Sandals Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have joined forces to create a fellowship that will provide funding for a healthcare professional from Barbados to train at the renowned children’s hospital in Toronto.
Dr. Chantelle Browne-Farmer has been selected as the first candidate from Barbados to receive a two-year fellowship at SickKids as part of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI). At SickKids, Dr. Browne-Farmer will be part of the Division of Haematology and Oncology where she will have an opportunity to become immersed in observing and participating in the care of children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders.
Upon returning to Barbados, Browne-Farmer will be only the second paediatric haematologist/oncologist on the island and will be able to bolster the efforts of the staff at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown.
Browne-Farmer’s fellowship has been made possible through the support of the Sandals Foundation, as well as the Barbados Ministry of Health, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Pfizer.
According to Heidi Clarke, Director of Programs for the Sandals Foundation, the decision to invest in Barbados was no accident.
“Barbados was chosen as it is a hub for other Eastern Caribbean countries, such as Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, both of which are partners of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative and which currently do not have paediatric oncologists.”
Clarke also explains that as part of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative, three nurses from Barbados will be trained in paediatric oncology in Trinidad and Tobago starting in September 2016. After their training, they will return and be ready to provide support to Browne-Farmer when she returns from her fellowship at SickKids.
Dozens of children in Barbados are diagnosed with various forms of cancers and blood disorders each year. Currently, children with cancer or blood disorders in Barbados are cared for with input from one local specialized paediatric haematologist/oncologist. An additional specialist will ensure greater support for these children and their families.
Sandals Foundation President Adam Stewart believes the initiative will make a very positive impact in Barbados.
“This is truly an incredible undertaking in my opinion. The SickKids-Caribbean Initiative has already trained two dedicated paediatric haematologists/oncologists at SickKids and who are currently now based at Bustamante Hospital for Children and the University of the West Indies Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica.”
In 2015, Sandals Foundation and SickKids partnered to open a Telemedicine Room at the Victoria Hospital in Saint Lucia. Since that time, physicians, nurses, and trainees have participated in dozens of patient consultation rounds with the SickKids team in Canada.
Sandals Foundation has been a partner of the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative since its inception in 2013.