The 12<sup>th</sup> Annual Conference of Japan Primary Care Association

Message from the President

  • The 12th Annual Conference of Japan Primary Care Association
  • PresidentMaiko Ono
  • Director, Karatsu Municipal Hospital
President: Maiko Ono

I am Maiko Ono, and I am honored to serve as President of the 12th Annual Conference of Japan Primary Care Association (JPCA). The theme of this year’s conference is “Primary Care and Diversity: Care Inspired by Diversity”. The communities in which we work, our patients and their families, and we as healthcare professionals are diverse. Ensuring the diversity of our members is considered to be essential to rectifying health disparities in primary care, which is one of goals of the JPCA. In addition to the content covered at past conferences, we have prioritized programs focusing on research related to diversity in the health issues we are dealing with and the diversity of healthcare providers and their careers.

At the start of 2020 when we formed the Executive Committee, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic had broken out, and we as healthcare professionals on the frontlines were faced with patients at outpatient clinics, during home visits and in hospital wards. And, perhaps we questioned anew what primary care was. As a patient’s closest medical care provider, we found it difficult to examine and care for them in normal ways, such as holding their hands and sensing one another’s temperatures. In the face of the virus, we who apply the bonds between people in medical care in collaboration with the local community felt the danger of being unable to meet or connect with one another and reaffirmed the value of connections. We also witnessed the weak becoming even more vulnerable as social activities ground to a halt.

Amid all this, the Executive Committee has been preparing to hold the 12th Annual Conference. The 11th Annual Conference in Hiroshima was held online at short notice. Thanks to the wisdom and ingenuity of the President, Dr. Susumu Tazuma, Executive Committee members and the numerous association members who participated in the meeting, we have proven that we can continue to learn even in this situation. We are preparing to hold the 12th Annual Conference in a hybrid style with on-site and web-based meetings. In terms of providing a variety of learning opportunities, from the beginning, we have considered the possibility of online participation for members who may not be able to attend the conference, in other words, members who are raising children and who may not be able to leave the field due to a lack of alternative staff, which we decided by chance to introduce in earnest. This will be a conference that will allow us to continue to learn with the use of a variety of media.

This is the first time in nine years that the conference will be held in Kyushu. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Summer 2020