Published on: 01-02-2021

Photo by Jukka Aalho on

1 February 2021

Here we are – a full month into 2021 – and those that are frequent readers of my messages may have thought I have forgotten about you.  Au contraire, mes amis.  I have been purposely holding back on this latest message so that I can share some exciting news.

The first thing involves the podcast – The Toxpod.  Many of you are fans of the work that TIAFT members Tim Scott and Peter Stockham have put together in their “spare time”. While it is still relatively “young” as a podcast (26 episodes), The Toxpod has already proven to be valuable by highlighting important topics for our field and interviewing colleagues with insightful thoughts on matters of interest.  It is a great way to occupy the time of your daily commute – whatever that looks like these days.  Since the focus is forensic toxicology, the TIAFT Board has been working with Peter and Tim to transfer ownership of the podcast to TIAFT to see if we, with some financial assistance, can help build it into something even better.  For the time being (and I hope for a very long “time being”), both will continue as hosts and look to expand on the range of topics, participants, sponsors, and even recruit other TIAFT members to start learning the ropes. This is exciting as TIAFT will have a new avenue to educate our current members and attract new ones. On behalf of the Board, I thank Tim and Peter for their willingness to allow TIAFT to not only jump onto the bandwagon, but to take a seat right next to the drivers!

But wait, there is more! 

Many of you participated in our Professional Development Symposium in December.  The feedback was incredibly positive.  That success has led the Board to establish an ad-hoc committee – a Continuing Education Committee – that will put together a virtual training event each year.  This training is not intended to compete with our annual meetings, but instead offer focused, comprehensive learning on a single topic or two. We will start small with just a one-day workshop. Also know that, unlike the December event, we will be charging a small fee for members to participate in these events … and, more importantly, an even larger fee for non-members. This fee will offset some of the expenses involved and encourage membership in TIAFT. 

Past-President Alain Verstraete has agreed to chair the committee.  When Alain was TIAFT President, he pushed for a similar idea, but the technology was not then what it is today.  So now the time is right, and I look forward to what this new committee can offer as its first event later this year.

With that, I wish you all the best. Hopefully, we will be opening things up again later in the year and can discuss our upcoming TIAFT Annual Meeting in Cape Town.  But for now, if you have any questions, compliments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at the email address.