Vol. 17 No. 3 Fall 2009 – President’s Perspective: AKKO WAIMH Regional Conference Election in Leipzig

Antoine Guedeney, the President of WAIMH

Dear colleagues and friends,

Leipzig, then Cape town, then Edinburgh

Our Leipzig WAIMH congress is coming soon! This will be our 12th one. The Executive committee has just decided that the 2014 congress, following the 2012 in Cape Town, will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Jerusalem bid was very strong, but we chose to apply our rule to alternate between Europe and the rest of the world, in order to minimize the financial risks.

AKKO regional meeting

We had an Executive Committee meeting in Jerusalem, after a wonderful WAIMH regional congress in Akko with high-level presentations, with a special focus on the complex issue of infant mental health in a country at war; Israeli Arabs clinicians presented their experience with working with traumatized populations from both sides. The Signal will publish some of these Akko presentations in the next issues.

Our new bylaws

Our organization has accomplished a major step recently by adopting renewed bylaws, specifically aiming at increasing the active participation of the Affiliates representatives in the Board. This will promote, we hope, a better connection between your society and the others’, while WAIMH is a common frame to share thoughts and experience, to build together plans for teaching, for social policy and for clinical intervention.

We will soon launch a brief survey for you to tell us more about what each affiliate is, and what it wants to achieve. We will give you the results of this survey in Leipzig and in the Signal.

Now the Affiliates have two members out of the 7 voting Executive Committee members: the Chair of the Affiliate Council (will be elected in Leipzig) and the Affiliate Council executive at large (Mark Tomlinson from South Africa, functions in this position until 2010). This step is aimed at giving the Affiliates a strong voice in the Executive Committee (president, myself; president elect, Miri Keren; secretary treasurer Campbell Paul, Deborah Weatherston, Kai von Klitzling and Mark Tomlinson).

What is the EC? What is the Board?

The Executive Committee has the task to run the association and has legal responsibility; the EC is helped by the Board, with the EC being part of the Board plus ex officio members as the Executive Director Palvi Kaukonen, the Editor of the Signal Miri Keren, the Editor of the IMHJ now Hiram Fitzgzerald for 3 years, Past President Tuula Tamminen, Program Committee Chair Neil Boris, Past Program Committee Chair Hiram Fitzgerald and Kaija Puura as Associate Executive Director and Advisor. So some functions are held by same people for the sake of efficacy, with minimum cost of meetings for WAIMH. The EC meets annually and the Board biennially at the occasion of the world congresses, but the EC and the Board work continuously through e-mail and Skype.

The Infant Mental Health Journal is now one of the best references in Infancy, thanks to the work of Joy Osofsky . Hiram is taking over for 3 years, with a renewed editorial board, with the goal to achieve electronic submission, inclusion into Medline and make the journal even more accessible to high level clinical contributions as well as evidence based intervention studies. The journal is still one of the very few truly interdisciplinary one, and one of the cheapest available for the members of WAIMH.

Now the association is run through the central office in Tampere Finland, with Minna Sorsa being your contact person. The web site has been changed and the system for electronically submitting and reviewing papers for congresses is working and under continuous development. The Signal is your journal, waiting for your communications and papers with the description of your association and of your own pioneers in the field of infant mental health in your country and cultures. Miri Keren, the Editor, and Minna Sorsa, the assistant to the Executive Director in WAIMH Central Office, are there to help you editing your papers.

So, we look forward to hearing from you in preparation of the Leipzig Congress. The final word is: Affiliates, do come to Leipzig!

Please remind that you need to be a member of WAIMH to vote and be elected on the board as an affiliate council chair or an affiliate representative, so please check your membership and the one of your representative in Leipzig.


Vol. 17 No. 3 Fall 2009 – President’s Perspective: AKKO WAIMH Regional Conference Election in Leipzig


Guédeney, Antoine,
the president of WAIMH,

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