Global Emergency Medicine Strengthening in St Lucia

DevelopingEM is a great conference, but it is just a conference, 5 days of education.

The real benefit from our events comes from people meeting people and cooking up schemes that provide lasting benefit.

Some examples include recurrent paediatric, ultrasound and trauma workshops across the Caribbean, increased connectivity between regional clinicians with mentors and educators in Australia and the USA, and ongoing mentoring of prehospital practitioners in Sri Lanka and Fiji.

The island nation of St Lucia in the Caribbean has become a bit of a poster child for this lasting benefit from a short conference.

Since the amazing Lisa Charles first presented on the development of emergency medicine in her home country St Lucia during our conference in 2013 there has been a stream of interactions partially fostered by meetings at DevelopingEM events.

The most recent of these is the work of Joachim Unger and his organisation Global EMS in bringing an EMS Train the Trainer course to St Lucia.

Jo Unger is a consultant anaesthetist and EMS Medical Director of the Berlin Fire Department.

He’s also our most devoted DevelopingEM international fan having been to all six of our international conferences. He even collects the wrist bands.

So how did an anaesthetist from Berlin end up collaborating with emergency physicians from Stonybrook in Long Island to provide a sustainable EMS training program in St Lucia.

Well it was a long process.

Jo had been involved in the Caribbean for a number of years.

Between 2009 and 2011 he worked in Guadeloupe at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Pointe-A-Pitre both supervising and performing anaesthesia.

He attended DevelopingEM 2013 in Havana, Cuba where he met Lisa Charles from St Lucia.

In 2014 he came onto our faculty for DevelopingEM 2014 Brazil, in Salvador Da Bahia, being an integral part of the Trauma track as well as facilitating a De-escalation workshop during the conference.

In 2016 and 2017 he performed a Quality performance assessment in the Emergency Department of Victoria Hospital in St Lucia utilising an evidence based assessment tool of his own design.

In 2018 and 2020 he met and forged ties with an enthusiastic group of new emergency physicians from Stonybrook Health in Long Island at DevelopingEM Fiji and Colombia.

With this team he returned to St Lucia in 2021 to conduct a comprehensive EMS train the trainer course for first responders in St Lucia.

And so from brief conferences long standing connections and international collaboration have flourished.

We hope that this example inspires you to connect with like minded colleagues at DevelopingEM 2022 Darwin.

The conference will have a virtual capacity but in truth we hope that many of you will consider attending in person and expanding your international connections.

Perhaps there will even be long lasting friendships and collaboration that are again fostered providing benefit for remote and First Nations communities in this amazing part of the world.

You can register for the event here and we hope to see you in Darwin in September!

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