IPCRG welcomes Amanda Barnard as new President & committee updates

28 May 2024

Our biennial conference marks the end of one presidency and the beginning of the next, and at IPCRG’s 2024 Annual General Meeting our Senate was excited to welcome Amanda Barnard as the new IPCRG President. Read below for a statement from Amanda:

“I was honoured to take over the Presidency of IPCRG from Professor Ee Ming Khoo at the conclusion of our very successful conference in Athens. Ee Ming has, with the seemingly indefatigable team, led the IPCRG through a period of post-COVID expansion in both its education and research activities. She has led with a quiet and unassuming authority, and  has brought her skills and knowledge as a researcher, educator, and manager to the role.

A little bit about myself: I am an Australian academic GP with a very long-term interest in respiratory disease in primary care. This interest was sparked as a young registrar, when I was perplexed by the fact that patients with hypertension would come in and ask me to check their blood pressure, yet I only saw patients with asthma when they had an acute attack. I was one of the founding members of the ‘Australian GPs in Asthma Group’ which became a committee of the National Asthma Council of Australia, and from 2010 to 2022 I chaired the Guidelines committee for the Australian Asthma Handbook, unique in that it is developed by primary care for primary care. I was introduced to IPCRG at its inaugural world conference in Amsterdam in 2002, and have been privileged to attend most of their conferences since then. I have found the IPCRG community welcoming, innovative, committed and enthusiastic.

I have recently retired from my university position where I established and led a Rural Clinical School: rural health is one of my passions. I have a long-term association with WONCA (World Organisation of Family Doctors) where I chaired the working party on Women and Family Medicine from 2009-2012, which led organisational change in gender and health equity.

I am looking forward to the challenge of being IPCRG President and I am reminded of the words of Past President Professor Ioanna Tsiligianni, who, when discussing why we get involved with these additional activities on top of our other work, said to me “IPCRG gets things done”. Reflecting on the years since that conversation, IPCRG certainly does get things done, and its rich and diverse activities continue to increase in both range and geographical spread. I hope that under my presidency we can continue that work and further expand international awareness of our extensive resources, education programmes and research, and further mobilise our membership to reach even more primary care practitioners so we can improve prevention, diagnosis and care of respiratory disease in global community and primary care settings.”

We also thanked Ee Ming Khoo for her leadership over the last two years. Reflecting on her tenure as President, Ee Ming said:

“It has been an enjoyable and fulfilling two years for me as President of IPCRG. During this time, we have expanded our country members and associate members, we have extended our Asthma Right Care movement to 24 countries and initiated our COPD Right Care movements, including launching our Spirometry Simplified programme for primary care physicians. We continue to extend our Teach the Teacher programmes to different regions of the world, we have forged relationships with many organisations and partnered with global health research programmes, and we continue to coordinate the global health research network and to hold conferences and scientific meetings. I am certain IPCRG will continue to grow and work towards improving respiratory health globally through primary care under the able leadership of Professor Amanda Barnard.”

The Senate also approved the applications of several new IPCRG members. We are delighted to welcome the Confederacion Nacional de Pediatría de México (CONAPEME) as our country member for Mexico, as well as four new associate members (invited organisations): the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Lung Foundation Australia, the International Coalition of Respiratory Nurses (ICRN) and the Taiwan Association of Promoting Care Continuity Chronic Diseases.

Dr Cláudia Vicente has been elected as our President-Elect who will take on the role in May 2026 at the end of Amanda’s term. Steve Holmes will now sit as chair of the Education Committee. As of May, Mar Martinez has joined the Education Committee, Garry Macdonald has joined the Governance & Finance Committee and Habib Ghedira and Hanna Sandelowsky have joined the Research Leadership Team.