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The International Hospital Federation (IHF) is an independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization, located in Bernex (Canton of Geneva), Switzerland. It is a global association for healthcare management, whose primary mission is to improve the health of societies through cooperation between participants within the worldwide health sector.
The International Hospital Federation was formed in 1929, as the International Hospital Association (IHA). During the Second World War, the organization ceased to function, until re-forming in 1947 under its present name, after the first International Hospital Congress in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Congress situated the IHF Secretariat in London, UK where it would remain for over 50 years.After being moved to Ferney-Voltaire, France in 2002, the IHF was relocated, in 2011, to its current location of Bernex, within the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.
The IHF is composed of two main decision-making bodies under its constitution: the General Assembly and the Governing Council. The General Assembly consists of all members of the federation; only full members, however, may vote at meetings. The Governing Council consists of twenty-one national member representatives, along with an executive committee, which includes a president, president-delegate, past-president and treasurer. The executive committee oversees the daily activities of the IHF, and supports the CEO as directed by the Governing Council. Both the Governing Council and General Assembly meet once a year.
The IHF also includes the Secretariat, which is led by the CEO and carries out various day-to-day activities of the federation.
The IHF meets bi-annually at the World Hospital Congress, an event where delegates can discuss issues of concern for their hospitals and respective nations.The federation also hosts members-only hospital and healthcare leadership summits, where leaders of member organizations discuss strategies for healthcare development.
In addition, the IHF establishes special interest groups, to focus on specific areas of health systems that require considerable attention. Such subjects include university hospitals, healthcare executives and group purchasing.
Other activities include dissemination of a quarterly journal first published in 1929 called World Hospitals & Health Services, as well as various other collaborative publications. The IHF maintains an official relationship with the World Health Organization, and close links with the World Medical Association and the International Council of Nurses.
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