SickKids and Government of Barbados launch partnership to establish Centre for Paediatric Excellence
The Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Government of Barbados have launched a new partnership to positively impact the health and well-being of children in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, announced the new partnership on February 10, 2020 at Ilaro Court, the Prime Minister’s official residence, alongside SickKids and Barbados representatives, and philanthropic partners.
Over a span of seven years, the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health will work with its partners in Barbados and in the broader region, to establish Barbados as a Centre for Paediatric Excellence. Program activities will focus on elevating education, clinical care and research to maximize the positive impact on child health and development. Partners include the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados’ single referral hospital; the Barbados Ministry of Health, which oversees polyclinics providing primary care in the country; the University of the West Indies; and the Chronic Disease Research Centre.
Barbados’ rates of infant and neonatal mortality are nearly double those in Canada and the United States. Although many factors contribute to health outcomes, as a Small Island Developing State, Barbados has not had opportunities to make the investments in paediatric care that would enable it to optimize care for its children.
The Centre for Global Child Health has a rich history of working together with the Barbados Ministry of Health (MOH), Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), the University of the West Indies (UWI), regional agencies, and other key institutions through the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative, a non-profit collaboration that has made a significant impact on the diagnosis, treatment and care of children with cancer and serious blood disorders across Barbados and the Caribbean.
Establishing barbados as a centre for paediatric excellence in the eastern Caribbean
A Centre of Excellence is established when there is a critical mass of expertise and activity in place around a particular area of focus that enables strong and sustainable leadership. Through a robust partnership between Barbados’ MOH, SickKids, QEH, and UWI, a centre for paediatric excellence will be established. This will happen through targeted investment in the following goals and associated activities over the seven-year period:
- Establishing a critical mass of health workers with expertise in paediatrics and maximizing the quality of the environments in which they work;
- Leveraging a new skilled health workforce to improve the quality of paediatric care and establish a culture of continuous improvement; and
- Investing in research and advocacy that informs policy and drives sustainability.
Excellence and innovation in paediatric education
- 40 paediatric nurses trained and redeployed across the Barbados health system. Co-sponsorship of the participating students through the MOH and program funds to ensure sustainability;
- 4 physicians trained in targeted, high-need paediatric subspecialties;
- 6 international observerships in quality improvement completed.
Patient and family experience and clinical environment
- QEH paediatric ward refurbished; procurement of furniture and up-to-date medical equipment;
- MOH child health polyclinics refurbished with patient and family areas and procurement of up-to-date medical equipment.
Excellence and innovation in paediatric care
- 8 high-priority clinical quality improvement initiatives completed;
- A patient amenity fund established to support families from the Eastern Caribbean to access care at QEH.
Paediatric research and innovation
- 3 catalyst grants awarded;
- 2 local post-doctoral fellowships in paediatric research completed;
- Completion of national childhood obesity surveillance.
During the February 10 event, Virginia Shaw-Hutchison, Chair of the LesLois Shaw Foundation, announced the Foundation’s support for the development of the Shaw Centre for Paediatric Excellence in Barbados.
On February 18, the Clinton Foundation pledged its support to the LesLois Shaw Foundation for this initiative.