NAC region holds first in-person general meeting since 2019

Representatives from 10 member organisations in the North America Caribbean region attended the first in-person regional general meeting in the region since 2019.

Sibyl Edward, chair of the NAC region executive committee and member of Physiotherapy Association of Saint Lucia, said: “It was our first in-person general meeting since the pandemic and it was great to see representatives from our member organisations in Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US. We were also pleased to welcome observers from two national physiotherapy associations in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Everyone at the meeting recognised the particular challenges facing Société Haïtienne de Physiothérapie/Haitian Physiotherapy Society and the wider Haitian population.

“It was a successful and supportive meeting and delegates appreciated the opportunity to come together to share experiences and ideas and explore achievements and challenges.”

Participants at the NAC region general meeting in May 2024

The general meeting took place, 27 April 2024, in Kingston, Jamaica, and was followed by a one-day educational course, Physiotherapy in emergency departments, at the University of the West Indies on 28 April 2024.

The course was attended by 53 people and delivered by Jeff Hartman, member of American Physical Therapy Association and assistant professor of physical therapy at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Natasia Symonds, member of Bermuda Physiotherapy Association, said: “Inpatient bed availability is a challenge familiar to many of us, regardless of country or hospital size.

“It was interesting to hear how we might better utilise the skills and scope of our physiotherapists in ways that might both reduce burden on our colleagues, while also delivering higher quality care to this patient population.

“Jeff was thorough, engaging, and encouraged discussion about potential challenges in smaller islands. It was a great experience!”

Dave Foster, Jamaica Physiotherapy Association president, said: “The course was a beacon of insight, illuminating the path toward enhanced patient care and professional excellence in our region. Jeff's expertise, coupled with the dynamic exchange among attendees, forged an atmosphere of unparalleled engagement and collaboration.

“The impact of this course serves as a catalyst for transformative change, empowering us to redefine standards, refine practices, and ultimately, elevate the quality of healthcare delivery in emergency settings.

“On behalf of the Jamaica Physiotherapy Association, I extend heartfelt thanks to World Physiotherapy for their unwavering commitment to advancing our profession. May this seminar be the first of many collaborative endeavours that continue to inspire and enrich our collective journey towards excellence in physiotherapy.”

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