About Anna Nowak

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre services to open weekends only for a month

Wednesday 19 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today notes that the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) will close on weekdays from Wednesday 19 October, for at least a month. The UCC will remain open during its usual hours on weekends from 9am to 9pm. This only relates to urgent care services, and does not impact the weekly Integrated Healthcare Clinic that runs on Wednesdays.

Chief of Emergency Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke notes: “The closure on weekdays helps us focus emergency staff at KEMH to manage the pressures being felt in the emergency department. Emergency visits right now are high and bed occupancy within BHB is also under pressure, so we are focusing our nurse and physician resources where the most unwell patients are. This has happened to us before as we move into the colder months. The emergency patient numbers are not related to any one cause. They are multifactorial and include, among others, a generally unwell and increasingly aging population. We expect the UCC will remain closed on weekdays for at least a month, but we will continually review the situation.”

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller adds: “There are ways we each can reduce the need for emergency visits that are better for our quality of life as well as reducing pressure in the hospital. We would urge people to manage their known chronic illnesses and see their GP as needed for advice and treatment, before it requires a hospital visit.

“We are also entering a time when respiratory illnesses are rising. People should do all they can to protect themselves by getting their flu and COVID vaccines, especially if they are older or have pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable to serious complications. We also want to see people drive more carefully on the roads, avoiding unnecessary and sometimes very serious injuries.

“Finally, we ask that people who are ready for discharge are helped home or to a nursing placement by their loved ones and families. We still experience people staying in hospital longer than they need to be and this causes delays that impact emergency staff as patients wait there longer for an inpatient bed.”

19 October 2022 Home Page, News

Arthur Ebbin appointed as BHB chief financial officer

Friday 14 October 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today announces that Arthur Ebbin Jr, BBA, CPA, has been appointed as its chief financial officer (CFO), replacing Bill Shields, who is leaving at the beginning of November. The CFO position reports to the CEO & president and the Board of BHB. Mr Ebbin’s appointment is effective Monday 7 November.

As CFO, Mr Ebbin will oversee all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for BHB, along with the efficient financial administration of BHB. He will lead the development and implementation of BHB’s financial strategy, with a commitment to uphold ethical and professional standards in all matters relating to BHB’s finances.

CEO & President Michael Richmond comments: “I’m very pleased to welcome Arthur Ebbin to the role of chief financial officer at BHB. This is a critical role, with responsibility for the financial stewardship of the hospitals. Arthur’s history at BHB, and his qualifications and experience in maintaining sound financial management and effective financial strategies made him the ideal candidate.

“We are very grateful to Bill Shields, who is leaving BHB to go home to the UK. Over the last five years, he has undertaken sterling work in managing BHB finances through increasing financial pressures, not least from the pandemic. It is a testament to BHB’s commitment to succession planning and development, however, that we have a well-prepared and qualified Bermudian to take over in what continue to be challenging times.”

Having joined BHB nearly 10 years ago in 2013 as assistant financial controller, Mr Ebbin was promoted to controller of operations in 2016-17, and acted in the role of vice president of finance over the same period. He was appointed as director of business finance in 2017. From 2018, Mr Ebbin was the vice president of business finance at BHB.

Prior to working at BHB, Mr Ebbin held finance positions at various companies in Bermuda, although his very first job was a police constable for the Bermuda Police Service, a post he held from 1979 to 1987. Mr Ebbin achieved a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University in 1991 and went on to gain his chartered professional accountant designation in 1994. He completed certificates in healthcare change management and executive healthcare leadership from Cornell University in 2022.

14 October 2022 Home Page, News

BHB’s electronic medical record to go live in October


Tuesday 20 September 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is pleased to provide an update to the community on its electronic medical record project, which will go live on 29 October 2022.

Since the project started in April 2021, hundreds of BHB staff have been working within dedicated work streams with our vendor, Cerner. Staff have named the new system PEARL (patient electronic & administrative records log).

When PEARL goes live, there will be one electronic record for every patient across King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. PEARL will include medical history, test results, physician notes, and important information such as allergies, which will be available to clinicians, whichever service a patient is accessing at any time.

With all the information immediately at hand, care should be more efficient. With safety alerts built into the system, it will be safer too. PEARL will speed up access to critical data, centralise the scheduling of appointments for all BHB services and replace older paper-based processes such as referrals.

As staff members have to sign in to access PEARL, there is also greater confidentiality as the system records every person who opens a record even just to view it.

In line with plans, the patient portal will not be part of the initial go-live in October, but will be a benefit of the system and is planned for phase two of the project.

Progress on the electronic medical record implementation:

  • The design and build of PEARL, which involved frontline staff across BHB, is complete.
  • Integrated testing – in which BHB staff test the entire breadth of the system (including registration, scheduling, prescribing, referring, documenting, coding and billing) using differing patient scenarios – has been completed.
  • Organisation-wide training started in June and continued through to go-live in October. About 1,400 staff have to be trained. The training is customised for different roles and professions within BHB. It includes different ways to learn, from videos and online simulations to intensive class room training.
  • Over 200 BHB staff have been selected as PEARL experts, called super users, in each department. They will be on hand to support their colleagues in their department through and beyond go-live.

In the first two weeks after go-live on 29 October, staff will be adjusting to a new way of working so things may take a little longer than usual. Where pressure can be relieved by reducing activity for non-urgent appointments and consultations this is being planned, to avoid increasing delays or potential risks to care. This will also help ensure that emergency and urgent care continues as needed.

CEO & President, Michael Richmond, MD, explains: “While our need to implement an electronic medical record relates to the critical replacement of an old clinical system, PEARL is a true game-changer for patient care and is a major driver of our vision to pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud. It has been a huge commitment for our staff through a very challenging period. I’m immensely proud of our progress so far, very appreciative of the hard work by staff, and very much looking forward to PEARL going live in October.”

Chief of Staff, Wesley Miller, MD, says: “BHB physicians have been part of the BHB clinical teams working with Cerner to design and build PEARL. Cerner’s Millennium product is used in hospitals across the world, so we have the benefit of starting with a system that has international standards of care and safety built in that BHB staff have helped adapt for Bermuda.”

Chief Financial Officer, Bill Shields, comments: “This is a major transformation of how BHB works and delivers care. Our focus for go-live is to have the internal system working well for staff to use. As we are working hospitals and Bermuda’s only hospitals, ensuring a smooth and safe transition is our priority. We look forward to keeping the community updated on our progress.”

Chief of Nursing, Judy Richardson, adds: “PEARL is going to be a great asset for staff. It is going to be a tool nurses can use to improve quality and safety, and the efficiencies it will bring means more of their time can be spent where it is most needed – with our patients.”

20 September 2022 Home Page, News

Over 500 patient encounters in Integrated Health Clinic’s first year

Friday 2 September 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) is celebrating the first year of the Integrated Healthcare Clinic (IHC) a year after it opened at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Having launched in July 2021, the IHC offers people in the East End who need mental health and chronic illness services a place to receive care closer to home.

The IHC runs once a week on Wednesday mornings at the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, so it does not impact the delivery of urgent care services, which start later in the day on weekdays and on weekends.

IHC project lead and Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Neilson-Williams notes: “It has been a very positive experience for our clients. For mental health clients especially, it provides a more relaxed feel, compared to visiting the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, but across all the services people appreciate having their regular appointments closer to home. We have managed through multiple COVID waves, using remote consults when required for safety. This means just over a quarter of our patient encounters have been via telephone, but the feedback has been consistent that using this location improves access and experience of patients.”

In the year it has been open, 145 patients have been seen at the IHC and there have been over 500 patient encounters. The IHC services include mental health, diabetes and asthma services, as well as the Patient-Centred Medical Home (PCMH), which sees patients who have one or more chronic illnesses but who do not have insurance or who are under-insured.

R Scott Pearman, executive sponsor for the integrated healthcare programme at BHB and deputy CEO, comments: “We are so pleased at the positive response from patients who have been using the IHC, and we are excited about next steps. The IHC is part of a broader strategy at BHB to improve access to care, and improve the outcomes for and wellbeing of our community.
Our integrated approach is to listen to and work with our patients to make improvements, bring hospital services closer to people who need them, and coordinate more closely with our partners in the community.”

In this first year, the IHC has been run as a pilot to see if delivering hospital services closer to home is beneficial to patients. BHB asked a number of patients to explain what difference it has made to them coming to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, and these are some of the responses.

It has made a huge difference as I live in St George’s and am elderly”

“I am disabled and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre is not a long walk as parking is close and always available. Not like the other places.”

“What was good about my care at the IHC was the pleasant receptionist on the front line, the sincerity and concern of the nurse in attendance. And location…location…location. Parking is never an issue.”

One mental health services patient explained the impact of the location compared to MWI:

“As soon as you pull into MWI and get out of your car the stigma starts. It’s with Bermudians period. If you actually go inside the building it’s worse – not from the psychiatric staff but from other staff like security – that’s when it really starts. When I went over to the clinic even though the hospital part wasn’t open, I didn’t have those types of feelings when I walked in. Feeling like anyone was watching or was going to say something. I felt so much more relaxed going to my therapy because the whole atmosphere was 100 percent different. Different in a real positive way. When I would leave MWI, although I may have had a very good session, the stress kicks right back in just like it did when I entered. All the people seeing me and looking, and me feeling bad about myself and my situation. Coming out in St David’s I feel refreshed it’s really hard to explain the depth of it, but the good feeling from the session stayed with me and that’s the first time I had experienced that feeling in all the years that I’ve been in therapy. I started when I was 21 and now I’m in my 60s, so that’s a long, long, time.”

2 September 2022 Home Page, News

Last chance to join the 10th Corporate Blood Drive!

12 August 2022: Bermuda companies and organisations still have a chance to join the tenth Corporate Blood Drive, with the deadline for signing up 31 August 2022. Any company interested in joining up should email blood.donor@bhb.bm or call 236-5067.

“This is a special tenth anniversary for the Corporate Blood Drive,” said Lucy Correia, nurse phlebotomist at the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre. “This competition has made such a big difference to people in Bermuda who need transfusions. Companies who sign up have helped sustain our blood donor pool in Bermuda, whether they won the competition or not. All our blood is from local donors, and when companies join the competition they are supporting their existing donors and helping encourage new people to consider donating.

“One of our regular donors Janice Richards, who won the blood donor Hamilton Princess raffle this year, has been donating for many years – but it all started with an email in her workplace that was encouraging people to donate because the hospital was in need. This is the difference employers can make.

“This is our 10th competition so we are going to make it special, and we hope companies who have previously participated as well as new companies will consider joining in. While there will be a winner announced in June 2023, in this competition every company, every donation makes a big difference.”

Ms Correia adds: “Even just participating helps encourage blood donation so please consider joining. For the more serious competitors, having blood drives and promotions, and encouraging friends, family and even visiting consultants to donate, with a focus on getting as high as possible in the competition listing, can make it fun. Plus, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are saving lives. Give us a call or email, and we can sign you up.”

12 August 2022 Home Page, News

Donate blood and win a ride on a Whip

Tuesday 9 August 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre today announce that blood and apheresis donors who donate between 1 August and 30 September 2022 will be entered into a raffle draw for two $50 Whip Rideshare credit prizes. This is thanks to Whip Rideshare, which has donated the Whip ride credits. The winner will be announced on 1 October 2022.

Whip Rideshare is Bermuda’s first e-scooter ridesharing micro mobility service and affordable eco-transport.

Alex Marshall, the founder of Whip Rideshare, states: “I have previously been a blood donor and wanted to help encourage people to donate as it is important for our community. We are all one family in Bermuda and this is one way we can help each other. Whip is proud to be a part of such a worthy cause. I encourage everyone to come to the Blood Donor Centre at the hospital and donate. Your donation will help save lives.”

The Bermuda Blood Donor Centre is the island’s sole donation centre supporting the hospital. In 2021 there were over 2,000 transfusions, and the need for donors continues to grow.

Bermuda Blood Donor Centre Nurse Phlebotomist Lucy Correia adds: “We are so grateful for the donation from Whip. If you are considering donating for the first time we promise to make it as comfortable as possible. The process only takes about 30 minutes and your one gift of blood can help up to three people, as well as put you in the raffle for the Whip ride credits.

“We are located on the first floor of the General Wing of the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and are open Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 2:30pm, and Friday 8:30am to 1pm for appointments. Call 236-5067. You can also visit www.bdahospitaldev.wpengine.com for more information about donating.”

9 August 2022 Home Page, News

Anna Neilson-Williams appointed as chief of psychiatry

Monday 1 August 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that Dr Anna Neilson-Williams has been appointed as chief of psychiatry. Dr Neilson-Williams has been the acting chief of psychiatry since September 2021.

The chief of psychiatry provides clinical direction and administrative leadership for mental health, substance use and intellectual disability services, and is accountable for the quality of care delivered. The position reports to the chief of staff and to the Board, and is a member of the Executive Team.

Dr Neilson-Williams first joined BHB in 2000 as a resident psychiatrist. She was a general practitioner from 2003 to 2009 with The Family Practice Group. During this time, from 2007-8, Dr Neilson-Williams was also the physician lead for the MWI Medical Outpatient Clinic, and between 2008-9 she was the physician lead for the Continuing Care Unit at KEMH. Dr Neilson-Williams was previously the deputy chief of psychiatry, and from 2014 has been the director of the Continuing Medical Education Programme.

Dr Neilson-Williams gained her medical degree with the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She also has a MSc with distinction in mental health: transcultural mental healthcare from the University of London, Queen Mary’s and Westfield College. In 2020 Dr Neilson-Williams was awarded a Fellowship from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, in recognition to her contribution in psychiatry. She also holds a diploma in leadership and management from the City & Guild of London Institute.

Chief of Staff Dr Wesley Miller comments: “I am very pleased to appoint Dr Neilson-Williams to this critical position at BHB. She has a deep understanding of the needs of mental health, substance use and intellectual disability services in Bermuda and helped lead the MWI Directorate Plan 2021-2026, which is guiding the development of services. As the project lead for the establishment of the Integrated Healthcare Clinic, Dr Neilson-Williams also is part of the evolution of services within BHB that is seeing better coordination and collaboration across sites and within the community. It is an exciting time to be in this vital role and Dr Neilson-Williams is the ideal person to help lead us through this time of change.”


1 August 2022 Home Page, News

Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre temporary weekday hours

Friday 15 July 2022: There will be a temporary change to the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) hours on weekdays from Monday 18 July. Weekend hours will remain the same (9am to 9pm), but Monday to Friday and public holiday hours will be 6pm to 10pm, rather than 2pm to 10pm. Please note that an x-ray service will be available on Sundays only from 9am to 8:45pm.

Dr Chikezie Dean Okereke, Chief of Emergency, comments: “We apologise for any inconvenience the later opening on weekdays causes. This arrangement means we can cover the busiest hours of the UCC, while maintaining adequate staff in the Emergency Department and KEMH Diagnostic Imaging department where the sickest patients receive care. We will review the situation again next month and appreciate the community’s understanding.”

15 July 2022 Home Page, News

Blood donors recognised in Hamilton Princess & Beach Club raffle

Wednesday 13 July 2022: Two winners have been selected from all new and regular blood donors who donated between June 2021 and June 2022, with prizes donated from Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. Long-time blood donor Janice Richards won a night’s stay at the hotel, and new blood donor Shauna Peyton won a champagne brunch.

“Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to all our new and regular blood donors this year,” said Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist. “With over 2,000 transfusions in Bermuda in 2021, our need for regular donors is growing. We are so grateful to those who regularly attend and encourage everyone to consider donating if they can, that it is wonderful they get to participate in the raffle. A big thank you as well to Hamilton Princess for the raffle prizes, and also for being a regular participant in our Corporate Blood Drive competition.”

“We are very proud to support and encourage blood donation,” said Tim Morrison, General Manager of Hamilton Princess. “It is very important for us to have adequate blood supplies for those in our community who need it, and so Hamilton Princess feels it is very valuable for us to contribute and support every year.”

Janice Richards has donated for many years, and started when encouraged to do so at work. “I started to donate when an email was sent round asking employees to donate blood and I’ve been doing it for several years. It is important for people to donate as it saves lives. It is needed for certain medical conditions, and I’m a perfect match for someone in Bermuda who has sickle cell and so I’m called when they are in need of a treatment.”

Shauna Peyton is a new blood donor in Bermuda, but has donated many times in her native US. “Blood donation is an easy way to help people,” she said. “If you can donate you should as you never know when you or someone you know or friends or family will need a blood donation – and you also get cookies!”

13 July 2022 Home Page, News

Five-year strategy published for services at MWI

Tuesday 21 June 2022: Bermuda Hospitals Board has published a five-year strategy for Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute services. The MWI Directorate Plan 2021-2026 was developed following the launch of the BHB Strategic Plan 2021-2026 last year. It provides a pathway for mental health, intellectual disability and substance use services.

R Scott Pearman, Deputy CEO, says: “I’m very proud to see the Plan published after an incredible amount of hard work by MWI staff and clients, through a very challenging period. It highlights work with international and local partners and supports the over-arching BHB vision ‘To pursue excellence through improvement, to make Bermuda proud.’”

Acting Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations (MWI) Preston Swan says: “The strength of the Plan is to provide us with a roadmap to truly transform services and experiences for our clients. While dovetailing to the BHB vision, MWI staff and clients defined the MWI purpose ‘To inspire strength, hope and wellness in our community by promoting independence, choice and person-centred support’.”

“The Plan also re-affirms the recovery model as the heart of all we do,” Preston adds. “This is a model that encourages client participation not just in decisions about their own care and treatment, but in service planning.”

There are four goals that give overall direction to the strategy:
1. Transition outpatient and long term care into the community and close the MWI site in the long term
2. Ensure active patient participation in our services using the recovery model
3. Use a needs-based approach to care that ensures people get care at the right time and place and from the right provider
4. Challenge the stigma and discrimination associated with MWI services

Acting Chief of Psychiatry Dr Anna Nielson comments: “Shifting outpatient services to community settings helps bring the care to the people who need them. It makes accessing services easier, and people don’t have to visit MWI which can have a stigma associated with it. We have already started the process: last year mental health services and support were offered from Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre, Victoria Clinic, the courts and a nurse led pilot has run in a GP office. Lastly, a Community Intellectual Disability Team (CIDT) was launched last year to support clients in their homes.”

The Plan goes further, however, with a long term goal of co-locating acute inpatient mental health services on the KEMH campus, where inpatient acute medical services are delivered.

“People would be able to go to the same campus whether they have an acute mental illness or physical illness,” Dr Neilson-Williams explains. “They would be separate, purpose built units, but on the same campus allowing for better support and cooperation between the two services.”

Mr Swan also highlights a promotional campaign in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), MIND (UK) and local partners to help break down the stigma associated with mental illness. “We want to end the stigma that many people feel is associated with mental illness. It impacts how people are treated at work and home, and also can discourage people from seeking help when they need it. We truly want to see a transformation take place in Bermuda.”

You can read the full MWI Directorate Plan here and a summary of the plan here.

21 June 2022 Home Page, News