Our office will be closed Thursday, November 24th (all day) in observance of Thanksgiving Day. We will reopen on Friday, November 25th, at 8:30 am.
University at Sea®
5700 4th St. N.
St Petersburg, 
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 6:00 pm EST
9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST
Cruise Conference Planning For Your Association

Skin, Bones, Hearts & Private Parts

Royal Caribbean's <em>Freedom of the Seas</em>
Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas
7-Night Southern Caribbean Cruise
Round-trip San Juan, Puerto Rico

October 20 - 27, 2019
16 CME Hours
$595 for Physicians
$595 for Physician Assistants  & Nurse Practitioners

IMPORTANT NOTE: All conferees, their families, and guests must book their cruise within the University at Sea® meeting group through University at Sea® at 800-926-3775 or by registering online. This ensures our company can provide conference services and complimentary social amenities to all meeting participants and their guests. Thank you for your cooperation.


Practicing as a Physician Assistant in orthopedics sports medicine for 30 years, Mary resides in Savannah GA. She served as one of 3 medical coordinators and an athletic trainer in the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.

Mary has worked with the USA Olympic Committee since 1993. She was selected to the USA Medical Team in 2000 and 2004 where she covered the Paralympic games in Sydney Australia and Athens Greece. In 2012, Mary was selected to work with the USA Men’s wheelchair basketball team. She has been a member of their gold medal Americas cup team, their Silver Medal World Championship team, and the 2016 Paralympics in Rio Brazil.

Mary has coordinated and designed several athletic training and sports medicine programs, and continues to serve as a mentor for several curriculum programs. She designed and served as department chair/program director of a Physician assistant  program and continues to mentor student interns and shadowing students. 

The team just won Silver in Germany August 2018, and it is hoping for another gold in Tokyo 2020.  Mary has coordinated and designed several athletic training and sports medicine programs, and continues to serve as a mentor for several curriculum programs.

Zachary Hartsell, MHA, PA-C

Zachary Hartsell, MHA, PA-C

Zachary Hartsell is a Hospital Medicine PA and Adjunct faculty member at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Zachary also currently works as a healthcare consultant specializing in workforce design and optimization and had extensive healthcare administration experience.

Zachary originally graduated from Touro College in 1999 and has nearly 20 years of experience as a PA in hospital medicine, emergency medicine, and cardiology. Additionally, he participated in the initial pilot program introducing PAs to the National Health Service Scotland and worked outside of Glasgow in emergency medicine for a year.

Zachary serves on the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants editorial board and is a frequent speaker nationally and at hospital medicine conferences. Zachary is completing his Doctorate in Health Administration and when not studying enjoys baseball and spending time with his family.

Our staff can assist you with all your travel arrangements.

Target Audience
Nurses, Nurse PractitionersPhysicians, Physician Assistants
Program Purpose / Objectives

Session Descriptions

Orthopedic Radiology

Musculoskeletal Imaging encompasses the essentials of musculoskeletal radiology and other common imaging modalities. This course is designed to help participants’ confidence grow in the areas of common radiographic views and radiographic presentation of common musculoskeletal conditions.

Oh My Aching Back

Back pain is the second most common cause of disability and the most common cause of job-related disability in the U.S. It has been reported by Healthy People 2010 that 8 out of 10 people in the U.S. will experience at least one episode of back pain, at one point in their lives. Interestingly the individuals aged 30-50 tend to suffer an increased incidence of back pain because of the greater amount of time spent sitting. Recently, Children are reporting back pain and as their activity levels rise, so do the reports. The majority of back pain reported by children is not serious; however, it does need to be worked up thoroughly to ensure a more serious condition is not left undiagnosed. This session will guide the clinician through a comprehensive understanding of back strain, radicular back pain and some of the red flag pains that we need to watch for in clinical practice.

Every Breath You Take: Respiratory Cases

This presentation will provide an overview of the distinctive types of acute respiratory failure, as well as, an overview of mechanism and pathophysiology. Emphasis will be placed on initial evaluation including oxygen supplementation techniques and indications/contraindications for the use of NIPPV. Finally, this presentation will provide an overview of acute respiratory distress syndrome with a focus on diagnostic criteria and a review of evidence-based treatment guidelines.

Managing Airline Emergencies

While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that approximately 1 in 10,000 passengers have a medical event on board aircraft each year. 75% of these are minor medical events that can be treated with simple first aid. While serious medical events are rare, physician assistants need to be aware of how to respond to such emergencies. Using a case based format, this presentation will review the common medical conditions encountered in flight, resources available to providers, and the legalities surrounding responding to out of hospital emergencies. In addition to general concepts, this presentation will focus problem specific treatments.

Evaluating Chest Pain: Approaches and Controversies

Chest pain is one of the most common chief complaints to the emergency departments with definitive diagnosis elusive in most cases. However, who gets to be sent home? Who requires admission? This presentation addresses those specific questions with a review of the challenges in delineating cardiac vs. non-cardiac chest pain. A heavy emphasis will be placed on risk stratification methodologies for patients with suspected cardiac chest pain and an evidence-based approach to initial evaluation. Finally, this presentation will provide a review of optimal testing strategies for both cardiac and non-cardiac etiologies of chest pain including current controversies and guidelines.

Pediatric Sports Injuries

Sports injuries in kids are quite different by age in injury diagnosis, type, and body area involved. Children continue to engage in physically demanding sports predisposing themselves to a higher incidence of injury. Overuse injuries, overtraining, and exposure to excessive levels of physical activity can present an increased risk of injury. Research has shown that when not managed properly, overuse injuries can affect normal physical growth and maturation.

Injury Prevention is the key; gradual rather than sudden increases in stresses and intensity can usually avoid physical break down. This session will discuss the epidemiology of sports injuries in children and their differences in physiology /development. Injury evaluation and management of the child athlete and return to play criteria will be discussed as it pertains to common athletic injuries.

Alphabet Soup: Evaluation and Management of CAP, HAP, and VAP

Trouble remembering the right acronym for the type of pneumonia your treating? Not to worry, this presentation will differentiate the types of pneumonia including community-acquired, hospital-acquired, ventilator-associated, and aspiration. Emphasis will be placed on a cost-efficient diagnostic approach and strategies to identify patients that require admission or higher level of care. Finally, a review of the guidelines including antibiotic selection will be discussed for each type of pneumonia.

GI Cocktails: Cases to Remember

GI and liver disease account for a disproportionate amount of emergency room visits. Despite recent updates in care guidelines and evidence-based recommendations, the management of patients admitted with these disorders is often variable. This presentation will focus on the updated guidelines and management protocols for acute gastrointestinal bleeding, acute hepatitis, small bowel obstruction, and diverticulitis. While this presentation will focus on the acute management, specific recommendations and best practices for a safe transition to home will also be reviewed.

Not for the Faint of Heart: Evidence-Based Evaluation & Management of Syncope

This presentation will review the common cause of syncope and pathophysiologic mechanisms that commonly lead to syncope. With a focus on initial evaluation and management, this presentation will review the guidelines and risk stratification tools available to aid in diagnosis. Finally, this presentation will provide an evidence-based approach to disposition and follow-up.

10-20-2019 8:30 PM    
10-21-2019 8:00-10:00 AM At Sea / Orthopedic Radiology Vacala
  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Oh My Aching Back Vacala
  1:00-2:00PM Every Breath You Take: Respiratory Cases Hartsell
  2:00-3:30PM Managing Airline Emergencies Hartsell
  3:30-5:00PM Evaluating Chest Pain: Approaches and Controversies Hartsell
10-22-2019 8:00AM-9:00PM Oranjestad, Aruba  
10-23-2019 8:00AM-8:00PM Willemstad, Curacao  
10-24-2019 8:00AM-5:00PM Kralendijk, Bonaire  
10-25-2019 8:00-10:00AM At Sea /Pediatric Fractures Vacala
  10:00AM-12:00PM Pediatric Sports Injuries Vacala
  1:00-2:00PM Alphabet Soup: Evaluation and Management of CAP, HAP, and VAP Hartsell
  2:00-3:30PM GI Cocktails: Cases to Remember Hartsell
  3:30-5:00PM Not for the Faint of Heart: Evidence-Based Evaluation & Management of Syncope Hartsell
10-26-2019 8:00AM-5:00PM Phillipsburg, St. Maarten  
10-27-2019 6:00 AM    
Conference Sessions generally take place on days at sea (as itinerary allows), giving you plenty of time to enjoy your meals, evenings and ports of call with your companion, family and friends.
Questions? Call us at 800-422-0711.
We can assist you with all your travel arrangements. We'd be happy to help you plan your flights, hotels or tours before and/or after your cruise conference.

Cruise Itinerary

Sun Oct 20 San Juan, Puerto Rico
- 8:30 pm
Mon Oct 21 *At Sea - Cruising
- -
Tue Oct 22 Oranjestad, Aruba
8:00 am 9:00 pm
Wed Oct 23 Willemstad, Curacao
8:00 am 8:00 pm
Thu Oct 24 Kralendijk (Bonaire), Antilles
8:00 am 5:00 pm
Fri Oct 25 *At Sea - Cruising
- -
Sat Oct 26 Philipsburg, St. Maarten
8:00 am 5:00 pm
Sun Oct 27 San Juan, Puerto Rico
6:00 am -
*Tentative course schedule, actual class times may differ.
Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Map

Ports of Call

San Juan, Puerto Rico - In days of yore, the waters near Puerto Rico teemed with pirate ships commanded by the likes of Sir Francis Drake. Aye, they are long gone, but in their wake they have left an island of national treasures: La Casa Blanca, built in 1501 for the island's first governor, Ponce de Leon; the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan; the tropical rain forests of El Yunque.

At Sea - Cruising - Cruising

Oranjestad, Aruba - A Dutch jewel with a tropical touch. In Oranjestad, Aruba's capital, explore the colorful floating market and Nassaustraat, brimming with quaint shops. Head for the beach where water sports abound: snorkeling, rides on glass bottom boats and submarines. Or venture into the countryside to see the haunts of the huge green parakeet, the unique rock gardens of Casi Bari, the curious divi divi tree, forever bending in the tradewind breezes

Willemstad, Curacao - An isle of Dutch treats: gabled storybook houses, duty-free Delftware, the famous Curacao orange flavored liqueur

Kralendijk (Bonaire), Antilles - Kralendijk is the sleepy capital of Bonaire, an island in the Dutch Antilles. Kralendijk is lined with delightfully pastel stucco houses, in pinks, oranges and lime greens. Famous for its diving - the island is surrounded by a Marine Park - Bonaire also offers such treats as flamingos, hiking and the only barefoot casino in the Caribbean.

Philipsburg, St. Maarten - An island under two flags. Sample the Dutch treats of Philipsburg: chocolate, cheese, delftware. On the French side linger over bouillabaisse, shop for Parisian perfumes.

Our staff can assist you with all your travel arrangements.

Questions? Call us at 800-422-0711.
We can assist you with all your travel arrangements. We'd be happy to help you plan your flights, hotels or tours before and/or after your cruise conference.
Please note that our shore excursions are operated separately and
independently of those offered by the cruise line.
©2016 - University at Sea®