About Anna Nowak

2019 Scholarship Winners Announced

Tuesday 10 September 2019: 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

Wednesday 4 September 2019: 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

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

Bacardi Wins Bermuda Corporate Blood Drive Competition 2018/19 for the Third Time

Friday 14 June 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board and the Ministry of Health today announced Bacardi as the winner of the 2018/19 Corporate Blood Drive as part of the celebrations of World Blood Donor Day. The revolving trophy and certificate were awarded to Bacardi by the Hon. Kim Wilson JP MP, Minister of Health.

“We are very pleased to celebrate Bacardi, who have won the Corporate Blood Drive for the last three consecutive years,” says Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist at BHB. “It was a keen contest this year and I’d also like to recognise Butterfield & Vallis, Bermuda Police Service, Argo Ariel Re and Sunlife Financial. The staff of the companies worked together as a team to ensure the success of the friendly competition!”

Dr Fakunle says: “It is important to recognize all the competitors not just about the winner: it is the collective effort that makes a difference. We had a record number of 21 participating companies and this resulted in a record number of donations. If we total all the donations together, the competing companies contributed nearly a third of all blood donations made. We cannot emphasise enough that this competition is saving lives and we very much hope more businesses will consider joining. We would also like to thank the employers who might not be in the competition, but who still support their staff coming to donate.”

The competing companies this year were: Aon, Argo Ariel Re, Bacardi, Bermuda Police Service, Bermuda Post Office, Butterfield Bank, Butterfield & Vallis, Chubb, Colonial Group, Deloitte, Department of Corrections, Fidelity, Hamilton Insurance Group, Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, Kiston Group of Companies, Lancashire Insurance, Marketplace, Marsh McLennan, Sunlife Financial, Validus and XL Catlin.

Dr Cheryl Peek-Ball, Chief Medical Officer, Ministry of Health, adds: “This is such an important competition, ensuring we can continue to care for people with conditions such cancer and sickle cell, and respond to patient needs in surgical and emergency situations. Thank you to all the competing companies and congratulations to Bacardi for their third win in a row! There is a lot of passion and dedication behind that winning streak. Finally, Bermuda’s appreciation must be extended to all the competing companies. Know that you are part of a collective that is saving lives every day.”

Companies who wish to join or find out more about the competition for 2019/20 should call the Blood Donor Centre at 236-5067, or email blood.donor@bhb.bm.

14 June 2019 Home Page, News

BHB and Johns Hopkins update on clinical affiliation

6 May 2019: Bermuda Hospitals Board today gave an update on activity of its clinical affiliation with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, which now includes a continuing medical education programme for physicians in Bermuda, a residency programme and service improvements in areas such as stroke and psychiatry.

Venetta Symonds, CEO, comments: “I’m excited that we are on this journey to improve on-island care for our families, friends and communities with them. It is BHB’s vision to deliver exceptional through strong partnerships and support a healthy community. We ran a robust and lengthy RFP process for our clinical affiliate and six highly acclaimed hospitals applied and went through extensive review. Johns Hopkins won not only due to their quality and status in the healthcare world, but their deep affinity to and understanding of Bermuda.”

Michael Richmond, Chief of Staff, Bermuda Hospitals Board, comments: “At the heart of the affiliation is access to quality education for physicians in the hospital and Bermuda. Our Continuing Medical Education programme is now accredited by one of the world’s best known and highly respected healthcare providers, and our first CME was held last night.

“We are working with Johns Hopkins as advisers in services we are seeking to improve. Stroke treatment and rehabilitation, for example, is a key focus. We have four to five stroke cases come to the hospital per week. We want to ensure we are giving every stroke patient the best possible chance at full recovery, and also identifying people at risk even earlier to try and prevent one altogether. We are also looking at psychiatry for opportunities to improve and find more effective ways to structure and deliver our services. We look forward to keeping the community updated on all our improvements and especially how our affiliation with Johns Hopkins is improving care for all our community.”

Dr Mohan Chellappa, Executive Vice President and President, Global Ventures, Johns Hopkins Medicine International, comments: “We are honored to contribute to the Bermudian health care journey. Johns Hopkins Medicine’s mission is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and patient care. And the unique community of Bermuda holds a special place in our hearts at Johns Hopkins.

“We are delighted to now take our commitment a step further, through our clinical affiliation agreement with Bermuda Hospitals Board. We will support BHB staff with education and training, and together, we’re now in the process of establishing a primary stoke centre and preparing for accreditation in the area of acute stroke care in 2021. Our affiliation also includes a programme for Johns Hopkins residents—medical doctors who have graduated from an accredited medical school and are completing additional specialist training at Johns Hopkins. Our residents will complete four-week rotations to Bermuda to perform short-term clinical and quality improvement projects. Our clinical affiliation with Bermuda Hospitals Board is an important part of Johns Hopkins’ vision to enhance health care around the world, by sharing our latest clinical advances and research findings in a way that contributes to local health care needs and goals, for many years to come.”

7 May 2019 Home Page, News

Red Cross Donates Scooter to Gordon Ward Residents

2 February 2019: Residents on BHB’s Gordon Ward have access to an electric scooter, thanks to a donation from Bermuda Red Cross. The donated scooter will be used by various residents who have mobility issues, to help them within and outside the hospital building.

Bermuda Red Cross Scooter Donation

Executive Director of Bermuda Red Cross, Ann Spencer-Arscott, with Clinical Resource Nurse for Gordon Ward, Roland Peters.

Mr Roland Peters, Clinical Resource Nurse for Gordon Ward, comments: “We are very grateful for this kind donation which is very much appreciated by our unit residents. Some of our residents have physical disabilities, but very much want to be able to move around and get outside. This scooter will help improve the quality of their lives and give them some independence.”

Ann Spencer-Arscott, Executive Director of Bermuda Red Cross, comments: “We are so happy to donate a scooter which will be such a valuable resource for Gordon Ward residents. This is part of our mission to meet the needs of our local population. While this scooter was a donation, we also have a number of scooters available to rent for people who might have temporary mobility issues or are visiting the island. These are a resource for people in Bermuda and they can call us to book one as needed.”

5 February 2019 Home Page, News

Bermuda Blood Donor Centre thanks polo shirt donors

5 December 2018: Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is today thanking two donors, Mr Peter Barrett and Chubb, who have provided funding for polo shirts that are being awarded to long term blood and apheresis donors who have donated throughout this year.

Peter Barrett first made a donation for the Blood Donor Centre to purchase shirts for people who donated over a 3 month period if they were long term donors. To make this a more regular thank you throughout 2018, Chubb stepped in to fund the rest of the year’s supply of the shirts.  Chubb is also a competitor in the Corporate Blood Donor Competition 2018/19.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist, comments: “Our blood donation is entirely voluntary, in line with World Health Organisation best practices. These shirts show our gratitude for people who have donated regularly this year, supported by Mr Barrett and Chubb. We are very grateful to them for this support in recognizing true heroes who save lives in Bermuda every day. Our hope is that seeing friends and family in the polo shirt may also encourage others to overcome whatever inhibitions they have and to join the most giving group in Bermuda – blood and apheresis donors.”

Mr Barrett comments: “It was a pleasure to work with the Blood Donor Centre to initiate this programme.  We should all be very grateful that Chubb has stepped forward to keep this programme going.  For those who can, I encourage everyone to volunteer a small part of their day to donate.  Your pint of blood saves lives and it also helps to manage the healthcare needs of at least three patients.  Without question your donation has a significant ripple effect throughout the community.”

5 December 2018 Home Page, News