On 8-12 May, 2022, the WSO Future Stroke Leaders (FSLP) Conference took place in Dubai, UAE. As a milestone of the FSLP programme, the in-person conference anchored the 2-year journey of online classes, discussions, international collaborations, and mentoring.
The conference included 24 international, highly skilled participants, more than 20 speakers, and covered a variety of stroke-care topics. In addition, the conference included a visit to the Rashid Government Hospital’s stroke care unit, as well as plenty of socializing and sightseeing opportunities.
The opening day of the FSL conference confirmed the value of the programme and the strength of its participants, who are all motivated to learn, share, and collaborate – investing their energy and personal time into advancing the quality of stroke care around the globe. Participants began their deep dive into stroke care with talks on Leadership in Stroke Medicine, Critical Care of Stroke, Translational Stroke Medicine, and Author Metrics.
A highlight of the Future Stroke Leader conference in Dubai was the presentation of the funded research projects, driven by the programme participants. 4 research projects received financial support to develop their regional and global stroke care improvement ideas further. The groups showed the unique and challenging scientific work they are involved in. The projects shared their impressive progress, and it was a delight to see the global cooperation among young stroke practitioners. The panel discussion gave more perspectives to the projects’ development and its sustainable medical angle.
The second day of the Future Stroke Leaders conference was dedicated to further advanced stroke care developments, as we discussed Stroke Registries, The Angels Initiative, Advances in Perfusion Imaging, Thrombectomy, Neuroradiological cases and Science/Article metrics.
One of the Future Stroke Leaders programme objectives is to offer participants a well-rounded set of topics to help them to address the stroke care improvements from different angles. As such, Future Leaders were able to unpack unique topics, such as the Genetics of Stroke, Enhancing Stroke Recovery with Stem Cells, and the Changing Face of Neurorehabilitation. Next to these, a further set of presentations aimed to improve their leadership skills, such as Understanding the Principles of Decision Making, and Successful Leadership: Value and Perceptions. Participants were both challenged and entertained by this wide spectrum of topics, and even showed some creative skills in building their leadership skills.
The visit to Rashid Hospital provided participants with a first-row view of Dubai’s stroke care approach. Rashid Hospital is a tertiary specialized academic hospital, which includes a state-of-the-art emergency centre and is a regional centre of excellence in stroke care. As part of its philosophy, Rashid Hospital emphasizes knowledge sharing, and it was exceptionally generous in hosting the programme.
Aside from the many in-depth conversations on how to improve stroke care globally, the FSLP participants had the chance to unwind and socialize. Building relationships is a cornerstone of the FSL programme, founded on the belief that career development, lifelong learning, and professional satisfaction all thrive on strong relationships.
Over the last 2 years, through a multitude of events and discussions organised online, the conference became a truly live open forum to discuss the regional stroke care obstacles and developments. It enabled a transparent, inclusive and structured talks with young practitioners and the taskforce about the issues that are of relevance to them and for the future of regional and global stroke care.
We look forward to the next in-person event for the future stroke leaders, which will be combined with the 2022 WS Congress, held in Singapore from 24-29 October. This event will mark their graduation from the FSL programme, a fantastic achievement for all involved.
Achieving our vision of a life free from stroke is a task that WSO cannot achieve alone. We are committed to building our partnerships at the global, regional and national level to scale up and deliver improvements in prevention, treatment and support to reduce the burden of stroke.