San­dals Foun­da­tion Opens the First Telemedicine Room at Vic­to­ria Hos­pi­tal

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

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.

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