From The President's Desk


    Happy New Year! I hope 2020 is off to a great start. I want to start off by thanking all ACPA members for allowing me to serve you in this capacity. 2020 is a year that is filled with hope, promise and expected growth. Hope in the sense that we can build this organization into the Goliath that we all know that it can be. Promise in knowing that we are all united by the singular goal of promoting and improving the health of not just Cameroonians here in North America but most especially Cameroonians back home.

    To achieve these goals I need your help! We are only as strong as our membership and we need to recruit and retain more members. We also need the current active members to be more engaged and participate in the decision making that helps steer this organization forward. To do this we need you all to participate in committees.

    By some estimates they are over 200 physicians of Cameroonian origin here in North America. If we each reached out to each and every one of these people those are 200 members. With a sizable member base, we can more effectively and efficiently do the work that we set out to do when the ACPA was formed. To fulfill the mission and visions of the ACPA, we need all hands on deck.

    Our leadership is changing, all committees need new members, and some need chairs. We pride ourselves on being a democratic organization where every opinion is valued and every voice is heard. What better way is there to influence decisions than to be at the table when these decisions are being made?

    With that in mind, I’m devoting my efforts to recruiting more members, boosting our medical missions and mentoring young physicians in training.

    Preparations are underway for our 2020 convention in Charlotte, NC and the program looks exciting. The theme is “Navigating physician challenges in 2020”. The lectures include the surgical management of diabetes, end of life care, evolving healthcare delivery models and financial growth for physicians regardless of where they are in their career - be it in residency or practice. Also, our keynote speaker will touch on Autism. An omnipresent yet rarely discussed topic in our community. An application for CMEs for this conference is underway, so use your CME stipends for this. The ACPA 2020 Charlotte Conference registration is now open and this can be easily done on the ACPA website, Also, it’s January so membership renewals are due.

    With the help of the medical mission committee chair- Dr. Nina Lum, ACPA has partnered with ASCOVIME and its founder, Dr. Georges Bwelle who in 2013 was internationally recognized as a Top 10 CNN hero. ASCOVIME is a non-profit organization whose goal is to bring free and specialized health services as well as didactic material to the poor and indigenous populations of Cameroon.

    Nearly every Friday over the past 12 years, Dr. Bwelle and his group of surgeons, nurses and other medical volunteers pack a van with surgical equipment, life-saving pharmaceuticals and a high powered generator and drive out into the remote regions of Cameroon, to offer medical services at no charge to needy communities. What a true servant of the people and a real life hero indeed!

    ACPA has partnered with ASCOVIME to sponsor one of these outreach trips to the English speaking areas of Cameroon. To make this possible, fundraising is underway to raise the money needed to purchase the supplies necessary to deliver healthcare to the medically underserved in Cameroon. Please go to the ACPA website to donate and support this effort. It’s also tax deductible! To whom much is given, much is expected. We are our brothers/sisters keeper and we owe it to the less fortunate back in Cameroon to help prevent and treat their diseases, after all most of us still have relatives living in Cameroon.

    Please feel free to contact me personally to let me know what ideas you may have to grow this organization into the Goliath we all know it can be. So once again, belated happy New Year! Here’s to making 2020 a fruitful, productive, growth filled and memorable year!


    Shirley Ayuk-Takem, DO

    The Membership in the Association is open to all physicians of Cameroonian heritage, physicians married to Cameroonians, physicians who are naturalized citizens of Cameroon, practicing, teaching or otherwise engaged in the medical profession in the United States of America and Canada.

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