Hurricane Emergency Kit Guide for Diabetes Patients

Monday 16 September 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board today shares a ‘Hurricane Emergency Kit for Diabetes Patients’ guide from its DREAM (diabetes, respiratory, endocrine and metabolism) Centre team.

DREAM Centre dietitian, Jessika Quigley, comments: “Medical care and supplies are not always available immediately after a hurricane, and with some planning ahead diabetes patients can avoid having a diabetes-related health emergency.  Simple steps such as ensuring a sufficient supply of medication, having diabetes friendly snacks, extra batteries for a glucometer or insulin pump, and reusable gel packs to keep insulin cool can help someone with diabetes get through a storm safely.”

Click here for the guide – DREAM-Centre-Hurricane-Kit-for-Diabetics-Sept-2019 FINAL

16 September 2019 Home Page, News

2019 Scholarship Winners Announced

Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the awarding of nine scholarships, worth $155,000, over one or more years. All the scholarships are administered by BHB, with funding for five from Bermuda Hospitals Board ($70,000), three from the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation ($45,000) and one from GlaxoSmithKlein Insurance Ltd, a Bermuda-based subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline plc ($40,000).

Venetta Symonds, BHB President & CEO, comments: “Congratulations to all the scholarship winners. It is exciting to see the next generation of healthcare professionals working to complete their studies. Forty three years ago I was in their shoes – a successful BHB scholarship winner. I wish them all the best in their studies and look forward to seeing their careers blossom. Whether they focus on their speciality or go on into senior leadership, I wish them well. I would like to thank the BHCF and GlaxoSmithKlein for their on-going investment in Bermuda’s healthcare future, and to all the members of the BHB Scholarship Committee who administer and support the selection process.”

Scholarships funded by BHB:

Chantae Hollis has received a BHB Scholarship of $10,000 for up to one year.  Chantae is in her third year studying at John F. Kennedy School of Medicine in Curacao. Upon graduation in 2021, she is planning to do her residency in Psychiatry.

Latroya Darrell has received a BHB Scholarship in the amount of $15,000 for one year.  She is in her last year of attaining her MSc in Physiotherapy at Queen Mary University in Edinburgh.  She will graduate in spring 2020.

Shayla Gift has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for one year with an option to renew for up to two more years.  She is at Sheffield Hallam University, in South Yorkshire UK in pursuit of a BSc in Adult Nursing. Shayla’s is looking to graduate in Spring 2022.

Tiontae Thomas-Clarke has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for one year with an option to renew for one more year. Tiontae is studying at Hampton University. Upon graduation, she wants to pursue specialisation in Mental Health Nursing.

Milon Bourne-Outerbridge has received a BHB Scholarship of $15,000 for one year with an option to renew for up to two more years.  Milon is studying Adult Nursing at the University of Essex in the UK.

Scholarships funded by the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation (BHCF)

Annefa Burke has received a BHCF Scholarship of $15,000 for one year with the option to renew for up to two more years.  She is studying at St George’s – University of London – Nicosia Campus in Cyprus.  In Spring 2022 she will attain her BA of Medicine and BA of Surgery.

Ceola Wade has received a BHCF Scholarship of $15,000 for one year.  Ceola is at the University of Exeter – UK Medical School in the process of attaining her BSc in Medical Sciences (Health Research).  She will graduate in Spring 2020 and Ceola wants to go on to specialize in Emergency Medicine.

Xe’na Simons has received a BHCF Scholarship of $15,000 for one year with an option to renew for one more year. Xe’na is studying at Advent Health University in Orlando Florida. Upon graduation, Xe’na wants to specialize in Mental Health Nursing.

GlaxoSmithKlein Scholarship

Alesha Page has received the GlaxoSmithKline Scholarship of $20,000 for two years. Alesha is studying at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St Kitts.  She will attain her Doctor of Medicine in 2021.

10 September 2019 Home Page, News

BHB CEO Notifies of Early Retirement in 2020

Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that Mrs Venetta Symonds, President & CEO, will be taking early retirement in July 2020 on her 40th year anniversary with BHB.

Mrs Symonds has given 12 months’ notice to the Board of her decision, 6 months longer than the notice period required by her contract. She remains committed to BHB and will continue to support what is required from the hospitals for healthcare reform over the coming year.

Mrs Symonds comments: “This has been a difficult decision to make, but after over 40 years working at BHB, there is so much I still want to do in my life while I am healthy and able. My time off earlier this year showed me there is still so much I want to learn and develop that I have put off due to work commitments. I have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to lead one of the most caring and dedicated group of staff since I became CEO in 2012.  I am proud of all that has been achieved through multiple changes and transitions over the last seven years, and I look back over the decades and feel such gratitude too for all the progress I’ve been a part of and the wonderful people I have worked alongside. Even after I retire, I am sure I will still look for ways to support the hospitals and healthcare in Bermuda.”

Mr William Madeiros, BHB Chairman, adds: “We would like to thank Mrs Symonds for her four decades of service to Bermuda and her leadership as CEO over the last seven years. BHB has flourished under Mrs Symonds’ vision and direction. Quality has improved, there is a strong strategy in place driving exceptional care, a strong partnership and a healthy community, and BHB has become a more open, transparent and caring partner under her leadership. We are grateful she has given us a year to transition. The Board’s job is to now develop and implement a leadership transition process. The CEO is appointed by the Board and we will do what is necessary to ensure BHB moves from strength to strength. We will update the community on our process in the coming months.”

The Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim N. Wilson JP MP, says: “Mrs. Symonds has dedicated her entire professional career and personal passion to the Bermuda Hospitals Board. I am certain that everything she did was with the best interest of our country’s hospital and our people at the top of her mind and in her heart. I am grateful to Mrs. Symonds for the advance notice of her intended early retirement, and for her years of service and dedication. I wish her all the best as she enters an exciting new phase in her personal journey. Until then, we continue to stand united as we strive to make Bermuda healthier.”

4 September 2019 Home Page, News

Improved diabetes management for inpatients

14 August 2019: BHB is focusing on improving inpatient care for diabetic patients, after internal research showed that 33% of inpatients at KEMH have diabetes. Irrespective of the primary cause of their admission to hospital, patients with diabetes are known to have poorer outcomes and longer hospital stays because of their diabetes.

Dr Andrew Jamieson, Endocrinologist, leads BHB’s Diabetes, Respiratory, Endocrinology and Metabolism (DREAM) Centre, and is overseeing this new focus of care.

Dr Jamieson notes: “By optimizing blood sugar control in hospital, many studies have shown that one can improve quality of care for patients with wounds, infections, as well as heart disease and stroke. We are particularly keen to do our part in supporting the hospital’s new stroke service going into the future as, on average, 40% of patients with stroke have diabetes. We want to help people manage their diabetes, return to their homes sooner and improve their wellness and quality of life. Over the longer term this means people with diabetes experience fewer complications, and overall this helps reduce healthcare costs for individuals and the island as a whole.”

Dr Andrew Jamieson and RN Tammoi Simons

The intensive focus on inpatient care includes daily rounding of most patients with diabetes by Dr Jamieson with Diabetes Nurse Educator, Tammoi Simons. That translates to about 30 patients in the Acute Care Wing each day.

Ms Simons undertook the inpatient research on inpatients and focuses on patient education. She adds: “It is staggering to know how many people in hospital have diabetes. We can make a huge difference by reaching them while they are in our care. Our new daily rounding for diabetes gives us time to help patients understand their diagnosis and how to use their medications before they leave hospital. This reduces the chances that patients with diabetes are readmitted simply because they do not understand how to use insulin or other medications. We are also arranging up rapid response follow-up after their discharge with the DREAM Centre staff. ”

This new fast track system provides early support at the BHB’s DREAM Centre for patients who are discharged from the wards or from the Emergency Department.

Dr Jamieson explains: “If we can arrange appointments with the DREAM Centre we can help support an early discharge and give people the support they need to improve their lives. Patients who are diagnosed with diabetes in the Emergency Department or in hospital often require rapid transition to a comprehensive outpatient care once they are discharged from hospital. This is so that they can receive multi-disciplinary preventative care which is critical in preventing readmission, and controlling diabetes as well as avoiding complications in the first place.”

Dr. Jamieson is working on a new protocol for critically ill patients with diabetes and is working with Ms Simons to provide educational services for hospital staff, both nurses and physicians, who also manage patients with diabetes in the hospital.

14 August 2019 Home Page, News

Public Advisory: Cup Match hours at Emergency Medical Facilities

Tuesday 30 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board wishes the public a happy and safe Cup Match weekend. For minor but urgent illness and injuries, the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in St David’s will be open as usual from 4pm to midnight on Thursday and Friday and from noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday.

For more serious conditions, (for example, stroke, heart attack, serious injury), please go to the Emergency Department at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where full imaging and surgical services are available 24-hours a day, every day.

BHB also reminds the public that emergency physicians attend to patients in the order of the severity of their condition.

The weather forecast is for partly cloudy conditions and a high of 85 degrees. To be safe, and enjoy the holiday, stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun. Always have a bottle of water at hand to sip during the day, and follow advice on protective clothing and sunscreen.

BHB also reminds the public to adhere to the rules of the road and water while operating vehicles and any sailing vessels. And if you drink alcohol do not drive, ride, or operate any motor or sailboat.

If you need to contact the UCC call 298-7700. To contact KEMH Emergency Department call 239-2009.

30 July 2019 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board 2019 Road Traffic Accident Statistics from 1 January to 30 June

Tuesday 23 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board Emergency Department attended to 200 road traffic accident cases in June. While the overwhelming majority of people were discharged home after their Emergency Department care, two were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, and 18 to general wards at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH). Two people were discharged to overseas medical facilities and two were under the age of 18. Of the 200 cases seen in Emergency, 17 were tourists.

2019 Bermuda Hospitals Board Road Traffic Accident Statistics June

Bermuda Hospitals Board 2018 Road Traffic Accident Statistics 1 January-31 December


23 July 2019 Home Page, News

Traffic Diversion on Wednesday 24 July at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital

(Monday 22 July 2019) Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public of traffic diversions scheduled for Wednesday 24 June 2019 on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) campus. The diversions will affect both vehicular and pedestrian traffic from approximately 7am until 4:30pm.

To facilitate the installation of a well pump, a crane will be placed on the Acute Care Wing exit road outside the Emergency Department. The section of the Acute Care Wing exit road leading from the lobby and Emergency Department out onto Point Finger Road will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians.

The following diversions will be in place on Wednesday 24 July.

For your safety and the safety of others, please use caution and adhere to the barriers, signage and directions of the security officers.

Vehicle diversions

The main entryway to the KEMH Acute Care Wing lobby and Emergency Department from Point Finger Road will operate as a two-way road. Security guards will be in place to safely guide traffic.

Pedestrian diversions

There will be no pedestrian access to the walkway from the Emergency Department to Point Finger Road and the Acute Care Wing parking lot. Pedestrians will be diverted along the Point Finger Road sidewalk.

Bermuda Hospitals Board apologises to the public for any inconvenience caused by the diversions.

KEMH Traffic Diversion – 24Jul2019

22 July 2019 News

Bermuda Hospitals Board establishes a Primary Stroke Centre

Wednesday 17 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces the establishment of a Primary Stroke Centre at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH).

An estimated two percent of the population suffers an acute stroke in Bermuda every year. “We recognise that acute stroke in Bermuda is an epidemic that contributes to adult disability and significant economic cost,” said BHB Chief of Staff Michael Richmond, MD. “We are thus making the care and treatment of stroke patients a top priority.”

BHB is developing the stroke programme in collaboration with experts from Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center and its Department of Neurology’s Global Center for Organized Stroke Care. The collaboration is part of the clinical affiliation between BHB and Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI). Through the affiliation, Johns Hopkins is providing educational training, protocol development assistance and project management support to aid in the progress of the centre and BHB’s pursuit of accreditation.

BHB Consultant Neurologist Francene Gayle, MD is leading the project for BHB. She said: “A primary stroke centre ensures the highest level of care to acute stroke patients including the use of intravenous thrombolytics (clot busting agents) for appropriate candidates who present within 4.5 hours of the onset of a stroke. It also ensures island-wide public education on the signs and symptoms of an acute stroke as well as stroke prevention strategies. There is also an emphasis on re-integrating stroke survivors into the community through rehabilitation.”

“Johns Hopkins Medicine International is pleased to be guiding Bermuda Hospitals Board in establishing the Primary Stroke Centre in Bermuda. We work with thousands of stroke patients from around the world every year and are eager to share our expertise to benefit the Bermuda community,” said Dr. Victor Urrutia, Director of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said: “We are pleased to make this service improvement. Instituting a Primary Stroke Centre at BHB creates a path for us to fulfil our commitment to deliver exceptional care to foster a healthy Bermuda community.”


Pictured from left: Angela Gilbert RPT, BHB Clinical Manager, Allied Health Services;  Heloisa Ambrosia RN, BHB Clinical Nurse Educator (Med/Surg Services); Holly Russell, OTR/L, Rehab Team Leader, RTS Team Leader, John Hopkins Hospital; April Pruski, MD, Assistant Professor SOM PMR Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Lisa Klein, Clinical Nurse Specialist, CNRN, JHMI; Brenda Johnson, MD, Assistant Director, Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Stroke Center and Assistant Professor of Neurology , Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Victor Urrutia, MD, Director The Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Stroke Center and Associate Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Judy Richardson RN, BHB Chief of Nursing; Francene Gayle MD, BHB Physician Lead, Primary Stroke Centre; Consultant Internist and Neurologist; Nevin Williams MD, BHB Assistant Director of Hospitalist Services; Kathy Albuoy RN, BHB Clinical Manager, Ascendant Partner Re; Phillip Jones MD, BHB Emergency Physician; Margia Arguello, Associate, Global Services, JHMI; Michael Ashton MD,BHB Chief of Medicine; Cathy Stovell BHB Public Relations and Norma Smith RN, BHB Clinical Director, Medical/Surgical Services

17 July 2019 Home Page, News

Friends of Hospice and BHB sign memorandum of understanding

11 July 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and Friends of Hospice, the charity that has been supporting Bermuda’s only hospice Agape House for 25 years, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to allow Friends of Hospice to develop a new purpose-built hospice facility on the BHB-owned Harbour Vista site, situated at 25 Berry Hill Road, Paget.

Venetta Symonds, BHB CEO (seated) and Alison Soares, Friends of Hospice Chairman, sign the MOU

This Memorandum of Understanding allows Friends of Hospice to move forward with the development of the 1.23-acre site to build a hospice facility that will serve the Bermuda community for many years to come. The new site, situated on a hilltop adjacent to Kind Edward VII Memorial Hospital, will provide patients and their families with a peaceful and intimate setting with view of both Hamilton Harbour and Bermuda’s South Shore. The new facility will have 8 single patient rooms, each with access to an outdoor balcony, a central nursing station, as well as meeting rooms for families, a meditation room, all surrounded by beautiful and serene gardens.

Friends of Hospice chairman Alison Soares, said, “This is another exciting step towards creating a much-needed purpose-built new residential hospice facility for our Bermuda community. While our existing facility provides excellent care, the needs of the community have grown beyond what we can realistically and effectively provide in our existing facility, which is well over 100 years old in some parts. It is our vision that everyone deserves the right to compassion, dignity, respect and comfort in their final days and our plans for the new build will position us well to continue to provide the best hospice and palliative care for many years to come.

“There is still much work to be done before we start construction,” Ms Soares said, “but we are grateful to BHB for making it possible for us to move forward. While plans are already at an advanced stage, this allows us to complete plans with the architects, finalize costs and timelines and ultimately share all details with the community, which will be in the coming weeks.”

BHB CEO, Venetta Symonds, added: “We are very pleased to formally sign this MOU, which paves the way towards a new hospice building. Both BHB and Friends of Hospice staff working in partnership help ensure a wonderful and caring service to patients and their families. A purpose-built building provides opportunities to fully realize all the potential of this wonderful hospice service. We remain grateful to Friends of Hospice for their dedicated support and involvement over 25 years, and we are excited to move forward on this exciting project with them.”

Bermuda Hospitals Board owns and operates Agape House, which cares for patients with a broad range of serious and life-threatening illnesses, taking a holistic approach to patient care in line with international best practices. Friends of Hospice (Bermuda charity #391) is the charity providing financial support to Agape House, as well as specialized therapeutic programmes and services that are complementary to medical treatment, as well as meal services, and a number of other support services.

Additional details on Friends of Hospice’s plans for a new hospice facility – including architectural drawings and fundraising plans – will be forthcoming by end of summer.

11 July 2019 Home Page, News