A quick glance at the headlines and you might conclude that we truly live in troubling and uncertain times. But you don’t have to look very far beyond the news of the jolting Brexit vote, the uncertainty in the EU and the latest terrorist strike, to see that, actually, there is in fact a lot to celebrate, and to be proud of, as we continue with our mission to improve medical treatment for those born with Esophageal Atresia.
So, on behalf of the EAT Board, allow me to interrupt the depressing news cycle to share with you a ‘glass half-full’ assessment of where things stand. Let’s start with the UK voters’ decision to cut ties with the EU, as this is very much on the minds of our members. Yes, this will usher in political and economic uncertainty, at least in the near-term. And, yes, it likely threatens ongoing research and collaborative programmes in the areas of healthcare, specifically regarding rare diseases. But, I’d like to remind you that just as Esophageal Atresia itself is not limited by borders, neither will we be bottled up by this political development. EAT not only will be maintaining its strong bond with its member associations and with the medical community, we have big plans to grow these vital networks. We will report to you on our progress as and when it happens, so stay tuned.
Furthermore, our recent expansion to 11 national member associations underscores our commitment to grow our international reach to aid EA patients and their families. In one sense we don’t care about nationality. We only care about helping as many EA patients as possible.
Whilst we have to recognise that international issues and events may have some impact on our activities, they will not stymie them entirely. We will continue to focus on solutions rather than on problems. We have made significant steps forward in the first five years of our existence particularly in developing strong ties with the professional medical community, be it the International Network for Esophageal Atresia (INoEA), or ERNICA. And, judging by the international medical community’s overwhelmingly positive response to our efforts, we’re going to be a force to reckon with for some time.
Yours on behalf of the EAT Executive Board