Bermuda Hospitals Board promotes healthy drinks options for its staff

19 October 2017: The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is taking the lead in helping its staff attain better health by cutting all drinks with high sugar content from its staff cafeterias.

BHB’s Hotel Services Department has been phasing out its beverage offerings that contain more than 15grams of sugar per serving.

“This policy change will result in the elimination of all sodas (except diet), all fruit and all energy drinks that contain high-fructose in excess of the 15 grams per serving limit we have instituted,” said BHB Chief Operating Officer Scott Pearman. “Waters and drinks that contain less than 15g sugar will remain in stock,” he added.

Mr Pearman noted that contrary to the national trend of lower health insurance premium increases, the health insurance premiums for BHB’s employee plan rose 18 percent this year. This increase was not due to inflationary policies by Government or insurance companies.

“The increase was a direct result of actual hospital and major medical claims by our staff exceeding the claims of peer populations by 30 percent,” he said. Chronic diseases were the primary driver of these claims.

BHB’s Dietary Department revealed that the top five beverages sold in staff cafeterias at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) from 1 April 2016 until 30 September 2017 contained a total of 3,070,778 grams of sugar.

“At BHB we have consumed 3.16 tons of sugar or an average of 3.5 pounds of sugar per staff member over the past 18 months,” said Mr Pearman. “Although our cafeterias serve members of the public as well, the sugar consumption calculation includes only our top five brands so total consumption is actually understated,” he added.

Most of the offending drinks are no longer available in the hospitals’ cafeterias. “By November first we will not have any overly sugary beverages available in our KEMH staff cafeteria or vending machines,” said BHB Director of Hotel Service Jerome Swainson. “By Christmas the same will be true at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute,” he added.

“Research shows that chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension can be significantly reduced by lifestyle choices,” said BHB Endocrinologist Dr Annabel Fountain. “Through this policy, BHB is creating an environment that supports and promotes healthier choices which will reduce the risk of developing these conditions,” she added.

“Staff are rightfully disgruntled when health insurance premiums increase substantially like they did last year, but the rise was driven by expenditures for chronic disease related to our care,” said Mr Pearman. “Removing beverages with greater than 15 grams of sugar will increase staff awareness of the dangers related to high sugar diets. It will also make it easier for us to make better choices. It’s our hope this will result in a healthier workforce and keep health insurance rates at reasonable levels,” he added.

Mr Pearman continued: “Our cafeterias are convenient and popular dining destinations for many of our 1750 staff. Most importantly we believe that eliminating unhealthy options will help us on the road to better health and wellness.”

Debbie Jones, Chairman Bermuda Diabetes Association has endorsed the move taken at BHB. She said: “The hospital is taking the first step in helping to make BHB employees healthy. By ensuring that sugary drinks contain no more than 15grams is supporting the message that people should be choosing water first. Water contains no grams of sugar. Hopefully every employer in Bermuda will follow the hospital’s lead.”

Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP also threw her support behind BHB’s efforts. She said: “I have long been concerned about the high sugar content in what we consume.  The Throne Speech committed to Government leading the way in wellness by encouraging its employees to make healthy choices. BHB employees see far more clearly than the rest of us the negative health outcomes from obesity and diabetes so I’m delighted that our largest healthcare provider is leading by example. We, in Government, have promoted water only practices and policies in schools through the Healthy Schools Programme, and we are looking to re-introduce the Vending Machine Policy for Government premises, in order to improve healthy options. I urge others to choose water as the first option. A concerted effort by the whole community to reduce our population’s intake of sugar will not only make us healthier, it will also reduce the cost of healthcare premiums.”

19 October 2017 Home Page, News

KEMH Mammography Department puts breast health first

18 October 2017: BHB today announces a special breast health awareness day on Tuesday 24 October 2017 at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital Mammography Department.  The goal is to help women over 40 who have not had their mammogram this year with a special walk-in service from 8am to 11am, and and open house from noon to 2pm so women who haven’t had their first mammogram yet can come in and meet the team, ask questions and see the equipment over refreshments.

Senior Imaging Technologist of Mammography, Terricca Smith, comments: “We know that many women fear their mammogram will be painful, and just having the test can result in anxiety that something will be found.  As it is breast health awareness month, on Tuesday 24 October we wanted to give women the chance to ask our mammography technologist questions and see the equipment at an open house between noon and 2pm. This is especially for women who might be close to having their first mammogram and have concerns or questions, but any woman is welcome if they want to come and see the service we offer at the hospital.”

Mrs Smith adds: “We also know that women 40 and over are extremely busy with careers and home responsibilities. It is easy to forget to make that mammogram appointment, so we are having a special walk in mammography service on the same day from 8am to 11am. Women 40 or over who have had not had a mammogram in the last year can walk in and get their test. Your breast health is our concern and, as early detection saves lives, we want to help make women as comfortable as possible about their mammogram. ”

Mammography Facts:

  • According to the Bermuda Tumour Registry Annual Report 2016:
    • Breast cancer was the most registered cancer in Bermuda in 2015 irrespective of gender (62) followed by prostate cancer (56) (p7)
    • For women in Bermuda, breast cancer had the highest number of registered cancers (62), followed by cervix uteri cancers (26) and colorectal cancers (10) (p8)
    • 1 in 5 (20.9%) of breast cancers occurred in women aged 40 to 49 in Bermuda in 2015 (p8)
  • According to the Bermuda Tumour Registry Annual Report 2015:
    • 72.4% of registered breast cancers in Bermuda were diagnosed as in situ or stage 1 (p13)
    • According to the American Cancer Society, the survival statistics by stage are:
    •      Stage  5-year Relative Survival Rate
                0 100%
                 1 100%
                 2 93%
                 3 72%
                4 22%
18 October 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board Traffic Advisory

16 October 2017: In order to install a new well pump Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) Engineering Services will be re-routing traffic on the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital campus on Wednesday 18 October. Starting at midnight on Tuesday 17 October there will be no through traffic from the Berry Hill Road entrance to the General Wing main entrance and Point Finger Road.

Vehicular traffic will be able to access the General Wing main entrance for drop off and pick up via the Point Finger Road entrance. These vehicles will be routed back to Point Finger Road to exit.

Pedestrian traffic will not be impacted by the work but bike parking will be reduced as several bays will be cordoned off.

The work is slated to start at 7am and be completed by 1pm. BHB apologises to the motoring public for any inconvenience the re-routing may cause.

16 October 2017 Home Page, News

Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda donates new ambulances worth almost $200,000 to Bermuda Hospitals Board

Monday 9 October 2017: The Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda (HAB) has donated two new ambulances costing $197,600 to the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB).  This brings the total number of BHB ambulances to 7.

The two new vehicles are slightly larger than BHB’s previous models. They are both Ford Transit type 2 ambulances and were made in the US. While all the features of the BHB ambulances currently in use have been retained, they have been configured differently in the new vehicles. The new vehicles have a larger working area in the patient cabin section.

BHB Chief EMT Walter Brangman demonstrates the new call button feature in the new ambulances

New features include an electronic oxygen monitoring system, temperature controlled patient cabin and a call button system in the cabin to communicate with the driver. Responding to public feedback that it is often difficult to hear the sirens, the speakers on the new ambulances have been placed on the exterior.

“We have needed new ambulances for some time and are grateful to the HAB for this generous gift,” said BHB CEO Venetta Symonds. “I applaud their efforts on behalf of BHB and also on behalf of the entire Bermuda community.  I acknowledge too that the HAB donated the two ambulances we received in 2014. Every year they support us by agreeing to fund much needed equipment and providing volunteers.”

“The HAB is proud to be able to serve our community by providing funding for lifesaving equipment for our only hospitals,” said HAB President Sharon Vesey. “We recognise that demand is increasing for ambulance service and appreciate the challenges of maintaining these vehicles that are on our roads all day, every day.”

The HAB raises funds for BHB through their three business enterprises, The Barn, The Pink Cafe and The Gift Shop.  They also receive donations and annual membership dues from their members.  HAB volunteers work throughout many areas in the hospital, including information desk, CCU, hospitality cart, lending library, assisting patients with their menu selections on the wards, Fracture Clinic, Pharmacy and chapel services, as well as assisting overseas patients and their families.

In addition to their adult volunteers, there are also 99 junior members of the HAB, known as candy stripers.  These students enter the programme at age 14 and commit to a minimum of two years, with the majority remaining in the programme for four years.  These students are trained in all areas that the adults work in, as well as additional areas in the hospital such as Dialysis, Lab, Gosling, Maternity, Environmental Services, Surgical Admin, Laundry, ICU and Sterile Processing.  The students work every school holiday and give the adults a welcome relief.  On average 36,500 hours of service are donated to the hospital every year by HAB adult and junior members.

9 October 2017 Home Page, News

BHCT Supports BHB Training and Scholarships with $350,000 donation

22 September 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that, with the support of a Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Trust donation, it will be investing $350,000 in scholarships, and staff development and training in this fiscal year.  In total, ten scholarships have been awarded.

New for this year is a fund for MWI Psychiatric Nurse Development, along with a new annual Bermuda College nursing scholarship, named in memory of Dashunte Furbert.  Ms Furbert was a BHB employee who worked in the Chief of Staff Office while training at the Bermuda College in nursing. She passed away last year just as she was taking on her first nursing post.

Scott Pearman, Chief Operation Officer, comments: “I would like to thank the BHCT for its generous donation to support our award programmes for students, and our training development opportunities for the employees of BHB.  Encouraging Bermudians into healthcare, and ensuring our staff get the training and development needed to maintain high quality services and move into leadership positions is vital for the long term stability of healthcare services in Bermuda.  As we face financially challenging times, especially this year with our budget reduction, BHB is very grateful to the BHCT and its donors for their desire to make a difference and support this education and training programme.“

Jonathan Brewin, Chairman of the BHCT, comments: “BHCT’s role is to raise funds to support a high quality service at BHB.  A number of donors had told us they wanted their donations used for education and training as it has a long term benefit to the healthcare services provided at BHB. I am therefore very pleased to see this money used to encourage the next generation of healthcare workers, and train and develop BHB staff.  As the fundraising arm for BHB, we are very grateful to our donors and pleased that we can direct funds to where they are needed most to improve the healthcare services provided to Bermuda by BHB.“

Angela Fraser-Pitcher, Vice President of Human Resources, comments: “Our general scholarships are open to anyone in the healthcare field, but this year we have a special focus on encouraging Bermudians into the nursing pathway at the Bermuda College.  All of us at BHB are very pleased to establish an annual scholarship in memory of Dashunte.  She was very much loved and respected by all her colleagues.  While she did not live long enough to take up her nursing position after qualifying, through this scholarship her legacy will live on, offering financial support to encourage future Bermudian nurses.  Thank you to the BHCT and the donors for their support.”


2017 BHB Scholarship Recipients

  1. Seta Douglas– $10,000 over 2 years – Nursing Degree

St. Francis Xavier University – Antigonish, Nova Scotia – Canada

  1. Lalique Simmons– $10,000 over 2 years – Nursing Degree

Oakwood University, Huntsville Alabama, USA

  1. Dymond DeSilva–   $10,000 over 2 years – Nursing Degree

Ryerson University – Toronto, Canada

  1. Ez-Zarhá Shakir– $10,000 over 1 year – Nursing Degree

The University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

  1. Asha Caisey– $5,500 over 1 year – Nursing Degree – New Nursing Scholarship in Memory of Dashunte Furbert

Bermuda College –Paget, Bermuda

  1. Azhanaé Oliver– $5,500 over 1 year – Nursing Degree – New Nursing Scholarship in Memory of Dashunte Furbert

Bermuda College – Paget, Bermuda

  1. Lynnique Castle– $10,000 over 3 years – Master’s of Pharmacy Degree – GlaxoSmithKline Recipient 2017

Durham University – Durham – North England

  1. Tenneil Ratteray– $10,000 – 3 years –  Doctorate Degree, Physical Therapy

Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI

  1. Adriene Berkeley– $5,000 – 1 year – Ph.D. – Counselling Psychology

City, University of London, London, UK

  1. Allanna Bean– $10,000 – 4 years – Ph.D. – Clinical Psychology

Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Phoenix – Arizona, USA

22 September 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board launches island-wide asthma campaign

19 September 2017: The blue quick-reliever asthma inhaler Salbutamol is being featured on the back of 23 public buses and in ads in The Royal Gazette online as part of Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) island-wide asthma awareness campaign. September is back-to-school season and as such sees one of the largest spikes in asthma attacks, especially in children, in Bermuda.

BHB Asthma Nurse Educator Debbie Barboza said cold and flu viruses and the change in seasons bring an increase in uncontrolled asthma for adults as well. To manage their condition, many asthmatics use their blue quick-reliever daily.

“The blue inhaler should most definitely be used if there is difficulty breathing,” said Ms Barboza. “The problem is that many people with asthma use the reliever inhalers regularly, sometimes even daily! One quick-reliever inhaler should last a year if your asthma is well controlled.

“The back-of-the-bus message is aimed at these people, letting them know there is a better option and that using the reliever inhaler more than twice is week is not the best way to manage their condition. They should be using a preventer inhaler to control their asthma symptoms.”

The island-wide campaign will run for a year, changing midway, to drive greater awareness on the ability asthmatics have to take control of their condition.

Last year asthma attacks accounted for just over six percent of all visits to the Emergency Department (1,871 asthma cases out of 30,982 total Emergency Department visits from April 2015 to March 2016).

“Every asthmatic should have an action plan. I am here to help each person create theirs,” said Ms Barboza.

Contact information for the BHB asthma nurse is included in both the online and back-of-the-bus ads. BHB encourages members of the public to contact Ms Barboza at 239-2027 or Consultations are covered under the standard hospital benefit.

Asthma Campaign mini promotion

Asthma Nurse Debbie Barboza

Take your photo with the BHB asthma campaign on the back of any bus displaying the ad, email it to, and we’ll run it on the BHB Facebook page and give you a prize. The promotion ends Thursday 28 September 2017.

19 September 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board Disaster Specialist Deployed to British Virgin Islands

15 September 2017: The Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) requested the assistance of Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) Director of Emergency and Hyperbaric Services Roslyn Bascombe-Adams in hurricane relief efforts in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Dr Bascombe-Adams is a member of the Regional Emergency Medical Team of PAHO  and a certified PAHO Disaster Instructor. She is also chairperson of BHB’s Disaster Management and Response Committee, represents the hospital on the Emergency Measures Organisation and leads the PAHO Mass Casualty Management System training course for first responders in Bermuda.

“We received an urgent request from PAHO to release Dr Bascombe-Adams from her duties at BHB to enable her to help recovery efforts in Tortola following the recent hurricanes,” said BHB CEO Venetta Symonds.

“We recognise that Dr Bascombe-Adams is a leading physician in the area of disaster management particularly in our region,” she added. “We know the value of her expertise and the calm clarity she will bring to the relief work. We are proud to have her help the Government and people of BVI.”

Dr Bascombe-Adams is now on a two-week deployment as part of the PAHO/WHO Regional Emergency Medical Team in BVI.

15 September 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board has two certified dementia trainers

14 September 2017: Patients living with dementia will benefit from new training that Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) clinical staff can now receive. BHB today announces that two of its clinical nurse educators are now certified Dementia Independent Trainers.

Teepa Snow is internationally well respected as a leading educator on dementia.  She has developed a technique called the Positive Approach to Care (PAC), which gives practical instruction on how best to care for those living with dementia.

The trainer certification had two components:

1) a two-day workshop which included information on the PAC philosophy, dementia awareness, how adults learn through their experiences, in addition to practical skills development. These practical skills included training in some of Ms Snow’s unique techniques, including Positive Physical Approach and Hand-under-Hand technique.

2) Eight weeks after the first component, a demonstration of correct practical application by conducting two workshops using PAC techniques.

BHB Clinical Nurse Educators Tamra Broadley and Marina Cann attended the two-day course in Duluth, Georgia, and recently received certification as PAC Certified Independent Trainers. BHB has now been able to add the Positive Approach to Care to its training schedule for clinical staff.

“Bringing the latest evidenced-based approaches to care helps us improve our service to patients and the community,” said Nursing Staff Development Manager Synda Cook Roberts.

“In providing this training to staff, Marina and I actually feel that we are living BHB’s mission to deliver safe, high-quality, people-centred, compassionate care, every day,” said Ms Broadley.

BHB Clinical Director of Continuing Care Services Granville Russell said: “It’s wonderful that our clinical staff can be trained in-house, in these practical patient-centred techniques that reduce the anxiety and confusion our patients living with dementia can have. Making them feel safe and comfortable plays a significant role in keeping them healthy.”

14 September 2017 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre closed this weekend

14 September 2017: The Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today informs the public that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will be closed this weekend due to an unanticipated staffing shortage. The UCC will close at midnight tonight, Thursday 14 September and is expected to reopen at 4pm on Monday 18 September.

BHB will extend its fast track service in the Emergency Department at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital over the weekend to midnight to accommodate people who would normally have attended the UCC and others with non-emergency medical conditions. Individuals with genuine medical emergencies will be seen as usual.

This temporary UCC closure is to ensure adequate staffing to safely manage continued high demand for all patients who require urgent or emergency care. BHB apologises for the inconvenience.

14 September 2017 Home Page, News

Turning Point Outpatient Counselling Services Moved

31 July 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board advises the public that Turning Point outpatient counselling services have been  temporarily relocated to the old Emergency Department at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, General Wing.

Persons seeking services should contact the main office at 239-2038, 249-3403 or 249-3426.  New or returning service users seeking assessment should report to the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute’s Acute Clinic to see one of our counsellors.

31 July 2017 Home Page, News