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Welcome to the website for the International Headache Society

The International Headache Society (IHS) is the world's leading membership organisation for those with a professional commitment to helping people affected by headache. As a charity, the purpose of IHS is to advance headache science, education, and management, and promote headache awareness worldwide.

This site promotes the Society and its activities, and is the home of the Society's international journal Cephalalgia. We welcome Society members and all who work or seek information in the field of headache.

Lars Edvinsson
President, International Headache Society

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A 'happy' International Headache Society

When writing these lines, I am what you might call a 'happy' Honorary Secretary of the IHS (also called General Secretary). Our Society is in a better shape than ever. We have the highest number of members for over a decade and the highest (positive!) budget. We have seen our International Headache Congress (IHC) in Vancouver and just received the evaluation results. The IHC was rated as excellent by a vast majority and many visitors intend to take an active part in our next IHC 2019 in Dublin, Ireland.

Since my last Board Walk, IHS has established or consolidated new activities. We now have regularly very active academic Headache Academies for young researchers both in the USA (called IHA) and in Europe (called iHEAD). We also have an ongoing Headache Master School programme; the next one is planned for Australia this year. We have a lot of educational activities going on including Visiting Professorships (the recent ones in Iran, Pakistan and Colombia) and grants for students and young colleagues. Another new initiative was the first International Headache Society Global Patient Advocacy Summit (GPAS) in Vancouver during the IHC, which brought together all relevant stakeholders in the field of headache medicine. From this a Global Patient Advocacy Coalition (GPAC) has been formed and had its first meeting in London in January. The IHS is the leading society under which umbrella all worldwide activities on headache should take place.

All these activities cost money, and we were able to further increase the income of IHS by unrestricted grants from some companies and by income from the IHC and membership dues. Our balance is positive and we have a lot of reserves. This will enable us to make headache research and headache medicine more visible and more accepted worldwide. However, we should be aware that we rely a lot on funding by the industry. This is not only problematic because times can be different, and we have had times when funding was very restricted, but also problematic from an ethical point of view. We have to consider that the public might regard the activities of IHS as driven by the pharmaceutical companies as long as we are not completely transparent. Therefore, I am grateful that our Ethics Committee is currently developing standards for the cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry.

Another problem might occur in the future if we not continuously support young people to be active in IHS. One of the complaints by the attendees of the IHC in Vancouver was that too often the same 'old' people give the same talks. We have an active Committee for juniors, so we should not be afraid to include them in our plannings.

As Honorary Secretary, it is my job to deal with the 'daily business' of our society. This means a lot of email conversation all over the world and discussing new projects in close cooperation with the President and with Carol Taylor, the society’s employed secretary. And even after 6 years, this is still fun and satisfying.

I am looking forward to continuing my work for another 2 years together with the President and with Carol Taylor. So, any questions or ideas can be forwarded to me, and I will be happy to help.

Stefan Evers
Honorary Secretary

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