IBIA and the WFNR – A New Collaboration

By: Mike Barnes

The World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation (WFNR) has now been in existence for 10 years since our 1st world congress in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.  The organisation is growing and we now have several hundred members and 15 national societies across the world.  Many IBIA members probably attended the 4th world congress in neurological rehabilitation recently held in Hong Kong. 

Mike Barnes, President, WFNRThe aim of the WFNR is to promote the development of neurological rehabilitation across the world.  We hope to achieve this broad aim by encouraging formation of national societies as well as encouraging local and regional educational and teaching initiatives.

We now have Regional Vice Presidents in every area of the globe (except sub-Saharan Africa) and these individuals are developing a range of regional seminars and teaching courses covering the whole field of neurological rehabilitation.  Obviously we have a particular interest in brain injury but this interest is not exclusive – as with the IBIA. 

However, it is clear that there are many overlaps and links with our two organisations and Nathan Zasler and I met in Hong Kong to discuss how we could best collaborate.  Each organisation is obviously keen to retain its own identity but nevertheless we must avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, particularly in these days of financial constraint from major sponsors and limits to the number of conferences and meetings that we can all attend.

First it would be useful for our websites to be linked to each other and this process is now in development.  Nathan has kindly invited me on to the IBIA newsletter editorial group and I would also welcome articles on any relevant subject in the WFNR newsletter. 

Details are available through the WFNR website (www.wfnr.co.uk).  We hope to have some joint sessions at the forthcoming IBIA conference.

Our next world congress is in Rio on 24-27 September 2008 – further details through the website.  I would also like to work with the IBIA in developing a good range of teaching courses and seminars and I look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration in the coming years.

If any IBIA member has thoughts or ideas about the development of the WFNR then please feel free to contact me or Tracey Mole, Executive Director, through the website.

Best wishes.

Mike Barnes
President, WFNR
July 2006