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Emergency medicine efforts in Guyana lauded

Dec. 6, 2012, 10:17 AM

Vanderbilt’s Department of Emergency Medicine recently received a Commendation Award for its decade-long efforts to establish an Emergency Medicine program and department at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation in Guyana.

“The specialty of emergency medicine didn’t exist in Guyana when local medical leaders approached us about starting the first emergency medicine residency program there. This has been the biggest accomplishment,” said John Paul Rohde, M.D., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine.

“Our department at Vanderbilt is well known for residency education because of Dr. Corey Slovis and Dr. Keith Wrenn, and this project has been an extension of their education legacy.”

Rohde said the program has benefited from grant funding from the foundation Project Dawn (Donors and Workers Now), founded in 1985 by Sister Mary Carmen Gannon, M.D., to bring free medical aid to Guyana.

“Vanderbilt has partnered in this work with the Georgetown Public Hospital and with the University of Guyana,” Rohde said. “The emergency department there is both an inner city ED and the tertiary care center for the whole country, receiving more than 100,000 patient visits annually that include everything from trauma and heart disease to HIV and tuberculosis.”

The funding has allowed Vanderbilt to base a faculty member, Nicolas Forget, M.D., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, in Guyana almost full time.

Forget, who serves as director of the Masters Programme in Accident and Emergency Medicine in Guyana, said the recognition sets Vanderbilt apart from a select few programs that have been doing long-term work in Guyana.

“It shows our commitment to durability, sustainability. It is an award at this point in time but it goes to all of the Vanderbilt staff who have contributed to emergency medicine education in Guyana for the past 10-12 years,” Forget said.

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