Message from the President

The year 2013 will mark a new phase in IANPHI’s history. Our founding President, Jeff Koplan, has recently stepped down after serving two full three year terms. I am sure that everybody in the IANPHI family joins me in thanking Jeff wholeheartedly for what he has done for IANPHI. Now the challenge to chair this great organization – with as much support as possible from all our member institutes – has fallen upon me.

Moreover, after the initial grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Foundation ended last year, the Association has had to transition to a more self-sufficient way of operating. IANPHI has, so to speak, moved from infancy into its teenage years, and under the guidance of the Executive Board and the members the Association will find new ways to maintain and enforce the valuable network we have created together.

Introducing the membership fees in 2011 has been a way of demonstrating members’ ownership and commitment to IANPHI. The fees are being used for future member activities, such as coordination of activities and annual meetings. To ensure the cost-efficiency of the administration of the Association, we are currently also examining the issue of the location of the IANPHI Secretariat. 

I want to emphasize the importance of IANPHI members taking the initiative to advocate on the organization’s behalf. It is crucial that the IANPHI network is visible, as this will help us in finding partners and collaborative opportunities for the coming years. 

IANPHI’s Annual Meeting has proven to be the most important forum for members to exchange information, and discuss current public health issues. Aside from hearing updates from member institutes, guest speakers from other organizations and the host institute have brought in-depth insights on public health and technical topics. The Annual Meeting has also opened up possibilities for partnerships in shared projects. 

This year our annual meeting will be hosted by The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), September 29-October 2. I thank IANPHI Vice President, Dr. Mwele Malecela, for inviting us to Arusha, Tanzania in the Fall. I send my warm regards and best wishes for this year 2013 and look forward to seeing IANPHI members there.

Pekka Puska
President, International Association of Public Health Institutes
Director General, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

Pekka Puska, director general of Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare-THL, was elected president of IANPHI at the 2012 Annual Meeting.