Jorge Milhem Haddad
Jorge Milhem HaddadIUGA President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

First, I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as your president. It is a great honor and responsibility to lead the most important international society in the field of urogynecology! With approximately 3,000 members from different regions, representation from more than 90 countries, and 38 Affiliate Societies, IUGA is a true international society.

I am writing this letter after one of the most difficult years of our lifetimes. I would like to express my sympathy and compassion to all those who have suffered from this crazy pandemic.

I am so proud to have been a part of guiding IUGA through the difficult landscape of 2020 – a year in which many professional societies did not fare as well as IUGA. We quickly converted our Annual Meeting to a virtual format. Our first ever virtual meeting was a great success and set us up to deliver educational content more effectively and to an even larger global audience going forward. I recognize and thank Ranee Thakar, Lynsey Hayward, Sylvia Botros, Dudley Robinson, and Roy Ng who served on the board with me over the past two years. They all did exceptional work and made great contributions towards IUGA emerging from 2020 on solid footing.

I am pleased to welcome, and look forward to working with, new board members Fred Milani (Vice President) and Lisa T. Prodigalidad (Treasurer). Ranee Thakar continues to serve on the board as Immediate Past President along with Secretary Dudley Robinson. IUGA is in good hands with this excellent and varied group of colleagues to lead IUGA through the next few years.

I’d also like to recognize the important contributions of the members who are rotating off IUGA committees, and welcome all of our newly appointed committee members. I also thank Steven Swift and Becky Rogers, co-Editors-in-Chief, and the Editorial Board of the IUJ for their excellent work.

Our most grateful thanks should also go to David Casalod, Tessa Benitez and their great team in the IUGA Office for their commitment and hard work. Their recommendations have helped us immensely during this difficult year.

During my presidency, I will focus on continuing and enhancing our standing as the premier international urogynecology society. I will work with our International Advisory Board to broaden IUGA’s reach and increase our engagement with the leaders and members of national and regional urogynecology societies, including allied health professionals in our field, with an aim towards increasing the multidisciplinary nature of our membership as well as the number of affiliate societies. It is my goal to establish opportunities for dialogue in the two most spoken languages (besides English) among IUGA members in order to provide even more opportunities to learn, grow professionally, and share knowledge. Finally, I will support and guide the development of a hybrid format for our future meetings – Annual Meetings as well as Regional Symposia and eXchange Programs. A hybrid model will allow us to continue to reach a global audience even once we are able to meet again, safely, in person.

Dear friends, I hope you can share with me in the optimism I feel thinking about IUGA’s future and my term as IUGA President. I am looking forward to meeting you in December at our Annual Meeting in Singapore. I am sure it will be very special!

Thank you so much for your support. Please feel free to contact me with your questions or to share your ideas. Together we are stronger, and together we will ensure IUGA remains the best international urogynecology organization.

I wish you all, and your families, a wonderful, safe, and healthy year in 2021.

Warmest Regards,