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History of
Topics in the Tropics

The Topics in the Tropics conference all began when Ken Harbert asked Lt. Col. David Gwinn to come to the Geisinger Health System to discuss with the CME Office the possibility of jointly sponsoring a conference with the AAPA Veterans Caucus. After much discussion and many meetings, a conference was planned for December, 1991 in St. Thomas USVI.  It was the beginning of a very successful and long running conference.  In 2023, we celebrated the 32nd Topics in the Tropics Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We lost David along the way but we are sure he is smiling down that this conference is still going strong.  

This conference has been in many places (Cancun, Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, etc.) over the years and our attendees and speakers have helped many orphans in those countries with contributions of all sorts (food, money, toys, Christmas gifts, etc.) and we have had the opportunity of seeing their smiling faces when they were given such treasures.  In the coming years we have plans to travel to new and exciting locations, to include Costa Rica, Curacao and Panama.

All the proceeds from the conference go to the Veterans Caucus Scholarship Program. The Veterans Caucus Scholarship Program supports eligible Veteran Physician Assistant students in their quest to complete PA training.  Through the continued support of this conference, the Veterans Caucus has provided more than $700,000.00 in Scholarships. This could not be accomplished without the dedication and continued support of our attendees and our outstanding speakers. The Veterans Caucus does not pay any of our speakers for their time or travel, they donate everything to this conference.  

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