1. Report from the president
The WES General Assembly takes place in connection with the World Congresses on Endometriosis (WCE), and the assembly, which is therefore not annual, provides an opportunity for WES members and the WES board to meet to set priorities for the next three years.
Robert Shaw, as Immediate Past President, took the place of WES president Rodolphe Maheux, who died untimely in May 2007, in presenting the president’s report, and commenced the assembly by reminding the members of WES’s mission to:
- promote the exchange of clinical experience, scientific thought, and investigation among gynaecologists, endocrinologists, scientists, biologists and other qualified individuals interested in advancing the field of endometriosis;
- foster research in endometriosis pathogenesis and treatment;
- disseminate information about endometriosis;
- encourage and support collaboration among national and international societies interested in endometriosis.
Robert Shaw paid tribute to Rodolphe Maheux, who was a founding member of WES and a driving force of moving the Society’s mission and priorities forward. He explained how he, Hans Evers and Lone Hummelshoj had had to step in too early to fill the void left by Rodolphe in carrying forward the mission of WES. Robert Shaw was therefore proud to be able to highlight the following achievements since the last WCE in September 2005:
- A new secretariat was appointed January 2006, where Lone Hummelshoj took over as secretary general.
- Since then the WES has increased its membership by 40%, and now has 180 members. This is still too low for a society in this field and every member was encouraged to promote the mission of WES to increase membership and involve colleagues in contributing to this important field.
- WES has produced seven WES e-Journals since WCE2005; the highest number of eJournals produced between any WCEs.
- WES has revamped its website to include more information and news
- WES was represented at 21 international meetings on five continents during the past 2½ years!
- WES co-founded the World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF) with the ASRM and ESHRE, which was Rodolphe Maheux’s presidential initiative. WERF has raised almost half a million dollars so far and has commenced two prospective epidemiological studies to (a) establish the impact of endometriosis and (b) the predictability of endometriosis (ie. a screening tool). Prospective studies of this scale have never been undertaken before, and 20 centres in 14 countries are involved. Members were directed to the website www.endometriosisfoundation.org for additional information.
Robert Shaw, having ascertained that a quorum of members were present, asked WES members to approve the WES board initiative of presenting a “Rodolphe Maheux Award” at each WCE for the best clinical presentation by a clinician under the age of 40, in honour of Professor Maheux. The intention of the award would be to encourage the ‘younger generation’ to continue to advance the field of endometriosis and would carry a cash prize of €1,000.00 towards the winner’s next scientific meeting. WES member Ali Akoum proposed the approval of the award, which was seconded by WES member Neil Johnson. The motion was unanimously carried.
2. Financial statements
WES treasurer, Michel Canis, presented the financial results:
Result 31 December 2005: CAD$26,405.50
9th World Congress on Endometriosis: CAD$39,581.50
1st instalment for WCE2008: CAD$13,460.80
Membership 2006: CAD$10,966.34
TOTAL INCOME in 2006 and 2007: CAD$104,816.91
Operating expenditure 2006: CAD$34,459.63
Operating expenditure 2007: CAD$28,585.36
TOTAL EXPENDITURE in 2006
and 2007: CAD$63,044.99
RESULT 31 December 2007: CAD$41,771.92
WES member Paulo Spinola proposed the approval of the accounts, which was seconded by WES member Neil Johnson. The accounts for 2006-2007 were unanimously approved.
3. The appointment of auditors
Robert Shaw proposed the appointment of auditors:
Tudor Business Centre
This was seconded by WES member Thomas D’Hooghe. The motion was unanimously carried.
4. Special resolution: the amendment of bylaws
All WES members had been provided with proposed revised WES bylaws on 13 February 2008. The bylaws had been revised to simplify the membership structure and to clarify board terms to ensure there is a regular turnover of the board. No additional comments/feedback had been received by the time of the General Assembly.
WES member Deborah Bush proposed the approval of the revised bylaws, which was seconded by WES member Edgardo Rolla. The revised bylaws were unanimously carried.
5. Presentation of the 2008 – 2011 priorities and board composition
Robert Shaw handed over the position of WES President 2008-2011 to Professor Hans Evers of Maastricht University. Hans Evers thanked Robert Shaw for stepping in on behalf of Rodolphe Maheux, and commenced his presentation by referring back to WES’s mission, and based on this he set out his priorities for the next three years:
To continue to produce a regular e-Journal with “news and opinions in endometriosis” to enhance the exchange of experience and dissemination of information. Hans Evers invited members to contribute with input to the e-Journal and for them to provide feedback to the format they would like see it take.
5.b International research networks in endometriosis
Hans Evers announced that Peter Rogers, together with scientists from around the world, would be hosting a one day research workshop on 15 March 2008 to come up with a consensus for future research priorities in endometriosis. Hans Evers thanked Peter Rogers for this initiative and confirmed that WES will “take on the baton” – as Hans Evers’ presidential initiative – to establish international, collaborative research networks based on the priorities set out in the publication, as a deliverable of WES’s mission to “foster research”. It is envisaged that these research networks will aid in providing research priorities for WERF.
5.c The World Endometriosis Research Foundation (WERF)
Hans Evers pledged his support to WERF to not only foster research in endometriosis, but also to encourage and support international collaboration among those who study the pathogenesis and treatment of endometriosis. He encouraged all members to please assist with fundraising for WERF. Raising money for research is a key aim of WES’s mission to make scientific progress.
5.d World Congresses on Endometriosis
Arranging the World Congresses on Endometriosis is one of the corner stones of WES’s mission. Hans Evers announced that the 11th WCE will take place in Montpellier on 4 – 7 September 2011. Its theme will be: “Towards Excellence”.
Hans Evers reminded all members that to move towards excellence international collaboration is essential. He recognised that WES is a small society – but it is not “select” . It welcomes all members from the endometriosis community, and encourages further collaboration with national and regional societies.
5.e The 2008-2011 WES board
Hans Evers paid tribute to Jacques Donnez (1st WES president, 1998-2000), Michel Canis (WES treasurer, 2002-2008, and Paulo Spinola (WES representative, 1998-2010), who are stepping down from the board because their terms of office are over.
He went on to introduce the new WES officers:
- Paolo Vercellini (Italy) – president elect for 2011-2014
- Robert Shaw (UK) – who has agreed to stay on as “immediate past president” in lieu of Rodolphe Maheux
- Linda Giudice (USA) – vice president
- Robert Schenken (USA) – secretary
- Ali Akoum (Canada) – treasurer
Three ex-officio positions have been created:
- David Healy (Australia) – president of WCE2008 (ie. immediate past WCE)
- Bernard Hedon (France) – president of WCE2011 (ie. next WCE) – NEW
- Luk Rombauts (Australia) – e-Journal editor – NEW
- Mauricio Abrao (Brazil) – NEW
- Neil Johnson (New Zealand) – NEW
- Naoki Terakawa (Japan) – NEW
- Liselotte Mettler (Germany) – replaced Agneta Bergqvist in 1Q 2007
- Robert Taylor (USA)
Lone Hummelshoj was re-appointed as Secretary General, which is not a board position.
6. Any other business
Hans Evers reminded everyone that the congress book on endometriosis, edited by Professor David Healy, was for sale at the registration desk.
There being no other business the meeting concluded at 18.00.