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Minutes of 2006 General Assembly, Innsbruck Monday 4th September 2006
at 13.30 in Hall Strassburg.


1. Welcome from President

2. Attendance and Apologies

(Dauman, Balzan, Govaerts, Luxon, Marn, Profant, Pytel, Sorri as at 03/09/06, plus Pascu)..  
Attending:  Holgers, Attias, Verschuure, Pitt, Spillman, Barajas, Salesa (Spain), Lenarz, Arlinger, Laukli, Sulkowski, Kiessling, Kollmeier, Dillier, Tavartkiladze, Mikic, Georgescu (Romania), Kurt Stephan.  Total 18.

3. Minutes of GA in Goteborg
There were no attendance lists from the GA 2005.
Hans Verschuure – Hearcom project required names to be submitted with special interest in certain fields.  Society Representatives were asked to send alternative names.  Laukli commented that Norway did not really have an appropriate society and Voting and Non-Voting representatives were not clear-cut. He did not have the name of the person who represented Norway in his place in 2005.
He also informed that Norway was planning to start an audiological society. Verschuure asked for the names and addresses of the societies rather than just the representatives.

4. Activities/Congresses
Lenarz referred to Holgers who gave a presentation on Website & the role of EFAS in future education.  EUFOS/ITS/ISA/IERASG/Como meetings. 
Holgers listed topics for the EFAS sessions at the EUFOS meeting in Vienna 2007 which  had been processed by email contacts  with the EFAS representatives.  Holgers reported on the following topics that had been suggested through this procedure:
Suggestions for EFAS sessions at EUFOS conference
31 June-4 July 2007 Vienna

Key Note: Vestibular Function in Children
Vestibular testing in Children
Simple test battery for vestibular screening in children

Noise-induced Hearing Symptoms in Children
Round Table

Noise exposure including cell-phones, MP3-players, Ipods etc, environmental factors, psychosocial environmen, stress reactions and subjective hearing symptoms and hearing loss. (I remembered that the group at the preconference meeting where interested in the very high increase in noise induced hearing symptoms in children

Current European Opinions on the Treatment of Tinnitus -  
Round table

Mechanisms – State of the Art
Brain imaging
Effective screening system
Staging of the severity
Etiology to the development of a severe suffering
Effective treatments based on scientifically verified methods
Stepped care

Current European Opinions on Cochlear Implants
Audiological and Linguistic Assessment of the Cochlear Function
Bilateral  cochlear implants
Evaluation of cochlear implantation
Cochlear implants together with conventional hearing aids.

Key Note/Round table: Hearing loss in children- from early detection to intervention.
Aetiology, diagnostics and rehabilitation including hearing aid fitting, middle ear surgery, cochlear implantation and pedagogical interventions

Round table: Age- and Noise related Hearing Loss - from Clinics to the Molecular Level
Clinical susceptibility genes to presbyacusis and NIHL, animal and human data, plasticity of the auditory system, the perspective of future pharmacological prevention and treatment including gene-therapy.

There are other important areas such as Genetic hearing loss, objective measurements in audiology, central auditory disorders,  auditory neuropathy which also be of great interest for the EUFOS delegates.

Further suggestions from members at the present GA were asked for, but no further suggestions were proposed.

a) Website: Holgers gave a presentation on the recent changes in the Website – addition of International contacts; Notice Board contains minutes from old confrerences plus Bye-Laws and General Audiologist programme.  Addition of FORUM for Discussion – not functioning as yet – need to decide on sort of presentations.  Importance of functioning contact details.  Cost for present Webmaster is 25 euro per month – reasonable.  F. Kreter (Germany) was very helpful in Summer but had no access to Website.  Tom (Webmaster) has his address on the website so he can be contacted directly.
b) Program of the Heidelberg meeting – visit in February by Council.  Holgers and Attias had visitid Heidelberg Attias reported that facilities, fees and infrastructure very good – just need to ensure a good attendance.  Thomas Lenarz gave a short presentation on the topics – Hear Europe on the first day.  Epidemiology and Societal Impact/ Paediatric/Nois, research and input from European politicians (ENT who is an MEP plus others in Audiology who have a particular political connection). Holgers indicated that the dates chosen for the meeting were too early in June, due to academic and clinical undertaking at the hospitals and universities and should be avoided further on when planning EFAS conferences.
2nd day includes Cochlear Hearing Loss and Implants.
3rd Day on Psychoacoustics and other topics.
Preliminary day will be in German – rest will be in English.
GA Friday 8th at lunchtime.  Fees low – €270 earlybird fee to < €400.  Various social events and hotels etc. were discussed.  Most of the speakers and the venue are all prepared.
Verschuure asked about political contacts and about contacting WHO.  Spillmann commented on Hearing Aid Dispensers and European Hard of Hearing federation; sitting on the Board so will be involved in parts of the programme.

c) Site Inspection in Spain (Barajas):  Barajas presented a Powerpoint showing what has already been prepared.  However, to avoid overlap in the programme this has not yet been arranged finally.  21-24 June 2009. Hotel Semiramis (5-star) will be the main venue in the North of the Island.  Universidad de la Laguna.  Website  Same structure of Keynote lectures, Round tables, free paper sessions, posters and tutorial courses. will also be available to allow input into potential content.  Contacts with Asociacion Espanola de Audiologia and Asoc. Esp de Logopaedia, Foniatra and Audologia.  Registration fee for students (300 euro) may be reduced to encourage younger attendance..
Comments from the floor (Kollmeier) – that the fees at 540 are too high.  However,  Barajas pointed out that this included the banquet and social events – whereas Heidelberg is very low fee but may exclude some of social events.  Estimate of 250-300 attendance given by Barajas after questions from the floor.  Students have lower fee unlike Goteborg.  Attias commented that fee may be reviewed following site visit.

d) Contact addresses for the representatives – ensure e-mails correct!

e) Mission statement and planned follow-up activities/working groups

f) Other – links and contacts; contact details for Secretariat:  Lenarz stated that Holgers(EFAS) has now joined the Board of Academy to work on future EUFOS meetings.

5.  Reports:  President/Treasurer/Secretariat:  Spillmann, Treasurer gave a presentation showing the increase from €17000-€24736.  More contributions – 16 – plus extra balance of €2663 from Goteborg conference.  Crete conference 2003 ended with a loss-not charged to EFAS.  Webmaster  not paid last year but work will now be billed (to cover considerable period of retrospective work).
Spillmann said that his term ends next year but he has found a willing volunteer from Switzerland to take over, subject to election in Heidelberg.

6.  Election of replacement members of nominations committee
Pitt, Stephan and Tavartkiladze were elected in 2005 and will continue for present. (Theresa Pitt acted temporarily as Secretary for this meeting).

7. Any other business
Joining the (EUFOS) Academy may require a contribution fee of 500 euro.  Holgers suggested at the Executive Committe meeting for the EAORL-HNS if EFAS could pay a smaller fee – they suggested a once-off amount of 500 euro which will allow EFAS to organise sessions at EUFOS conference where up to 3000 people may be attending.  However, it was pointed out that some of these meetings (e.g. Rhodes) had very hefty fees.  Verschuure asked if this was a good benefit for EFAS – Lenarz felt that these meetings must be affordable at some meetings – e.g. Vienna – which will allow audiologists to attend.  Holgers infored that there had been a revison of the process of arranging the EUFOS meetings, earlier there was a committe working with educational issues, but this committe had now fored to a separet academy consisting of more than 15 member societies. The member societies have possibilities to arrange sessions which are relevant to their members and can choose topics they believe are important to discuss in an arena, such as the EUFOS meeting. In this way audiological issues can be highlighted for a wide number of clinicians working in the area of ORL. The academy had made some changes to enable lower fees.
Attias asked that some formal letter be supplied by EUFOS about the registration fee. Holgers informed about the upcomming website.

8. Attias closed the meeting and hoped to see everyone at the EFAS meeting in Heidelberg