After nearly four years, the global bleeding disorders community came together today for the WFH 2022 World Congress in Montreal, Canada. The event marked the start of a world-first: the first hybrid Congress for the global bleeding disorders community.
There was a palpable sense of energy in the air as the ceremonies began. Wendy Quinn, Canadian Hemophilia Society (CHS) President, and Paul Wilton, Congress President, welcomed everyone to Congress. Cesar Garrido, President of the WFH, underlined how significant it was for the community that they were meeting in person for the first time since 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. He also spoke about the important place WFH congresses have in the community. “The WFH World Congress is unique because it brings all members of our community together: health care professionals, our national member organizations, governments, and industry, and of course, the heart and soul of why we exist: people with bleeding disorders and their support networks.”
The WFH World Congress is unique because it brings all members of our community together: health care professionals, our national member organizations, governments, and industry, and of course, the heart and soul of why we exist: people with bleeding disorders and their support networks.
- Cesar Garrido, President of the WFH
Next, WFH Vice President, Medical Glenn Pierce, MD, PhD, spoke about the Congress program which truly has something for everyone. “We have an exceptional World Congress in store for you. Our Program features global experts who are leading the latest medical and multidisciplinary developments in our field. You’ll see how WFH programs… are working together to advance diagnosis, care, and treatment for patients around the world.”
Mike Germain, MD, from Héma-Québec, shared how his organization has continued to meet the needs of Québec’s population for blood and other quality biological products of human origin over the last difficult year. David Page, CHS National Director of Health Policy, talked about how humbled he was to be Honourary Congress President.
Alain Baumann took a moment to thank all the WFH Corporate Partners, who have continued their unwavering support despite the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It took hard work, innovative thinking, and the collaboration of our partners to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. We accomplished this because we didn’t do it alone. We did it as a united community. On behalf of the WFH, I sincerely thank all these contributors for their unwavering support. We are truly grateful for your partnership.”
Jeremy Hall, a Paralympic rowing team member for Canada in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, spoke about overcoming a physical condition to excel at the highest level. The opening ceremonies also featured Kevin Ka’nahsohon Deer, who gave all participants a traditional Mohawk welcome; Luca Lazylegz Patuelli, who performed a modern dance; and Cirque Alphonse, who brought their circus act to the convention centre.
The opening ceremonies concluded with the presentation of the 2022 WFH International Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Soucie. This award recognizes an individual’s body of work over a period of time. Read the full story on that award here. The 2022 WFH International Frank Schnabel Volunteer Award, which is given to an individual with hemophilia, an inherited bleeding disorder, or to a family member, who has contributed significantly to furthering the mission and goals of the WFH, was presented to Bradley Rayner. Read the full story on that award here.