From the Central Office: Introducing the people working in the WAIMH Central Office. Part II

Reija Latva

We want to introduce the people at the World Association for Infant Mental Health you can connect and work with. In the last Issue of Perspectives the new Executive Director Kaija Puura  told you more about herself. Minna Sorsa, our Senior Administrator told you about herself in the last article.

Reija Latva

My first memory of WAIMH is the 6th WAIMH World Congress in Tampere. At that time, I was a medical student at Tampere University. In spring 1996, I had just started to do research with Professor Tuula Tamminen. She told me about the upcoming congress and there I was, one of the blue and white stripe shirted medical students helping the congress participants, and I could not imagine what a wonderful path I had just started.

In 2006, at the 10th WAIMH World Congress in Paris, I had my first WAIMH congress presentation in a poster workshop. The atmosphere of the congress enthralled me and since then I have participated in every WAIMH congress. When the WAIMH Central Office was transferred to Finland the President of WAIMH Tuula Tamminen and Executive Director Pälvi Kaukonen gave me the great opportunity to start little by little working in the Central Office. During these years, I have also had the privilege to get to know the next presidents of WAIMH Antoine Guedeney, Miri Keren and Kai von Klitzing, board members and members of program committees when they visited the Kauppi Campus in Tampere.

During recent years, WAIMH has started to use more and more opportunities provided by social media. Social media also gave me my first official task in the association in 2014 when I started to work as WAIMH Social Media Co-ordinator. In 2016, I started to work for the program committee of the Prague congress. Working on the program committee gave me a new and interesting perspective on WAIMH congresses.

In August this year I started working as an Associate Executive Director. In the Central Office, I will be organizing the next world congresses together with Kaija Puura, Minna Sorsa, Sari Miettinen, members of the program committee and the local organizing committees of the congresses. We already started organizing the 18th World Congress in Brisbane 2020 this autumn. It is a great honor to serve the organization as an Associate Executive Director and I promise to do my best in this important task.

In addition, let me tell you something about myself. I am a child psychiatrist and I have worked at the Department of Child Psychiatry in Tampere University Hospital since 1999. Infant psychiatry has been my special interest for many years. I have done research in the field of infant psychiatry and done my PhD on premature infants. As a child psychiatrist I have had the opportunity to work in the Family and Infant Psychiatry Unit of Tampere University Hospital for the last ten years, first as infant psychiatrist and for the last five years as deputy chief of the unit. This autumn I received a new challenge in my clinical work starting as head of the Child Psychiatry Department of Tampere University Hospital.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2019!