Hey CMATers, it’s been a while, and we have some news to share!

Thanks for being patient while CMAT worked hard behind-the-scenes over the past year.  This email is to provide you with some updates on what we have been doing, as well as to provide you with a sneak peek into what’s in store for our future. 

Given the progress we’ve made the in the last year, our relationship with our CMAT members remains extremely important to us, and we want to make sure you remain engaged in our growing organization, and be a major part of its ongoing successes!  

In this email: 

  • Update on World Health Organization/ Pan American Health Organization Collaboration on Emergency Medical Teams designation 
  • New Membership Database
  • CALL FOR MEDICAL VOLUNTEERS – Samoa Measles Outbreak 
  • Save the Date!  CMAT 2020 Annual General Meeting of Members and Elections

EMTeams logo

World Health Organization/ Pan American Health Organization – Emergency Medical Teams Initiative

The purpose of the EMT initiative is to improve the timeliness and quality of health services provided by national and international Emergency Medical Teams and enhance the capacity of national health systems in leading the activation and coordination of this response in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, outbreak and/or other emergency. A directory of all classified EMTs is held by the Secretariat, to help speed up the mobilization and coordination of quality assured teams in the event of an emergency.

EMTs are an important part of the global health workforce and have a specific role. Any doctor, nurse or paramedic team coming from another country to practice healthcare in an emergency needs to come as a member of a team. That team must have training, quality, equipment and supplies so it can respond with success rather impose a burden on the national system. EMTs must strive for self-sufficiency, meet the minimum standards for EMTs, and a possess the quality of care that is appropriate for the context.

Since 2015, CMAT has been involved with the WHO EMT Secretariat, participating in regular regional and global meetings (most recently in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2019) and meeting with our EMT mentors to help guide our process toward official designation. As we ensure that we meet all the minimum requirements set out by the WHO, we have had to amend some of our practices, develop new policies and re-develop many of our standard operating procedures.  We have reviewed and inventoried our equipment and supplies, and are establishing critical partnerships with other like minded organizations to help streamline our operations. 

We are in the process of creating new online orientation training, as well as recurrent training for our volunteers, which will likely involve a simulation exercise. Also, once finalized, we will be releasing our updated CMAT Field Operations Guide (‘FOG’), as a policy/procedure handbook for our volunteers and members. 

All of these changes and developments do come at a price, however, and we continue to appeal for donations through CanadaHelps to help support the purchase of critical equipment and supplies.  Click the WHO or PAHO logo above for more information about the WHO EMT Initiative.

database banner

NEW!  Updated CMAT Membership Database

Since CMAT’s inception in 2005, our strength has always been our volunteers, who selflessly give their time and effort to deliver high quality health care to the world’s most vulnerable survivors of disaster. One of the most challenging aspects of our operations is maintaining our roster of over 1000 health professionals and keeping it up to date.  With the implementation of the minimum standards for credentials set out by WHO, it was clear our volunteer database needed more fortification. 

CMAT is proud to partner with Better Impact – a Canadian software company based in Hamilton, Ontario, who has developed a robust, encrypted, volunteer database system.  This ensures that any and all data that our volunteers upload to the database will be secure, and housed on servers in Canada.  It is critically important to CMAT that our volunteer information, data and documents are securely protected at all time, and under Canadian Law. 

So what does that mean for you, the volunteer?   Well, we will need you to login to your profile, and update the information in it.  We will also be requiring you to upload several documents, in order to become active on our roster.  This is a requirement from the WHO. 

How do I login to update my profile? 

  1. Go to  volunteer.canadianmedicalteams.org .  On the upper right side of the page, you will see “Log in to your account”. Click on this link. 
  2. On the next page, click on “Forgot your username or password?”
  3. Select “I forgot my password” and enter your username, which is the full email address where you just received this newsletter.
  4. Click the checkbox to prove you are not a robot, then click send email
  5. You will receive a email in your inbox with a link to reset your password. Click this link, then you will be asked to click “reset password” a second time. 
  6. You will receive a second email with a temporary password. Copy and paste this password to login to your profile – you will be immediately prompted to change your password to one you create. 

What information do I need to provide to CMAT? 

As per the WHO guidelines, CMAT needs to collect information about our volunteers. If you are selected to deploy, some of this information would then need to be submitted to the EMT coordination cell as well as the  Ministry of Health of the host country we wish to work in.  The new database also has the capability of tracking expiry dates, and notifying our members when certificates or documents are up for renewal. 

Once you are logged in, click on “My Profile” on the top right corner, and make sure all the pages are completed with your contact information, professional documentation and other information. THe documents we need to ensure remain up to date include (but are not limited to) 

  • Professional Registration or License (if you are a health professional) 
  • Police Background Check document 
  • Resume/ CV 
  • CPR, ACLS and/or PALS (as needed)
  • Copy of the photo page of your passport 
  • Immunization Records 
  • Other documents as required from time to time and on request. 

The database is a work in progress, and as we become more familiar with it we will tweak it to make it work well for all us.  If you have any questions about the database, please email [email protected] 

NOTE: any profiles which are not logged into by January 31, 2020 will be archived.

To remove your profile from our database, please email  [email protected] 

Call for Medical Volunteers – Samoa Measles Outbreak 

The pacific island nation of Samoa has been making headlines over the past month due to a significant measles outbreak. At last count, 4,995 measles cases had been recorded, and 72 people, mostly young children, have died. The actual number of cases and deaths is likely to exceed this, because not everyone with measles will present for medical treatment, and not all deaths occur in hospital. More than one in five Samoan babies aged six to 11 months have contracted measles during this outbreak, and more than one in 150 babies in this age group have died.At the request of the World Health Organization and in collaboration with our colleagues at NYCMedics, a response to the measles outbreak in Samoa is being mobilized. As needs evolve additional clinical positions have become available. NYCMedics and CMAT will provide surge support in two facilities, TTM Hospital in Apia and MT II Hospital on Savai’i Island. They will also provide support to district hospitals in case management, isolation and infection prevention control. The full mission will be approximately one month from 17 December through 15 January – there will be two team rotations to cover this time period. 
ROTATION 1: 12/17 – 12/31 (deadline has passed) 
ROTATION 2: 12/28 – 1/15 NYCMedics has asked CMAT to help recruit for the following volunteer positions: 

  • MD board certified in Pediatrics or Adolescent Medicine
  • MD board certified Emergency Medicine
  • MD board certified in OB/GYN
  • Emergency Medicine NP or RN with formal training in emergency nurse (peds course preferred)
  • NP/RN – obstetrics nursing cert preferred
  • Pediatric NP/RN 

Clinicians should have 5 years experience and hold current credentials.  If you are interested in representing CMAT and deploying with NYCMedics, please send an email to [email protected].   (Note: at this time, paramedics are not recognized in Samoa.) 

WHAT: CMAT 2020 Annual General Meeting of Members 

WHEN: Saturday March 7, 2020 at 19:00 Eastern 

WHERE: Toronto, Ontario, and live-streamed online and by teleconference. 

WHO: All members are welcome! 

A call for nominations for the CMAT Board will be sent out in February.