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Message from the Chair, Dr. Fofi Constantinidou

Fofi Constantinidou

Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-S, CBIS

A very warm welcome to the fourth annual issue of the International Networking Group’s (ING) newsletter: Rehab Pulse – Around the World.  ING is ACRM’s global initiative. Our mission is ambitious and includes the following:

  • To facilitate international exposure of ACRM and international representation at the ACRM meetings
  • To serve as a liaison among discipline-specific ACRM communities
  • To communicate and collaborate across international boundaries to promote cultural sensitivity, advance interdisciplinary rehabilitation research, promote capacity building, and improve rehabilitation outcomes through evidence-based practice.

ING consists of four active task forces and in this newsletter you can find information about their activities and projects. Each of the task forces contributes to the mission of the ING and also to ACRM’s greater mission: To Improve Lives through Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Research. Through expertise in task forces we disseminate knowledge and educate others via workshops, training in academic institutions and in underprivileged places to create capacity for rehabilitation services.

2020 has been a different year.  These unprecedented times have created shared experiences for citizens around the globe. We realize that we live in a connected world, united to fight COVID-19. Our group has been instrumental in the development of several organizational initiatives during 2020.

  • We partnered with European, South American, and US organizations and organized three webinars as part of the ACRM Pandemic Webinar series in order to provide free resources that will help combat the challenges of the pandemic.
  • We established the COVID-19 Working Group in order to characterize the challenges generated by the pandemic in rehabilitation medicine and identify opportunities that will help combat those challenges. This task force is co-chaired by Dr. Kristine Kingsley and yours truly.
  • We contributed to the creation of the Consumer Involvement Committee, co-chaired by one of our ING leaders, Dr. Christina Papademetriou in order to maximize knowledge translation in rehabilitation medicine for patients and their families.

During 2020 ING has elected its new leadership which assumed their roles/positions in February 2020. A warm congratulations to the following ING leaders:

  • Dr. Kristine Kingsley, Chair Elect. Upon completion of her two-year term, Dr. Kingsley will become the ING Chair.
  • Dr Chetan Phadtke, Secretary
  • Dr. Kathy Kniepman, Membership Officer
  • Dr. Eva Pettemeridou, Communications Officer
  • Dr. Mansha Parven Mirza, Member At Large
  • Dr. Erkut Kucukboyaci, Early Career Member At Large

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, SCI-ISIG, the Stroke ISIG and the Early Career Networking Group. 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, inspire and motivate more members to be active. Much appreciation goes to the ING Executive Committee and task force co-chairs and 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, Dr. Eva Pettemeridou and Rozlie Townsend who worked diligently to bring it to fruition.

Happy reading, be well!

With warm regards,

Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-S, CBIS
ACRM & ASHA Fellow
Professor of Language Disorders and Clinical Neuropsychology
Director Center for Applied Neuroscience
University of Cyprus