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In 2020, a series of events and initiatives will take place to celebrate the 40th anniversaries of the Healthcare Infection Society (HIS) and the Journal of Hospital Infection (JHI).
In 1979 a group of consultant medical microbiologists met to discuss the formation of a learned society that would foster the scientific interests of hospital doctors who were interested in nosocomial (or hospital-acquired) infections. The first scientific meeting on the topic of Practical problems in hospital infections took place in January 1980, and was attended by the first four Officers: Graham Ayliffe (Chairman), David C Shanson (General Secretary), Mark Casewell (Meetings Secretary) and Peter D Meers (Honorary Treasurer). In the same year, the first issue of the JHI was published in March, and included articles covering issues still relevant today, such as the role of isolation, surveillance and an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
At its inaugural AGM held Friday 9 January 1981, the Society reported a membership of 264. Since then, membership has grown to over 1000, and the Society has organised multiple conferences and educational training events each year.
The Society's Honorary Archivist, Dr Robert C Spencer (Chair of HIS 2001-2007) is currently continuing the work of Dr Philip Sanderson (Honorary Archivist 1989-1992) and is researching and recording the past activities of HIS and the JHI. A book documenting the first 40 years will be published in 2020.
The highlight of the year will be a special event which will celebrate the achievements of the Society and the JHI, and act as a platform for healthcare and research professionals to engage with experts. The event (which will be open to HIS members) will take place 10-11 June in London. This 1.5 day event will include presentations from speakers who will review the last 40 years, and consider the future challenges of healthcare-associated infections.