WFNS President Servadei - Ethics & Medico-Legal Affairs Committee
“Franco Servadei: A leader with a vision; a man of his word; a man who made history!”
In September 2015, in Rome during WFNS Interim meeting, a General Assembly meeting of the WFNS was held in order to elect a new WFNS president. The majority of neurosurgeons got to know Franco Servadei closely for first time as he stood and gave his 15 minutes remarkable and unforgettable nomination speech. He clearly identified the problems of WFNS and in doing do he echoed the thoughts of thousands of neurosurgeons around the world. He presented their hope to change and reform the WFNS. He presented an achievable plan as a road map based on the active contributions, participation and collaboration of thousands of neurosurgeons around the globe. He counted on them and they did not let him down. I was confident he would be able to achieve, or at least sincerely try to achieve, all he promised to, because I have known him since 1979, when we shared a period of our training, in the Department of Neurosurgery, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
He is a man of values, who is reliable and follows through with his promises and intentions.
Franco Servadei presented his nomination speech and promised to make significant reforms in all aspects of the WFNS; he promised and he did it!
He promised to increase the participation of young neurosurgeons and neurosurgeons from developed and developing countries to the WFNS life; he promised and he did it!
He promised to have more active WFNS’s committees; he promised and he did it with the help of the Coordinator David Adelson!
He promised to change the Constitution and Bylaws of WFNS to permit a quick officers’ turn over; he promised and he did it!
He promised to encourage and support multicenter (global) neurosurgical research; he promised and he did it!
He promised to keep respect for and always honor our neurosurgical pioneers and masters; he promised and he did it!
He promised to continue previous achievements and take them to higher levels; he promised and he did it!
He promised to travel all over the world to support the local neurosurgical societies; he promissed and he did it by travelling in 43 different countries in all the Continents!
We have all witnessed him striving and sparing no effort to turn his vision and promises into reality. Doing so he became a role model of true leadership. Warren Bennis once said:
“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” That is exactly what Franco did. It is unbelievable that he achieved so much in a relatively short time. He challenged the prevailing wisdom and demonstrated courage by showing humanistic teamwork, in a transparent and democratic style of leadership.
I was privileged and lucky to work closely with him in two committees: Constitutions and Bylaws, and Ethics and Legal Affairs Committees. He supported all the activities of both committees. He showed his deep and genuine respect for the values, ethics and laws as a solid foundation for change and reform.
The WFNS will always remember always the presidency of Franco Servadei as a “non-presidential” period and the period of great changes and reform.
Franco Servadei was born in 07/08/1951 in Forli, Italy. He graduated from the University of Bologna in 1976 and the following year he started neurosurgery training in Bologna, with one year in Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1979. He qualified as a Neurosurgeon from the University of Bologna in 1985. He obtained the EANS Accreditation of Neurosurgery, Edinburgh, UK in 1986. He is currently a full Professor of Neurosurgery at Humanitas University and Research Hospital, Milano, Italy. He is a good scientist and researcher. He has been studying head trauma for years. His H-index is 46, with 259 documents and 8640 citations. More importantly, as WFNS President he has published over 100 peer reviewed papers with 34 directly related to global neurosurgery and relevant to the WFNS.
Franco worked hard with new ideas to open opportunities for young neurosurgical trainees in Africa, Latin America and the Far East to be properly trained. He has been loved, respected and admired by most neurosurgeons all over the world because of his honesty, seriousness, compassion, humble and transparent personality – as the figure below shows.
To conclude: Franco Servadei wrote and opened a new page of WFNS history. The impact of his achievements will continue and be remembered for years to come.
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