Sandals Foundation Opens the First Telemedicine Room at Victoria Hospital
The Sandals Foundation
has commissioned a
CAD$200,000 telemedicine room at Victoria Hospital, the first of its kind in Saint Lucia.
The telemedicine room, which opened on October 10, 2014, comes through partnership with the SickKids Caribbean Initiative (SCI), a notfor-profit collaboration between The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and various institutions across six Caribbean
islands. Through partnerships in Saint Lucia, Barbados, the Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, the SCI works to provide the best possible management in
the Caribbean for pediatric cancer and to improve the survival rate for children affected by cancer and serious blood disorders.
Adam Stewart, President of the Sandals Foundation and CEO of Sandals Resorts International notes, “I believe that children
who suffer from cancer in the Caribbean should have access
to healthcare as children in
Canada. This is why I am proud to champion this project.”
The facility will allow medical professionals in the Caribbean to connect with SickKids oncologists
and hematologists in
Canada to collaborate on clinical consultations and facilitate training and education to support the early
identification and treatment
of children living with these devastating diseases in the Caribbean.
It is believed that children in the Caribbean have an approximately 50% chance
of surviving cancer while those in Canada have an 85% chance. Through the
establishment of this room,
children of Saint Lucia will have a greater chance at survival for the life they deserve to live.
“Our collective goal is to
ensure that more Caribbean children are able to survive their diagnosis, and lead healthy, productive lives. One of the ways that will help us achieve this goal is the improved technology and connectivity provided by the new Sandals Foundation telemedicine room at the Victoria Hospital.” says Dr. Victor Blanchette, McCaig Magee Family Medical Director for the SickKids Caribbean Initiative.
Also present at Friday’s event were Acting Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre and Minister of Health
“For us to improve the quality of health services in St. Lucia it is important that we have real time, rapid access to medical experts. Telemedicine allows that vital opportunity. Sandals’s generosity in this regard is most appreciated,” said Dr. King.
Alvina Reynolds among other key members of Cabinet.
Since the launch of the SickKids Caribbean Initiative in February 2013, the Sandals Foundation has donated in excess of CAD$250,000 to the initiative.
Telemedicine rooms are already in operation in the Bahamas, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the SCI initiative; Saint Lucia marks the newest addition with a new telemedicine room. Jamaica is earmarked for later this year.
President of the Sandals Foundation Mr. Adam Stewart (center) flanked by Medical Consultant to the Victoria Hospital Dr. Stephen King and Health Minister Hon. Alvina Reynolds (right) as well as Acting Prime Minister Hon. Phillip J. Pierre and Ted Garrard President & CEO of the SickKids Caribbean Iniiative at Friday’s
official handing over ceremony.