Prof Gerard Flaherty, Director of Academic Affairs and Fellowship at the National Institute for Prevention and Cardiovascular Health (NIPC) has been announced as President-Elect of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM). Prof Flaherty is the founder of the NIPC Masters in Preventive Cardiology programme delivered in partnership with NUI Galway. He is the past president of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland.

This news was announced at the General Assembly of the CISTM17 conference last week. Prof Flaherty has been a member of ISTM since 2008 and will be the 17th President of the ISTM, the 7th from Europe, and the 2nd from the British Isles. He will assume this role for two years in 2023 and will be the first Irish person to receive this honour.

The ISTM is an international society of physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other medical professionals who promote travel health initiatives. Founded in 1991, ISTM has built a global network that is committed to the advancement of travel medicine, and fosters research, facilitates the rapid exchange of information, and provides educational programming to serve the travel medicine community. The organisation promotes the development and evaluation of safe, effective, preventive, and curative interventions for patients prior to travel, during travel and post travel.

With its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, ISTM has some 4,000 members in over 120 countries and is the leading professional association in its field. It is a complex organisation with 20 committees, professional groups, and interest groups, as well as multiple task forces. It enjoys very strong ties with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, which part fund its GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and with multiple regional travel and tropical medicine societies.

Prof Flaherty said: “I am humbled to have the opportunity to serve as President of the International Society of Travel Medicine – a prestigious organisation dedicated to promoting healthy, safe and responsible travel through its surveillance, research, educational and community outreach activities.

The Global Galway project is a very positive expression of this commitment to sustainable internationalisation. My own leadership role in international medical student recruitment over many years has prepared me well for the opportunities that this new role brings.

I have greatly enjoyed my previous leadership roles in medical education and preventive cardiology at NUI Galway, but I relish the exciting challenges ahead in this next phase of my career.”