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2019, Quarter 4

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Here we are, with another successful Annual Meeting behind us! Our collaboration with the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS) for this year’s joint scientific meeting brought together a record number of attendees (2,337) for discourse, networking, and a bit of fun too. It was a pleasure to meet and greet so many of you in Nashville!

For those of you who were not able to attend this year, this issue of the IUGA Newsletter will give you a great sense of the meeting activities and key topics covered. For this letter, my focus will be a bit more IUGA-specific, focusing on the accomplishments of our IUGA committees, as shared at the Annual Business Meeting on September 27.

The Scientific Committee was very busy this year with a record 891 abstracts submitted! Of those, 739 abstracts were accepted of which 55 were presented as long orals, 105 as short orals, and 186 in scientific salons; 385 were presented as posters with an additional 8 in the video cafe. IUJ Editorial Board members joined the Scientific Committee in a successful collaboration to help review all the submitted abstracts. 

The Education Committee’s Workshop Subcommittee continues to contribute to the Annual Meeting by reviewing and approving the workshop submissions. Tuesday and Wednesday of our meeting week were busy with 29 workshops offered out of 52 reviewed and approved by a joint AUGS/IUGA Workshop Subcommittee. The Workshop Subcommittee also reviews the IUGA Observership Grant applications. The Program Subcommittee has endorsed 10 programs this year, and fostered the development of eXchange Programs in Hangzhou, China (April 2019) and Istanbul, Turkey (November 2019). The E-Learning Subcommittee continues to generate and source content for IUGA Academy, with a new E-Lecture every month, Must-see Surgical Videos, and free online CME courses.

You’ll notice from the name that the Fellows, Trainees and Early Career Professionals Committee has expanded to include Early Career Professionals – those in their first five years of post-training practice. They are an active and engaged group who this year created working groups to focus their projects, revived the IUGA Webinars with two offered to date (see www.iuga.org/events/webinars), created a webpage aiming to expose medical students to urogynecology. They are developing a mentorship program for medical students as well.

The Membership Committee continues to focus on growing our membership base while retaining the members we have. Our new membership system allows us, for the first time, to identify trends in our membership, clearly see our retention rates, and plan strategies for continued focused growth. A new Strategic Membership Plan developed by our Association Manager, Corie Pel, guides this work. One way we have increased membership is through the addition of four new affiliate societies in the past year.

The Publications Committee continues to publish our quarterly IUGA Newsletter – a tool available to all in the urogynecology community to help keep current not only on what is happening within the society, but also in the field on a world-wide level. The Committee continues working to identify the best ways to share content with our community – via the Newsletter, the website, social media, etc.

The Public Relations Committee has done an excellent job of creating patient information leaflets on the major disorders and procedures in urogynecology. Be sure to familiarize yourself with our patient website, www.YourPelvicFloor.org, where the leaflets are available and translated into 20 languages, and share this resource with your patients. The newest addition to the website is the opportunity for your patients to share their story, and we in turn share those stories on the website to show women they are not alone in dealing with pelvic floor disorders. The Public Relations Committee continues to grow our presence on social media, with a roughly 18% increase in Facebook and Twitter followers since the beginning of the year. If you don’t already follow us on social media (@iugaoffice), please do so!

The Research & Development Committee has published three opinion papers this year: Management of Complications Arising from the Use of Mesh for Stress Urinary Incontinence; Laser-based Vaginal Devices for Treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence, Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause, and Vaginal Laxity; and Effectiveness of Hormones in Postmenopausal Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. The committee is investigating topics for systematic reviews and also discussing collaborative projects with the Fellows, Trainees, and Early Career Professionals Committee. Earlier in the year, they reviewed all the IUGA Research Grant applications, from which two recipients were selected (see www.iuga.org/grants/research).

The Terminology & Standardization Committee is another busy and fruitful committee, with a number of ongoing joint terminology projects: AUGS/IUGA SUI Surgical Treatment project with anticipated publication in January 2020; IUGA/AUGS Joint Clinical Guideline on Mesh Complications with anticipated publication in January 2020; AUGS/IUGA POP Surgical Treatment project with anticipated publication by March 2020; and an ICS/IUGA Female Obstetric Trauma project also in progress. They are also engaged in our first 4-society joint project with ICS, AUGS, and SUFU on Female Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Floor Disorders, for which authors will soon be sought, and a new IUGA/AUGS Cosmetic Gynecology Terminology project which is in the beginning stages.

As you can see from this list of accomplishments, our committees are vibrant and productive groups within the IUGA family. We depend on our members to volunteer their time and expertise to carry out the mission and work of the organization. Thank you to all whose contributions to our committees move both IUGA, and the field of urogynecology, forward.

You should have received an email invitation to complete the annual membership survey. Please take 10-15 minutes of your time to complete the survey so that we can focus on activities that are important for you.

Best wishes,


Ranee Thakar

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