A plethora of “Global” possibilities in Vancouver

The 68th Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Neurology in Vancouver will start next week. This year features a significant change in the structure of the meeting—access to MOST of the sessions is now entirely included in the basic registration fee. For the neurologist practicing in a resource limited setting who may be working without ready access to a large cadre of sub-specialized neurology colleagues, this means having the option of picking and choosing within the sub-specialty programs for those specific sessions most relevant to one’s own setting and situation. This year’s program also features three sessions on Teleneurology, which is a growing opportunity for expanding the reach of neurologic expertise while also providing ongoing support to colleagues working in situations with few other neurologists.Topical coverage of Neuroinfectious Diseases is also especially robust this year. Saturday, Global Health is going strong with, “Navigating your career: International Resident and Fellow Roundtable” , Global Health Session and excellent international coverage in Poster Session 1 (Global NCDs, Global capacity building, neuro-ID and neuro-HIV topics). Tuesday is the Global Health section meeting—an important opportunity to get involved in the sections leadership or simply offer your perspectives on growth priorities for the section. Wednesday from 3:30-5:30pm is “Neurocysticercosis and Globalization” and Thursday 1:00pm-5:30pm “Practical Approaches to Narrowing the Epilepsy Treatment Gap”. A new feature this year will be Experiential Learning with HEADTalks—15 minute presentations modelled from the now famous TED talk forum with select speakers presenting well-developed perspectives on timely topics. Neurology:Without Borders is clear evidence of Neurology’s (a.k.a. the green journal’s) growing interest in international research and engagement. On Monday at 5pm you have the opportunity to ask Robert Gross, Editor-in-Chief of Neurology anything global or otherwise. Hope to see you in Vancouver!

Teleneurology Sessions

Applications of Teleneurology: General 
Applications of Teleneurology: Telestroke 
Navigating Your Career: Teleneurology Panel

Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen Birbeck is a neurologist who divides her time between the US and Africa. Her US academic home is the University of Rochester where she is the Rykenboer Professor of Neurology and Research Director for the Strong Epilepsy Center with adjunct appointments in the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Public Health. Her additional skills in epidemiology, health services research, and tropical medicine are brought to bear during the 6-months annually she spends in Africa where she serves as Director for the Chikankata Epilepsy Care Team in rural Mazabuka, Zambia, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Zambia and a consultant for the Paediatric Research Ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Gretchen’s research programs are aimed at identifying opportunities to prevent or ameliorate the medical and social morbidities of common neurologic conditions in low-income, tropical settings with the ultimate goal of developing successful interventions feasible for scale up and broad implementation. She has been recognized as an Ambassador for Epilepsy by the International League against Epilepsy, a Global Health Research Ambassador by the US Paul Rogers Society, a National Outreach Scholar by the WK Kellogg Foundation and a Leader in Medicine by the American Medical Students Association.

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