December 18, 2019

ACEP19 Ambassador Conference

The ACEP19 Ambassador Conference was attended by over 140 Ambassadors, Liaisons, Representatives, Section Members and Students. We started the day with an introduction to the Ambassador Program for new members and for Ambassador Mentorship Program medical students and faculty mentors. ACEP leadership welcomed the room and ambassadors shared their recent successes during morning introductions. Special guests including the Global Leadership Award Recipients and EM:RAP GO scholarship recipients were acknowledged as well.

Country Report Updates included Dr. Joy Mackey’s discussion of her experience implementing the WHO Basic Emergency Care (BEC) course in Belize which is amongst the first countries to train the trainers and regularly carry out the BEC course which focuses on life-saving interventions for acutely ill patients with trauma, difficulty in breathing, shock, and altered mental status. This discussion was timely given that the prior day ACEP, ACES, WHO, and ICRC conducted the course in Denver as a pre-ACEP19 event. Dr. Alegnta Gebreyesus, director for emergency and critical care directorate at the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health shared her country’s experience with working to pass the critical World Health Assembly Resolution 72.16 (‘Emergency care systems for universal health coverage: ensuring timely care for the acutely ill and injured’). In May 2019, delegates from Ethiopia and Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) along with 30 cosponsors set forth the resolution to declare that emergency care is an essential component in reaching universal health coverage. What a landmark achievement towards advocacy for timely care for acutely ill and injured worldwide!

Dr. Breena Taira and her team presented their work assessing costs for membership and conference attendance costs for international Liaisons, a topic which arose from a working session at a previous ambassador conference. We are proud to report that the work of this team as well as the ACEP Section on International Emergency Medicine was successful in achieving a reduction in ACEP membership dues for international members from LMIC based on World Bank classifications with membership fees starting as low as $25 per year! We expect that this will allow us to recruit more Liaisons and we look forward to welcoming more colleagues to work with us on International Section projects.

Two well-attended panels followed. Representatives included Doctors Andi Tenner (UCSF), Emilie Calvello Hynes (CU), Sean Kivelehan (BWH) discussing the role of academic health centers in the development of quality emergency systems and Doctors Adbo Khoury (EUSEM President-Elect), Ben Wachira (AFEM Chair), Edgardo Menendez (FLAME Chair), Billy Mallon (EMRAP:GO Fellows Program), and Sean Kivelehan (International EM Fellowship Consortium) discussing opportunities for ACEP to engage with international organizations for EM. Over lunch, our sponsor Vapotherm introduced their High Velocity Nasal Insufflation device.

Ambassador Awards concluded the day. The Ambassador Program recognized the following people for their exceptional leadership and service to the program:

  • Leadership Award
    Haywood Hall (Mexico)
  • Individual Achievement
    Breena Taira (Nicaragua)
  • Citizenship
    Autumn Brogan (Bolivia)
  • Liaison
    Augusto Maldonado (Ecuador)
  • Trainee
    Jeffrey Chen

We hear our participants loud and clear. While International activates were increased this year and we are so delighted that the WHO/Basic Emergency Care training occurred, everyone wished that we had more time for group brainstorming to identify future opportunities to work together. We hope to continue to grow our communication networks through EngagED as well as informal channels such as our social media outlets and look forward to utilizing this feedback to build an even more successful program next year. ACEP Ambassador applications are now approved on a rolling basis and we look forward to growing beyond our current representation of 80 countries with Ambassadors and approximately 40 with Liaisons to have an even more robust meeting next year!

Elizabeth DeVos