It is a true honour and privilege to take over the reins as General Secretary of our great Society. It’s very scary too – trying to follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before, and wondering if I’m not big enough to fit the shoes.
The EHS Society is strong, and the EHS brand has become a marker of quality. We need to protect this and build on its strengths. At the same time, we have to remember why our Society exists, and to whom we ultimately serve. Our mission is clear, to improve the health and well-being of many who suffer from abdominal wall pathology.
At the core is the membership of our Society. We need to keep improving the benefits of membership. We need to forge links with all countries across the whole of ‘Europe’ and beyond. This will connect #HerniaFriends from the East and West, North and South forming this unique and inclusive #HerniaFamily. I am lucky to have a Board, bigger than ever with the talent and skills to make things happen. Enthusiastic, fresh, open minded and friendly, to follow our common goal.
Hernia surgery, and more recently Abdominal Wall Repair has long been an orphan sub-specialty. Seen as ‘just a hernia’, a good ‘training operation’, the results of surgery have not always been as they should. We are entering a very interesting time, with the recognition by UEMS of Abdominal Wall Surgery as a new sub-specialty of General Surgery. I hope that we can attract some of the best new surgeons to major in this field, and help us achieve the goal that William Halsted alluded to. “Surgery can offer no greater gift to mankind than a safe cure for hernia.” Dr Halstead died in 1922, and his ultimate gift to mankind is still in the making.
The EHS is our Society. I ask you all to labour with me to care and nurture it, for the good of our profession, and our patients.
Andrew De Beaux
Secretary General of the EHS
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