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How to contribute to ESTM goals and progress in Transfusion Medicine

A growing feeling of interest and affection has been perceived over the years by coordinators, teachers, and participants to ESTM activities; to ensure continuity, some structural and operational rearrangements are always necessary, including financial support, and commitment. Support should be free of any commercial interest and guarantee the absolute independence of the activities planned and performed by the ESTM.

Any kind of support, to better reach ESTM's goals, shall certainly help all persons involved in its activities from all over Europe (Scientific Committee, Council of Administration, coordinators, faculty members, national reporters, participants) continue to believe in the ESTM projects and contribute to their realisation.

Continuity is as well assured through cooperation with Institutions active in Education in Transfusion Medicine, such as WHO, European Union, Council of Europe, EBA, ISBT, NATA, IPFA, NESA, TIF, national or international scientific Societies, national or international Cooperation programmes.

The ESTM experience so far has shown indeed that sharing professional activities with Colleagues of different countries, and helping them with a "twinning" attitude, is the key to real progress of Transfusion Medicine in Europe, and in neighbouring countries.

Sponsorship, finances and recognition

National Societies. A concrete financial support, through the sponsorship of participants' fees, has been given to the ESTM residential courses occasionally by the British, Portuguese, Greek, German, Polish, Spanish, Norwegian, and Turkish Societies, and periodically by the Italian Society and by the European Region of WHO. The Council of Europe and the European Union have contributed to a partial sponsorship of one course in 1999. The Italian National Blood Centre, and the Teaching Hospital of Pescara, have contributed a partial sponsorship to the 2009 course on cord blood banking.

ISBT. More recently (since 2001 until 2006), the ISBT has granted a consistent annual support for sponsorship of Eastern European participants to ESTM courses.

A grant from the ISBT Foundation for "Transfusion Medicine education in Europe and neighbouring regions", to cover ESTM activities from July 2007 to June 2008, has been awarded to its President in June 2007, and renewed in June 2009 for ESTM activities from July 2009 to June 2010.

The Royal College of Pathologists (London), in 1995, has recognised ESTM courses as being appropriate for Continuing Medical Education (CME) purposes, enabling course attendants to receive CME credits at the rate of one credit per hour. The recognition has been renewed again in 2000 and 2008.

Since 2003, the ESTM courses have obtained recognition by the EHA/ECAH (European Committee for Accreditation in Haematology), now EHA/CME (Continuing Medical Education), of the European Haematology Association.

In January 2006, the ESTM has gained recognition by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as "NGO" (being fit for A) Training on place of citizens of developing countries; B) Information; C) Education to development), enabling the ESTM to present projects for international cooperation in TM education.

In November 2006 a “Cooperation Agreement” (“for a bilateral cooperation and promotion of common goals and interest”) has been signed between ESTM and NESA (New European Surgical Academy), whereby the ESTM has become a “partner organisation” for the educational aspects concerning Transfusion Medicine.

The ESTM has been invited to participate in the "1st Regional Meeting of Directors of Blood Transfusion Services in Europe" organised by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, held in Copenhagen in June 2007, and to cooperate in the educational aspects of regional or sub-regional programmes of integration, such as the WHO/Europe SEE Blood Safety Project.

The ESTM President received the ISBT Award
Quite important for the ESTM has been the moral support received through the ISBT Award given to its President (at the ISBT International Congress in Vancouver, August 2002) with the following citation:
"The ISBT is delighted to present Professor Umberto Rossi with its award for outstanding contributions to the teaching of Transfusion Medicine.
As founder and President of the European School of Transfusion Medicine, Professor Rossi has worked tirelessly, overcoming problems of logistics, finance, sometimes politics and often inertia in certain quarters, to bring high quality teaching in all areas of Transfusion Medicine to all parts of Europe.
A pillar of the ISBT and a true European, Professor Rossi has taken the teaching of Transfusion Medicine not only to the affluent, but even more so to the developing and less economically privileged parts of Europe.
Indeed, his inspiration extends beyond Europe and his courses act as models for similar enterprises that have been initiated outwith Europe.
Although sometimes complaining about his dogged persistence, many practitioners of Transfusion Medicine and also senior staff in the commercial companies supplying the speciality all feel privileged to have helped Professor Rossi to further his laudable mission of enhancing knowledge, expertise and interest in our field.



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