Message from the Chair, Dr. Fofi Constantinidou

Hello ING Members,

A very warm welcome to the second issue of the International Networking Group’s (ING) newsletter.  ING is ACRM’s global initiative. Our mission is to foster international collaboration on issues relating to rehabilitation research, service delivery and advocacy. Our Newletter’s Logo: Rehab Pulse – Around the World, symbolizes our efforts for continuous international networking and global outreach.  The interdisciplinary nature of this group resonates with ACRM members across several other ACRM communities.

This past year has been an exciting year for ING members. Following our successful 2017 Brucker Symposium on The Refugee Crisis in Greece and the Response of Mental Health Professional Community presented by Dr. Maria Vlassopoulos from Greece, our group created a Refugee Empowerment Task Force. This task force is led by Drs. Erkut Kucukboyaci and Christina Papadimitriou. The mission of the group is to publicly attend to, identify, quantify, address the needs of the individuals with disabilities who are living as refugees or asylum seekers in various parts of the world; and to find innovative ways to augment, empower and support ongoing humanitarian projects led by local and international organizations actively working with refugees with disabilities with the rehabilitation research and clinical know-how of task force members.

Our group has been instrumental in the development of international partnerships. ACRM signed its first international Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine last December in Beijing, China. We look forward to additional international collaborations and partnerships in order to learn from each other and promote rehabilitation research and medicine and improve the lives of patients with disabilities around the globe.

One of our goals is to continue to serve as a bridge across many ACRM communities and also serve as a catalyst for collaboration among the ING communities. ING members serve on the Board of Governors of ACRM and have leadership positions in many other ACRM communities, including the BI-ISIG, SC-ISIG, the Stroke ISIG and the Early Career NG. We collaborate with these groups in order to enrich the ACRM annual conference program and include symposia and presentations that highlight international perspectives, initiatives, and challenges pertaining to an array of issues in rehabilitation research and service delivery models around the world. We have been successful in providing non-stop content at the annual conference with more than 65 countries represented in the ACRM membership.

We hope that our newsletter will stimulate your interest and motivate more members to be active. Much appreciation goes to the ING Executive Committee and task force members whose dynamic presence and commitment help make ACRM a global organization. A big thanks to all of our members who contribute to the newsletter and especially to Newsletter Editors, Eva Pettemeridou and Rozlie Townsend who, worked diligently to bring it to fruition.

Happy reading!

With warm regards,

Fofi Constantinidou signature

Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-S, CBIS
Chair, International Networking Group
ASHA & ACRM Fellow
Professor, Center for Applied Neuroscience University of Cyprus
Nicosia, Cyprus