1st IRF Conference on Rehabilitation in Rural and Develping Regions

The International Rehabilitation Forum gathered on June 10, 2009 at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey for the First World Conference on Rehabilitation in Rural and Developing Regions. The three-day event brought together physicians, health care workers and activists from every continent to present their work and share ideas on what might be the most critical health care issue in the world today - providing rehabilitation services to rural and developing regions.

The conference was divided into six main subgroups with additional panels featuring leading figures from the field of International Rehabilitation.

  • Rehabilitation in Disaster
  • Rehabilitation Policy
  • The Scope of the Global Rehabilitation Need
  • Education in Developing Regions
  • Community Based Rehab
  • Success Stories

Each of the more than 60 conference attendees presented to the group followed by comprehensive feedback and questioning sessions after each major topic. The conference was also broken into four work groups for tighter round-table discussions.

The final day of the conference was spent exploring the exotic Cappadocia region of central Turkey. The ancient sand structures, turned residences, provided an inspirational backdrop for the IRF to share travel stories and plan for the future of the organization.

Overall reaction to the conference has been that attendees found the conference extremely informative and were overly optimistic about the IRF’s efforts to bring people and ideas together. Often times physicians are running programs on their own outside the scope of academia or institutional medicine. Attendees found the sense of community offered by the IRF to be a great ‘home’ for doctors whose main career focus is caring for the oft-ignored medical needs of the planet.

For an excellent photo spread taken by IRF Executive Director, Sierra Loar, click here.


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International Rehabilitation Forum
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