October 17, 2022


Thank you for these fantastic two years


This is my last President’s voice.

As I prepare to hand over the responsibilities of the President of this fantastic Society to my friend and associate, Elie Azoulay, I would like to take this opportunity to address you one last time, not just as ESICM members but also as colleagues and friends.

My mandate fell during an extraordinary and challenging period for the entire world and our Intensive Care community. Being your ESICM President has been very different from what I had imagined when I got elected in 2018.

We cannot always choose our challenges, but we can always choose how we respond to them.

I am proud of what we have done together. Each of you has been part of this journey, and I want to share with you some of the memories of the last two years.

Out of necessity, back in 2020, we had proven the effectiveness of digitalising our resources to keep connected. So, as of 2021, we have capitalised on that knowledge and kept strengthening our links by providing more and more free scientific and educational resources. 

The ICU COVID Best Practice Marathon, the ALIVE Solidarity webinars and Marathon and more than 50 webinars provided actionable medical insights to deal with COVID and non-COVID Intensive Care issues. We responded with solidarity also to the last crisis providing timely resources for dealing with war injuries and the challenges posed by the refugee crisis.
Last but not least, we provided essential resources to deal with COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries.

All of these were watched more than a million times worldwide.

Through these actions, we have connected our community.

Also digitally, we have offered more than 180 courses, Master Classes, training programmes and live interactive sessions, reaching more than 30,000 learners. We have also launched the Airspace WebApp for managing severe infections at the patient’s bedside, and we keep publishing relevant scientific articles, guidelines, research and surveys and podcasts.

Our journal ICM has reached an all-time high IF of more than 40. Likewise, our sister journal ICMx has achieved the long-awaited IF. Let me praise our editors, Giuseppe Citerio, Nicole Jufferman and their editorial boards for their outstanding achievements.

Marking the Society’s 40th anniversary, we have returned to meet in person this year. We started with meetings in Spain and India in Spring and Summer, and the celebrations will culminate in a few days in Paris at our annual congress.

Yet again, true to our values of inclusiveness and solidarity, we have decided to make part of the scientific congress digitally accessible. We want anyone, anywhere in the world, to benefit from the latest research in intensive care to keep improving the way we care for our patients.

The Society’s timely and effective actions during these past years have only strengthened its position as an innovative, worldwide scientific society that fosters clinical excellence, research and education in Europe and beyond.

We reached out to Patients and Families; we have shown what we love and what we do to the outside world. We have welcomed the outside world in our ICUs.

The Society has an established presence at the EU level as a member of the Commission’s HERA Civil Society Advisory Forum. At the same time, at the European Parliament, we promoted the creation of the Parliament’s Intensive Care Interest Group, whose last meeting happened on 13 October in Brussels. The meeting was an essential milestone for Intensive Care in Europe. Finally, the voices of ICU patients, their families and our teams have a place to be heard in the European Parliament. I would like to thank the MEPs who believed in this and made this possible.

Furthermore, WHO decided to collaborate with an external organisation, such as ESICM, on the originally EU-funded C19_SPACE for nurses and doctors who do not regularly work in ICUs. In addition, the programme is now available in even more languages to ensure the course can reach a wider global healthcare audience.

So we can look to the future with the confidence instilled by the power of our community, and I am very proud and humbled to have been part of this process. I want to give a heartfelt word of thanks to all those involved in the Society’s work: those who chair our Sections, Committees and Task Forces, the fantastic colleagues in the Council and my Executive Committee, our CEO Joël Alexandre and the excellent staff in the Brussels Secretariat for their daily support.

And finally, you, our members, for being part of our fantastic community that cares for patients, families, and each other by sharing education and knowledge to save lives. Even during the darkest moments, I have never felt alone, and you made me think we have always been on this journey together.

And that is what we are: Together, We Are Intensive Care.

I also know that Elie will lead this Society with great passion and strength, whatever may come. I wish him a rewarding two years in the President’s seat as he moves our Society forward.

Serving You and our Intensive Care Community has been the honour of my life.

Thank you all for your support these last two years, and see you in (or from) Paris!

Maurizio Cecconi, ESICM President

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