Improving Trauma Care Worldwide

Highlights of the 2008 International Trauma Conference


The 2008 International Trauma Conference on November 6-8, 2008, in Guanajuato, Mexico, was a success, attracting more than 175 physicians, nurses, and EMS personnel from 12 countries and territories worldwide.

Representatives from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Japan, Canada, South Africa, Italy, Palestine and the U.S were in attendance. The 2008 conference marked the first time an International Trauma Conference was held in Latin America.

The Opening Session in Guanajuato was attended by numerous state and local officials who were excited to welcome ITLS participants to their country and city. Among the speakers were: Eduardo Romero Hicks, MD, mayor of the city of Guanajuato; Gerardo Garcia Dobarganes, MD, State Emergency System Director; Jorge Armando Aguirre Torres, MD, State Health Secretary; Jorge Sanchez Gonzalez, MD, National Technical Secretary of Health; and Luis Antonio Guereca Perez, State Civil Defense Director.

The City of Guanajuato sponsored the conference’s social event, “Una Noche Mexicana.” The evening was an authentic Mexican fiesta with a mariachi band, dancing, and local specialty cuisine.

North Carolina Team Takes First Place in 2008 ITLS Competition

The annual ITLS Competition featured 6 teams competing in the Preliminary Round. The 2008 teams included: Florida, Illinois, Japan, Mexico, North Carolina, and Ontario. Florida, Ontario, and North Carolina advanced to the Final Round, and the North Carolina team was awarded first place. Team members were Billy Eldridge, EMT-P; Austin Nabet, EMT-P; and Shane Lisenby, NREMT-P, with Mike Clumpner, NREMT-P as the alternate. The team looks forward to defending their title next year in their home state at the 2009 conference in Charlotte.

Annual ITLS Awards Recognize Commitment, Leadership

ITLS presented its annual awards at the conference on Saturday, November 7. Three members of the ITLS community were presented with awards to recognize them for their ongoing commitment to the ITLS program.

Art Proust, MD, FACEP, of Illinois, was honored for his many contributions to ITLS on the chapter and International level with the John Campbell Medical Director of the Year Award. Dr. Proust has served as the Medical Director for the Illinois chapter of ITLS since 2005. Under his direction, more than 375 instructors have been updated in 2007 and 2008. He has traveled throughout the state of Illinois to personally attend and teach at almost all of the 12 instructor update courses. He also chairs the ITLS Illinois Advisory Committee for the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians. At the international level, Dr. Proust has served the organization as a member of the Editorial Board for the past 4 years.

Eduardo Romero Hicks, MD, Guanajuato Chapter Medical Director, was honored with the ITLS Ambassador Award. His dedication to promoting ITLS programs and for demonstrating a clear understanding of the ITLS mission is evident in the numerous ITLS projects he undertakes, including translation and creation of Spanish-language ITLS manuals and a longtime presence on the Editorial Board. Dr. Romero was also instrumental in organizing the International Trauma Conference in Guanajuato.

The Ambassador Award was established in 2007 by the Board of Directors to recognize an individual who has made a significant and long-term commitment to the organization.

The Ray Fowler Instructor of the Year Award was awarded to Joseph Bielinski, EMT-P, of New York, for his enthusiasm and expertise in teaching ITLS courses.

Mr. Bielinski was not present at the conference to receive his award in person.

Photo Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the 2008 Images of Trauma Photo Competition were also selected. Rosemary Provenzano Thami, MD, of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awarded First Place for her photo series, “Extrication in Forest.” Second place went to Dick Pace, of Arkansas for his series, “Early Morning MVC.”

As another well-received conference concludes, ITLS is already looking forward to next year’s event. The 2009 International Trauma Conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place on November 5-7. We hope to see representatives from all of our chapters in 2009!

eduardo-webEduardo Romero Hicks, MD, mayor of the city of Guanajuato and ITLS Guanajuato Chapter Medical Director, welcomes the conference participants to Mexico.

officials-webMexico state and local officials also attended the Opening Session to welcome ITLS, the first medical conference to be held in Guanajuato.

competition-webMembers of the teams competing in the Finals Round of the ITLS Competition pose with the victims. The teams who advanced to the Finals were Ontario (back row, navy), North Carolina (back row, light blue), and Florida (front row, behind banner).


North Carolina, the winning team, treats their victims during the Final Round as spectators watch. The team was composed of Billy Eldridge, EMT-P, Austin Nabet, EMT-P, and Shane Lisenby, NREMT-P.

arteduardo-webEduardo Romero Hicks, MD (left), Guanajuato Chapter Medical Director, and Art Proust, MD, FACEP (right), Illinois Chapter Medical Director, pose together after being presented with ITLS’ annual awards at the International Trauma Conference in Guanajuato. Dr. Romero Hicks was presented with the Ambassador Award, and Dr. Proust was honored with the John Campbell Medical Director of the Year Award.

Brazil-3-webFirst Place in the 2008 Images of Trauma Photo Competition was awarded to Rosemany Provenzano Thami, MD, of the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, chapter. Dr. Provenzano’s photo series depicted an extrication in the forest. The fire department of Rio de Janeiro uses scenarios taken from real-life photographs such as these in their training courses, and students act as if they were on scene to provide card. Second Place was awarded to Dick Pace, coroner, of the Arkansas chapter, for his photo series, “Early Morning MVC.”


Conference participants David Barrick, BS, NREMT-P (left, in yellow), Virginia Chapter Coordinator, and his wife, Nancy (left, in orange); David Maatman, CCEMT-P/IC (center), Editorial Board member and Michigan Chapter Coordinator; and J.T. Stevens, NREMT-P (right, in black), Editorial Board member, and his wife, Bonnie (right, in green), enjoy the Welcoming Reception in Guanajuato.


A mariachi band performs at the conference social event, an authentic fiesta called “Una Noche Mexicana,” as conference participants sample local cuisine and enjoy the entertainment.


A mariachi singer teaches conference participants some dance steps during the social event. The performers had the crowd singing, clapping, and dancing along to the traditional Mexican folk songs they performed as part of the “Noche Mexicana” experience.