POSNA APOA Meeting in Hawaii

3-7, May 2010

Combined POSNA and APOA Pediatric Orthopaedic section meeting was held in Hawaii on 3rd to 7th, May, 2010. There was a total of 958 participants registered for this meeting, and about 90 of them were from the Asia Pacific region. The original idea for this combined meeting was conceived by Dr. Ken N Kuo, a senior member of the APOA pediatric orthopaedic section who was also an active member of POSNA. With the help of a few other senior members and full support by POSNA and main APOA council, the planning turned into reality.

Hawaii was a special place where the East met the West more than 200 hundred years ago. The contingent headed by Captain James Cook docked at Kealakekua Bay of the “big island” on his second visit to Hawaiian islands in 1779, and our congress venue (Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast) was located a short distant to the north of this historical site (Figure 1). We were glad to have the APOA president PQ Chen and honorary secretary Hee-Kit Wong showing their support by participating in the meeting. The congress venue offered a wide range of recreational and sporting facilities and it was an ideal place for a family vacation. For those who ventured out for an island tour, we were surprised to note the wide climatic change that varies from desert-like landscape on the West, tropical rain forest on the East, grassland for cattle farming in the middle and occasional snow on the highest peak of Mauna Kea (the White Mountain). Above all, some areas were graced by the spectacular red hot lava flow from the active volcanoes (Figure 2). Despite all these attractions, we were very impressed to note the high attendance rate for all the meeting sessions. The program must have been carefully planned and allow adequate “time offs” for members to enjoy the social aspect of the meeting.

The first evening started off with the presidential dinner. All the gentlemen looked young and smart with white shirt, white pants and red sash, while the ladies were in their most colorful attires (Figure 3,4). We were surprised to note that many POSNA members were also in Hawaii for the first time. This venue is probably equal distance from United States and many countries in the Asia pacific region. Personally, the congress venue is like a tropical beach resort minus the burning sun, and you can probably spend the whole day at the beach without an umbrella.

On the second day, the half day course on pediatric orthopaedic trauma was very well organized with a problem based approach to specific topics. In the afternoon, president of APOA Pediatric orthopaedic section Dr In Ho Choi hosted an informal meeting for all those from Asia pacific region. About 50 people attended and he reminded everyone about the upcoming events in this specialty for the coming 2 years (Figure 5,6). We were glad to note that many members from mainland China managed to participate in this event at the very last moment. This was followed with the opening ceremony where president of POSNA Dr John Dorman welcomed our participation and also invited Dr PQ Chen to address the audience.

On the third day, a grand ceremony was organized for the presentation of distinguished achievement award to Dr Stuart Weinstein. Following the sports events / free afternoon, an open-air banquet dinner in Hawaiian style otherwise known as “Luau” was held at the beach front. The weather was excellent with strong sea breeze and swaying coconut palm providing a romantic backdrop for the traditional performances of Hawaii (Figure 7,8). This was a good occasion to make new friends and for the families to meet each other.

On the last day, there was a plenary session on DDH after walking age. Dr Ken N Kuo talked on Asia Pacific perspective while Dr Dennis Wenger talked on North American perspective.

On the whole this was a very successful meeting. Moderation of most of the sessions was very effective with precise timing by the presenters and focused discussion on only relevant questions. Although the participation from the Asia pacific region to this combined meeting was encouraging, there were not many members from some parts of the region for example the South and South-East Asia. Cost and long distance of traveling may be the contributing factor. The APOA pediatric orthopaedic section will have to look into ways to involve more members from these areas considering the relatively large number of potential patients who may benefit from it. The diverse geographical and cultural background of Asia Pacific region with more than half of the global population demands tremendous effort in every aspect to achieve a better standard of health care especially for the children. Scientific meeting like this will provide more opportunities for sharing of problems and exchange of ideas and will directly facilitate the improvement of orthopaedic standard of this region. We hope that there will be more collaboration between POSNA and APOA and members of these organizations towards achieving these goals.

Prepared by Saw Aik
Secretary / Treasurer APOA Paediatric Ortho Section

Hawaii map showing congress venue and landing site of Captain Cook

Valcano lava flows down to the sea

Proper way to wear a sash

APOA officials and president of POSNA Dr John Dormans

Informal meeting for APOA members

Dr In Ho Choi showing the APOA Pediatric Orthopaedic Plaque

The Korean team contemplating how to share a single Hawaiian pineapple.

Until we meet again in Taipei for the APOA triennial congress end of 2010