[ Vol. 8 No. 1 ] (January - April 2007 )
PENSA International Borard Meeting in Bangkok

October 24, 2006
Siam City Hotel, Bangkok


Some of you may have noticed that this year we did not hold a 2006 PENSA meeting. According to the resolution of the Seoul 2005 PENSA council members’ meeting, the Annual Meeting has been rearranged into a Biannual meeting instead and the Scientific congress will be carried out during the alternate year. This is to allow the President of PENSA and the host country enough time to prepare the congress and the PENSA council members to have time to accomplish missions other than the Scientific congress. The council members business meeting will be held in the year without a congress to follow up the PENSA work.

So in 2006, the Council members’ meeting was held on Oct 24th at Siam City Hotel, Bangkok by the Director of the Head Quarters of PENSA (known as PENSA Center), Prof Chomchark Chuntrasakul and Member countries Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India and Thailand.

Prof Chomchark first introduced new faces showing up in this meeting.

Prof Enders KW Ng represents Hong Kong in the upcoming PEN society
Dr Varsha Tarvady Represents the Indian PEN Society
DrThanyadej Nimmanwudipong, current President of the Thai PEN society (SPENT) replacing the past president AVM Vibul Trakulhoon
Dr Luisito O Llido Chairman of the OC, the 2007 Philippines PENSA, under the presidency of Prof Jonathan M. Asprer, President of PhilSPEN

Several issues concerning the future direction of PENSA every member needs to pay attention to have been discussed and resolved.

Clarification of confusing terms and conflicts
1. “President of PENSA” vs “President of PENSA congress”
          Director of the PENSA center (currently Prof Chomchark), previously occasionally addressed as President of PENSA, is a position appointed by council members to handle the supporting (business and financial) functions of PENSA center (currently located in Thailand) to serve member countries and the President of PENSA to carry out all PENSA missions. The council members agreed that it is not practical to move the headquarters to every country since the headquarters simply hold the supporting function.
          President of PENSA is the President of one of the member countries societies elected by council members during the Business meeting of the previous Scientific Congress to host the next Scientific Congress, which apart from making the Biannual meeting possible, also holds the responsibility to lead the Society during the two-year period of the presidency. The position will be transferred to the next President of another member country who hosts the following Congress.

2. Avoidance of the political conflict on addressing “country” of PENSA members and the official representative of each country.
          It has been a painful experience for every council member of PENSA (who by profession and spirit are academics, clinicians and scientists and are borderless) to encounter the political conflict of introducing oneself under the name of any particular country. To make the issue even more complicated, the question of “which PEN or clinical nutrition society represents a country if that particular country has more than one PEN society, has also been asked. Extensive discussions among council members led to the following solution: By geographical territory of countries, the first PEN society of that particular territory enrolled as a member of PENSA is the official representative of that territory and the President of that society automatically holds the position of council member of PENSA. Any other PEN society of the same territory that wants to join PENSA will be a member under the endorsement of the first (official) one. Thus, the members of each territory will be addressed under the name of the official PENSA member PEN society of that particular territory and not the name of the country or territory. For example: Dr Soranit Siltharm presents an abstract to PENSA congress and addresses himself as a member of SPENT rather than Thailand. By doing this the council members hope that,we,as academics will be able to avoid political conflict and focus ourselves and on the exchange of scientific knowledge.

Mission of PENSA
1. The Scientific Congress

          The council members agreed that in order to make the Clinical Congress more affordable for most of the members, cost containment should always be kept in mind and that the host country should try to keep the cost of attending the meeting as low as possible by avoiding luxurious venues and unnecessary spending. Academic and scientific quality of the meeting, however, should not be compromised.
          In order to help the hosting President to a smooth start with the Scientific Congress, PENSA headquarters will provide a “seeding fund” on request for each upcoming congress under the decision of the council members’ business meeting.
          The Presidents of each PEN society have the duty to urge and enable their members to join the meeting to keep PENSA on the move.

2. PENSA has not only been established to hold the Biannual Scientific Congress, but also for something else… our mission other than the Biannual Scientific Congress
          Starting a society is a difficult job, maintaining it is an even more difficult task. PENSA website has not been updated and has not attracted the attention of PENSA members. The Newsletter is always late and out of date.. This one is no exception. The issue of a previously proposed official journal has been discussed and most members agreed that it should be dropped on the grounds that a small, low impact factor journal will definitely not survive, not to mention the high cost of publication. The council members agreed that there should be more activity and value added to the PENSA website. Prof Amagai from Japan (Physician chapter rep.) will take the lead in putting up a pilot project on an E-journal for the PENSA website which will be the basis for the presentation of new knowledge from PENSA members. It was also proposed to become an archive or repository of PEN- related articles collected from all PENSA members all over ASIA, made available to and PENSA members (hopefully for free). To keep the PENSA website alive and dynamic, a certain form of interactive exchange of ideas through case discussions, question and answer, “How do I do it? ”… etc. has been proposed. Last but not the least, the value added to the PENSA website through this should be the source for continuous medical education in the field of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Course work, Guidelines, e-books made available on- line for self-paced learning are planned in cooperation with Dr Llido, Dr Thanyadej and Harbans Kaur Dhillon. Of course, the final goal should be the contribution and participation of all members of PENSA. You all have the duty to contribute to PENSA, don’t you?

Contribution of PENSA council members to SPENT during the 2006 PENSA council member meeting in Bangkok.
          It was a great privilege of SPENT to have been able to hold its annual meeting side by side with the 2006 PENSA council member meeting, and to have had an opportunity to welcome its distinguished guest speakers. Among them were Prof Ohyanagi (JSPEN), Prof Hwang (TSPEN), Prof Ng (Hong Kong), Kaur Dhillon (PENSMA) and Dr Llido (PhilSPEN). Prof Ohyanagi delivered a comprehensive overview of immunonutrition, Prof Hwang reported on his interesting observations on gender differences in immune response. Prof Ng presented his study on the nutritional consequences of subtotal versus total gastric resection, a topic often overlooked by most surgeons nowadays. Kaur Dhillon presented her witty tips, tricks and pitfalls in the compounding of TPN, an issue usually taken for granted in the era of fastfood style TPN (all in one). Dr Llido walked the audience through his 10+year achievements of building up a great nutritional support team out of nothing to the quality team of today supported by the administration and fellow physicians.
          After a long day of discusstion all PENSA council members enjoyed the welcome evening dinner at Siam Niramit and had fun watching its renowned extravaganza show. Bon voyage.