2015 AAST Awards: AAST Professional Development Award Winner Ahmed El-Gendy
AAST Professional Service Development Award Winner, Ahmed El-Gendy talks sleep in Egypt
Each year we've recognized individual members for their professional excellence, service and commitment to the association and to the sleep technology profession. They have inspired us with their commitment and passion to educate and innovate our members. Congratulations to this year's winners, and a big thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for them!
On Thanksgiving Day, Ahmed El-Gendy, RST, RSPGT, arrived in Egypt with one goal in mind: he wanted to transform the country's climate on sleep technology and sleep awareness.
Because of his efforts to expand education in sleep technology on an international scale, Ahmed was awarded the Professional Service Development Award, an award that goes to a sleep technologist with an exceptional commitment to advancing education in sleep technology.
"Awareness of sleep diagnoses and sleep awareness is almost non-existent in Egypt," Ahmed said. "If you tell anybody that their snore should be checked out they almost always laugh and tell you that it is not a real problem."
Before Ahmed joined the Florida Lung & Sleep Associates, where he works as the technical director, Ahmed became a member of AAST shortly after he became a registered sleep technologist in 2007.
He has always had a commitment to helping others learn more about sleep technology, so he joined the Educational Products Committee. There he has helped AAST revise its educational materials and has helped sleep technologists in training gain a better understanding of their field.
That is what drove him to join his father, Dr. Alaa El-Gendy to attend the Egyptian Scientific Society for Sleep Medicine's first annual meeting.
"There is a dire need to get the word out on sleep awareness and sleep education to the public," he said. "There has been an increasing need for more sleep technologists but there is no specialized training in Egypt."
To this day AAST continues to be on the forefront of educational efforts on everything sleep technology-related, and with this in mind Ahmed said he hopes to enhance and utilize the educational materials developed by AAST to promote awareness of sleep technology in the Middle East as well.
"The whole region of Egypt and the Middle East generally lacks a formal training program for sleep technologists, so my hope is to help get formal training in that region," he said.
Do you have your own stories on international sleep technology education? What have you done to promote sleep technology abroad? If you're interested in sharing your story, get in touch with us.