Travel and Exotic Medicine Featured at St. Luke's Wilderness Medicine Conference

Physicians, nurses, paramedics, EMTs and other practitioners interested in sharpening their survival skills will gather this week for the 8th Annual St. Luke's Wilderness Medicine Conference, held from April 17-19 at Bear Creek Mountain Resort near Macungie. The workshops and lectures are led by a team of clinical specialists and wilderness survivalists who provide information and education relevant for adventurers in all areas of healthcare.

This year’s conference will have a “Travel and Exotic Medicine” theme, with topics covering extreme environment survival skills, expedition medicine, trauma management in the wild, wilderness toxicology and more. The conference will also include an interactive Wilderness Medicine Adventure Race for attendees who want to test their skills in a range of simulated scenarios.

“The goal of the conference is to train attendees to provide medical care in challenging environments and bring together a community of healthcare professionals who are excited about wilderness medicine,” said St. Luke’s Emergency Department Dr. Joe Smoot, MD.

Survivalist Marco Yuracheck will teach several workshops and offer an overnight wilderness excursion on the last day to practice many of the skills learned throughout the conference.

“Because of this conference, we are able to educate and enhance the skills of about 100-150 medical practitioners who will then be able to impact lives in their own communities throughout the country,” says Dr. Smoot. “For the St. Luke’s EMS team, including physicians, EMTs, firefighters and paramedics from multiple municipalities in our area, the conference provides an opportunity to work together and strengthen our bonds, which ultimately helps us function better as a team and provide life-saving services to our community.”

About St. Luke's Wilderness Medicine Conference

St. Luke's Wilderness Medicine Conference is an extension of the St. Luke's Emergency Medicine residency program and managed by emergency medicine residents and faculty who are also avid adventure seekers. Started in 2011, the conference is now in its eighth consecutive year. Continuing education credits are available through the St. Luke's Graduate Medical Education office. Detailed information about the event can be found at http://www.stlukespawildmed.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/stlukeswildmed/. Prior registration is preferred, but attendees are also welcome at the door.

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About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 320 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.