Stronger together: NAR conference in Boston

Stronger together: NAR conference in Boston

The 18th Conference of The Union North America Region (NAR) was held in Boston, USA, from February 27 to March 1, 2014. The theme was “Stronger Together: Stopping TB from Laboratory to Clinic”. Over 270 participants from the NAR and other regions attended. Keynote speakers included Dr Paul Farmer (Beyond TB lecture) and Dr Catharina Van Weezenbeek (George Comstock Lecture). The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Ken Castro of the Division of TB Elimination, US Centers for Disease Control; and Service Awards to Dr Barbara Seaworth of the Heartland National TB Centre in San Antonio, Texas; Dr Robert Cowie of the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta; and Ms Karen Martinek pf the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, in Anchorage, Alaska. Fourteen travel grants were awarded to participants from countries that included Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Canada and the USA. 

The initial STOP TB session explored the challenges of MDR-TB at the global level. Subsequent plenary sessions looked at community partnership; MDR-TB clinical, laboratory and research issues; meeting the needs of the “difficult to treat patient”; laboratory advances in diagnosis and drug development; and insights into the science and treatment of latency.   A new and popular session called “Meet the Professor” was added to the agenda, comprising the presentation of four challenging cases by clinicians, with subsequent discussion among audience members.

Thanks go to Programme Chair Dr Kevin Schwartzman, members of the Planning, Executive, Abstract and Travel Grant Committees, funders and sponsors, presenters and especially to Menn Biagtan and Scott McDonald and their team from the British Columbia Lung Association. The next annual meeting of NAR will be held in Vancouver, Canada on 26–28 February 2015.

Photo: Prof Lee Reichman introduces Kitty Van Weezenbeek, who gave the George Comstock Lecture

Submitted by
Dr Pamela Orr
President, NAR
10 March 2014