The Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy™ is pleased to announce the appointment of four new leadership roles and two new committees:
- Ernesto Brauer was appointed as Chair of the Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy (POCUS Certification Academy) Council
- Steffen Sammet was selected as the POCUS Certification Academy Council’s new Vice Chair
- Eugene Zierler was selected as Chair of the newly formed Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy (POCUS Certification Academy) Education Committee and remains a member of the POCUS Certification Academy Council
- Dean Vlahaki was selected as the Chair of the new Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy (POCUS Certification Academy) Assessment Committee and remains a member of the POCUS Certification Academy Council
The POCUS Certification Academy Council is responsible for the strategic direction of the POCUS Certification Academy, having governance over the Academy, ensuring the POCUS Certification Academy Council’s objectives align with Inteleos’ strategic plan, and ensuring all programs meet Inteleos’ quality standards. The POCUS Certification Academy Council members are charged with bringing their unique experiences and perspectives to enhance the POCUS Certification Academy’s mission and vision and provide diligent programmatic oversight of its work.
Dr. Ernesto Brauer has been practicing medicine for over 40-years and specializes in the care of critically ill and injured postoperative patients. Previously serving as Vice Chair and now as Chair of the POCUS Certification Academy Council, he plans to continue the work of his predecessor, Dr. James DellaValle, and continue developing its foundation for future generations. With hopes to expand the usage of POCUS and provide further knowledge and mentoring to healthcare providers worldwide, Dr. Brauer shares, “The vision is not only in our country but as a global organization, supported by volunteers who are passionate about improving the care of medicine and expanding the knowledge of POCUS.”
Dr. Steffen Sammet is an Associate Professor of Radiology and Medical Physics at the University of Chicago. As Vice Chair of the POCUS Certification Academy Council, he is charged with developing testing for physicians and healthcare providers to ensure they have the appropriate knowledge and skills to use POCUS in their practice. His goal is to influence the field of medicine to ensure everyone has the same ability and opportunity to use POCUS from a technical and an interpretation perspective and to disseminate his knowledge and expertise worldwide.
“Instead of listening with a stethoscope that we usually have in our ear, POCUS lets us look inside the patient to see what is going on,” Dr. Sammet expresses. “A physician can carry it around, directly address the patient, and make an immediate diagnosis, especially in an emergency when we must react much quicker.” He also advises that quality assurance is essential, noting that quality control is key to improving the standardization and safety of clinical ultrasound applications.
Dr. Eugene Zierler is a Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Medical Director of the D. E. Strandness, Jr. Vascular Laboratory at Seattle University of Washington Medical Center. In his role as Chair of the POCUS Certification Academy Education Committee and member of the POCUS Certification Academy Council, he supports the POCUS community by providing educational resources and tools to enable POCUS users’ proficiency in application and patient safety. Dr. Zierler is charged with developing new educational opportunities, facilitating access to the POCUS Certification Academy’s educational resources and opportunities, and coordinating with the POCUS Certification Academy Council.
Dr. Zierler said, “The POCUS Certification Academy Council has a list of successful ongoing educational programs and resources. The POCUS Certification Academy Education Committee will ensure those are supported, continued, refined, and updated.” Additionally, he promises, “These activities will become more organized and formalized under the direction of his committee.” He also pledges that the committee would develop new opportunities for education around POCUS to make sure people who want to use the modality have access to educational resources.
Serving as the POCUS Certification Academy Assessment Committee Chair and a member of the POCUS Certification Academy Council is Dr. Dean Vlahaki. He is a staff emergency physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, Canada. This committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the POCUS Certification Academy’s assessments. As Chair of the POCUS Certification Academy Assessment Committee, Dr. Vlahaki will review current certification exam material and create new content for future examinations.
As someone who has always had an interest in formal studies and testing, Dr. Vlahaki states, “There is an art to creating fair but challenging exam questions, and this is particularly interesting to me.” He looks forward to working with the other volunteers and creating high-quality examination materials. As the clinical applications of POCUS expand, the standard of care and certification must also adapt accordingly. With POCUS ever-expanding globally, the POCUS examinations must provide a common standard of expertise.
“The advances in portability and size of the equipment in the last few years have been immense. The fact that ultrasound probes can now operate off smartphones is a real game-changer,” Dr. Vlahaki exclaims. He encourages those interested in POCUS, particularly those in remote or limited-resource settings, to explore the wide variety of new technology in handheld sonography equipment.
The newest committee members embody the spirit of community and bring talent, expertise, and energy to the table. With the support and collaboration of all its members, the POCUS Certification Academy Council will continue to grow and further the POCUS Certification Academy’s mission and vision to validate clinical proficiency in POCUS by delivering rigorous assessments, providing educational opportunities, cultivating a global POCUS community, and ensuring the highest POCUS standards in worldwide healthcare and patient safety.