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I2C2—Bringing ISHLT to the World

Stephen C. Clark, MD and Andreas Zuckermann, MD
I2C2 Committee Chairs

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It is a regrettable but perhaps an inevitable fact that ISHLT has traditionally had its membership concentrated in North America, Western Europe and Australasia. With emerging programs in other areas of the world, the need to engage more widely has never been greater, enabling ISHLT members to interact with units which are developing to promote the standards and ideals of our Society. In parallel, the relationships with other learned professional Societies across the globe have never been subject to an official pathway for mutual action on issues of importance, especially where members may well be shared.

To this end, and after much thought and hard work on the development of the concept, the International and Inter-Society Co-ordination Committee (or I2C2 - not to be confused with R2D2!) was born. This was one of the principle topics in Lori West's wonderfully crafted Presidential Address at the 32nd Annual Meeting in Prague.

The I2C2 has two major areas of interest:

1. Emerging International Issues

The Committee will take a leadership role in reacting to important international developments of interest to the membership of ISHLT. The group will work closely with the Board and Councils to develop timely and appropriate responses and policies for the benefit of ISHLT and the patients we serve. The I2C2 in its formative state has already assisted with developing ISHLT responses to organ donation from executed prisoners in China, initiating the policy of requiring an assurance that such organs have not been used in developing data for abstracts or publications submitted to ISHLT, and in organizing a rebuttal to recent misleading articles on brain death testing and organ donation in the Wall Street Journal. These activities ensure a considered approach and unified response to matters of international concern to the ISHLT. It is important that the ISHLT has a mechanism by which matters can be rapidly assessed and responses given through a single channel when the need arises.

2. Inter-Societal & International Outreach

It is a pivotal role of I2C2 to develop formal relationships with other Societies where mutual benefits may be attained, membership shared, and common goals exist. There are many areas of benefit to ISHLT members where collaborative working can take place on a formal basis and meaningful liaisons developed. We have already begun work with TTS towards developing an annual international basic sciences meeting, and contact has been established with a number of influential organisations to put working on joint initiatives on a more constructive path. This role will also include establishing external representation for ISHLT on the international stage and ensuring that we exert influence in the interests of ISHLT's wider aims. With the permission of the Board, the I2C2 will be a policy-making group where relevant.

The group also aims to coordinate ISHLT-sponsored troubleshooting of new or established transplant units that request assistance, especially in countries where programs are developing. This is an area of considerable personal interest to the authors.

The structure of I2C2 comprises a Core Membership Group supplemented by nominated members from each of the Councils, the Education Committee, the Standards and Guidelines Committee and the Communications Committee. These were selected at the Annual Meeting in Prague.

To augment the activities of I2C2 and ensure truly global representation, we will be appointing Ambassadors from each geographic region to act as the 'eyes and ears' of the Committee and ensure that matters of interest are brought to our attention rapidly and to act as local liaison when needed. This is the opportunity for members—especially from outside North America, Western Europe and Australasia—to become involved, help develop policies that promote the interests of ISHLT and the patients we serve, and use ISHLT to further local aims and goals.

After the introduction of the concept in Prague, there has already been much interest with potential projects on organ sharing and allocation in Turkey and Cyprus, and potential links with South Africa, India, Iran and Brazil being explored. We thank you for the enthusiastic reception that I2C2 has already received from members of the Society.

We hope that you will support this new initiative and welcome your interest in becoming an Ambassador. If you are interested in representing your Country and the ideals of ISHLT, then please contact any of us for further details to bring this exciting new initiative to its full potential and put ISHLT truly on the world stage.

2012 I2C2 Report to the Board: http://www.ishlt.org/ContentDocuments/2012_I2C2_Report.pdf
AMBASSADORS WANTED: http://www.ishlt.org/ContentDocuments/Ambassadors_Wanted.pdf
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Stephen Clark: s.c.clark@ncl.ac.uk
Lori West: ljwest@ualberta.ca
Andreas Zuckermann: andreas.zuckermann@meduniwien.ac.at

Disclosure Statement: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.