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Bacardi Wins Corporate Blood Drive 2017 Competition


14 June 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) and the Ministry of Health and Seniors today announce that Bacardi is the winner of the Corporate Blood Drive 2016/17.  This is the fourth Corporate Blood Drive that has taken place, and this annual competition between local companies had the highest ever number of competitors. Bacardi has been awarded the revolving trophy and a certificate to thank them for their commitment to saving lives and caring for those with therapeutic transfusion needs, such as sickle cell and cancer patients.

There were 423 blood donations as a result of the competition – 384 whole blood donations and 39 apherisis donations.  Of these, 79 were from Bacardi who contributed 18.7% of all donations of the competition.  New blood donor numbers rose by 195 in 2016, compared to 52 in 2015, in large part thanks to people signing up as part of this competition.

This year there were nineteen contestants: Appleby, Ariel Re, Argus, Artex, Bacardi, Bermuda Government Department of Corrections, Bermuda Government Department of Accountant General,  Bermuda Police Service, BF&M, Butterfield & Vallis, Estera, FIL Limited, Gosling, HSBC, Kitson Group of Companies, Marsh IAS Management Services (Bermuda) Ltd., Lancashire, the Royal Bermuda Regiment and XL Catlin.

Minister of Health and Seniors, The Hon. Jeanne Atherden JP, MP, comments: “It has been a very active competition this year and I would first like to congratulate Bacardi on a well-earned win.  They contributed nearly a fifth of all the donations, which is amazing. And thank you to all nineteen companies who participated.  You have contributed to an increased number of blood donors in Bermuda.  Your support of employees donating during work time and promoting the competition to them, and their families and friends has made a big difference this year. ”

Dr Clyde Wilson, BHB Chief of Pathology, comments: “Congratulations to Bacardi and thank you to all our competitors – the competition this year has been terrific as you can see from the impact it has had on increased donors and donations.  Bacardi fought hard, with internal promotions and six blood drives to encourage their staff, friends and families to donate. The 195 new blood donors helped bolster numbers, as other donors retired or moved away from Bermuda.  Total donors went up from 968 to 1095. So thank you for supporting this competition.  I can think of no better return on investment than more people in Bermuda donating blood and saving lives.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, Consultant Haematologist, comments: “Even with the new donors this year, we are keen to encourage more people to donate. The needs in our community are rising. The hospital has been working at capacity for much of this year and this resulted in the number of transfusions rising by 300 between 2015/16 when there were 1711 transfusions and 2016/17 when there were 2006 transfusions.  The need for blood transfusions goes up as people age and our community is getting older so we expect the numbers to keep going up.  882 or 43.8% of all transfusions were given to people over 64 in 2016. The need increases in line with age so we urge you to think of your parents and grandparents wellbeing, as well as your siblings, friends and children.  There is no greater gift you can give them than the gift of life and it couldn’t be easier for company sign up for the 2017/18 competition – just call or email the Blood Donor Centre at or 236-5067 and we’ll send you the form.”

Lisa Frias, Manager, Global Finance, Bacardi, led the Bacardi effort and comments: “We really decided to commit ourselves to the competition this year and our staff members are thrilled to have won. It has been a great team effort and we hope that we have thrown down the gauntlet for next year – we are certainly ready to win again!  Thank you to all our staff – achieving 18.3% of all donations in the competition shows how dedicated we are to this cause and it is in line with Bacardi’s value of caring.  Blood donation is incredibly important to saving lives and therapeutic treatments, and as a company we are very happy to be supporting our community in a tangible way. ”

Blood Transfusion usage by age:

Patient Ages 2014 2015 2016
<5 3 0 11
5-9 2 2 1
10-19 26 49 43
20-34 220 181 230
35-49 211 293 365
50-64 411 274 481
>64 757 753(48.5%) 882 (43.8%)


About Blood Donation

  • Bermuda uses about 35 to 45 units of blood per week (one unit is one donated pint of blood)
  • Most healthy people between 18 and 70, who weigh a minimum of 110lbs, can donate blood.
  • Globally, about 38% of donations are from people under 25. In Bermuda, only 4% of donors are under 25 years of age.
  • Globally about 6% of the population (or 45 people out every 1,000) donate. In Bermuda, less than 2% of the total population donates (about 17 out of every 1,000).
  • When you donate blood, one pint is taken which is then separated into different components.
  • Donors replenish the volume of blood donated within 24 hours and can safely donate blood once every three months.
  • To ensure a donor is healthy enough to give blood, donors are asked to fill out a questionnaire and their blood pressure and haemoglobin is checked.
  • The entire process, including pre-testing, donating and time for refreshments afterwards takes about half an hour.
  • Healthy blood is vital to us all. It has three major functions: to carry oxygen and nutrients to the body cells so they can create energy; to help defend the body against infections and injuries; and to remove waste products from the body cells.
  • The average adult contains 10 to 12 pints of blood, which contains many substances including red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma.
14 June 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board offers training on jellyfish stings

31 May 2017: A local expert in treating jellyfish stings, and in particular those of the Portuguese-Man-of-War variety, provided training to some first responders this month.

Bermuda Hospitals Board’s (BHB) Dr David Wakely trained more than 20 Marine Police officers and Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers in the best way to treat burns and stings caused by Portuguese-Man-of-War. A  BHB Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine physician, Dr Wakely sees many cases of jellyfish stings particularly in the spring and summer.

In readiness for the surge in water activities the Bermuda Police Service requested the training to increase the awareness of marine first aid. They invited the members of the Royal  Bermuda Regiment as well as staff from Medical House. The Medical House staff were present to learn what products the Emergency Department recommends victims use to treat their stings.

According to Dr. Wakely most victims do not have to attend the hospital for treatment. Those who know what to do can treat themselves or others who know can help victims. He also advised that hospital treatment should be considered in the case of toddlers, the elderly, those with serious medical conditions, those who have been stung over large areas of their bodies or those who have been stung in sensitive areas like the face, mouth and groin.


What to do in the case of a Portuguese Man-of-War sting

Safety first

  • Use gloves
  • Keep bystanders back
  • Identify the main sail / body parts of the animal
  • Look for trailing stinger / tentacles

Remove the tentacles

  • Remove main body of the animal from victim if still attached
  • Wash affected area with seawater, to flush away any tentacles
  • Cover area in shaving foam (stingers are now in the foam)
  • Scrape foam off with blunt spatula

Inactivate the stingers

  • Soak the area in vinegar for 5 – 10 minutes
  • Leave soaking for 5-10 minutes

Treat the pain

  • Hot packs on affected area
  • Consider putting victim in showers and running shower hot as tolerable
  • Keep hot pack / shower on area for 30 minutes
31 May 2017 Home Page, News

Bermuda Hospitals Board supports Radiation Therapy Unit with equipment upgrade

16 May 2017: On-island radiation therapy is a step closer to being a reality as Bermuda Hospitals Board announces upgrades to one of its CT scanners have been completed. Installation teams from General Electric (GE) and LAP Laser installed the equipment and software earlier this month.

BHB has partnered with Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre to support the Radiation Therapy Unit. As part of that therapy, patients have to undergo a simulation. The upgrades allow the CT scanner to be used for this service. To date, six patients have used the new CT service.

Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre funded the upgrade.

BHB Consultant Oncologist Dr Christopher Fosker’s interview on the new service – Part 1


BHB Consultant Oncologist Dr Christopher Fosker’s interview on the new service – Part 2


16 May 2017 Home Page, News

Community survey to help shape clinical services at BHB

12 May 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board today invites the community to share their perspectives on what is important about BHB services with a survey. The anonymous online survey is being shared as part of BHB’s Clinical Services Planning project. The goal of the project is to listen to feedback, review healthcare data, and speak to various BHB and external stakeholders in order to identify the services BHB should provide the community going forward.

The survey can be accessed at The link can also be found at and on the BHB Facebook page.

BHB Chief Nurse and Project Lead Judy Richardson comments: “Healthcare needs have changed drastically since the Bermuda Hospitals Act 1970 first listed mandated services, and reviewing what services BHB should offer and how BHB fits within the overall health system is well overdue. At the launch of our strategic plan last year, we adopted the triple aim of improving the patient experience, reducing the per capita cost of care and improving population health.

“Our Clinical Services Planning process will be making recommendation on how we think BHB can best achieve these goals through the delivery of clinical services across King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. Listening to our staff, physicians, and external stakeholders in the healthcare system and community is a critical part of this project, and we hope people in Bermuda will participate so their perspectives can help shape our eventual recommendations.”

The Clinical Services Planning process is currently in its information gathering phase. Detailed data analysis will take place over the summer, and further opportunities to participate for staff and stakeholders will take place in early fall. The goal is to have a plan with recommendations for the public in January 2018.

Download the BHB Clinical Services Survey Flyer

12 May 2017 Home Page, News

Bermudian psychiatrist produces global Prison Public Health Position Statement

Dr Seb Henagulph4 May 2017: With nearly 11 million people in prisons worldwide, how should countries treat and manage prisoners with health problems? Bermuda Hospitals Board’s  Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist Dr Seb Henagulph was called on to help the World Psychiatric Association develop a standard, which was published in February.

The Prison Public Health Position Statement is useful not only for healthcare providers working in prisons but also governments and those who have responsibility for managing prisons around the world. Dr Henagulph was one of 11 psychiatrists who contributed to the landmark document. It was issued on the 27th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from Victor Verster Prison, South Africa, where he was held for 27 years.

Dr Henagulph was asked by a colleague in the UK, Dr Andrew Forrester, to join a task force on prison health. Dr Forrester, joint chair of the task force and clinical director of the Offender Health Research Network at the University of Manchester, knew of Dr Henagulph’s experience with prisons both in Bermuda and the UK and wanted him on the team.

“It was a virtual group over the last two years, with Dr Forrester and Dr Mary Piper the joint chairs,” said Dr Henagulph. “They approached various psychiatrists with experience in working in prisons, trying to be as international as possible.”

The consultation group included psychiatrists from India, Egypt, Australia, Canada, the UK and Bermuda. The comments, discussions and the various international perspectives were collated and the position paper ratified at a consensus meeting of the World Psychiatric Association in Cape Town, South Africa, in November 2016.

The Statement begins with a quote from Mr Mandela: “Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.”

While the paper clearly sets out a standard which countries can adopt, Dr Henagulph pointed out that it is not mandatory.

“It’s not legally binding like a UN convention or anything similar,” he said. “It’s more a position statement which the World Psychiatric Association will use to negotiate with governments who are not meeting the standards and encourage them to improve conditions. Psychiatrists in countries with poor prison conditions can also use it to inform their governments of needed changes.

“Prisoners as a whole tend to have chaotic lives with multiple physical, mental and social health issues and can be difficult to engage in treatment in the community. It makes sense from a public health perspective to provide the highest level of care possible while they are incarcerated,” he added.

Dr Henagulph said Bermuda meets most of the standards set out in the paper but noted there is room for improvement.

“More effective rehabilitation services for prisoners and the provision of a fully independent prison healthcare service are two recommendations we could work on in Bermuda,” he said. “The World Health Organisation recommends that providers of prison healthcare should be fully independent from the justice system.”

To further assist jurisdictions that want to improve prison standards, the group also provided the Prisoner Mental & Public Healthcare Curriculum (attached).

WPA Position Statement Prison Policy

WPA Prisoner Mental Healthcare Curriculum

4 May 2017 Home Page, News

Bill Shields appointed as BHB chief financial officer

Bill Shields, BHB CFO3 April 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces that it has appointed Mr Bill Shields as Chief Financial Officer following an extensive local and international recruitment process.

The CFO at BHB is a legislated position in the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act 1970 and, as such, this appointment is approved by the Minister responsible for Health. The CFO is responsible for financial strategy and reporting, and manages the Finance, Admitting, Materials Management, Procurement and IT Directorates. The position reports to the Chief Executive Officer and the Board.

Chief Executive Officer Mrs Venetta Symonds comments: “I’m very pleased to welcome Mr Shields to BHB as Chief Financial Officer. As our recent budget debate highlighted, BHB is facing major challenges as Bermuda works to control healthcare costs and improve its financial position. A key focus for the coming fiscal year will be developing a clinical services plan that will help us make critical decisions about services going forward. BHB needs a financial executive who understands hospital finances and how they connect to the health system, and has experience in optimizing financial and operational performance to support clinical quality on the front line of patient care. Mr Shields comes with an impressive record within the NHS and we look forward to him bringing this expertise and experience to the team.”

Coming from the UK, Mr Shields joins BHB after over a year working as Executive Director of EY, a health advisory practice that focuses on performance improvement and optimization. In this role he worked with numerous NHS hospitals to transform and improve financial and operational performance. Prior to this position, he worked in the NHS for almost 29 years, most recently with the Imperial College NHS Trust, where he led a recovery of the Trust’s financial and operational performance where he held subsequent positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive.

Mr Shields comments: “I am looking forward to working with the team at BHB. They have worked very hard over the last few years to improve their financial stability, and I know that together we will be able address the current challenges to support BHB’s stated triple aim goals of improving the patient experience, improving population health and reducing the per capita cost of care.”

Having gained his professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Mr Shields also has an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Glasgow. He has won numerous awards, including the HFMA Finance Director of the Year, 2013, HFMA Governance Award, 2013, and Health Service Journal Finance Team of the Year 2013.

3 April 2017 Home Page, News

CEO Venetta Symonds on bed capacity at KEMH

23 March 2017: Bermuda Hospitals Board CEO Venetta Symonds updates the public on bed capacity at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in this short video. KEMH continues to experience a surge in demand, which has led to the hospital being over capacity.


Wherever possible, the public is asked to help hospital staff and the community by using services appropriately and maintaining their health wherever possible:

  • If you have a close relative at KEMH who is ready to be discharged, please work with the hospital teams to get them home without delay.
  • If you have a minor illness or injury, book an appointment with your GP or visit the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre. You will avoid long waits. If you are in an Emergency situation, however, please do not hesitate in seeking care at the hospital.
  • If you know which specialist you need and it is not an Emergency, make an appointment directly with the specialist. If you need a referral, see your GP.
  • Manage any chronic conditions you might have, for example, make sure you take your hypertension or diabetes medication to avoid an emergency.
  • Look after yourself: eat healthily, exercise and wash your hands regularly to try and avoid infections and optimize your wellbeing.
  • Drive safely at all times – and don’t drink and drive! You can avoid Emergency and an admission by not ending up in a road accident.
23 March 2017 Home Page, News

Twelve Bermudians graduate as emergency medical technicians

20 March 2017: Twelve new Bermudian emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, have recently been added to the island’s dwindling corps of first responders. The group made history as the first graduating cohort of the pilot programme of a partnership between Bermuda College, the Bermuda Hospitals Board, and the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services.

The local programme has also been validated by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT), another first, and an accomplishment which Dr Edward Schultz, Chief of Emergency & Hyperbaric Services at KEMH, described as “ground-breaking”. The Registry provides national certification of standards and competency, and is recognised in every state in the United States. It is the first time that the Registry has been allowed to be used internationally.

“This means that Bermuda is now recognised as a designated authorising agency for the NREMT, and that students of the EMT training course offered through Bermuda College are entitled to sit the Basic EMT certifying exam, and if successful gain full NREMT reciprocity in the United States,” he said, crediting the hard work of EMT-Paramedic David Duperreault, formerly of the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service.

The significance was echoed by BHB Chief EMT Officer Walter Brangman. “This programme was a lot of work but has been very rewarding for me. I’m so pleased to have worked with these 12 dedicated students and witnessed first-hand their passion and drive to make the grade. It takes commitment to complete a course like this and the skills they’ve acquired put us in good stead as a country with world-class, highly trained EMTs readily available.”

Three of the 12 new graduates have already sat and passed the NREMT exam, allowing them to practice locally or anywhere in the United States. Two of the students, Mahkye Steede and Armani Wears, have already secured employment at the Bermuda Fire Services.

Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator of the EMT course at Bermuda College’s PACE Division, credited the teamwork as a main component of the programme’s success. “PACE is always poised to provide customised training leading to certification for local and international programmes,” she said. “The EMT programme is a perfect example of how the College and industry can collaborate to meet the demands of the workforce in a timely manner. I’m proud that the Bermuda Hospitals Board, through Mr Brangman; the Bermuda Fire & Rescue Service, through the efforts of Arnold Botelho, RN and EMT Coordinator; and Bermuda College, specifically the efforts of Kathy-Ann Swan RN, together, were able to design a high quality programme that will serve the industry for years to come.”

Both emergency services anticipate continued job openings in the next three to five years. The 15-week course will launch its second cohort this fall. For more information contact Karen Smith at Bermuda College.

This is a joint release from Bermuda Hospitals Board and Bermuda College.

20 March 2017 Home Page, News

Corporate Blood Drive competition heats up

17 March 2017: Businesses participating in the 2017 Corporate Blood Drive are scheduling special blood donor drives to maximise their chance of winning the competition, which is helping maintain vital blood supplies for people in Bermuda. Over the last few weeks, a Bacardi blood drive encouraged 17 staff donate, Argus had 11 and Ariel Re had nine.

The Corporate Blood Drive is an annual competition between businesses in Bermuda, organised by the Bermuda Blood Donor Centre in partnership with the Ministry of Health & Seniors.

Dr Eyitayo Fakunle, consultant haematologist, comments: “The Corporate Blood Drive is meant to be fun and morale boosting – it is all about people coming together to benefit the community. The blood donated through the competition is adding to the regular donor pool to save lives and treat many patients each day in Bermuda. We are very grateful to all our competing businesses and regular donors in Bermuda, but special mention has to be made at this point for Bacardi, Argus and Ariel Re who have been active in organising special blood drives for their employees.

“The competition is definitely heating up this year: Bacardi and Ariel Re have shown great dedication with three special blood drives since June last year, and Argus had a Valentine’s blood promotion this month after a special presentation by the Blood Donor Centre staff near the end of last year.”

Blood donations are used to save lives in emergency situation, for example after an accident or in childbirth, but even more units are used each month in therapies for people with more chronic disease needs, such as sickle cell, dialysis and cancer patients.

Dr Fakunle finishes: “The competition is not yet over and all 19 competing businesses can put in a special effort in the last four months and perhaps win the trophy. Bacardi is currently in the lead, but it’s not too late for other competitors to catch up. We’d remind all participating companies that they can also invite family and friends to donate too – it will all count to their final tally. We wish all 19 competitors the best of luck and would remind all local businesses that the next Corporate Blood Drive Competition will start in June this year. The numbers of competitors is going up each year and we sincerely hope we can encourage even more participation – it is making a huge difference for so many individuals lives in Bermuda.”

To find out more about the Corporate Blood Drive, or to set an appointment to donate blood as an individual, call 236-5067.

17 March 2017 Home Page, News

BHB urologist performs Bermuda’s first laparoscopic kidney removal

Dr Gordon Kooiman

Dr Gordon Kooiman

28 February 2017: Hundreds of nephrectomies (removal of kidney) have been performed in Bermuda over the years, but the Bermuda Hospitals Board (BHB) can now report the first case of a patient having the procedure done laparoscopically.

Urologist Gordon Kooiman, MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol), joined BHB last December. A specialist not only in urology but also laparoscopic surgery, he quickly received a referral from another local urologist.

Forty-three-year-old Elizabeth DeSilva said she wasn’t in pain, but when she learned that her left kidney “was completely filled up with large stones” her physician told her it would be best to have it removed. “He called me up and said I should get a second opinion from Dr Kooiman at the hospital,” said Mrs DeSilva. “[He] explained that if he did the surgery I would have a scar about 12 inches long but that Dr Kooiman might be able to do it where the scar would be much smaller.”

Mrs DeSilva said after meeting Dr Kooiman she and her husband opted for him to remove her kidney laparoscopically.

“He was a really wonderful doctor,” she said. “He made both my husband and I feel at ease with the surgery he was going to perform. He was really warm and friendly.”

Elizabeth DeSilva

Elizabeth DeSilva

A mother of three and grandmother of two, Mrs DeSilva said her entire family was concerned about her health. “And I was very nervous,” she added.

She had the nephrectomy on 15 December 2016.

“I was fine when I came out,” she said, “although I was sore. It took some time, but I eventually felt better.”

Dr Kooiman said: “Removing a kidney via the laparoscopic (keyhole or minimally invasive) approach is available in most urology centres worldwide. Three or four small 5-10mm wounds allow a camera and thin, long instruments to be used to free the kidney from the surrounding structures. The kidney is then removed by extending one of the small wounds. Because the main wound is smaller, laparoscopic nephrectomy is associated with less post-operative pain, quicker discharge from hospital and quicker return to work.”

In the case of Mrs DeSilva, she spent only four days recuperating in the Acute Care Wing compared with a likely stay of seven to 10 days if she had undergone open surgery.

If you would like more information on laparoscopic nephrectomy, contact Dr Kooiman’s office on 239-5908 or email

Gordon Kooiman MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol)
Director of Urology

Dr Gordon Kooiman, MBBS MSc FRCS(Urol), is the Director of Urology at Bermuda Hospitals Board. Prior to that, he was Consultant Urological and Laparoscopic Surgeon at King's College Hospital Foundation NHS Trust, and Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation NHS Trust in London, UK. A Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Dr Kooiman has obtained a Masters of Science degree in Urology at the Institute of Urology, London, where he was awarded the Geoffrey Chisholm Gold Medal in 2001. Special interests and skills include open and laparoscopic renal surgery, endourology (laser fragmentation of kidney stones) and general urology including the diagnosis and management of prostate disease.

Bermuda Hospitals Board, King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, 7 Point Finger Road, Paget, DV04
Tel: (441) 236-2345 - Email:

28 February 2017 Home Page, News