By Arnold Ganser, MD, PhD, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
As chair of the International Members Committee, I am often asked about what programs and services ASH has for our International members. ASH is truly a global organization, with numerous opportunities for hematologists around the world to participate.
All ASH International members may serve on the Society’s standing and scientific committees. Membership is chosen through nominations, and self-nomination is encouraged. The Nominating Committee looks for, among many qualities, individuals with prior service to the Society and geographic diversity.
Through our partnership with the European Hematology Association, early-career researchers from Europe can benefit from the Translational Research Training in Hematology (TRTH) program, as well as the ASH-EHA Research Exchange Award. All students with abstracts accepted for the annual meeting are eligible to be considered for travel and merit awards; you do not need to be an ASH member. Mentor awards recognize ASH members who have made a significant impact in their students’ professional development. Honorific awards, including the E. Donnall Thomas Lecture and Prize, the William Dameshek Prize, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize, and the Henry M. Stratton Medal, are the most prestigious honors given by the Society, recognizing excellence from hematologists throughout the world. In addition, the Ham-Wasserman Lecture, one of the highlights of the annual meeting each year, honors a prominent scientist from outside the United States.
The majority of manuscript submissions to Blood and abstract submissions are from international hematologists; you don’t need to be a member to submit either. Two new abstract categories highlight the increasingly global nature of research: Health Outcomes Research and Health Services Research, which focus specifically on outcomes related to developing countries. International members may also serve as abstract reviewers and editors and reviewers for Blood.
In addition, ASH offers programs tailored specifically for hematologists in developing areas of the world. The International Outreach Initiative offers ASH’s educational materials at no cost to hematology-related institutions. Through the Visitor Training Program, clinicians and scientists can receive training on a specific topic under the mentorship of an ASH member anywhere in the world. All ASH members may volunteer to teach hematology and train local personnel at sites in Uganda, Peru, and Cambodia through ASH’s partner organization, Health Volunteers Overseas.
Moreover, several online resources are offered at no cost. Articles in Blood are available online after a 12-month embargo; free registration is required. Many educational tools, such as the Teaching Cases; the Image Bank; Hematology, the Education Program Book from the annual meeting; and The Hematologist are available online at no cost. The ASH Self-Assessment Program (ASH-SAP) is also offered at no cost to certain trainees.
The ASH annual meeting is truly a global event, with almost half of our attendees coming from beyond North America. This year, the Society focused specifically on expanding meetings outside of the United States. The inaugural Highlights of ASH® in Latin America, in collaboration with the Associacao Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia (ABHH), offered hematologists a condensed version of the annual meeting with sessions tailored specifically to the Latin American audience. The NCI-ASH Hematology Clinical Trials Workshop gave hematologists in Latin America the opportunity to increase their knowledge about planning and implementing clinical research.
ASH’s partnerships around the world continue to grow. With collaborations on five different continents, hematologists from around the world have a wealth of opportunities available to them. To learn more about ASH’s global programs and resources, visit the ASH booth, #129, or the Global page of the ASH Web site.
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