Journalists from Korea helped to save the life of a patient at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) on September 2. The journalists visited the medical school so they would be better prepared to write news stories about Hawaiʻi’s advances in health care, both in knowledge and industry, before Novemberʻs summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC.
The patient the Korean journalists helped to breathe was a simulated patient, a high-tech robot used to give medical students the chance to work, hands-on, on patients who can be programmed to experience a wide range of medical emergencies.
Dr. Benjamin Berg, director of JABSOMʻs SimTiki Center, led the members of the media through performing an emergency intubation. The idea was not so much to transform the journalists into physicians, but more to illuminate how JABSOM exports its knowledge of simulation throughout Asia and the Pacific. Simply put, “We teach the teachers,” as Dr. Berg said.
SimTiki hosts physicians from the region regularly, or goes itself “on the road” to train in Australia, Japan, Korea and other locales. While simulation equipment is increasingly available in the region, Berg said, the know-how of utilizing the technology in education is still an area in which UH has an edge, and something to share.
Dr. Jerris Hedges, JABSOM Dean, is leading many of the local efforts on behalf of the University of Hawaiʻi to gain media exposure for the stateʻs role as a leader in health and life sciences. Dr. Hedges has emphasized the ever-growing collaborations between the medical school and its academic and industry partners in Hawaiʻi and in the Asia-Pacific region.
Also speaking to the journalists from Korea (and an earlier delegation from Beijing, China) was Anton Krucky, CEO of Tissue Genesis, an emerging leader in adult stem cell and regenerative medicine which is headquartered in Honolulu, and has partnerships in medical technology in the U.S. and Japan. The company has developed technology to isolate tens of millions of cells from a patient’s own body that are believed to accelerate healing and regenerate damaged tissue. Krucky has said the expertise available at the University of Hawaiʻi Manoa school of medicine is vital to the international success of local companies like his.
The APEC conference, which will bring world leaders from more than 20 countries to Hawaiʻi in November, including island-born U.S. President Barak Obama, begins November 8.
Story and photo by Tina Shelton. Pictured: Dr. Berg leads journalists from Korea through the intubation of a simulated patient in JABSOM’s SimTiki Center.