DevelopingEM 2013 was our first venture outside Australia and was held between September 16th and 20th 2013 in Havana, Cuba, attracting nearly 180 delegates.
The components included an academic program, optional sessions and a social program.
The majority of the program had two way translation between English and Spanish.
The academic program covered adult emergency medicine and critical care, paediatrics and trauma medicine. Every session during the academic program included presentations in Spanish.
Optional sessions included a Medical Simulation workshop, a CT Interpretation workshop, an Ultrasound workshop, and presentations on Information Technology in Emergency Medicine, Politics in Emergency Medicine and Global Health and Emergency Medicine.
Not only did most of these sessions include either translation or Spanish presentations but also during the session on Politics, Cuban presenters were able to educate the delegates on subjects including the Effects of the Embargo, Cuban Policy on Health and Education, the work of the Latin American School of Medicine or ELAM, and the Effects of Climate Change on Human Health.
The social program included events on each night of the conference and a gala dinner.
Collaboration with Cuban and Caribbean medical practitioners
Within Cuba we had the approval to host the conference from the Ministry of Health, and included Dr Pedro Veliz, the President of the Cuban Society of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, on our organizing committee for the event.
As mentioned Cuban and Caribbean presenters featured prominently on the program.
Sponsorship of Regional Delegates
The conference also aimed to provide a unique experience for local Cuban and Caribbean delegates.
Proceeds from the registration of international delegates allowed for the attendance of 63 regional delegates.
These delegates came from Havana, from all over regional Cuba and from St Lucia in the Windward Islands of the Eastern Caribbean.
This sponsorship gave these delegates the opportunity to attend the conference and participate in the specialised workshops.
Not only were we able to sponsor their attendance but also some of their transport and accommodation costs.
Provision of Medical Hardware for the Region
Proceeds from registration helped DevelopingEM to purchase three computer workstations for Cuba and another for St. Lucia. Each workstation included a 32inch HDTV monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse, and a 500Gb Mac-Mini CPU pre-loaded with ACEM’s curriculum for a Diploma in EM as well as hundreds of hours of audio and video lectures, podcasts, and presentations.
Proceeds from registration also allowed DevelopingEM to purchase and distribute over eighty 8-32Gb USB thumb drives to our Cuban and Caribbean colleagues. These devices, which are near to impossible to acquire in Cuba, were used by many of our colleagues to download textbooks and video files from the workstations during the conference.
Two EZIO kits were also donated to the region.
Training outside Cuba
In addition to the Havana plenary sessions our faculty were busy providing much needed training for the region.
These endeavours were coordinated by DevelopingEM.
Matt Dawson and Mike Mallin from the Ultrasound Podcast received enthusiastic accolades for the ultrasound workshop they ran in Castries, St. Lucia.
Meanwhile Ricardo Hamilton and Mary Langcake organised and ran the first fully accredited ATLS course in the Bahamas in the week after DevelopingEM 2013.
DevelopingEM is very proud as an organisation to have coordinated the first international critical care conference in Cuba.
We look forward to returning to the region in 4 years time.