There is a lot going on in WAIMH now. The first thing is clearly the vote of the membership for nominated people to stand in the EC of WAIMH. This is a major step in our Association, giving the membership more grips to name the Executive committee. We have three people beautifully elected: Kai von Klitzling, from Leipzig, Germany, Campbell Paul from Melbourne, Australia and Deborah Weatherston from Michigan, USA. Kai is currently in charge of the next WAIMH congress in Leipzig, in the summer 2012, and was already in the current EC, thus providing continuity. Kai made several important studies on attachment, has both a psychoanalytic culture and does evidence based clinical research. Campbell Paul is well known of WAIMH members, having organized the Melbourne world congress and several other meetings; he is working on a book on Parent Infant therapy, has done several works on liaison work for babies in hospital and on transcultural issues. Debbie Weatherston is the current US affiliate president; she took a major role in the process of MAIMH putting up an endorsement process which will take more and more importance within WAIMH in the coming years. She was also responsible for editing the WAIMH handbook of infant mental health, which is a robust compilation of knowledge about how to work with infants and family, in continuation with Fraiberg’s famous ‘Kitchen Table’ therapy.
Thus, we have three excellent colleagues of us on board, reflecting WAIMH vitality. I wish to thank here the other candidates who ran for the EC and could not get in since only 3 places were available. They are all prominent figures at WAIMH and other associations. They have expressed their willingness to contribute their skills to our association, which we definitely will keep in mind.
The Affiliates presidents will have to nominate their representative in the EC and this will be done in the coming weeks, after some adjustments are made. The delay is due to the novelty of the process.
Another important issue is the Editor ship of the Infant Mental Health Journal. Joy Osofsky mad a fantastic job in this position for more than 10 years; she accepted in Paris 2006 to continue and to help at making the transition smooth. The journal under her leadership has become one of the most respected and read in the field, with a fairly good impact factor and inclusion in several major databases. Michigan Association of Infant Mental Health owns the journal, which is published by Wiley & sons and is of course the official journal of the association, whereas the Signal is its newsletter. A search committee was launched under the leadership of Debbie Weatherston for MAIMH and received the candidates. Finally, the candidature of Hiram Fitzgerald got all votes and Hiram accepted a three- year term as editor, starting next September, with Neil Boris, Mark Tomlinson, Kai von Klitzling holly Brophy Herb, Rachel Schiffman, Tammy Mann and Kim Kelsay as associate editors. Ann Culp will continue the book review part of the journal. Medline inclusion has been submitted by Wiley and we expect to have on line submission fairly soon. Lisa Deveraux will serve as managing editor of the IMHJ. Emphasis will be kept on contributions linking innovative work in neurobiology with infant mental health issues and on increasing visibility for clinical case studies.
Finally we have several important choices to make a soon as possible. We need a Chair of the program committee for the Capetown congress, with sensitivity to the situation in the country and in Africa. This PC has to start working soon, as there will be a short time period between Leipzig, in summer 2010 and Cape Town, in March 2012.
For 2014 we also have to make a choice between Jerusalem and Edinburgh. Planning of a world congress is a tricky issue, which needs decisions being taken as soon as possible, for both central office and LOC to start working. We now have quite an expertise in doing so, based on experience and now the central WAIMH office in Tampere is settled and effective. We have two excellent bids. Both are in famous attractive cities, both in Europe or Middle East, very well known all around the world. Both bids are brought up by an active group, backed by a strong WAIMH affiliate organization. The Jerusalem bid has been presented to us by Miri Keren in Yokohama. Sam Tyano is a key person in this LOC, with great experience of world congresses; the LOC is supported by a private foundation which may help effectively. Edinburgh bid is backed by WAIMH UK, a long standing and a major affiliate in our organization. WAIMHUK has organized a very successful conference in Oxford, 10 years ago. Shirley Gracias the past president of WAIMH UK has presented us with the WAIMH UK bid in Yokohama and Catherine Lowenhoff is ready to follow on the bid, with a LOC benefiting from the experience and influence of Colwyn Trevarthen.
The next regional WAIMH congress will take place in Acre, in Israel, next September, organized by Miri Keren, Sam Tyano and the Israeli Affiliate Board (See the WAIMH web site for the program), followed by a 2 days EC meeting with both the ‘old board ‘ and the ‘new board ‘ in Jerusalem, with minimum expenses for WAIMH.
So WAIMH is on the move. We’ll keep you posted through the Signal.