Gavin Finkelstein is President, Haemophilia Foundation Australia
We know that when our national conference is over, we can expect a quick run to the end of the year. I recently presented my annual report to member foundations at the Annual General Meeting and for the second successive year I acknowledged a second extraordinary year because of the impact of COVID-19. I noted that, while we couldn’t have face-to-face activities, we have concentrated on digital communications development work, and I hope you see some of the changes in the communications you receive from HFA.
State/territory Foundations have also been having their annual general meetings, so it has been a busy time of reporting all round! I wish them a successful 2022, and hope the COVID-19 situation settles so face-to-face events for all parts of their communities can return to normal.. It is great to hear that a group of South Australians met informally in Adelaide in October 2021 and planned another meeting for November.
Our first virtual national Conference was quite a learning experience; we learned we can share and learn effectively via Zoom presentations, and that virtual meetings provide opportunities for those who might not otherwise be able to attend. And even better, it’s still not too late for you to view the conference sessions ‘on demand’ in your own time.
I would like to thank HFA staff, the Conference Program Committee and all the speakers and chairs who worked hard to present relevant, up-to-date and high-quality content. The various personal stories and experiences of community members throughout the program added depth and a reality for all delegates regardless of their connection, role or interest in bleeding disorders. I also thank our sponsors who so generously supported the Conference.
There was great interest in emerging therapies at the Conference and this highlights the important discussions needed with governments and other stakeholders. Some will challenge existing assessment and evaluation processes, and obstacles to access will need to be overcome before these therapies become available to those in our community who wish to adopt them for their treatment.
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