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Greetings for 1998. Thanks go to Past President Terry Keane, the Sherwood Group and the board for turning over to me a society that is financially stable and thriving. The first item of news for 1998 is the acceptance of the Kuwait Society for Traumatic Stress Studies as part of the ISTSS. Interest in traumatic stress studies has grown steadily in Kuwait since the Gulf War, and a group of professionals have garnered sufficient interest to petition the board of directors for membership.

There is a much to do in the coming year. The pamphlet on traumatic memories, brainchild of Matt Friedman and Susan Roth, with the contributions of many experts in the area of trauma and memory, has been approved by the board and is in the design stage. We hope to distribute the pamphlet widely as a major effort in combating the one-sided reporting that has characterized much of the discussion around this issue. The memory pamphlet will be an excellent beginning for an ISTSS-sponsored public education campaign about issues related to trauma.

We also hope to begin addressing another contentious issue: managed care and the impact the current health-care environment has had on our ability to treat victims of trauma. Robert Dobyns and Richard Epstein have agreed to chair this effort. You will be receiving a survey asking you to document your experiences in the next few months. Please take the time to fill it out. Andrew Stone has agreed to chair an initiative aimed at the development of a Latin American Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Frank Putnam and Beverly James are looking at the issue of child trauma and what the ISTSS should be doing to promote more interest in this area. We also need to look at forensic issues from several viewpoints: the interface between the forensic system and treatment, as well as the issues of treatment of trauma victims in prisons and learning from those who work with perpetrators. John Fairbank has agreed to chair efforts in this domain. Another area that needs attention is urban violence, and Bessel van der Kolk will begin to explore how we can develop a wide circle of clinicians and researchers dealing with urban problems.

The board also has an ongoing concern about membership, namely widening the circle of leadership and increasing diversity. Matt Friedman has agreed to continue to work on the development of affiliations with other groups that have goals consistent with our own.

The benefits of being a part of the ISTSS are still too closely held a secret. With the help of the Media Committee, chaired by Jessica Wolfe, we hope to bring attention to the Washington, D.C. conference, as well as hold a public education seminar at the meeting. The theme for the Annual Meeting is "Ending Cycles of Violence: Integrating Research, Practice and Social Policy." Elizabeth Kuh and her co-chair Christine Courtois will organize the meeting. Our intent is to demonstrate through the meeting itself that the sources of human trauma are interrelated and that only integrated approaches
will yield effective change. Rachel Yehuda has again agreed to spearhead the 1998 fundraising efforts, following her successes with the 1997 meeting.

As you can see, this is an ambitious agenda, and there is so little time. If you are interested in any of these or other areas, please contact the appropriate chair or me and get involved.