Medical professionals from Cayman’s three hospitals, the wider healthcare community and prominent overseas medical institutions as well as Government officials will be speaking on a variety of topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic at the 11th Annual Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference. The conference takes place on Saturday, 17 October as a virtual event, and is open to the public via Zoom and live streams on CIGTV, the CIGTV YouTube Channel and the Cayman Compass Facebook page.
The theme for this year’s Conference is “Re-envisioning Life with a Pandemic”. Topics such as “COVID-19 Facts, Myths & Latest Trends”; “Working Through a Pandemic: A Backstage Pass”; “COVID-19 and Cancer Care”; and “The Certainty in the Uncertain: Strengthening Mindcare during a Pandemic” will be presented and discussed. In addition, there will be a panel discussion called COVID-19 Community Experiences which will feature various stakeholders and community groups in Cayman sharing what they have gone through over the past few months.
Sutton Burke, Clinical Director/Psychotherapist at Infinite Mindcare will be speaking about mental health during a pandemic. Understanding the uncertainty of life; worry of the future; acceptance; the impact of “needing to know”; building mental resilience; and the importance of rituals, structure, scheduling are topics that will be covered in her presentation.
"We are living in a time and place of radical change and uncertainty, a change that was unexpected,” said Ms. Burke. “It is natural to fear and resist change but it comes at the expense of our mental health. Working on strengthening our mindcare during this time will help us accept the reality of the world, while still taking action to thrive and feel fulfilled."
The Health Services Authority (HSA) has been utilising various forms of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, including telemedicine robots, video chats and telephone to consult with and triage patients. Dr. Delroy Jefferson, Medical Director at HSA, will be discussing this important topic at the conference.
“Telemedicine has served to bridge the gap between patients, physicians and the health systems, enabling everyone, especially symptomatic patients, to stay at home and communicate with physicians through virtual channels,” said Dr. Jefferson. “In the context of COVID-19 it plays a crucial role as a clinical tool, potentially helping to reduce the spread of the coronavirus to the populations and to the frontline medical staff. The Cayman Islands is a regional fore runner in the embracing of this technology. Beyond its importance in the context of COVID-19, telemedicine has allowed the Cayman patient to access overseas specialists, facilitating tertiary input into the management of some major acute injuries as well as the management of chronic disorders. Most health insurance companies within the Cayman Islands already appreciate the significant associated cost savings.”
Dr. Javier Perez-Fernandez, Medical Director of the Critical Care Unit Baptist Hospital, and a recognised world authority in the management of patients with COVID-19, says many sources of information about the virus might be misdirecting, causing fear or even altering some facts. In his presentation “Age-Related Risks and COVID-19”, he will be presenting facts on the pandemic and the virus itself, including novel treatments, advanced technologies implemented in the management of patients and the Baptist Health South Florida experience with over 7,000 COVID-19 patients with a special emphasis in the elderly population.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues affecting the entire world. With more than 32 million people infected and close to one million deaths, it has modified our way of living and marked our lives once and forever. Special attention has been given to the vulnerable populations, those with chronic debilitating illnesses and those with advanced age. The impact of the disease in the elderly cannot only be measured by the clinical consequences but by others such as modifications of their contact with their loved ones, their daily activities and their housing,” explained Dr. Perez-Fernandez.
The 11th annual Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference is sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Health City Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, Compass Media, Kelly Holding Events & Communications, Baptist Health International, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Doctors Hospital, Infinite Mindcare, 3T MRI and Ocean Med.