ME/CFS Primer/Education Newsletters International Recruitment of IACFS/ME Members

IACFS/ME Newsletter

 

International Recruitment of IACFS/ME Members

Kenneth Friedman and Staci Stevens
From the Membership Committee

In order for the IACFS/ME to fulfill its mission of being the international association of researchers and healthcare professionals devoted to CFS/ME, the Membership Committee is embarking on an aggressive campaign to increase the number of members outside of the United States:  the country in which it is based. Clearly such an undertaking is a mammoth task that must employ a consistent strategy if it is to be successful. CFS/ME researchers and the countries in which they work are identifiable through the medical literature. Identifying the countries in which CFS/ME is recognized as an illness and is treated by physicians and other healthcare professionals is a more difficult task.

To facilitate the identification of researchers and healthcare providers on an international level, the Membership Committee has decided to employ an international strategy. The Committee seeks to identify IACFS/ME ambassadors for all countries in which CFS research occurs and/or CFS patients are treated.  Every ambassador will serve as a member of the Membership Committee. The ambassador will serve as the local, country representative of the IACFS/ME informing interested parties in his/her country of the opportunities and advantages afforded by membership in our organization. Obviously, one of the goals of the ambassador is to strive to increase the number of IACFS/ME members within his/her country. The second, primary function of the ambassador is to inform the IACFS/ME of the status of CFS research and patient care within his/her country.

One of the functions of the Membership Committee will be to assemble the information gathered from the country ambassadors into a coherent picture of global CFS research and patient care. Particular note will be taken of the strengths and weaknesses of the programs and research activity within each country. By so doing, the IACFS/ME will generate for the first time in medical history, a truly global assessment of of CFS research and patient care. 

A by-product of this endeavor will be greater awareness of the similarities and differences between the research and patient care efforts of the participating countries. By participating in this project, and by virtue of creating the reports needed to complete this project, greater co-operation between both researchers and healthcare providers will result fostering one, global community of CFS/ME professionals.

The final products of this endeavor, global status reports of the CFS/ME research and healthcare provider communities, will provide a strong voice for the needs of these two communities. The documents may serve as the basis for an agenda to formulate world strategies for research and patient care. Once global strategies for research and patient care have been formulated, it will be possible to ask the governments of individual countries to participate in fulfilling the global agendas.

The IACFS/ME Membership Committee invites individuals from both the research and healthcare provider communities of countries outside of the United States to either nominate themselves, or nominate others, to serve as ambassadors for the IACFS/ME within their respective countries. By assisting the IACFS/ME Membership Committee, these individuals will be participating in a historic, tide-turning endeavor to accelerate a cure and therapeutic interventions for the illness we now know as CFS/ME.

If you are interested in such a role, please contact Kenneth Friedman by email at friedman@umdnj.edu. We will also develop a student network so if you are a student or know of a student who would like to assume this role, contact Staci Stevens by email at sstevens@pacific.edu.