Welcome to our Conference

Message from Dr Joy St John, Executive Director, The Caribbean Public Health Agency

On behalf of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), I warmly welcome you to the 66th CARPHA Annual Health Research Conference. This year, we are excited about the opportunities of holding an innovative hybrid conference. We intend to reach a wider audience than a face to face conference alone could possibly include. Participants from around the world are therefore facilitated to actively participate in this event.

Under the theme COVID-19 and Digital Health: Transforming, Connecting, Informing Public Health, the conference will feature a rich programme of keynote addresses, presentations, workshops and a variety of exhibitions.

Since 2019 COVID-19 has created a global transition in the speed and ways of acquiring and disseminating information, permitting the emergence and expansion of a digital network that has accelerated the spread of public health information and the establishment of reliable digital health services. Digital Health is changing as we transition through the phases of the pandemic. I am certain that this will be a platform to gather and disseminate the latest knowledge, thus allowing delegates to exchange ideas, extend their networks, and jointly explore current and future research directions.

We would like to thank all of the participants for their contributions which are the foundation of this conference, as well as the exhibitors, and sponsors. We hope that you will have a productive and fun‐filled time at this conference.

Message from Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, MP, Minister of Health and Wellness, Jamaica

On behalf of the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Health & Wellness, it is with great pleasure that I welcome the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and all associated stakeholders for the 66th Annual Health Research Conference.

CARPHA’s Annual Health Research Conference, the largest of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, has a long history of seeking to bring to the fore the difficult conversations that need to be had surrounding the various health and environmental challenges being faced in the region, while seeking to find tangible long term solutions for these issues.

The theme for this year's conference, “COVID-19 and Digital Health: Transforming, Connecting, Informing Public Health”, looks to continue that trend of adopting new principles and technologies in the delivery of public health as COVID-19 has been the most challenging experience in recent history.

The ability to foster innovation through technology has been paramount in COVID-19 world. It is with that in mind that this year's staging will take the form of a hybrid conference, which will give the opportunity to reach an even larger audience.

Jamaica looks forward to this year’s health conference, and we look forward to being the conduit for the rich exchange of knowledge and expertise geared towards guiding the Caribbean towards a healthier future. Welcome again and we look forward to hosting a successful and rewarding 2022 Conference!

Meet the Speakers

Dr. C James Hospedales: Founder EarthMedic and EarthNurse

Dr Victor Blanchette: Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada

Ms. Joann O’Brien: Vice President, Digital Ecosystems, TM Forum

Professor Seeromanie Harding: Professor of Social Epidemiology, King’s College, London

Ms. Loyce Pace, MPH: Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs (OGA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr Joy St John Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency

Ms. Loyce Pace, MPH
Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs (OGA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

In her current role, Ms. Pace is responsible for advancing the U.S. international health agenda through multilateral and bilateral forums. Reporting directly to the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS), she is the Office of Global Affairs’ lead on setting priorities and policies that promote American public health agencies and interests worldwide.

Ms. Pace oversees HHS’ engagement with foreign governments and international institutions as well policymaking bodies such as the G7, G20, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and World Health Assembly. Previously, she served as President & Executive Director of Global Health Council (GHC) and was also a member of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board. At GHC, she advocated for increased federal investments in global health, in the face of budget cuts to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, United States Agency for International Development, and World Health Organization (WHO).

Prior to her role at GHC, Ms. Pace spent over a decade working with community-based organizations and grassroots leaders in countries across Africa and Asia on campaigns calling for person-centered access to health. Additionally, she has held positions on various global and regional advisory committees and boards that focus on equity and inclusion. Ms. Pace holds a Bachelor’s degree with Honors in human biology from Stanford University and a Master’s degree in international health & human rights with the distinction of Delta Omega from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr Joy St John:
Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency

Dr St John rose in the ranks of Public Health in Barbados from 1994 to become the first Barbadian Chief Medical Officer of Barbados in 2005. She represented Barbados on the Executive Board of WHO, becoming the first Caribbean chairperson of the Executive Board in 2012-2013.

In 2017 she became Assistant Director General at the WHO HQ in Switzerland. She held the Portfolio of Climate and Other Determinants of Health and completed the first phase of the Climate Change and Health SIDS Initiative.

In July 2019 she became Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency. CARPHA led the CARICOM regional public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her leadership has seen her engage about COVID-19 with several sectors in and outside of CARICOM.

Victor S Blanchette, SCM, FRCP(C), FRCP

Topic: “Empowering local health care professionals to improve cure rates in children with cancer and blood disorders in the Caribbean: Lessons from the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI)”.

Dr Victor Blanchette is Professor of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Canada. He is a Staff Pediatric Hematologist in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and a Senior Associate Scientist (Emeritus) in the Research Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. He is the McCaig Magee Family Honorary Medical Director of the SickKids-Caribbean Cancer and Blood Disorders Initiative in the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children.

After completing his medical training at the University of Cambridge and St Bartholomew's Hospital in the United Kingdom, Dr Blanchette pursued subspecialty training in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA followed by fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology at McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Canada.

Dr Blanchette's research interests are in the area of the congenital and acquired bleeding disorders of children. He is Co-Director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Care Hemophilia Program at the Hospital for Sick Children, and Chair of the International Prophylaxis Study Group (IPSG). Dr. Blanchette is recipient of the Canadian Pediatric Society 2009 Alan Ross Award, the Canadian Blood Services 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 2012 Distinguished Career Award, the 2018 University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice-Chancellor’s Award, the 2019 Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society (HTRS) Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2019 Canadian Hematology Society (CHS) Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 Dr. Blanchette was awarded the Order of Barbados (Silver Crown of Merit), the country of his birth, for his contributions to the field of medicine. Dr Blanchette is an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom.

Professor Seeromanie Harding

Seeromanie Harding is Professor of Social Epidemiology at King’s College London. Her research focuses on inequalities in health over the life course, and participatory approaches to systems perspectives to engage with the complex socio-cultural-political contexts that drive health inequities. UK-based studies include those in London that are exploring how hairdressing salons and primary care can jointly promote early detection of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer among women living in deprived and ethnically dense neighbourhoods, the Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles for Diabetes (HEAL-D) study in African and Caribbean communities, and the eLIXIR programme that links information from routine health records and blood samples from mothers and their children to explores the early origins of physical and mental health disorders. International studies include the CONTACT (Congregations Taking Action Against Non-Communicable Diseases) study in the Caribbean, the Health Kiosks in community Markets (HEKIMA) study in Kenya and the Xunati Uti study in Brazil. These studies explore the embedding of community systems (e.g., places of worship, community markets, schools) into the primary care pathway for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Before joining King’s College, she led the Medical Research Council Ethnicity and Health Research Programme at the University of Glasgow. Whilst there she established the Determinants of Adolescent, now young Adults, Social well-being and Health (DASH) study, a London based longitudinal study of ~6000 ethnically diverse young people. Equity, interdisciplinarity and collaborative partnerships with communities, policy actors and practitioners are key anchors in these studies. She is Head of the Department of Population Health Sciences at King’s College London, based within the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, School of Life Course & Population Sciences. Population health research is led by over 160 experts, with patients and the public, to better understand how we can improve population health. Strong interdisciplinary research groups of social scientists, clinicians, health informaticists, statisticians and health economists, capacity building of early career researchers, and global health are key strengths of the Department

Dr. C James Hospedales

Dr Hospedales is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago with over 30 years’ experience in public heath, facing many epidemics and pandemics. A lover of nature, a person of faith, a father and grandfather, Dr Hospedales founded EarthMedic and EarthNurse to mobilise health professionals to address the climate crisis.

He chairs the Defeat-NCD Partnership executive committee, addressing NCDs in low-resource countries; and is the Climate and Health Advisor to the Healthy Caribbean Coalition.

He was inaugural Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, and Coordinator Chronic disease prevention and control in PAHO/WHO.

He played a key role in the 2007 CARICOM Heads of Government Summit on NCDs, leading to the UN High Level meetings on NCDs in 2012, ’14 and ’18.

Honours graduate of UWI in medicine; MPH from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Fellow, UK Faculty of Public Health, Dr Hospedales has published more than 100 papers and writes for the G7/G20 on climate and health.

Joann O’Brien Vice President, Digital Ecosystems, TM Forum

Joann currently leads the Beyond Connectivity Initiative at TM Forum, helping our members to derisk their diversification strategy and grow their business beyond connectivity into new industry verticals such as enablement of connected healthcare and digital transformation of manufacturing.

She is a transformative technology leader who has led the development of two of the most successful areas of TM Forum, Open APIs and Business Architecture. The Open APIs from concept to global adoption in the Telecommunications industry and the Business Architecture methodology as the pivotal framework to enable capability driven CSP diversification for growth into and beyond new market opportunities.

Joann is a proven technology leader, with over 25 years industry experience, initially in consumer electronics and subsequently in Telecommunications working at both network and OSS/BSS architectural layers. Joann is TM Forum’s representative on Global Industry Organisations (GIO), leading the eHealth (Pandemic) focused initiative and represents TM Forum on NGIoT, Next Generation IoT and advisory board to the European Union. Joann also leads TM Forum’s representation in the 5GEM, Enabled Manufacturing project, a consortium lead by Ford Motor Car and Vodafone. Joann graduated with first class honors, BSc in Information Technology majoring in Telecommunications from Dublin City University and MBA from Open University.