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New BHB urologist appointed

From the Royal Gazette

Gordon Kooiman

Newly appointed urologist Gordon Kooiman (photo provided)

Owain Johnston-Barnes
Published Dec 14, 2016 at 12:01 am (Updated Dec 13, 2016 at 5:14 pm)

Bermuda Hospitals Board this afternoon announced that Gordon Kooiman has been named the new director of urology at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

According to a statement, the appointment of a urologist was needed to meet demand for services, including the diagnosis and treating of people with cancer in the urinary tract, enlarged prostates and kidney stones.


13 December 2016 Media

BHB focuses on ethics and youth

6 November 2016: 518_file_1Medical ethics and their particular relevance to treating Bermuda’s young people have been under the microscope at Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) during the past week.

Staff members and community healthcare partners participated in seminars, continuing education sessions and grand rounds during BHB’s Ethics Awareness Week 2016, held from 31 October to 4 November. The sessions were led by medical ethics expert Dr Christy Simpson, head of the Bioethics Department at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

The BHB Ethics Committee also spent a day immersed in discussions with Dr Simpson about the complexities of making ethical decisions when treating children and adolescents.

Dr Chantelle Simmons, BHB’s chief of psychiatry and chair of the Ethics Education Subcommittee, said: “Not only is Dr Simpson always available to assist us in working through difficult ethical dilemmas, she has come to Bermuda to lead Ethics Awareness Week 11 times.

“Having that external support from Dalhousie and Dr Simpson, and being able to talk through some of these complex matters with an organisation that has considerably more experience in medical ethics than we do is invaluable.”

Ethics Committee member Dr Carla Bean, clinical psychologist for Child and Adolescent Services, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, said: “We spent the week exploring some of the ethical issues that can become more complicated when we’re dealing with minors. Not only are you taking the law, professional best practices and the patient’s wishes into account, you’re also considering the wishes of the parents or legal guardians and the child’s ability to understand and make their own decisions.

“It’s not as cut and dried as it can be with adults, who generally have the legal right and ability to make decisions about their treatment.”

The BHB Ethics Committee offers assistance to patients and service users, their families and healthcare professionals.

Dr Simmons said: “People may not realise we are here as a resource for anyone who is dealing with ethical issues around medical care. Ethics is about doing the right thing for the right reasons, and we can guide people in making tough ethical decisions.

“Members of the public can contact us for a consultation by calling 291-HOPE (4673).”

The BHB Ethics Committee comprises about 20 members, including clinical, administrative and community representatives. The Committee promotes awareness of ethical concerns at both King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI), endorses medical ethics education, provides an ethics consultation service and produces guidelines on prominent issues that can help healthcare professionals consider all aspects of controversial decisions. The Committee also reviews medical research proposals on request and reviews hospital policies to ensure they are ethically sound.

BHB’s Ethics Committee maintains a close relationship with Dalhousie University’s Department of Bioethics, which provides assistance and training in ethical matters.

6 November 2016 Home Page, News

BHB DREAM Centre offers free health screenings to the public

(Bermuda Hospitals Board, November 1, 2016) 517_file_1Residents 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, will provide the service. The accredited team comprises Asthma & Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Nurse Educator Debbie Barboza, Diabetes Nurse Educators Jane Hope and Tammoi Jarrett, Clinical Dietitians Letitia Rabain and Jessika Quigley and Endocrinologist Dr Annabel Fountain. 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) and the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI). The screenings will take place on the following dates and times:

  • KEMH General Wing lobby Monday 7 November 2pm — 5pm
  • MWI 1st Floor Conference Room Tuesday 8 November 2pm — 4pm
  • KEMH Acute Care Wing main lobby Wednesday 9 November 2pm — 5pm

During Diabetes & Chronic Lung Disease Awareness Month, DREAM Centre team members will release articles each week highlighting how you can recognize symptoms and manage your condition or help your loved ones.

“Anyone over 40 who smokes or has a history of smoking and who finds it difficult to breathe sometimes or all the time, should come in and take the free lung function test during the screenings. If that is not possible they should contact me on 239-1652 or email 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.”

“The Bermuda Hospitals Board Dream Centre is committed to educating the public about diabetes and seeks to lead the way in prevention locally,” said Dr Fountain. “We have one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world. It is the leading cause of blindness and heart disease on the island, but these side effects are preventable with prevention, early detection and proper management,” she said. “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 recognize 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.”

1 November 2016 Home Page, News

Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute programme highlighted in international publication

(Bermuda Hospitals Board, October 30, 2016) 516_file_1Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) Occupational Therapist Morrisa Rogers has put Bermuda on the world stage with her case study on the collaborative efforts of a project between MWI and WindReach Bermuda. Her work has been published in the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Bulletin, this month. The online version of the October edition of the Bulletin went live on Sunday 23 October.
Mrs. Rogers’ article “Creative Partnerships: When collaboration brings about a growth of the profession” is a paper which looks at a collaborative project between MWI and another local charity – WindReach Bermuda.

The abstract for the paper reads as follows: “Public-private partnerships have become a growing trend both globally and locally in healthcare as limited financial resources and complex social and behavioural problems often make it nearly impossible in many countries for either public or private entities to address such problems on their own.

“In Bermuda the reality is no different this has required occupational therapist to seek opportunities to develop partnerships in the community. The case study exemplifies such a situation. Occupational therapists at the publically funded, Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, and the local registered non-profit, WindReach, have collaborated to provide opportunities for between 35 and 40 regular service users to find meaningful experiences outside of an institutional setting.”

Mrs Rogers said a desire to recognise the impact occupational therapy is making in our Bermuda community motivated her to write about this project.

She said: “This is what continues to drive me to seek additional opportunities to educate and advocate for the profession not only in Bermuda but also internationally.”

30 October 2016 Home Page, News

Request For Information Issued To Optimise Use of Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre Facility

(October 17, 2016) Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) today starts a Request For Information (RFI) process for maximising the use of the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC) facility.

The BHB is committed to maintaining the current remit of the UCC however the goal is to optimize the use the UCC facility to improve community health. Current service provisions from the facility will continue including the out-of-hours urgent care service, the opening of the facility when the causeway is closed, and the use of the facility in the event of a disaster in the East End or at the airport. BHB believes, however, that outside of these hours, the facility could be used for other medical services.

Chief Operating Officer (KEMH), R. Scott Pearman, comments: “The UCC is a prime yet under-utilized healthcare facility. There is a clear opportunity for primary care, specialist physicians or allied health providers to make recommendations that would add value and improve the health and well-being of the East End and the community in general. Making available the UCC’s spare capacity to entrepreneurs will increase the productivity of existing healthcare resources.”

BHB is open to all responses and ideas on how best to use the UCC facility, provided they are consistent with BHB’s Corporate Strategic Plan and healthcare mandate. A potential partner may propose to repurpose the UCC during its current down time or they may propose to assume full responsibility for the current UCC operation. The BHB will not consider proposals that compromise the current standard of out-of-hours services available to residents.

Mr Pearman continues: “Our new strategic plan seeks to improve community health through collaboration and partnership. We are seeking to work with the community, rather than expand the hospital’s scope of service, so that the healthcare system and people in Bermuda benefit through efficient and effective services. The RFI will help us develop an effective and focused RFP as we will have a much clearer idea on what are the potential market solutions.”

The Request-For-Information document can be obtained by interested parties from Mr. Anthony Hunter, Director of Commercial Procurement by emailing Anthony.Hunter@bhb.bm by 21 October 2016. Closing date for respondents to the RFI will be the 1 November 2016.

17 October 2016 Home Page, News

Being Alive

Artwork and poetry competition winners announced

Bermuda Hospitals Board and Friends of Hospice announce the winners of the Being Alive artwork and poetry competition. The competition, open to the public at large, is part of celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of Agape House, Bermuda’s only palliative care hospice.

Participants submitted their original works of art and poetry/prose on the theme Being Alive. In total, 9 works of art and 11 poems were submitted. Three judges met and decided on winners in each of the two categories. Judges of the artwork were: Danjou Anderson, Gallery Director of Windjammer3 Gallery; Nzingha Ming, Gallery Director of Bermuda Society of Arts and Elise Outerbridge, Curator and Director of Collections for Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Local poets Nick Hutchings, Stephan Johnstone and Anna Nowak judged the poetry entries.

Winning entries will be hung in Agape House.

In the artwork section Alan C Smith won first place with his digital image “Trees”, Nicky Gurrett received second place with her vibrant oil on canvas “Movement galore” and Shereet Fern was awarded 3rd place for her mixed media submission “Beach Combing”.

The winning poem was “Finding the Sun” by Kelly Exell. “Seemingly harmless” by Donna-Marie Bell came second while” My journey with Cancer” by Millie Dyer placed third.

Honorable mentions in the poetry category were:
“Alive” by Deborah Lombardo
“New Nows” by Alan C Smith
“The Splendor of You” by Kenisha N Dill

“Friends of Hospice appreciate the time and effort participants in this competition took to create their pieces of art,” said the charity’s Executive Director Cathy Belvedere.

“We hope that all the works help our residents, their families and the wider community to appreciate life more, the importance of being in the here and now and living fully, even where a terminal condition has been diagnosed,” she added.

“We applaud the work of Friends of Hospice in supporting Agape House and congratulate the winners and all the participants in the Being Alive contest,” said BHB President and CEO Venetta Symonds.” We are pleased to provide the public with palliative care in the hospice setting and know that these entries will add to the warm loving feeling residents and their families experience at Agape House.”

At Agape House every patient is treated with the utmost respect and encouraged to live life to the fullest. Staff are inspired, and try in turn to inspire patients, to follow the ideal of Dame Cecily Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement who said: ““You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life.”

10 October 2016 News

General Wing Lobby Doors Closed on Thursday 29 September

BHB is installing new front doors in the General Wing lobby (where the Pink Café is located) of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. Access to the General Wing lobby through these doors will be impacted on Thursday 29 September. On this day, people are asked to enter and leave the building either through the old Emergency Entrance (on the Berry Hill Road side), the healing garden (to the side of the new Acute Care Wing), through the Continuing Care Unit entrance or the main ACW lobby on Point Finger Road.

28 September 2016 News


New strategy aims to deliver exceptional care, through strong partnerships and a healthy community.

Bermuda Hospitals Board today provides the latest update on its activities and releases end of year unaudited financial statements for 2015/16.

Highlights for the fiscal year 2015/16 include:
• Completion of a six month strategic planning process for the entire BHB that received stakeholder input from 300 staff and 50 external stakeholders. Major initiatives across medical and mental health fields have been identified along with a corporate action plan.

• Three years of concerted efforts to become more efficient have made the following possible:
 – No (0%) fee rise for KEMH in 2016/17 (vs 1% in 2015/16 and 1% in 2014/15)
 – Costs associated with the new Acute Care Wing fully were fully absorbed for the first full fiscal year of payments (payments started in June 2014)
 – BHB is in a more stable financial position to invest in its own infrastructure and services, and work in partnership with others to improve community health

BHB Chairman, Mr Peter Everson, comments: “For some time now, BHB has been working hard to manage very high capacity in both the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. For patients at KEMH, this has caused a number of challenges, including longer waits than usual for admission to a bed from, for example, the Emergency or Surgery Department. We recognise that the wait for a bed is very frustrating. At MWI, staff members are under increasing pressure as numbers of people seeking help continues to rise, including seniors who have dementia-related disorders.

“An immense amount of work is carried out every day and night to keep services running. I would like to thank all staff who are part of this 24/7 process of discharge and admission, caring, treatment and support. But the pressure on staff is not sustainable, nor is the patience of our community.

“At the heart of the increase in use of our services is the aging and increasingly ill population we care for, individuals choosing to use Emergency rather than their doctors in the community, vulnerable groups whose medical and mental health chronic conditions are not managed optimally, and the shortage of appropriate services for our seniors, especially those with dementia-related disorders. This rise in service demand pressures BHB to increase capacity and drives up costs despite fee rises being well below inflation for many years.”

“With this in mind, BHB completed a strategic planning process that embraced internal and external stakeholder feedback from 350 individuals earlier this year. Summed up in the new vision: Exceptional Care. Strong Partnerships. Healthy Community, the strategy seeks to set the direction to address key concerns around quality and health.

“Key projects include improving patient flow through and between BHB, MWI and the community, working collaboratively to increase long term care placement availability in Bermuda, helping vulnerable groups improve and manage their chronic diseases, and strengthening relationships and partnerships with community providers and overseas hospitals to benefit access to quality care.”

“Furthermore we are using this strategy to address a number of critical issues impacting patient experience. From reducing delays as patients move through and out of the hospital, which will help reduce Emergency wait times, to dealing with unexpected issues that arise where the new strategy requires us to put patients first.

“Examples of unexpected issues include improving diagnostic imaging reporting times. We had noticed our turnaround times had increased over the summer and this has triggered an internal review to look at all the processes, staffing and current systems that are involved in getting a diagnostic imaging test read, reported on and to physicians and patients. Right now, we have adapted processes, and are increasing administrative and systems support to address the increase in turnaround time. But in keeping true to our new strategy of being patient-focused, the review has highlighted a number of longer term improvements that can be made that will give patients access to their own results as they are posted.

“There are no quick fixes to improving community health and hospital services, and BHB recognises it is part of a healthcare system that requires the involvement of providers, organisations and the community. A new, more collaborative way of working is required. The issues we face are complex and require us to listen as much as we talk, and to collaborate and cooperate with other providers as much as we compete.

BHB’s strategic documents can be accessed here [insert link]. A community event is planned for late in the Fall.

Mr Everson ends: “While the release of our 2011-12 Annual Report in July was a positive step forward to getting our financial statements up to date, we will continue to share our unaudited results on a six monthly basis. The end of year update is included in this release.

Attachment 1: Unaudited 2015/16 Financials

Link 1: Strategic Plan 2016-21

27 September 2016 News

Urgent Care Centre Closure this Weekend

Bermuda Hospitals Board today advises that it will have to close the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre this weekend (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18) as it is unable to cover an unplanned absence of the Emergency physician scheduled to work at the facility.

Dr Edward Schultz, Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Medicine, comments: “BHB is sorry that we are unable to find an Emergency physician to cover an unplanned absence by the scheduled physician at the UCC. We will open again on Monday 19 September 2016 at the usual time 4pm. Over the weekend, we ask that people with emergency medical needs go directly to the Emergency Department at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, which remains fully staffed and operational.”

16 September 2016 News

BHB Update on the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre

Bermuda Hospitals Board today provides an update on maintenance plans for the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre (UCC).

BHB’s strategy seeks to improve quality of care, strengthen partnerships and support a healthy community. As part of this strategy, BHB will close the UCC for two weeks later this Fall to undertake maintenance work at in order to sustain the facility for urgent care, as a disaster hub in the event of an East End crisis such as a crash at the airport, and as an available medical facility for St David’s and St George’s residents when the causeway is closed.

Dr Edward Schultz, Chief of Emergency and Hyperbaric Medicine notes: “The need for the UCC has never been greater to manage the increasingly sick and senior population in Bermuda. Over the last five years, numbers at both the UCC and Emergency Department have trended slightly down (7.7%) from 39,564 to 36,518. Very likely, this relates to the decrease in local population numbers. However, the complexity we see in the Emergency Department is increasing. This relates to our ageing population, as our seniors can have multiple issues and medications, and the rising incidence of chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Diabetes can cause or complicate a patient’s medical condition and increase the likelihood of hospitalisation. At any time about 40% of people in hospital have diabetes. In Emergency, this complexity means each patient takes longer to triage, test, diagnose and treat and the numbers of admissions from Emergency into hospital is much higher. This has led to KEMH often working at capacity, and people are left waiting for an inpatient bed in Emergency. This, in turn, reduces the clinical space for incoming Emergency patients, who then also wait for longer. The need for the UCC has never been higher to relieve the pressure in the hospital Emergency department, and enable people who have urgent care needs in evenings and weekends to be seen relatively quickly.”

Mr Scott Pearman, Chief Operating Officer for KEMH and the UCC, adds: “The UCC facility is now seven years old and requires maintenance to refresh aging systems and prepare the facility for the projected influx of visitors due to the Americas Cup events scheduled in 2017. The maintenance work is planned for later in the fall when it will temporarily close for a couple of weeks so that the floor can be replaced, repairs can be made to the air conditioning system, and a number of less visible maintenance issues can be addressed. Numbers at the UCC tend to dip slightly towards late fall and the risks of hurricanes decline in October and November. We do not have a set date yet, as we will monitor storm activity and usage, but wanted to ensure people know about our plans. The UCC is strategically important to the island, and we will use a public process to identify potential partners that are interested in collaborating with the BHB to make use of the facility at times when the urgent care service is not in operation.”

Attachment 1: Urgent Care Centre and Emergency Department Usage

7 September 2016 News