity or if you have any proposal/suggestion. I will be more than happy to respond to you.
Thank you for attending ICS 2017 in Florence, we look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia in 2018.