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Congress highlights from members of the ELF Council

Three members of the ELF Council share their personal highlights to look out for at the upcoming ERS International Congress in Paris: 

Isabel Saraiva, ELF Chair

I am looking forward to the launch of Healthy Lungs for Life in Paris – seeing the yellow balloons across the city and our powerful call to action for healthy lungs being shared with local citizens. Healthy lungs mean a healthy life and it will be a proud moment for me to bring this important message to the Congress host city.

Another highlight for me will be experiencing the vibrant Congress atmosphere – seeing science and education come together to help patients. The World Village has a very fitting name – a place shared by patients, doctors, health professionals and scientists from all over the world, networking and exchanging knowledge.

The Patient Networking Day has been a real success story in previous years and I am looking forward to hosting this important event this year. Held especially for the Patient Organisations joining us at Congress, the day aims to provide opportunities for meeting peers from across the world and across the spectrum of diseases to share best practice and learn from each other. 

I am also looking forward to a special forum that will be held to discuss education in the respiratory field. I will be sharing the patient perspective in a talk during this forum to highlight patient expectations regarding the education and training of the healthcare professionals who are treating them. 

Marta Almagro, member of ELF Council

It is always a difficult task to search through the Congress programme and find sessions of interest to attend that will also fit with my meetings schedule. Here are some of the sessions that I am particularly looking forward to attending.

The two sessions that I am co-chairing will be a personal highlight for me:

  • Symposium: Towards understanding and managing chronic cough
  • Symposium: The digital ®evolution in respiratory medicine: a personalised approach?

I am also looking forward to the Chinese Programme Part 1 – in particular there are two talks entitled “Establishment of PCCM training system in China” and “School interventions to improve asthma control”. I think we can learn a lot about these two sessions on prevention and education, and maybe find out something that we can apply in Europe.

A personal interest for me is bronchiectasis so I will be looking at all the sessions and posters linked to this.

I’m also really interested in all sessions and posters related to air pollution, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, exercise, nutrition, healthy lifestyle, IT application in health systems and care and management.

Additionally, paediatric pulmonology will be a key topic for me. I think it’s an important issue to sort out how to safely involve children in studies and trials for prevention, longitudinal studies, and care and management of respiratory diseases in children, when sometimes there is no information at all or very little in some diseases.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend the Patient Forum on occupational lung disease, but I think it is sure to be another highlight!

Kate Hill, Member of ELF Council

My ERS usually starts with the Patient Organisation Day on Saturday, the first day of Congress.  As the Patient Advisory Committee representative on the ELF Council, this is an important day for me. It’s a great time to catch up with people and to meet new members of the ELF Patient Organisation Network.  It offers the opportunity to talk about new ideas and identify potential areas for future collaboration.  Numbers registered this year are high so it promises to be another very successful day.  The Opening Ceremony follows on Saturday evening so discussions can always carry on until late to the accompaniment of refreshments.

I’m also looking forward to the meeting of the ERN-Lung: it has been a slow genesis but things have started to come together in 2018 and now is a good time for the ERN Patient Advisory Groups to work together to strengthen the patient voice within the network.

My personal interest is mesothelioma so the thoracic oncology sessions are another highlight for me.  Mesothelioma is less well represented than the more common thoracic malignancy, Lung Cancer but the Pleural Disease oral presentation session on Sunday morning has an update of the DIAPHRAGM study (Diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in the rational assessment of mesothelioma) presented by Selina Tsim and there are two Thematic Poster sessions on Monday plus a Poster Discussion session on Tuesday that feature several mesothelioma-specific topics.  I’m hoping to attend all the sessions relevant to mesothelioma to hear expert opinion and debate, and gain new insight into this challenging disease area.

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