East Tennessee State University’s Dr. Joseph Florence was recently honored for helping establish a dedicated training center in India where medical professionals can learn how to treat and respond to emergencies related to the heart.

“There are still a lot of physicians in India who haven’t received Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support training, which is an international standard set by the American Heart Association,” said Florence, director of rural programs for Quillen College of Medicine and professor for the Department of Family Medicine. “Having a dedicated center will jump start things there. I’ve been wanting this to happen for 17 years.”

Attending the inauguration of the Gandhi Alumni AHA International Training Center in Hyderabad, India marked Florence’s 10th trip to the country since 1999. He began his journey to bring Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support to the region by teaching as many medical professionals as possible, while also training others to become instructors themselves.

At the training center inauguration, Florence applauded the Gandhi Medical College for establishing a dedicated site and staff to regularly teach Basic and Advanced Cardiac Life Support classes to medical professionals across the state. Before this, Florence would teach classes in hotel rooms, meeting rooms or wherever there was enough space to accommodate learners and new instructors.

“The training center will allow more people to be trained and will encourage physicians to follow the international standards of emergency care,” Florence said. “The emergency room at the 1,500-bed hospital there is more like a triage center instead of an emergency room by U.S. standards. This training center will help them jump start a more a systematic approach to emergency care.”

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