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The nature of our society keeps the people who are involved in it very busy—their expertise seems to be in constant need. This year, the trauma world was brought together by the July bombings in London, and again in September following the unprecedented devastation following Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. Gulf Coast area. Many ISTSS members assisted directly and indirectly in providing services and information. ISTSS Web site editor Greg Leskin updated the Web site quickly, responding with educational materials to help assist in disaster recovery. We extend our sympathies and support to those affected by the 2005 terrorist attacks and natural disaster. The aftermath of these tragedies will be felt for years to come. New Orleans has hosted the ISTSS annual meeting several times, most recently in 2004, and we mourn its loss.

International Sense of Community
The goal for ISTSS to become a truly international trauma community is becoming a reality. In June, ISTSS held its midyear board of directors meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, in conjunction with the ESTSS Congress. Our thanks go to our European hosts for providing a welcoming, stimulating venue. Much appreciation also goes to ISTSS board members who travel at their own expense to work so diligently for our society. In Stockholm, when discussing the planned IV World Congress on Traumatic Stress for 2006, most felt the sense of a worldwide trauma network of providers and researchers. Languages and countries may vary, but we have colleagues who understand what we know and what we do. Working in trauma, hearing what we hear, knowing what we know, can feel very isolating at times. We can’t go home and talk to our families about what we are working on. Even our professional colleagues who are not in trauma sometimes don’t want to hear or can’t understand. So it means very much that we have colleagues in all corners of the world with whom we can share this connection. This community sense also is wonderful in facilitating the transfer and dissemination of knowledge.

You’ll want to mark your calendars for the IV World Congress, June 21–24, 2006, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The theme is “Trauma and Community.” We are grateful to chairs Dani Mosca and Richard Bryant, as well as the members of the organizing committee (Erik de Soir, Merle Friedman, Berthold Gersons, Andreas Maercker, John Raftery and Paddy Burgess Watson) and scientific committee for making this dream a reality.

ISTSS Accomplishments
As we prepare for the ISTSS 21st Annual Meeting, it is a good time to mention some accomplishments of our society and acknowledge a few people who work so hard for us. I am grateful to the executive committee (Edna Foa, Stuart Turner, Elana Newman, Paula Schnurr and Dean Kilpatrick) and the board of directors. They are a dedicated, distinguished, hard-working group who give their time and energy selflessly. Some projects that have made progress deserve mention. Stuart Turner has developed a fee structure to make ISTSS membership accessible to people across the world, taking into account different economic structures. Danny Kaloupek and Erik de Soir have used this fee structure as a base and will present a proposal at the annual meeting for a new international structure and affiliations paradigm that will facilitate the addition of international members and affiliates. Edna Foa is working steadfastly on the Dissemination Task Force activities. Elana Newman is working with Membership Committee co-chairs Harold Kudler and Nancy Kassam-Adams to advance membership benefits and opportunities, and is working with Web editor Greg Leskin to create a Web site that can be a valuable resource for members and the community. A huge thanks goes to Norah Feeny and Lori Zoellner, Program Committee co-chairs, for putting together an incredible upcoming meeting. Thanks also to the program deputies, Program Committee and reviewers, and headquarters staff for making our good intentions realities.

Annual Meeting Promises Compelling Programming
The ISTSS 21st Annual Meeting in Toronto, “Dissemination: Transforming Lives Through Transforming Care,” November 2–5, 2005, is approaching quickly. ISTSS meeting attendees can receive a reduced rate for hotel rooms, but in order to get this special rate, ISTSS had to commit to filling a certain number of rooms. If we do not fill the quantity that we have promised, it will cost the society money, and at a time when money is tight. So I encourage you to stay at the conference hotel to support ISTSS.

We are excited about the special speakers and symposia. The keynote address, “Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Support in the Tsunami Aftermath” will be presented by Johan Schaar, the special representative of the secretary general for the Tsunami Operation at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Charlie Nemeroff will deliver a plenary on “The Neurobiological Consequences of Early Life Stress: Treatment Implications,” and Edna Foa will present “Dissemination of Effective Treatments for PTSD: Successes and Challenges.” There will be four parallel symposia plenaries sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. Thanks to Heidi Resnick, we have a terrific lineup of PMIs. There will be much of interest for those who are interested primarily in clinical topics, with good programming for military/VA folks as well. In addition, special programming in response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath is being planned.

As this is my last column, I want to conclude by thanking you for the opportunity I’ve had during the past year to serve as ISTSS president. I am impressed by all of you. It has been an amazing year for me to work with so many talented and giving people, and I will carry these experiences with me always.