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The ISTSS 21st Annual Meeting takes place in Toronto, November 2–5, 2005. The meeting carries a theme of “Dissemination: Transforming Lives Through Transforming Care,” which has broad implications for the field of traumatic stress studies.

In the past decade, in particular, we have learned a great deal about recovery following traumatic events and the helpfulness of interventions for those with persistent trauma-related disorders such as PTSD. However, as professionals working with trauma survivors on a daily basis, we are keenly aware of some basic, but unfortunate, facts regarding care for trauma survivors. Many trauma survivors, despite suffering considerable trauma-related difficulties, do not seek care for years following the trauma. Still others, when they ultimately seek help, find that there are few available resources in their communities, and sometimes the resources do not include state-of-the-art care.

The focus on dissemination suggests that we at ISTSS work to “spread widely” the knowledge we have gained through years of systematic research and accumulated experience. This approach is intentionally broad. Dissemination, for example, includes translational research, bridging the gap between basic research and clinical practice. Dissemination addresses questions such as: What works for whom and under what circumstances? How and when do we utilize early interventions to help prevent chronic problems in both military and civilian populations?

Also, dissemination includes systematic study of dissemination methods themselves. How do we facilitate trauma survivors seeking help, if needed, after traumatic events? What sorts of interventions are preferred? How do we best enhance access to services in remote locations where helping professionals are rare? And how do we best train providers of mental health services (professionals, lay people, graduate students) to provide quality state-of-the-art care?

As we consider how to effectively transform lives and care systems through dissemination, we also must think ultimately about broader levels of intervention, focusing not only on individuals, but also on families, cultural groups, communities and nations.

The Program Committee is working on a fine lineup of featured speakers, and the call for presentations has been issued. To view the call online, go to www.istss.org/meetings/2005CFP.htm.

Submit your proposal between February 1 and March 15. We look forward to seeing you in Toronto and hope that the 21st annual meeting will be an experience in which you will learn from colleagues and share your own knowledge to help ISTSS transform lives through transforming care.