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The following appeared in the

APSR Newsletter

Vol. 11, No. 2, 2002

Message from the President of the APSR

Wah Kit Lam
President, APSR

It is indeed my greatest honour and pleasure to be the President of the APSR.

The APSR is a young Society dating back only to the mid-1980s. Our missions include improvement of clinical practice in respiratory medicine and related disciplines through education and exchange of knowledge, encouragement of research, and increasing awareness of respiratory health problems in the Asian and Pacific region. Through the leadership of successive Officers, Executive and Council Members and active participation of members, the APSR now has a firm foundation. Members are now familiar with her regular Newsletter, the journal Respirology, which has been indexed in Medline and Index Medicus and assessed by ISI for Impact Factor listing, and the APSR Congress, which has just become an annual event (2002 in Taipei, 2003 in Kuala Lumpur, 2004 in Hong Kong). The APSR has won the recognition of our sister major Societies as we co-organised the World Congress on Lung Health in 2000 in Florence with the ERS, ATS and IUATLD, and represent the Asia Pacific region in the Forum of International Respiratory Societies alongside with ATS, ERS, ACCP, IUATLD, ALAT and ULASTER. In addition, under the leadership of our Ex-President Dr. S. Kira, we have just reached an agreement with the ACCP that the APCDC Meetings held by the ACCP in the region will discontinue after 2003, and as from 2005, the ACCP will join with the APSR to cosponsor our annual congress every other year.

There are of course major challenges ahead. First and foremost, we must strive to keep in better touch with our members, further strengthen our educational activities and to increase membership of the Society. In our last Council Meeting held in Taipei in October 2002, we have planned for a number of initiatives to further develop the infrastructure and educational activities of APSR. These include:

  1. updating of our website and membership e-database to improve communications
  2. amending the APSR Charters and Bylaws to better structure memberships, APSR Annual General Meetings, national societies affiliation, nomination and election of officers, council and committee members etc.
  3. creating APSR Fellowships to help our members to attend our APSR Congress to present good papers
  4. establishing the M. Harasawa and A.J. Woolcock memorial lectures in our APSR annual congress in honour of our two late past presidents, the two giants in respirology who had contributed so much to the APSR and beyond
  5. APSR participating in scientific and educational seminars or meetings of national chest societies of the region, (an excellent relationship has been established with the JRS already)
  6. establishing an Education Committee to plan, promote and coordinate APSR educational activities
  7. APSR collaborating with and inviting our sister Societies to have special joint scientific sessions in our annual congress (we have agreed in principle with ACCP to co-organise postgraduate courses prior to the joint APSR-ACCP biennial meeting as from 2005, and profits from these courses would be used to develop Asian Pacific regional educational programmes), and
  8. starting educational review series in our journal Respirology.

While we shall try our utmost to strengthen our activities to the benefits of our members (and patients at large), the success of the Society will depend on the enthusiasm, unity and participation of respirologists of the Asian Pacific region. Please join and support YOUR Society. Please let us know your suggestions regarding Society activities. Let us work together to make APSR the Society that all of us are proud of.

Professor Michiyoshi Harasawa

A tribute to the first APSR President

Yoshinosuke Fukuchi
APSR Secretary General

APSR's first President, Professor Michiyoshi Harasawa, died on 21 September 2002 at the Tokyo Telecommunications Hospital. He was 76. Professor Harasawa underwent a right upper lobectomy for early lung cancer 10 years ago. Fortunately he recovered well, and he had been fit until early this year. The news of his death brought deep sorrow to many doctors of respiratory medicine, thoracic surgery and geriatrics in Japan.

A funeral was held at the Saint Ignacio Church in Tokyo. Mrs. Tomoko Harasawa, his two sons, relatives, numerous friends, colleagues and doctors who were following his lead, attended the funeral. The family and I appreciated all the thoughtful messages from the APSR executive members.

Professor Harasawa was born in 1926 and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo in 1948. He then stayed on at the Department of Medicine and Department of Geriatrics, spending his time for clinical medicine, research and the education of Respirology/Geriatric Medicine. He was a Professor of the University of Tokyo from 1979 to 1986, and the Director of the Tokyo Telecommunications Hospital from 1986 to 1994. Indeed, he was my teacher for more than 30 years.

After planning the founding of the APSR in 1986, he successfully held the Tokyo Respiratory Symposium in 1987 and the first APSR Congress in 1988 with the assistance of the late Professor Ann J. Woolcock. He then was the APSR President for four years and made every effort to foster high standards of respiratory science by developing the APSR. He led the Japanese Respiratory Society and the Japanese Geriatrics Society as a senior executive director for more than 20 years, and built up those Societies to have 10,000 members and 6,500 members each. His wish from the start was to make the APSR strong enough to co-operate with the American Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society as one of the three main respiratory societies in the world. Thus, he was very pleased to see the APSR co-sponsor the first World Lung Health Conference in 2000. I console myself with the thought that one of his dreams came true while he was still well. Both Professor S. Kira and I benefited from Professor Harasawa's great leadership for a long time even before the APSR was established. His gentle, calm, quiet and decisive way of living always encouraged us and it became our aim and precept. I am sure that friends in Asia who were acquainted with Professor Harasawa through the APSR executive meeting share the same impression. I strongly believe that concentrating on the APSR's progress and thus carrying out Professor Harasawa's wish, is the way to live up to his profound attachment and consistent support of the APSR.

Professor Harasawa, thank you very much for leading us all. May your spirit rest in peace.

Relationship with the ACCP

We are pleased to inform you that the following agreement between the ACCP and APSR was signed on 4th November 2002 in San Diego during the Annual Congress of the ACCP. The signatories were Dr. S. Kira on behalf of the APSR, the President of the ACCP Dr. U. Prakash (Mayo Clinic), and the Immediate Past President of the ACCP Dr. S. Braman (Rhode Island Hospital).

Also, attending the meeting from the ACCP were:
Executive Vice President & CEO - Mr. A. Lever
President Elect - Dr. R.S. Irwin (University of Massachusetts Medical School)
Past President - Dr. R.G. Johnson (St. Louis University)
President Designate & Regent at Large - Dr. P.A. Kvale (Henry Ford Hospital)

Agreement between the ACCP and APSR

  1. The ACCP proposes that in 2005 we join with the APSR and cosponsor your annual meeting. Assuming a successful outcome and endorsement from both societies, we will continue with joint programming for this regional Asia Pacific meeting every other year.
  2. This new biannual joint APSR-ACCP meeting would replace APCDC meetings held by the ACCP in the region. The final meeting of the APCDC would be held in Istanbul, Turkey in September 2003.
  3. The first joint APSR-ACCP meeting would be held in mainland China, if approved by the APSR. Professor Nan Shan Zhong, President of the Chinese Thoracic Society, and a member of the leadership of both the APSR and ACCP (ACCP Regent for China) would be an ideal Chairman for this joint meeting. If asked Professor Zhong would accept. A meeting in either Guangzhou or Beijing could be two potential sites for the meeting.
  4. After 2005, future meeting sites for our joint meetings and the chairpersons of these meetings would be decided by the APSR as done in previous years. A Regent or Governor of the ACCP from the country chosen for the meeting site will be offered a position on the program committee. In addition, one position on the program committee would be offered to an FCCP member from the College leadership in the USA. This individual would organize and coordinate activities of the ACCP faculty participating in future meetings.
  5. The ACCP will send a US faculty of up to 10 members (as requested by the program committee) to participate in the joint APSR/ACCP meeting. Securing travel expenses will be the responsibility of the ACCP and its faculty. Local expenses for the faculty would be assumed by the local organizing committee.
  6. Financial responsibility for the semiannual conference would be assumed by the local organizing committee and current financial arrangements of the APSR would be continued. The ACCP would not share in the profits of the meeting.
  7. The ACCP would advertise the APSR/ACCP meeting in its journals and newsletters at no expense to the organizing committee.
  8. The ACCP would offer the opportunity to run in conjunction with the APSR, post-graduate courses prior to or after the joint APSR-ACCP meeting using the faculty participating in the main body of the meeting. Such post-graduate course programming would be subject to the approval of the program committee of the joint APSR-ACCP meeting. All such courses would be billed as joint APSR-ACCP events. Profits from these courses could be used by the ACCP and APSR to develop Asia-Pacific Regional Educational Programming.
  9. The ACCP would endorse, not co-sponsor, the APSR meetings held on even years and could display an exhibit booth at the meeting if desired.
  10. The APSR will be offered a booth to exhibit at the annual CHEST meeting.
  11. The ACCP will continue to work with its local chapters do plan educational events in the region. As suggested by Professor Kira, we will in the future offer to work with the APSR on these programs, in an effort to enhance the cooperative spirit in the Asia Pacific region.
  12. We anticipate that the joint biannual APSR/ACCP meeting will provide a platform for cooperation for future joint efforts of the two societies.

Message from a new Executive Member

Mary S.M. Ip
The University of Hong Kong

To prevent or treat diseases and to ensure the health of our community are the vision and mission of many health professionals. Ever since my graduation from the medical school of the University of Hong Kong over twenty years ago, I have been working at the Department of Medicine in the pursuit of fulfilment of these goals. Being first and foremost a doctor, I have not lost sight of the importance of medical education and advancement of medical knowledge. My research interests have been wide, spanning from the bench to the bedside, embracing fields of pulmonary infections, obstructive airway disease; and in the past six years or so, focusing on the various aspects of sleep apnoea. Efforts towards medical education at undergraduate as well as postgraduate levels have led me to engage heavily in the scientific and administrative activities of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong College of Physicians and the respiratory societies. Apart from being past president of the Hong Kong Thoracic Society, I am currently the Governor of American College of Chest Physicians, President of the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine and Chairman of the Hong Kong Lung Foundation.

Among other regional commitments, my first participation in the work of the APSR was back in 1999 when I joined the Education and Research Subcommittee. I have also been involved in the Regional COPD Working Group whose work was subsequently embraced by the APSR. The enthusiasm of those colleagues I worked with has strengthened my belief that we share the common goal of promoting respiratory health in this region where many countries have their unique cultures and are in varying degrees of development in healthcare. Through the leadership of these medical professionals, further enhancement in communications and the nurturing of a sense of belonging among members, we can envisage the achievement of our professional ideals. Encouragement in active organization of scientific meetings/workshops, more extensive collaboration with local societies, wider subscription of memberships as well as more submissions of manuscripts to the journal of Respirology and an improved communication network through the internet are some practical means with immediate effects.

I am most honoured to be the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2004 APSR annual conference to be held in Hong Kong in December 2004. I believe this will give us many opportunities to interact with colleagues from different member countries, thus forming the basis of further promotion of the mission of our Society.

Leadership Meeting between ERS and the APSR in Stockholm

A Leadership Meeting was held during the 12th Annual Congress of the ERS, September 14-18 2002 in Stockholm. Nine executives of the APSR and seven ERS officers attended. The agenda included the ERS involvement in the APSR Congresses, a progress report by Dr. C-K Liam on the 8th APSR Congress in Malaysia, a report of the 7th APSR Congress in Taiwan and measures to strengthen the relationship between the ERS and APSR.

We would like to thank the ERS for kindly providing space for the APSR booth.

7th APSR Congress and Business Meetings

Taiwan 25 - 28 October 2002

Around 800 delegates attended the 7th APSR Congress that took place in Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan from 25 to 28 October 2002. Several meetings were held during the Congress and included a Council Meeting, an Editorial Meeting, an Executive Meeting, a leadership meeting with ERS/ATS and a leadership meeting with the JRS.

At the Council Meeting, 11 newly elected Councillors gathered and Doctors P.G. Gibson (Australia), M. S-M. Ip (Hong Kong), M. Nishimura (Japan) and S.H. Yoo (Korea) were elected as Executive members representing the Councillors.

At the Editorial Meeting, Editor-in-Chief Dr. P.J. Thompson announced the good news that an application for listing by the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) had been approved. The next step is for Respirology to be given an impact factor.

He also reported that Prof. Richard Ruffin would retire as Associate Editor after completing his two-year term in March 2003. Prof. Kenneth Tsang from Hong Kong joins the Associate Editors: Prof. Wan-Chen Tan, Prof. Masaharu Nishimura and Dr. Stephen Stick.

Manuscripts had been received from 24 countries by October 2002 (22 last year). Of the 112 received, Japan (44 manuscripts), Australia (19) and Turkey (13) were the largest contributors.

Dr. Thompson finished his report commenting that he intended to implement a new Editorial Board, to make its membership more relevant and active in producing the Journal. No changes had been made for seven years.

At the Executive Meeting, special gratitude was expressed to Dr. Luh and his colleagues for all their hard work over the past two years organizing the 7th APSR Congress in Taipei.

Dr. Kira reported the tragic death this September of Past President Professor Emeritus Michiyoshi Harasawa. A standing moment's silence was observed as a mark of respect.

Dr. K-T Luh, the Taiwan Congress President, reported that almost 800 participants had registered and 270 abstracts had been submitted. Unfortunately, some delegates were prevented from attending due to difficulties in obtaining visas. However, the Congress had a good start and it was hoped would proceed successfully.

Dr. C-K Liam, Congress President of the 8th APSR Congress in Malaysia (July 17-20 2003), reported that the theme of the Congress will be an evidence-based approach to the nature of respiratory disease in the Asia Pacific region. There will be three pre-Congress workshops, five plenary lectures and 24 symposia. In addition to the opening and closing banquets, social activities including a golf tournament.

There was general discussion at the Executive Meeting regarding strengthening the APSR's relationships with other national thoracic societies. For effective affiliation, and to ensure a high level of representation and communication between the APSR and national societies, executive officers from other societies would be included on the APSR Council, and vice-versa.

The next Executive Meeting is scheduled for 16 July 2003 in Malaysia.

Inter-Society Meetings

There was an Inter-Society Meeting between the ATS, ERS and APSR on 26 October 2002 in Taipei. Dr. T. Martin of the ATS, and Drs. L.P. Nicod, M. Zelter, J. Gibson and Mr. A. Turnbull of the ERS met the Executive members of the APSR.

The Executives of the APSR also met Drs. M. Nishimura, T. Kuriyama, N. Hara, S. Kudo, M. Mishima and T. Nukiwa of the JRS at the APSR/JRS Meeting.

Notice from the Secretariat

  1. We would like to update each member's details and would be grateful if you could let us know your e-mail address. Please send us an e-mail from your usual address, with your name and tell us if you would like us to:
    • use e-mail for communication for APSR and related news
    • use e-mail for educational materials including educational newsletters
  2. Congress in 2006 and 2007! We invite you to present your case to host the APSR Congress in 2006 or 2007. Bids will be considered at the next Executive Meeting. You will be requested to present your Thoracic Society's plans for the arrangements and infrastructure of the event (e.g. Local Organizing Committee, etc.). Please contact the Secretariat in Tokyo.
  3. Respirology. Please send your manuscripts to:
    Dr. Philip J. Thompson
    C/o Asthma and Allergy Research Institute
    Ground Floor, E Block
    Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
    Verdun Street
    Nedlands, Western Australia, 6009
    Tel: +61 8 9346 3262
    Fax: +61 8 9346 4159
    Email: respirol@cyllene.uwa.edu.au