ASJ Anniversary

THE GLEANER | SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019 2 T HE MINISTRY of Health salutes the Association of Surgeons Jamaica (ASJ) in recognition of its outstand- ing contribution to the medical fraternity over the last 60 years. The association has promoted among its members the mainte- nance of high standards of practice and the continuous quest for knowledge through its clinical meetings. It provides opportunities for the sharing of ideas among its members and opportunities for the advancing of all branches of surgery. The association, over the years, has supported the continued medical educa- tion of all doctors. The sustained success of the ASJ annual clinical conference, that sees between 600-700 attendees each year, is a testament to the high regard and respect that is attributed to the association. The med- ical fraternity and, by extension, the people of Jamaica have benefited from the lessons learnt and shared in these conferences. The community of surgeons in Jamaica has seen several great physicians, such as John Golding and Sir Harry Annamunthodo, who have dedicated their time and energy into building a fraternity that has stood the test of time. It is hoped that this groupwill continue to nurture young and aspiringdoctors into skilled and dedicated surgeons and responsible citizens who will make a difference not only in Jamaica, but across the world. As the association embarks on a next decade of achievement, I encourage your members to be steadfast in the practice of our noble profession, to continue to heal our nation, and to ensure that the practice of medicine is faithfully passed on to the next generations. JACQUELINE BISASOR-MCKENZIE Chief Medical Officer MESSAGES Recognition of its outstanding contribution Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie I CONGRATULATE the Association of Surgeons in Jamaica (ASJ) on its 60th anniversary. It is a significant milestone worthy of celebration, especially as one considers the association’s achievements, including your annual clinical meetings, which allow for research and exchange of information and experiences between sur- geons from across the region. Additionally, the Association’s annual conference, which assembles physicians, surgeons and medi- cal professionals from across the island, has served as a high point to further establish the association’s mission of improvingmed- ical care in the Caribbean. Our clinicians are the backbone of our health system, and it is the associations like yours that give rise to the social and professional intercourse between sur- geons in Jamaica and the region. As you continue to develop analysis on health research management in Jamaica, with a view to giving health professionals working knowledge of issues that affect patients, the Ministry of Health will continue to provide the policy framework that creates an even more enabling environment. Together we can offer superior clinical and customer service to Jamaicans and all who use our health system. Again, I commend the efforts of the ASJ and wish you all the very best in your 60th anniversary celebrations and beyond. I look forward to working with the members of the association as we continue to make the health sector a valuable contributor to our nation’s development. CHRISTOPHER TUFTON, MP Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton S IXTY YEARS in the life of an organisation is a significant milestone. It engenders reflection on where the organisation is coming from. It provides an opportunity to celebrate its past achievements and op- portunities to hopefully learn from its past failures, with an attitude of gratitude for both. At the same time, we must be looking ahead and charting a course forward for growth, ex- panded impact and even greater achievement in the future in an atmosphere of expectancy and hopeful anticipation. The Association of Surgeons in Jamaica (ASJ) is the pre-eminent surgical association that serves as an umbrella organisation for all the surgical subspecialties represented in Jamaica. It was founded in 1958 by a group of visionary surgeons, led by the late Professor Sir John Golding. The ASJ fosters continuing surgical education and serves as a vehicle for the ready exchange of ideas, camaraderie and networking among local, regional and international surgeons that redounds to the benefit of our patients. The ASJ has grown numerically in terms of membership to its current level of 160 mem- bers, but of equal importance, it has grown in its positive impact on the local and regional surgical landscape. Members of the ASJ pro- vide competent and compassionate surgical care every day to people of Jamaica and the region. Many of our members are medical chiefs of staff and senior medical officers lead- ingmany of our nation’s hospitals islandwide. Additionally, many of our members provide leadership at universities in the region, in sports administration, public administration and in the political arena. The ASJ has been fortunate to have been led over the years by many exemplary sur- geons who have served as presidents and members of the ASJ Council. They have not only provided sterling leadership, but have expanded the role of the ASJ over the years. More recently, the ASJ, as part of its corporate social responsibility has launched an annual fundraising event called‘Scrubs’which has so far raised J$3 million which has been donated to the Jamaica Cancer Society. The primary focus of the ASJ is to engender excellent surgical care of Jamaican patients by being a vehicle through which there are opportunities for networking, knowledge transfer, skills acquisition and camaraderie. This is achieved by the ASJ hosting an annual scientific conference and banquet, as well as having a yearly luncheon meeting and week- end retreat. These all provide opportunities for networking, camaraderie and continuing surgical education. Under the auspices of the ASJ, laparoscopic surgery was introduced into Jamaica through the efforts of Dr Clive Thomas. Other initiatives of the ASJ over the years have included surgical outreach to rural hospitals, fact-finding missions to Cuba, and meetings held in other territories such as Grenada. Our members have also provided surgical care to other territories, in times of disaster and to provide relief. As we look ahead, we are grateful for our founders and past leaders and we commit to continuing their legacy of engendering com- petent, compassionate and ethical, surgical care of Jamaican patients through creating opportunities for continuing surgical educa- tion in an environment of mutual respect. We commit to continue to expand the role of the ASJ and its positive impact on Jamaica and the region by lobbying and advocating for resources/facilities that allow for an accept- able standard of surgical care in our nation’s hospitals, on behalf of our members and for the benefit of our patients. We also commit to work more closely with The University of theWest Indies to formulate local guidelines for the surgical care of a number of diseases, a process that has already begun. DRWILLIAM D. AIKEN President Association of Surgeons in Jamaica Pre-eminent surgical association Dr William Aiken Aworthy celebration ASSOCIATION OF SURGEONS IN JAMAICA 60TH ANNIV RSA Y FEATURE: THE SUNDAY GLEANER MAGAZINE | SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019