It was the wish of many, which was approved by President Jes Olesen and the Management Committee, to propose me as a candidate for presidency, and the Council followed this recommendation and elected me for president at the Congress in Copenhagen 2000. My presidency started at the end of the World Congress in London in 2005, and I had the task to succeed Jes Olesen, who had formulated and inaugurated the constitution, the byelaws and the 10 missions and formed the structure of the EFNS. As all the basics were created I only had the job and duty to fulfil these assignments. With the cooperation of the various committees and assisted by the headoffice the activities of the EFNS were very successful; the congresses - Vienna 2002, Helsinki 2003, Paris 2004 and Athens 2005 – were of increasing scientific quality, attracted increasing numbers of participants and of industrial exhibitors, and were continuous economical successes; teaching courses were organized in various places, mainly in Eastern Europe, and were attended by local neurologists; courses for young neurologists were organized for a selected number of highly motivated young colleagues; and a visiting programme for young neurologists supported fellow-ships in highly qualified neurological centres. During my presidency efforts were undertaken to coordinate the 2 European societies of neurology, but despite several meetings and intensive negotiations with the representatives of ENS a fusion or tight-cooperation could not be reached.
During this time the EFNS was supporting the foundation of the EFNA and the EBC.
However, despite the success and prosperity of the EFNS during my presidency there was one fate overshadowing these years: it was the malignant and progressive disease of Uschi Tschabitscher. With all her will Uschi could control progression and fully work for the success of the EFNS, and actually was able to be a substantial part of the Congress in Vienna, which was with all the scientific and social events one of the highlights of her life (and also of mine, as an Austrian living in Germany being President of the Congress in Vienna). After Uschi had lived to experience this highlight, her body’s capability of resistance gave up and the disease progressed. Uschi died on July 27, 2003. But she managed to pass on her legacy to Lisa Müller as Executive Director and Anja Sander. The Headoffice in Vienna is (therefore still) the heart of the EFNS and its team ensures a smooth administration.
|Wolf-Dieter Heiss, Germany
Wolf-Dieter Heiss, born 31.12.1939 in Zell am See, Austria, graduated in medicine from the University of Vienna, Austria, in 1965. He achieved his training in neurology, neurophysiology, psychiatry and nuclear medicine at the University hospital in Vienna and spent research fellowships at the MIT, Cambridge, USA, the Physiological Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, the Department of Physiology of SUNY, Buffalo, NY and the Department of Neurology of the University of Minnessota, Minneapolis, USA. 1976 he was appointed associate professor at the Department of Neurology of the University of Vienna. In 1978 he became director of the Center for Cerebrovascular Research of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and of the Department of Neurology of the City Hospital Cologne-Merheim, Germany. 1981 he was appointed as director at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research. 1985 – 2005 he was professor of neurology and chairman of the Department of Neurology of the University of Cologne and director of the Department of General Neurology at the MPI in Cologne. He was president of the International Stroke Society 1991-95, was on the board of directors of the Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, deputy editor of the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism and at present is associate editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine and section editor of Stroke. He was chairman of the program committee of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) 1998 - 2001 and was president of the EFNS 2001 - 2005.