November is Diabetes and Chronic Lung Disease Awareness Month

Bermuda Hospitals Board hosts two free public events

7 November 2018: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is celebrating World Diabetes Day and World COPD Day, which both fall on Wednesday 14 November, with two free events for the public.

Free health screenings for blood sugar and blood pressure levels, as well as lung function testing for smokers or former heavy smokers over the age of 40, will take place in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) General Wing lobby from 10am to 1pm.

“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is characterised by shortness of breath and difficulty breathing,” said BHB asthma nurse educator Debbie Barboza. “People often do not realise they have the condition and believe it’s a sign of them aging. But if you are over 40 and smoke or used to smoke, you could have COPD. While it is not curable, we can teach you how to stop the disease progressing and how to manage your condition.”

A simple non-invasive breath test is the screening test for COPD and will be offered in the free screening session on Wednesday 14 November.

The public can also learn the science of body weight when BHB locum endocrinologist Dr Amy Freeth delivers her talk: The Dilemma of Weight Loss.

“I’ll explain the science of how we gain weight, and why losing and maintaining weight can be a real challenge,” said Dr Freeth. “I’ll also discuss how medications, surgery, food and mindfulness practices can impact weight and overall health. After the talk attendees should better understand what they can do to become healthier and how their choices impact their health.”

All are invited to the free talk, which will take place on Wednesday 14 November from 6pm to 7pm in The Resource Centre located on the ground floor of the KEMH General Wing.

November is Diabetes and Chronic Lung Disease Awareness Month. Members of the community who have these conditions can work with BHB’s Diabetes, Respiratory, Endocrine and Metabolism (DREAM) Centre team. The fully accredited team provides education, advice and counselling to help people successfully manage their conditions.

Located in the Fairview Court building on the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute campus, the team includes: diabetes nurse educators Jane Hope, Verna Eugene and Tammoi Simons; asthma nurse educator Debbie Barboza; clinical dietitians Jessika Quigley and Letitia Rabain; endocrinologist Dr Amy Freeth; and internist Dr Cathryn Siddle.

Anyone who would like more information on the free events or on DREAM Centre services can call 239-2027, or email diabetes.centre@bhb.bm, asthma.centre@bhb.bm or endocrinology@bhb.bm.

Flyers of the public talk and free health screenings can be found below for download and printing. Please distribute widely.

BHB Diabetes and Chronic Lung Disease Awareness month NOV2018

BHB Diabetes Month public talk NOV2018

7 November 2018 Home Page, News

Diabetes Respiratory Endocrine and Metabolism (DREAM) team offer free health screenings

Friday 10 November 2017:

Residents can take advantage of free health screenings as Bermuda Hospitals Board celebrates Diabetes and Chronic Lung Disease Awareness Month. The Diabetes Respiratory Endocrine and Metabolism (DREAM) Centre provide diabetes, asthma and lung disease education and awareness. The accredited team comprises Asthma & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Nurse Educator Debbie Barboza; Diabetes Nurse Educators Jane Hope, Verna Eugene and Tammoi Jarrett and Clinical Dietitians Letitia Rabain and Jessika Quigley. All programs at the DREAM Centre are accredited and covered by insurance.

The DREAM Centre team will give free health screenings for lung function, blood sugar and blood pressure at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), General Wing lobby on Wednesday 15 November from 11am-3pm.

“Anyone over 40 who smokes or has a history of smoking and who finds it difficult to breathe should come in and take the free lung function test.  If that is not possible contact asthma.centre@bhb.bm,” said BHB Asthma Educator Debbie Barboza. “Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious lung disease which over time makes it harder to breathe.”

“Bermuda has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. It is the leading cause of blindness and heart disease on the island,” said DREAM Centre Clinical Manager Jane Hope. “These side effects can be avoided with prevention, early detection and proper management of diabetes” she added. “At the DREAM Centre we want to help people to control their sugar levels.  Good education has been shown to be as effective at lowering blood sugar levels as many diabetes medications and regular monitoring and appropriate interventions help individuals to avoid the complications of diabetes.”

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said: “We are pleased to be able to offer these free screenings to the public. As healthcare professionals we recognise the importance of early detection and prevention in chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and COPD. I encourage you to come in and meet our DREAM Centre professionals. They can help you on your wellness path.”

10 November 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 asthma.centre@bhb.bm. 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 asthma.centre@bhb.bm, 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