A double celebration of Cochrane was organized this year in Croatia where, apart from the annual Croatian Cochrane Symposium, held at the University of Split School of Medicine (UoSSoM) from 9th -10th June, a celebration of Cochrane Croatia’s independent Centre status was held on 8th June to a large crowd of Cochrane supporters, including government officials, health professionals, and students.
On behalf of Cochrane Croatia’s host institution, Prof. Zoran Đogaš, the Dean of the University of Split School of Medicine, gave the opening address at the Centre celebration, expressing his support of Cochrane Croatia’s work, which he confirmed the following day in the signing of the Collaboration Agreement between Cochrane, Cochrane Croatia and UoSSoM. Full support was also offered by the Director of the Croatian Centre for Global Health, Prof. Ozren Polanšek, Assistant Director of the University Hospital in Split, Dr. Anton Marović, representative of the Croatian Medical Chamber, Assist. Prof. Željko Puljiz, the Chancellor of the University of Split, Prof. Šimun Anđelinović and the State Secretary of the Minister of Health, Dr. Željko Plazonić. Letters of support were received from the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Minister of Science and Education, the president of the Croatian Medical Association, and others.
The Croatian Ambassador to Canada from 2005-2010, Ms. Vesela Mrđan Korać, spoke of the diplomacy required to establish collaboration between the University of Split and the University of Ottawa, which led to the foundation of Cochrane Croatia, as well as the important role of Croatian expats in Ottawa, notably family Mamić, in hosting directors of Cochrane Croatia during their study visits to Cochrane Canada. Others who have been instrumental in the foundation of Cochrane Croatia, such as Prof. Matko Marušić, Prof. Livia Puljak, and Assist. Prof. Dario Sambunjak, shared their vision of Cochrane Croatia with all those present. Those who unfortunately couldn’t be present sent heartfelt messages, including, Prof. Peter Tugwell and Jordi Pardo, from Cochrane Canada, Prof. Roberto D’Amico, director of Cochrane Italy, Prof. Žarko Alfirević, from Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth and Prof. Davor Štimac, from Cochrane Hepato-Biliary.
The future of Cochrane Croatia was the focus of the final part of the Centre celebration; hence our main speakers were Mark Wilson, Cochrane’s CEO, Prof. Gerd Antes, Director, Cochrane Germany, and representatives of Cochrane Croatia’s partner organizations. Attendees were entertained by traditional Dalmatian singers and dancers, as well as by the Student Choir of the UoSSoM. The event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors: Tourist Office of the City of Split, Redak Print Studio, Enter Digital Studio and Radio Sun.
The following day, Mark Wilson opened the 9th Croatian Cochrane Symposium, dedicated to the topic of ‘Evidence based dental medicine’. We were very honoured to have as our main speakers Jan Clarkson, Helen Worthington, and Anne-Marie Glenny from Cochrane Oral Health. The two-day symposium included lectures, workshops, a poster walk and lively interactions, and was attended by participants from Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Poland.
Irena Zakarija-Grković, Co-Director Cochrane Croatia