The International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society (IFMSS) led by co-presidents Doctors Oluyinka and Olutoyin Olutoye, will convene for its annual meeting in Kasane, Botswana from August 2 to 7, 2016. This is the second time the meeting has been held on the African continent in the society’s 35-year history.
The IFMSS is an international gathering of fetal medicine practitioners from all over the world,” said Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, co-director of Texas Children’s Fetal Center. “The annual meeting is the forum where innovations in fetal therapy are discussed even prior to general dissemination.”
Topics that will be discussed at the meeting include updates on the management of fetuses with spina bifida, innovative therapies for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), advances in the management of complex twin problems, as well as topics on ethics, anesthesia, genetics, cardiology, diagnostics, neonatal care and long-term outcomes amongst others.
Anesthesiologist-in-Chief Dr. Dean Andropoulos is one of the invited keynote speakers. The other keynote speaker is the Executive Director of the BIPAI Center of Excellence in Botswana, Prof. Gabriel Anabwani. Other Texas Children’s physician attendees include Dr. Darrell Cass, co-director of the Fetal Center, who will present the hospital’s experience with the management of CDH, Texas Children’s neurosurgeon Dr. William Whitehead who will deliver a presentation on the fetal management of spina bifida and Texas Children’s maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Alireza Shamshirsaz who will present on fetal intervention for non-immune hydrops.
Other meeting attendees include Drs. Karolina Adam and Joanie Hare of Houston Perinatal Associates, and research fellows Drs. Stephanie Cruz and Patricio Lau who will also present at the meeting and are two of the seven recipients of the young investigator travel award. Kristen Kaiser, PhD, of Texas Children’s Pediatric Surgery Division together with Adam Gibson and Taylor Napier Earle of Texas Children’s Global Health have graciously provided administrative and logistical support for this international meeting.
In addition to the IFMSS meeting in Kasane, Botswana, a pre-meeting symposium will be held in conjunction with the Botswana Pediatric Association and the University of Botswana in the capital city, Gaborone, Botswana from July 31 to August 1. This symposium, also involving international speakers, will address issues in prenatal diagnosis, pediatric anesthesiology, obstetrics, pediatric surgery, cardiology and critical care, and is targeted at Botswana physicians not involved in fetal therapy.
“Serving as co-presidents of an international society is an honor and privilege,” said Dr. Olutoyin Olutoye, director of the Fetal Anesthesia Service at Texas Children’s. “It acknowledges our participation in the society’s activities over the years, reflects our contributions to the field, and places Texas Children’s and Baylor College of Medicine amongst elite institutions whose faculty have led such a prestigious organization.”
The logo for the 35th IFMSS meeting was designed by Beth Sumner of Texas Children’s Department of Surgery, with inspiration from the co-presidents. The elephant acknowledges the region of Botswana where the meeting will be held, which is home to the largest concentration of elephants in the world. The fetus encased in the elephant trunk acknowledges the care of the fetus that is the focus of the meeting.