To be elected as President of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) is a huge honour and a great challenge.
We continue to face challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ongoing war in Europe, the visible consequences of climate change, and we see increasing disparities in healthcare both within countries and between, within Europe and globally.
As healthcare professionals, we need to be motivated by these challenges and not deterred. I will continue the important ongoing initiatives led by ERS, which are designed to promote lung health, support the respiratory community, and improve diagnosis and treatment of respiratory diseases against the backdrop of these challenges.
As a paediatric pulmonologist, I hope to further increase awareness of the early origins of lung disease, as I feel this is an area which is relevant to us all. I also aim to prioritise work around better prevention, early diagnosis and better access to treatment for all.
It is also so important that ERS continues to advocate for efforts to reduce air pollution and fight climate change, as well as improve political recognition of the burden of respiratory diseases, be they non-communicable or infectious diseases.
ERS is a society driven by its members and in my view that is what makes it effective and successful. I will support the inclusion of our early career members and continuing contribution of ERS experts in science, clinical medicine, education and advocacy, as they are no doubt essential for the future of our Society.
Finally, and as I begin my role as President, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to my predecessor Prof. Carlos Robalo Cordeiro. His efforts over the past 12 months are visible to all. Through close collaboration with him over these past months, I feel well prepared to pick up where he left off.
Prof. Monika Gappa