International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies


Elana Newman, PhD
ISTSS President

Over the next few months, you will have important opportunities to express your viewpoints as an ISTSS member. Whether you cast a vote in the elections, attend the annual meeting, or respond to the treatment guidelines, you help the society thrive as a community of engaged professionals when you share your views. This column highlights some of these upcoming activities.  

This year, ISTSS members will elect one president-elect and five board officers to serve three-year terms beginning November 2007. Among those who have volunteered to serve the Society through these elected positions, I am pleased to see candidates who represent a variety of disciplines and interests volunteering, reflecting the varied interests of our field and ISTSS members. 

Voting for officers is an important way for you to give input into the direction of the society. Each candidate has thoughtfully developed a vision for the future of ISTSS. I strongly encourage you to read the candidate statements to learn about their perspectives on the future and to cast a vote by Sept. 24. With 14 extremely qualified candidates running for five positions on the board, every vote matters! 

I also want to thank all the people who agreed to run for office. Serving on the ISTSS board of directors (BOD) is a major commitment. ISTSS BOD members are expected to chair or contribute to at least one important ISTSS committee or task each year throughout their term; pay their way to attend every annual and midyear board meeting (one typically held in North America and one outside North American); represent members on all BOD matters; liaison with members; and place all ISTSS matters as a high priority in their work promoting the Society’s mission whenever an opportunity arises. 

Annual Meeting
Please register now and encourage your colleagues to attend the annual meeting in Baltimore. The Program Committee has created a packed schedule of diverse dynamic programming. The preliminary program is now available online. Please forward the link to colleagues and appropriate listservs. 

Now that the program is determined, we can all help improve the conference experience can by increasing the diversity and breadth of the delegates. If every member who reads this column informs their professional network about ISTSS and the conference, we can further expand our professional community and shared learning. 

A few of you have contacted the program chairs or BOD members expressing concern that your submission was rejected and what this means about ISTSS’s commitment to your particular area of interest. As I wrote in my last column, this year saw a greater range and number of submissions. As a Society, the increase in ISTSS submissions suggests a rising interest in the trauma field, the importance of ISTSS, and the ISTSS conference. However, a result of the increased submissions was that a greater number of submissions were rejected, including many of high quality on important topics. 

Every submission was peer-reviewed by a diverse group of ISTSS, re-reviewed by program deputies within the different tracks, and reviewed again by the program co-chairs. Rejected papers occurred across all tracks and topic areas. 

Regardless of whether you have a presenting role at the conference, I do hope to see you all there. I firmly believe that all conference delegates, whether speaking or not, contribute to the annual meeting’s important learning and networking experiences. These networking experiences and opportunities for connection and consultation are invaluable to making the meeting dynamic and successful. 

ISTSS continues to promote international diversity of attendees through our travel grant which is supported both by the ISTSS budget and members’ generosity. Although the BOD has increased the amount of travel grant monies awarded to help our colleagues from around the world attend the annual meeting, these funds still lag behind where we'd like them to be simply because of our current resources. Members have been quite generous in supporting these efforts, but each year the demand is greater than our resources. If you are able to do so, and if you agree that this international diversity truly enriches our meetings, consider making an online donation this week to the Travel Grant fund.Donations made online within the next week or so can be included in this year's fund. The awards committee will be chaired by Andy Stone this year.

In addition to our typical travel award funds, ISTSS has also received a commitment from the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime that will subsidize travel expenses and pay registration cost for U.S.-based crime victim advocates or mental health professionals who treat crime victims to attend this year’s conference. We will provide more details about how to apply for these by e-mail, so watch for this news. We are excited about this special opportunity this year!

Treatment Guidelines
In the coming months, prior to the conference, all ISTSS members will have the opportunity to review the proposed revised ISTSS treatment guidelines and respond with comments about the scientific accuracy of the conclusions and recommendations. I encourage members to offer their expertise in reviewing these comments. You will be notified by e-mail about this opportunity.


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