The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) yesterday presented its 2001 Distance Learning Awards. Thirteen awards were presented to distance learning professionals, organizations and companies for excellence in teaching, excellence in programming and outstanding individual achievements. There were two healthcare-related winners:
Excellence in Distance Learning Programming - Healthcare and Telemedicine: The award winner is BeST (Basic electronic Surgical Training), the world's first online surgical training program. Developed by IntuMed (a joint venture between Intuition, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Harvard Medical Internationl), BeST provides trainee surgeons with a complete interactive and fully integrated educational program in basic surgery. BeST employs the latest e-learning technology to deliver a user-focused, flexible learning experience, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Trainees benefit from fully moderated content, visual and interactive learning, realistic case studies, challenging simulations, tests and personalized feedback.
Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Healthcare and Telemedicine: The award winner is Julius Edlavitch, MD, who created International Pediatric Chat in 1996 as an IRC pediatric chat room. Upon realizing the power of using Chat as a distance learning tool, Edlavitch proceeded to bring pediatricians and lactation specialists together from all over the world using distance live education. He spent the last 4.5 years expanding his distance learning program to include cutting edge software tools and multiple elite education partners. He has produced over 200 Live Internet pediatric education conferences with attendance from every continent except Antarctica.
The 2001 Awards were presented by the USDLA Awards Committee members, Dr. Deborah Harrison, VTEL Corporation; Dr. Darcy Hardy, UT TeleCampus, University of Texas System; and Marshall Allen, Oklahoma State University.