In 2013, a health care initiative called TRanslating Emergency Knowledge for Kids (TREKK) began surveying primary care and emergency care physicians about their experience with acute care pediatrics. These surveys later led to several on-site consultations, focusing on areas of acute pediatric care where the clinicians felt they lacked expertise, experience or easily accessible, evidence-based guidelines. With this information, the TREKK team sought to alleviate some of the anxiety around acute care pediatrics and began creating a website repository of easily-digestible, evidence-based information for clinicians on the most sought after topics.
Simultaneously and independantly, an informal evaluation of telephone consultations and patient referrals to the HSC Winnipeg Children's Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department was undertaken and recurrent opportunities for improvement were noted. A small focus group of Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) clinicians was created and the decision was made to create an educational series to address some of these topics of interest.
When it became apparent that the objectives of the TREKK group and of the PEM clinican group were nearly identical, a collaboration was the natural result. This lead to the creation of the inaugural Annual Pediatric Emergency Medicine Assembly (APEMA) in September 2014.
The APEMA was designed to provide a dynamic learning experience for health care professionals who provide acute care to infants, children and adolescents. The goal was to provide a fantastic educational experience where participants could interact with each other while learning from experts in a variety of PEM-related fields.
Since then, the name has been modified to reflect the geography of the conference, but the ultimate goal remains the same: by sharing information and expertise among health care professionals, we hope to improve the acute care delivered to all pediatric patients.