Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Our Friends and Thanks to Many

Our trip for Radiology Education Days seemed short yet the preparations that went into the event took several months.  There are many people who played a significant role in the meeting who need to be thanked.  So, with the possible risk of omitting someone--here it goes.

I first want to thank Dr. Paul Ellenbogen whose vision for our efforts in Haiti made the trip and our engagement there possible. 

ACR Chair  Paul H. Ellenbogen, M.D.,
during 2011 trip to Grace.
I also want to thank Dr. Jim Borgstede whose leadership with the ACR Foundation International Outreach Committee and participation in both of our Haiti trips have been invaluable to our overall efforts.  Additionally, I want to thank the ACR Commission on International Service and the ACR Board for its ongoing support of our activities.

Jim Borgstede, M.D. provides lecture
during Radiology Education Days
I want to thank Dr. Douglas "Rusty" Brown who chaired our program committee and worked with the faculty to ensure the program's success.  There were many obstacles and questions along the way but through surveying the attendees and tedious attention to detail, we were able to put together a faculty and program that seemed to work well for the participants. 

Douglas "Rusty" Brown, M.D. gives lecture
during Radiology Education Days

I want to thank our faculty for their preparation, enthusiasm and knowledge.  Drs. Ernst Garcon, Anna Rozenshtein, Bob Harris, Jack Harris, Rusty Brown, Jim Borgstede and Chuck Phelps along with Mr. Jim Temme (ASRT), Kevin Powers (ASRT), Ted Whitten (SDMS) and Ms. Tammy Stearns (SDMS) made each educational experience whether lecture or hands-on a memorable one for all who attended. 

Faculty arrives in Port-au-Prince,
Haiti for Radiology Education Days

I want to thank the faculty and leadership at Grace Children's Hospital including Wesley Romulus, Dr. Frederic Vilme, Dr. Gina Joachim and Dr. Marie Excellent.  We could not have imagined more gracious, welcoming and receptive hosts.  I also want to thank the staff at Grace and the ICC Relief and Reconstruction Office.  They include Melanie Brierre, Vickie Jean-Louis, Madame Calixte, Madame Arnoux, Monsieur Prou, Monsieur Jean Louis, Rosa Voltaire, Esther Cervil.  Also, thanks to Keith Mumma and Rachel Mills in the ICC US offices.  I also want to thank John Yates for his vision and ongoing work with Grace and his sons Ryan and Jason and for getting us to and fro safely. 

Dr. Gina Joachim presents a lecture with interpreter
 (Dr. Marie Excellent) during Radiology Education Days

Melanie, this conference could not have happened without your persistence and logistical expertise on the ground.  Thanks as well for your good humor, patience and dedication throughout. 
Melanie Brierre awards Rusty Brown, M.D. with a book
on Haiti at the conclusion of Radiology Education Days
Special thanks goes to Dr. Chuck Phelps who introduced the ACR to Grace after the earthquake and who continues to give so selflessly to ICC, Grace and the people of Haiti. 

Chuck Phelps, M.D. (center in blue) and
Jack Harris, M.D. provide image review during
I want to thank our friends from Sonosite and GE who provided loaner portable ultrasound units with multiple transducers.  These loaners were essential to the success of our hands-on ultrasound programs. 

Bob Harris, M.D. works with portable
ultrasound unit during hands-on sessions.

I want to thank Lauren Alfero who I have the honor of working with each day and who has contributed significantly to our international outreach efforts.  I also want to thank Fran Cordero who assisted with all the accommodations of our faculty members and our press team of Shawn Farley, Alyssa Martino and Heather Curry for promoting our efforts. 

Lauren Alfero, Associate, ACR
Foundation International Outreach Program

I want to thank all those who I may have omitted who supported this program.  Special thanks to our network, the Haiti Radiology Group, who championed the conference and who work to improve radiological care in Haiti each day while avoiding duplication of effort and promoting coordination of radiological activity.   

Finally, I want to thank the medical personnel in Haiti who travelled long distances and endured excessive traffic and other obstacles to attend Radiology Education Days. These dedicated professionals engaged the faculty and participated fully in the program's offerings. These radiologists, physicians, sonographers, radiologic technologists and other medical personnel were committed to learning and providing the best for their patients. We look forward to a establishing growing relationships with these committed individuals. 

Radiologic technicians with faculty
during Radiology Education Days in Haiti

Physician attendees participate
in Radiology Education Days in Haiti

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Radiology Education Days Exceeds Expectations

The trip, now complete, exceeded our expectations. During our last trip to Haiti, Drs. Paul Ellenbogen, Chair, ACR Board of Chancellors, and Jim Borgstede, Chair, ACR Foundation International Outreach Committee, established a plan for our involvement in Haiti. The first part of that plan was to provide learning opportunities to medical personnel in the country.

Our two-day trip to Haiti included 13 didactic sessions for the physicians attending on a broad array of mainly plain film and ultrasound procedures focusing on common diseases and conditions typically found in Haiti. Concurrently, representatives from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (including ASRT Chairman of the Board Jim Temme, M.P.A., R.T.(R)(QM), FASRT, and Director of Education Kevin Powers, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(M), provided didactic sessions for radiologic technologists on subjects such as image quality, image enhancement and radiation safety.
Dr. Ernst Garcon (Columbia University Medical Center) shown teaching didactic physician sessions at Grace Children's Hospital.
Attendees intently follow lecture during physician didatic sessions. 

Kevin Powers, ASRT staff (left), Jim Temme (right) and interpreter provide a session on radiation safety during radiologic technologist didactic session. 

Radiologic technologist faculty with students. 

The afternoon sessions each day featured hands-on training utilizing portable ultrasound units generously loaned by GE and Sonosite and image review stations. Representatives from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (Tammy Stearns, MS, RDMS, RVT, RT (R) and Ted Whitten, BA, RDMS, RVT) joined our outstanding radiologist faculty to provide practical hands-on training training using multiple transducers. Radiologists included Robert Harris, M.D. of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, Douglas "Rusty" Brown, M.D., Program Chair for Radiology Education Days in Haiti from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and James P. Borgstede, M.D., Chair, ACR International Outreach Committee from the University of Colorado, Aurora, CO. 

Robert Harris, M.D., (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire) works with students while providing ultrasound procedures during the hands-on training sessions. 

The image review stations were taught by John "Jack" Harris, M.D., of Tampa, FL, Anna Rozenshtein, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, Ernst Garcon, M.D., Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY and Charles "Chuck" Phelps, M.D., private practice radiologist and long-term volunteer at Grace from Dennison, TX. 

Jack Harris, M.D. and Chuck Phelps, M.D. review images with physicians at Radiology Education Days at Grace Children's Hospital--photo courtesy of Melanie Brierre.

Faculty and students review images in interactive hands-on sessions--photo courtesy of Melanie Brierre.   

Dr. Gina Joachim, radiologist at Grace Children's Hospital, seen here with Dr. Anna Rozenshtein (faculty) assisted with both the didactic and on-site training during the conference--photo courtesy of Melanie Brierre. 

The level of interest in the didactic and hands-on sessions was extraordinary.  While we were told that the conference would hold up to 60 attendees, over 90 students actually attended.  Those students represented over 20 facilities from throughout Haiti including Cap Haitian, St. Marc, Fond des Blancs and the Central Plateau.  The students arrived early, stayed late and were both thankful to the faculty and proud to receive their certificates of completion from the 2-day program. 
Attendees receive a certificate of completion for the two-day program.

Footnote:  After arriving in Haiti I realized early on that I would not have reliable access to the internet and thus my blog. With the help of Lauren Alfero (and my cell phone), I was able to provide a couple of posts.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Just awakening to start my day.  Yesterday afternoon, following the didactic sessions on image interpretation, radiologic technologist technique, radiation safety, proper use of ultrasound and other topics, participants were able to get some hands-on training on film interpretation and ultrasound.  Below Ted Whitten, representing the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, works with one of the rotating groups on an ultrasound procedure of a pregnant woman, (obscured from view).

Jim Borgstede, Chair, ACR Foundation International Outreach Committee, illustrates the use of abdominal ultrasound on a female patient during a hands-on training session.  

During lunch break several of the faculty were interviewed by local Haitian television stations.  The interviews were focused on the goals of the program and the ongoing education and training of health personnel in the radiology profession and sciences.

This was truly a remarkable day.  We had radiology and medical personnel travel over 6 hours in some cases to participate in the two-day program.  A show of hands reflected that we expect another capacity crowd today.  I look forward to another exciting Radiology Education Day in Haiti.

Monday, June 4, 2012

 The land where the original hospital stood.

Our day started early.  Six o'clock for breakfast, 6:45 for the bus.  We arrived at Grace by 7:30am.  The most startling change was the cleared out lot where the original hospital once stood.  The last time we were here the remains of devastation from the earthquake choked the lot.  Another unexpected surprise, a crowd was already forming the session.  

Grace medical director Frederic Vilme, MD opened the day by thanking the ACR, ASRT, and SDMS for their initiative.  I noted that the purpose of the meeting was not only to provide intensive didactic and hands on training   but to begin to build on relationships that will be more sustaining.  Attendees were provided jump drives, handouts as well as a CD Rom on the imaging of tropical diseases.  

Drs. Garçon, Rozenshtein and Joachim presented on Chest, TB and respiratory changes respectively.  Lunch is soon.  Great time to build relationships.

Yesterday we travelled from Miami to Port-au-Prince.  We spent the day getting to know one another better, checking portable equipment, and going over presentations.  The weather is in a word hot.  However the island seemed greener from the plane than what I remembered.  We are excited to get started tomorrow and are excited about the local interest.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Journey Begins

Today began the first leg of our journey to Port-au-Prince.  More than half of our delegation arrived in time to meet, dine and discuss our expectations and hopes for Haiti as well as share stories of the road.  The banter was generally lighthearted as we got to know one another better.  There were fish stories, the sharing of experiences in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (as well as discussions and comparisons to other parts of the world), discussion of local arts and crafts and a revelation that the group would be photographed and interviewed throughout the next few days. 

All-in-all, a good start to our program.  Tomorrow morning we will leave for Port-au-Prince.  Tonight we will rest looking forward to beginning our work tomorrow. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Many Hands Make for a Lighter Load

The past few days have been busy attending to some last minute logistical details for our program.  Radiology Education Days (RED) in Haiti could not have come together without the leadership of our program chair Rusty Brown, M.D., the chair of the ACR Foundation International Outreach Committee, Jim Borgstede, M.D., the eleven dedicated radiology professionals that volunteered to make the journey and present at the conference, the direct support of the SDMS and ASRT, the tireless efforts of our gracious hosts at ICC and Grace Children's Hospital, the generous contributions of Sonosite and GE, which provided loaner equipment to assist in hands-on training, and the dedicated and steadfast commitment of leadership and staff at the ACR. 

I will be speaking more directly about the contributions of these individuals and organizations in the days to come.  We are very excited about the interest in our program on the ground.  We currently are at capacity for the educational program and look forward to engaging our participants not only at the meeting but in the future as we work to assist radiology in Haiti.  We look forward to meeting and working with these dedicated professionals who seek to further their education as they seek to advance health care in Haiti. 

Tomorrow we begin our journey.  I will be reporting from Miami tomorrow evening and then from Haiti during our program.  I hope you will follow our journey.