<< Back

Jamaican Minister of Health Visits Hartford Healthcare to Explore Collaboration

June 28, 2022

In an effort to further foster collaboration and training opportunities, a delegation from Jamaica, including the minister of health and wellness, visited Hartford Hospital Monday. Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, Alsion Wilson, Consul General and the delegation toured CESI, the Bone & Joint Institute and the Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital, to see the technology and innovation and to discuss potential partnership pathways. They met with Hartford HealthCare leadership to discuss opportunities to train Jamaican nurses or to offer trips for nurses to assist in Jamaican hospitals for one or two weeks, similar to mission trips but organized through the Jamaican hospitals. Dr. Tufton said prior to COVID they had done a similar pilot program in England, where 25 nurses had a clinical rotation in British hospitals. He explained that while they do have nursing schools in Jamaica, there are limited opportunities for clinical rotations, so having different options in the United States could be mutually beneficial. Jamaica is a primary supplier of healthcare workers, said Dr. Tufton, who would like to see health systems collaborate to solve the challenge of staffing and training rather than compete for limited resources. Two healthcare experts shake hands in front of Hartford Hospital. “The Jamaican community is such a vibrant part of the Hartford community, and this is an opportunity to explore different ways to collaborate,” said Jeff Flaks, Hartford HealthCare president and CEO. “We appreciate the ingenuity of these proposals. Hartford HealthCare has high-level training opportunities with our technology and infrastructure.” Keith Grant, APRN, senior director of Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare, has been an integral part of the partnership with the Jamaican consulate and the minister of health to improve access to care. He was born in Jamaica and has strong ties to the country, and has helped Hartford HealthCare donate medical equipment to support a new hospital being built in an underserved area of the country. Throughout the tour, they discussed how the Cancer Center has been more involved in mobile mammography and getting out in the community to perform screenings for different types of cancer. Dr. Tufton said this was an area they wanted to expand in Jamaica, to have more clinics or mobile units in the communities for screening and health education. Bimal Patel, president of Hartford Region, senior vice president, Hartford HealthCare, said there is a huge Jamaican diaspora in Hartford and it is a shared goal of Hartford Hospital to provide care and resources both in Hartford and to support people in Jamaica as well. During the tour of CESI (Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation), Dr. Tufton used one of robotic simulators and described it as an area for future collaboration, as they have robotics and some simulation opportunities, but not at the same level of technology. He said there are budgetary plans for major investments in healthcare in Jamaica over the next few years. To date, Hartford HealthCare has delivered 24 oxygen concentrators, providing extra oxygen to Jamaicans fighting COVID. As vaccination rates in Jamaica are slightly under 60 percent, these have been vital for patients whose oxygen levels have dropped too low. Hartford HealthCare also has donated a number of medical supplies to Jamaica, including:

  • Burdick 12 lead EKG.
  • Sonosite Micromaxx portable/roll around ultrasound.
  • Three wall oto/opthalmoscope.
  • Three mobile exam lights.
  • Sphygmomanometers, wall mounted units.
  • Two carts with baskets.
  • 12 Lead GE EKG Cart.
  • Drug Storage Cabinet, potential crash cart, dressing trolley.
  • One Scaletronix mechanical scale.
  • Three large secure medicine cabinets.