About Alison Shadbolt

Medical ethics expert focuses on difficult conversations

1 November 2018: Bermuda’s healthcare providers will have the opportunity to learn from a medical ethics expert next week. Dr Christy Simpson, head of the Bioethics Department at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Medicine, will return to the island to give a series of talks as part of Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB’s) annual Ethics Awareness Week.

This year, Dr Simpson and the BHB Ethics Committee will focus on the difficult conversations that present a challenge for many healthcare professionals.

Dr Christy Simpson and Sita Ingram

Dr Christy Simpson (left) and Sita Ingram

Sita Ingram, Ethics Education Committee chair and clinical director of Allied Health Services at BHB, said: “Healthcare providers are here to diagnose and treat illnesses, but it’s also our duty to make sure our patients understand the reality of their diagnosis, and the risks and benefits of choosing one treatment over another. We need to take their values and beliefs into account, along with their loved ones’ wishes.

“These can be very emotional conversations for everyone involved, especially when the prognosis is not good or the treatment journey is likely to be difficult. The situation can be even tougher when patients aren’t able to make decisions for themselves.”

Dr Simpson said: “In the end we need to support patients and their families through the decision-making process and then support their decisions, whether or not the patient chooses the recommended course of treatment.

“There are steps we can take to prepare for these kinds of conversations and to deal with any issues that arise. There are also ethical considerations, along with tools that can help when making a decision is particularly difficult or there are differing views.”

Dr Simpson will lead continuing medical education lectures for local healthcare providers next Monday to Thursday (5-8 November). Details are available on the BHB website at bermudahospitals.bm by clicking on CME Events under Quick Links. Following the lectures, Dr Simpson, the Ethics Committee and BHB staff will participate in two days of workshops.

According to Dr Simpson, one thing everyone can do to make these kinds of situations a little easier is to consider completing an advance directive and choosing a healthcare agent.

“Thinking about what you would want and discussing it with your loved ones ahead of time can ease some of the stress in a very stressful situation,” Dr Simpson said. “In a case where you aren’t able to make your own decisions, an advance directive can take the burden off your loved ones’ shoulders and potentially prevent family turmoil because you’ve made many of the hardest decisions in advance.”

Members of the Ethics Committee will be available in the Acute Care Wing lobby at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) from 12pm to 2pm on Monday 5 November to talk about advance directives, ethical dilemmas, difficult conversations and decision making with members of the public who stop by. The Committee provides medical ethics consultations to healthcare providers, patients and the public by calling 291-HOPE (4673) or emailing ethics@bhb.bm.

Ethics information, tools and advance directive booklets are available at bermudahospitals.bm by searching ‘ethics’.

The BHB Ethics Committee comprises about 20 members, including clinical, administrative and community representatives. The Committee promotes awareness of ethical concerns at both KEMH and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, endorses medical ethics education, provides an ethics consultation service and produces guidelines on prominent issues that can help healthcare professionals consider all aspects of controversial decisions. The Committee also reviews medical research proposals on request and reviews hospital policies to ensure they are ethically sound.

BHB’s Ethics Committee maintains a close relationship with Dalhousie University’s Department of Bioethics, which provides assistance and training in ethical matters.

Featured photo credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

1 November 2018 Home Page, News

Balitian-Dill obtains right to write prescriptions

Nurse Practitioner Myrian Balitian-Dill at her deskFrom Bernews: Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] Nurse Practitioner Myrian Balitian-Dill is one of only a handful of registered nurses who have attained nurse practitioner designation in Bermuda, and she is now the first to be granted authority to write prescriptions locally.

A BHB spokesperson said, “Mrs Balitian-Dill received the news from the Bermuda Pharmacy Council on 31 August 2018. Mrs Balitian-Dill is the only nurse practitioner at BHB. On obtaining her qualification she moved into a nurse practitioner role in the hospital’s Cardiology Department.

“In November 2016 she transitioned to help set up a new service at BHB, the Patient-Centred Medical Home. The small dynamic team of this service also includes a physician medical director, a staff nurse and an office administrator.

“The setting provided the ideal environment for Mrs Balitian-Dill to be afforded the right to prescribe as Bermuda legislation dictates that prescribing rights can be granted to nurse practitioners “under the authority of a medical practitioner”.

“The new development is the result of several years of collaboration to ensure all the necessary regulatory documents were in place. Mrs Balitian-Dill is pleased with the move and sees it as a starting point and an important way to help reduce health care costs…

Published 24 September 2018

Read the full article at www.bernews.com

3 October 2018 Media

New Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Services announced

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Services27 June 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the appointment of Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke as Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Services, effective Monday 2 July 2018, on a three-year contract. He replaces Dr Edward Schultz, who has retired from BHB.

Dr Okereke has been employed in the Emergency Department of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital since August 2016. After graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nigeria College of Medicine, Dr Okereke completed postgraduate medical training in the UK, obtaining a Fellowship in Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and a Fellowship in Emergency Medicine from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. He has also completed a Masters in Medical Education from the University of Leeds.

Prior to joining BHB, Dr Okereke worked as a substantive consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust in the UK for over 16 years. During this period, he held a number of senior medical leadership and training positions within the Trust, the West Yorkshire region and nationally. His main interests are in medical education and training, trauma and critical care. He is a member of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the British Medical Association, and regularly examines for the College of Emergency Medicine.

Dr Michael Richmond, BHB Chief of Staff, comments: “We are very pleased to announce Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke as the new Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Services. We are grateful to Dr Schultz, not only for his long service at BHB, but for continuing in position until this transition could take place. Dr Schultz will be missed by the community and staff and we wish him the very best for the future.

“We now look forward to Dr Okereke providing clinical leadership in ED and Hyperbaric Services to continue improving this busy service at the frontline of care, as we evolve to meet the complex demands of an aging, increasingly unwell population.”

27 June 2018 Home Page, News

Therapeutic garden for youth with mental health challenges gets $8,000 boost

25 June 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust (BHCT) and Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announce an $8,000 donation to develop a therapeutic garden for Child & Adolescent Services (CAS) in its location at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute.

BHCT Executive Director Lisa Sheppard says: “BHCT is very happy to fund the creation of a therapeutic garden for the service users at CAS. We are looking forward to seeing the development of the service to include this type of therapeutic approach. Young people who have challenges need this kind of creative and natural space, and having it available for them at CAS will be a wonderful enhancement of what is already a wonderful service doing amazing work for our youth.”

Jascinth Albouy-Onyia, Assistant Director Mental Health Services, comments: “This wonderful donation will help us create an intimate space where individuals can be immersed in scents, textures and colours. In the garden we will have items such as wind chimes and children’s art, providing both creative and educational opportunities for our service users, both able-bodied and individuals with physical challenges. It will add to the repertoire of interventions available when working with young people with major challenges and psychiatric diagnoses, and those with sensory processing difficulties.

“The sensory features of a therapeutic garden help individuals with natural ‘cues’ to interpret, better use and connect to their environment. The design we envision will be multi-sensory, with taste, touch, smell, sound and visual elements to provide a positive and rewarding experience for service users of our inpatient, outpatient, day programme services, and the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic. We are very grateful for this donation which makes this garden possible.”

In the photo above, standing in the area that will be turned into the therapeutic garden, from left to right: R Scott Pearman, Chief Operating Officer, BHB; Preston Swan, Vice President, Clinical Operations, BHB; Lisa Sheppard, Executive Director, BHCT; Ashley Simons-Crane, Clinical Assistant, CAS; and Vikita Basden, Social Worker, CAS.

25 June 2018 Home Page, News

Bacardi wins Bermuda Corporate Blood Drive – again!

14 June 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Ministry of Health today reveal Bacardi Limited as the winner of Bermuda’s Corporate Blood Drive Competition 2018, as part of the celebration of World Blood Donor Day. This is the second time in successive years Bacardi has won the competition. In second place was Butterfield & Vallis and in third, Hamilton Re Group.

In its sixth year, the Corporate Blood Donor Drive encouraged 484 whole blood and apheresis donations in total from all competing companies in 2018. That is 14% more than in the 2017 competition and the highest number of donations in any previous year of the competition. It represents about a quarter of all donations over the year.

The Hon Kim Wilson, JP MP, Minister of Health, comments: “Congratulations to Bacardi and thank you to all the competing companies! The Ministry is proud to partner with the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre and BHB for this competition. It’s a great way to encourage blood donations and there is no better return on investment for a company’s community giving than saving lives. Thank you to all the support from our local companies to encourage and support those donating.”

The 18 competing companies were: Argo, Argus, Bacardi Ltd, Bank of NT Butterfield, Bermuda Police Service, BF&M, Bermuda Monetary Authority, Butterfield & Vallis, Department of Corrections, Department of Customs, Department of Health, Fidelity, Hamilton Re Group, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Kitson Group of Companies, Lancashire Insurance Company Ltd, SunLife Financial International and Zurich Bermuda.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, BHB’s consultant haematologist, comments: “It’s two years in a row for Bacardi and the competition was on fire this year! What great competitors we had. While someone has to win, every donation counts and all our competing companies have saved lives. Every person who donates is there in someone else’s hour of need – they are unsung and anonymous heroes for countless people in Bermuda. It is with gratitude as well as congratulations that we thank the competitors.”

Lisa Frias, Manager, Global Finance, Bacardi Limited, adds: “We are excited to have won for a second consecutive year, our second year of participating in the Corporate Blood Drive. Our staff, their families and friends, and even a few of our consultants, responded well, showing the caring that our company is known for. While we’re happy to have won the trophy, we realise it is a competition in which no one loses. We’re proud to have contributed along with all the other Corporate Blood Drive participants to providing for a record number of donations in the competition.”

14 June 2018 Home Page, News

A Valentine’s gift for regular blood donors

Wednesday 14 February 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces a new recognition programme for its highly valued regular blood and apheresis* donors. From 14 February 2018, when someone passes a landmark blood or apheresis donation of 10, 20, 50, 75 and 100 donations, they will be awarded a special blood donor pin recognizing their contribution to saving lives in Bermuda.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist, comments: “The blood donor pins are a badge of honour that reflect donating over years and decades. We are grateful to all blood and apheresis donors – we have 1,000 people on our donor list and many donate regularly. Over 100 have given 50 units or more and we hope the pins will encourage people to start and keep donating regularly so they can reach the next landmark.

“These pins recognize the donors who come when we call, or schedule appointments regularly, and ensure that when people in Bermuda are in need of a transfusion, the blood is there to save their lives or provide their treatments. They are the unknown heroes of Bermuda and thousands of people alive today have benefited from their donations – there were 1,650 transfusions in 2017 alone.

“All our blood is from volunteers in Bermuda – and we should celebrate the people who make this possible. Our donors show they care over many years and, from today, we can show our gratitude for their giving by recognizing their commitment. I hope they wear their pins with pride.”

Regular blood and apheresis donors who have made 10 or more donations can pick up their pins when they next donate. People who want to start donating or make their next appointment can call 236-5067, or email blood.donor@bhb.bm to book an appointment.

*Apheresis is a special type of blood donation that collects platelets from the blood.

Pictured in the attached are six regular blood and apheresis donors wearing their new pins. From left to right: Janet Smith (28 donations), Richard Bassett (80 donations), Nicole Belboda-Smith (13 donations), Odwin Berkeley (41 donations), Ian Hunter (65 donations), and Eugene Walker (110 donations).

Badge of Honour posters:

14 February 2018 Home Page, News

Pair bloom on learning programme

MWI clients at work at DemcoFrom The Royal Gazette: Danielle Gibbons and Chevon Burrows have grown since they were taken on at an island florist.

The two landed jobs at Demco last year as part of the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute’s learning disability programme and both said work had helped them become more independent.

Ms Gibbons said: “It motivates me. It gives me more confidence. It gives me more wisdom.”

The 27-year-old from Southampton, added that the job had changed her.

She said: “Instead of bringing me down when I come to work, it lifts me up, it gives me more strength. I’m progressing and getting better. I just feel an improvement in my life.”

And Mr Burrows, 30, added: “It makes me feel happy and independent. And I can save up my money.”

Ms Gibbons and Mr Burrows are two of four programme participants who started working with Demco in June last year…

Published 23 January 2018

Read the full article at www.royalgazette.com

6 February 2018 Media

MWI thanks participants for successful community event

Tuesday 23 January 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today thanks everyone who attended the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) Community Event at Pier Six on Thursday 18 January. About 70 attendees participated in a series of conversations with MWI staff regarding seven projects to improve mental health, child & adolescent, intellectual (previously learning) disability and substance abuse services.

BHB Chief Operating Officer R Scott Pearman comments: “Despite the cold, wet and windy weather outside, there was great engagement, enthusiasm and generosity in sharing ideas, perspectives and solutions. This is a new way of working for us at BHB. We started last year with an open space event where the community set the agenda to talk about what they thought BHB needed to do to ‘get it right’.  A number of ideas were generated and over the last year BHB has made changes and improvements – from extending visiting hours for acute patients, working with pastoral staff to support patients’ spiritual needs, and working on a clinical services plan that will help define BHB’s future role. Last night’s event focused on MWI services, and a number of projects directly related to feedback from last year’s conversation.”

Projects discussed were: addressing stigma associated with mental illness, establishing a ‘Club House’ in Hamilton, establishing supervised community mental health group homes, the teen life skills programme, expanding assertive outreach to schools, intellectual disability engagement and education/outreach for substance abuse.

Mr Pearman concludes: “Thursday’s event took the process a step further than last year: inviting the community to be a part of real projects to improve services. Attendees included service providers, community partners, BHB staff, Board members, civil servants, service users, and families of service users. It is unusual to have this diverse cross section entering into conversation with each other in real time to make improvements – and this is the strength of the process. MWI staff who led project conversations now have a wealth of perspectives, ideas and thoughts that will improve how we understand the projects and what they can achieve for our community.

“Thank you once more to everyone who came together, connected and shared. We are grateful for all you brought to the event, every project host learnt something that will directly enhance their work and we will be sharing our progress and all the gathered feedback as part of our ongoing process.”

23 January 2018 Home Page, News

MWI opens community conversation about improving services

Tuesday 9 January 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today invites people to a community conversation event focusing on improving addiction, learning disability and mental health (child, adolescent and adult) services at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI). The event will take place on Thursday 18 January 2018 at Pier Six. Light refreshments will be provided, with doors opening at 5pm and the event starting at 5:30pm.

Hosted by MWI staff, the event will bring people into conversations about a number of service improvements, some of which come from ideas raised in BHB’s community engagement event last February. Anyone who is interested in improving MWI services is warmly invited to participate, whether a provider of services, a user of services, a family member or a concerned community member.

Projects to be discussed include: a strategy to reduce stigma; establishing a ‘club house’ in Hamilton; supervised community homes for mental health service users; teen life skills programmes in Bermuda; expanding assertive outreach services to schools; learning disability engagement opportunities; and an outreach and education programme for addiction services.

MWI Allied Health Supervisor Morrisa Rogers, who chairs the MWI Engagement Committee organising the event, comments: “We hope there will be a wide variety of perspectives – this is the unique value of this type of community conversation. We have gathered ideas for improvements from community and staff, but to fully appreciate the scope of a project and ensure it reaches its full potential we need service users and providers, concerned residents and families talking with and listening to each other at the very start of a project.”

BHB Chief Operating Officer R Scott Pearman comments: “This event will delve deeper into the purpose and potential of specific projects across all MWI services, making service improvement a truly collaborative effort. We will share what has been achieved since February’s BHB event, but the majority of our time will be listening to people who may not always be at the table, or may not always be talking together, to influence service improvements.”

BHB Chief Executive Officer Venetta Symonds comments: “In February we asked the community generally how can we get it right and nearly 100 people came, raising conversations that were important to them. I’m excited to see community conversations continue as I believe that opening up to community involvement in improvements gives us the best chance of making positive changes.

“If the community values this deep engagement in improving services, we will have similar events for other hospital services. My vision is that we collectively find a new way of evolving, creating change in conversation with the people we serve.”

9 January 2018 Home Page, News

First mental health nursing scholarship recipients announced

Thursday 4 January 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the first two recipients of its mental health scholarship awards: Waleed Lightbourne and Janai Coldwell. The scholarships were newly established this year and are administered by BHB. This year, they were funded with donations from the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust.

Recipients of the award must have completed the two-year Bermuda College Associate’s Degree in Nursing. The two year scholarship pays $40,000 per year to attend Northampton University so the recipient can complete their Bachelor’s Nursing Degree in Mental Health.

Chief Operating Officer R Scott Pearman comments: “I am proud to see the first two recipients of the mental health scholarship awards announced and would like to thank the BHCT for the donation that has launched them. Our mental health services need Bermudian nurses for the stability and future leadership of on-island services. The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute will see many of their senior nursing staff retire over the next five years, so we are greatly encouraged to see the next generation start their training.”

Chief of Nursing Judy Richardson adds: “Congratulations to Mr Lightbourne and Ms Caldwell! I’m always excited to see new nurses qualify and it is especially pleasing to see two talented and committed Bermudians choose a nursing pathway in mental health. It is a highly fulfilling professional career to choose, with opportunities, if wanted, to advance through different areas and eventually move into higher levels of management. I look forward to seeing them return home after training.”

Waleed LightbourneWaleed Lightbourne: Waleed graduated from the Bermuda College with his associate’s degree in 2015. He was the first Bermudian male to graduate from the Nursing Programme. Waleed is currently working in BHB’s nurse internship programme in the Acute Care Wing of KEMH.

Janai Caldwell: Janai’s interest in psychiatric nursing was peaked during her tenure as a community support worker in the Learning Disability Department at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, a post she currently works in. She decided to go back to school to gain her RN designation and attained her associate’s degree in nursing in May 2017.

4 January 2018 Home Page, News