It has been inspiring to see the important work in the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis community over the past years. Having joined IFPA as Executive Director in April 2018, a few months ahead of the important 5th IFPA World Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Conference, it has been quite a journey and a privilege to help transition IFPA forward into its current expansion phase. As of September, I will be moving on to other pursuits, and the recruitment process for a new Executive Director has reached its final steps.
It seems fitting as such to provide a brief look back at the recent years and express appreciation of all that has been accomplished during this time within IFPA’s network for the benefit of the millions living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, made possible through collaboration and contributions by many stakeholders.
Following IFPA’s key milestone of achieving the goal of a World Health Organization resolution on psoriasis in 2014, and the subsequent WHO report on psoriasis in 2016, IFPA has since mid-2018 entered a new stage, focusing on connecting more closely on global, regional and national levels in order to follow up the direction set by the resolution and help facilitate progress on the ground. Connected to the non-communicable disease and universal health coverage global movements, IFPA has thus both worked internally to further develop the Federation, and expanded our partnerships and collaborations in order to reach further impact. It has been inspiring to see all the important work and enormous dedication that is shown by IFPA’s around 60 member associations around the world, but also by our partner organizations and sponsors, and numerous actors connected in the field, both from civil society, the medical and scientific community, from the corporate sector, and by policymakers.
From the Executive Director’s perspective and role, I am glad to be able to note a number of positive internal IFPA achievements during this time which have helped set the stage for the next years’ continued efforts.
- The Secretariat staff team has been expanded to almost twice the size
- IFPA’s sponsorship network has grown and baseline financial support increased by over 50% in 2019
- Several new countries have joined IFPA as members
- IFPA’s Global Psoriasis Coalition has expanded significantly
- IFPA’s global World Psoriasis Day campaign has been upgraded to a multi-year approach with an integrated chain since 2019 connected to next IFPA world conference, under the yearly slogans of CONNECTED, INFORMED, and UNITED
- A new Capacity Development Program has been introduced for IFPA members, for knowledge exchange, development and growth
- IFPA has led two very successful worldwide World Psoriasis Day campaigns, completed its very successful 2018 IFPA World Conference with 1,100+ conference participants, and participated in or organized close to 50 international events
- IFPA has participated in three World Health Assemblies and two United Nations High-Level Meetings to advocate for the psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis community
- IFPA has participated in the development and launch of the Global Psoriasis Atlas (launched during WPD 2019)
- IFPA has worked with partners in the Global Psoriasis Coalition to develop the Psoriatic Disease Response Index, set to launch in 2020
- IFPA has also arranged official side events in connection with the 71st World Health Assembly and the 2019 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
- IFPA has released numerous toolkits and materials, in addition to participating in a substantial amount of projects and networks
It is also inspiring to see that, as an indication of IFPA’s overall progress forward and updated internal work methodologies, IFPA is currently a nominee and finalist for International Association of the Year and Best Social Media Campaign of the Year in the International and European Association Awards.
This year obviously has been a difficult year with COVID-19 impacting the global community, and very much so our patient organizations and people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Here, IFPA has participated actively in the global health response to the pandemic and adjusted its strategy as necessary. In a period where communicable disease has naturally received much focus, the needs of people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (some of which are more vulnerable during these conditions) are more important than ever to highlight, and IFPA will continue that journey.
For IFPA overall, I am convinced that the federation has significant potential going forward, especially after next year’s World Conference, which should be a key moment. While I will miss so many dedicated functionaries in this community, I am confident that IFPA’s important work will continue, grow, and develop further, and I would like to take this moment to express significant appreciation to all that work together in this endeavor to make positive change possible, including IFPA’s members, the IFPA Board, the dedicated Secretariat staff team, IFPA’s sponsors, and valuable partners such as the NCD Alliance, Global Health Council, International Alliance of Patient Organizations, International Psoriasis Council, International League of Dermatological Societies, the Global Psoriasis Atlas team, GlobalSkin, and others.
With these words, I wish IFPA and all its network the very best for the future. It’s been a privilege to help support this mission during these years and I wish all of you well going forward.
International Federation of Psoriasis Associations