Journalists whose “beat” is conventions and meetings learned hands-on about some of the equipment and expertise that can be found at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoaʻs John A. Burns School of Medicine.
The writers, from as far as Massachusetts and Singapore and points in between, were encouraged to operate simulation equipment that helps surgeons-in-training improve their hand-eye coordination. Similar to playing a complex video game, some of them took to it right away. Dr. Benjamin Berg, Director of Simulation at the Sim Tiki Center, schooled the reporters in why simulation, including breathing, talking patient-robots, is a growing business at health education centers globally.
Then he literally ran off, trailed by the reporters, to an adjoining “emergency room”, where a Sim Man (patient robot) moaned in distress. Barking out orders, Dr. Berg had the writers fitting an oxygen mask over the patientʻs mouth, pumping a breathing bag and even applying the defribilator paddles to “shock” the robotʻs “heart” back into a regular beat.
Dr. Jerris Hedges, medical school dean, gave the media an overview of the school of medicine, focusing on the population diversity in the Aloha State which provides opportunities for research aimed at closing the gaps in patient outcomes between average patients and those of certain ethnic backgrounds who suffer worse illnesses or less access to care.
The Hawai’i Convention Center in Waikiki has hosted a half-dozen major medical conferences in just the last six months, from physicians who specialize in fields from Alzheimer’s Disease to Psychiatry. Each was attended by between 2,400 to 10,000 participants. Several of those conferences included participation by the UH medical school, in either speeches, panels or the kinds of hands-on displays in which Sim Tiki specializes. Next up is the American Pain Societyʻs annual meeting in May 2012.
The visiting journalists who cover meetings and conventions included Caroline Wai Yee Boey, with TTGMice, an English-language publication for meetings planners in Asia; Christine Loomis, Editor at SmartMeetings; Jessie States – Assistant Editor at One+, Rob Edelstein – Reporter at Northstar Travel Media (Meetings and Conventions, Successful Meetings, Meeting News and Incentive); Tyler Davidson – Chief Content Director at Meetings Focus; and Dave Kovaleski – Senior Writer at MeetingsNet: (Includes Corporate Meetings & Incentives, Association Meetings, Medical Meetings, Financial & Insurance Meetings, Religious Conference Manager, and MeetingsNet Extra). They were joined by representatives of the convention center, the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau and The Limtiaco Company, a Honolulu-based media firm.
Our embedded Picasa slideshow features snapshots of the journalistsʻ visit. Story and photos by Tina Shelton. You may also see the photos on-line directly at Picasa.