American University of Antigua College of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Medical Transport’s Gold Cross Training Center have formally established the AHA Training Center for Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS). The American Heart Association (AHA) has recently given its approval for the program.

According to Dr. Peter Bell, AUA’s VP of Academic Affairs & Dean, the training center is part of the University’s strategic initiative to become the first medical school in the Caribbean to have a formal program accredited by AHA. “We are pleased to work under the supervision of the Mayo Clinic instructors to train our medical students and health care providers and even lay persons in Antigua.”

The training workshops are conducted by instructors from the Mayo Clinic medical transport unit following AHA guidelines. Mayo Clinic certified instructors, James Newcome and Marcia Newcome, conduct a week-long exercise, attended by AUA medical students, faculty, and local Antigua medical personnel.

BLS involves techniques employed in cardiopulmonary resuscitation focusing on health care providers who respond to cardiovascular and respiratory emergencies. In the advanced ACLS course, participants enhance their skills in the treatment of arrest and peri-arrest patients through active participation in a series of simulated cardiac respiratory cases.

AUA College of Medicine students spend 16 months on Antigua studying Basic Science courses and return to the U.S. to complete their clinical training at one of the 20 affiliated teaching hospitals. AUA grants Doctor of Medicine degrees to students who successfully complete all the requirements and graduates are eligible to participate in the U.S. Residency Match program