4th Annual Conference in 2017 largest ever
February 28, 2017
BENEFITING: SHOULDER TO SHOULDER
EVENT DATE: Jan 18, 2018
"Very interesting, loved it." "It was amazing discussion." "Continue organization of this important conference." "We appreciate you and we know your contribution to us. We'll come again next year."
These are a few of the comments from the evaluation forms from participants at the Ilula-Minnesota International Healthcare Conference.
Starting in 2014, Shoulder to Shoulder has presented the annual Ilula-Minnesota International Medical Education Conference. We are currently planning next year's conference for January 2018. Our first course was presented in January 2014 with 30 attendees. Based on extremely positive feedback from the initial conference, our partners in Tanzania encouraged us to significantly expand the conference to offer this educational experience to a much larger audience of caregivers. As a result, we expanded the 2015 conference to include all 28 Southern Zone Lutheran Hospitals and hosted 100 professionals. For our 2016 conference, we again invited one nurse, one pharmacist and one doctor from each of the 28 Southern Zone hospitals. In addition, in 2016 we also partned with Global Health Administration Partners to provide education to one Hospital Administrators from each hospital. In 2017 we added participants from nearby nursing schools. Our 2018 conference will be our 5th annual conference. The feedback every year has been extremely positive.
Shoulder to Shoulder has been partnering with Ilula Lutheran Hospital for 15 years. During this time Shoulder to Shoulder has supported the development of a nursing school at Ilula, sponsored educational training for physicians and pharmacists, and supported significant infrastructure development including a new laboratory and surgical suite and electrical and water systems for the campus.
Our conference is based on 5 principles:
1. Lifelong Learning. We believe all professionals should contribute to a culture of learning and continuously learn to improve our practice. We include students and residents in preparation and presentation of the conference.
2. Interprofessional teamwork. We include nursing, pharmacy, administrators, and physicians in both the attendance and presentations. We emphasize teamwork throughout the conference. We each bring unique knowledge and skills to share; specifically Tanzanian presenters emphasize tropical medicine and HIV, American presenters emphasize the growing global problem of chronic and non-communicable diseases.
3. Mutual Respect. We emphasize the ability for all our participants to teach and learn from each other, in spite of our differences in practice setting, culture, and socioeconomic situation. We include local leaders in planning the conference and select topics based on feedback from participants. Presentations are delivered by both US and Tanzanian professionals. We adhere to the highest international standards in the preparation of the educational content and accreditation of the program. The program is based on a foundation of a longstanding and ongoing relationship.
4. Continuous improvement. Learning should drive improvement in practice. We include planning sessions for participants to complete planning documents based on learnings to institute improvement plans upon returning to home hospitals.
5. Sustainable Impact. We believe that education and improvement are some of the most valuable ways to promote a sustainable positive impact on the health of our partners’ communities.
In addition to the benefits to patients and staff in Tanzania, participation in this program provides benefit to volunteer US healthcare professionals and students by promoting engagement in the profession, providing an opportunity to serve and learn about medicine in the developing world, engaging interest in contributing to global health development, and fosterering education of US students (Medical Students, Residents, Pharmacy Students).
Our education is fully accredited by the Education Department at the HealthEast Care System to provide physicians with CME credits for participation in this program and contact hours for other professionals. All the participants and faculty involved in the program provide all services on a volunteer basis without any compensation and bear full responsibility for all costs of their own transportation, travel expenses and living expenses while volunteering to serve in this program.
Funding for the course is provided through generous contributions from several foundations and individuals. All funds raised go entirely to hosting the conference, and support for local Tanzanian staff to attend, including meals, travel and lodging expenses. Any amount donated will be much appreciated and will foster improved health care in Tanzania.