Introducing Mike

ASIF’s new Executive Director

“I joined ASIF a few weeks ago, excited to embark on a voyage of discovery into the world of axSpA and rheumatology. While I have not yet sailed the high seas of axSpA, I have been inspired by the view from the shallow waters and am glad to share my early thoughts with you (although maybe with no more sea-faring metaphors!).

“My previous knowledge of back health comes from personal experience, having had back problems for more than 20 years. While not axSpA, I have insight into back pain and how easily a flare-up can be triggered.” 

“For many years I led a tuberculosis NGO, a disease with high levels of health inequalities. I also see inequalities in access to diagnosis and treatment for axSpA: the pain and disability will disproportionately affect countries with less developed healthcare systems, as well as people without access to quality healthcare or the ability to insist the pain is not in their head.

“ASIF’s mission is to ‘grow, strengthen and empower our community’. In my first contact with members I have been impressed by your energy, ability and determination to make change happen in your countries. As an international organisation we understand that some of our members’ ambitions and challenges are similar, while others must adapt to local healthcare systems and structures. Our approach is based on combining ASIF’s access to global expertise with your local skills and knowledge, all aimed at helping you improve the health of your communities and countries.

“I hope to talk with many of our members during the coming weeks and months to learn more about AS and axSpA in your countries, the work of your organisations and how ASIF can best support you. Our members are the reason for our work – first and foremost we are guided by your needs. Please contact me at any time on executivedirector@asif.info – I will always be glad to hear from you.”

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