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The International Congress on Military Medicine Returns to the USA

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2004 (DeploymentLINK) - For the first time since 1939, the United States will host the International Congress on Military Medicine. This thirty-fifth International Congress takes place September 12-17, 2004, at the Marriott Gateway Hotel, Arlington, VA.

The assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, William Winkenwerder, will host this prestigious event on behalf of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

"The ICMM provides a vehicle for international health networking, consulting, and training," Winkenwerder said. "The biennial Congress fosters increased international dialogue and cooperation between international militaries to support humanitarian assistance requests for global needs."

This prestigious Congress, a gathering of the International Committee on Military Medicine (ICMM), will bring together a contingent of international military medical personnel to discuss concerns of world health. Total attendance could reach 1,000 medical professionals from all over the globe. Guests and presenters will include more than 600 foreign national ICMM member delegates from over 100 countries and their spouses, plus Department of Defense (DoD) personnel. Non-DoD medical personnel will include representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

The main topic of this year's International Congress on Military Medicine is "Humanitarian Assistance for Natural and Man-Made Disasters." Participants will discuss important scientific achievements in military humanitarian assistance, infectious diseases, medical preparedness and crisis response. Public health and preventative medicine will also be topics of discussion.

Founded in 1921, the International Committee on Military Medicine is the oldest and largest international military medical organization, with 110 member states. Two military physicians, an American and a Belgian, launched the ICMM because they were disturbed by the medical conditions and treatment of soldiers after World War I. ICMM is an intergovernmental organization that has official relations with the World Health Organization and International Committee of the Red Cross.

Leaders from the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Department of Defense and others will address the Congress. Congress organizers have selected more than 225 scientific abstracts for oral and poster presentation. The ICMM General Assembly will meet Monday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 15, 2004 in the afternoon.

Winkenwerder feels that the Congress is an opportunity for military medical personnel to enhance both DoD's international prestige and their own professional development.

"As the host of the Congress, it is important that the United States' Military Medical Community be well represented," Winkenwerder said. "I encourage maximum participation of military health care personnel."

Interested medical professionals can use the easy online registration form, or get more information about the ICMM by sending an e-mail to icmm-cimm2004@ha.osd.mil.