We would like to express our most sincere gratefulness for the support received during these 2 years of management leading SOLAECE/LAHRS. Particularly, from the more than 360 members of our society from 19 countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela) and living in 24 countries (Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guyana, Holland, Honduras, Israel, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela) currently constituting the society.
There were many goals proposed, very ambitious too, and the road has been difficult. The need to establish a modern society, with institutional strength and that would be a deserving follower of our dear SOLAECE, required a great deal of work to achieve our first significant aim: our legal identity as LAHRS. It was established on May 20th, 2017 in the city of Montevideo, Uruguay, with new by-laws and regulations that provided the necessary framework for a proper institutional operation. Another example of this has been our first elections, which ended legitimizing the new authorities for the 2019-2020 term.
Also, we set out to expand our educational activity. We worked very hard on the development of programs that may benefit our Latin American community of electrophysiologists, particularly the young ones and those who are still training. We could continue with the LAHRS and Memorial Health System scholarship programs, that enabled the participation of young colleagues from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico over these 2 years. Also, we started the LAHRS & McGill EP Fellowship program, by which two young Latin Americans in training (from Uruguay and Ecuador) were selected to participate in this 2-year training program in a Canadian center of international standing.
In the scientific and academic field, we continued with the agreements of participation with our sister international societies (APHRS, EHRA and HRS). Since year 2014, SOLAECE/LAHRS has participated in 32 joint documents (14 published between 2017 and 2018), with a total of 93 outstanding participations by members of our society, representing 13 countries (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Canada).
Finally, we could realize our first Conference – LAHRS 2018 (Cartagena, Colombia). This originated an eagerly awaited schedule of international conferences on arrhythmias, agreed with APHRS, EHRA and HRS, so that each will have a major academic-scientific event, distributed throughout the year.
Support from national societies is and will continue to be fundamental to consolidate LAHRS; societies such as SOBRAC (Brazil), SADEC (Argentina), SOMEEC (Mexico) and the Colegio Colombiano de Electrofisiología (Colombia) and all committees and/or chapters of cardiac electrophysiology of national societies of cardiology. We would like to grow to be a large Latin American tree, and these are our roots.
Our process coincided with the change of rules for scientific societies to relate to the industry, the historical and essential support to conduct medical updating events. Maybe, this was the most significant challenge we faced. Scientific meetings from all over the world, with a long and prestigious history, suffered the impact by this new scenario, particularly the number of attendees. But LAHRS was capable of generating the transparent mechanisms to continue taking advantage of the continuing predisposition by the industry to provide support. We could accomplish a conference in a short time, with more than 300 registrations, and we became the referential organization in the continent in regard to this matter.
Finally, we would like to highlight that the support of all the exemplary colleagues that preceded us has been essential to advance with this process. With this spirit that they transmitted to us, we will continue working and supporting those that will come after us, with the conviction that LAHRS will be very beneficial for the quality of care of all the population of our Latin America.
On behalf of the 2017-2018 Executive Committee, we say goodbye to all members, and seize this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
President of LAHRS 2017-2018
Secretary of LAHRS 2017-2018
Treasurer of LAHRS 2017-2018