October 11, 2014 – The Sandals Foundation has commissioned a CAD$200,000 telemedicine room at Victoria Hospital in St. Lucia, the first of its kind, in the country.
The telemedicine room, which opened on October 10, 2014, comes through partnership with the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative (SCI) – a not-for-profit collaboration between The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and various institutions across six Caribbean islands.
Through partnerships in Saint Lucia, Barbados, The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica, the SCI works to provide the best possible management for pediatric cancer and to improve the survival rate for children affected by cancer and serious blood disorders in the Caribbean.
Adam Stewart, President of the Sandals Foundation and CEO of Sandals Resorts International notes “I believe that children who suffer from cancer in the Caribbean should have access to healthcare as children in Canada. This is why I am proud to champion this project.”
The facility will allow medical professionals in the Caribbean to connect with SickKids oncologists and hematologists in Canada to collaborate on clinical consultations and facilitate training and education to support the early identification and treatment of children living with these devastating diseases in the Caribbean.
It is believed that children in the Caribbean have an approximately 50% chance of surviving cancer while those in Canada have an 85% chance. Through the establishment of this room, children of Saint Lucia will have a greater chance at survival for the life they deserve to live.
“Our collective goal is to ensure that more Caribbean children are able to survive their diagnosis, and lead healthy, productive lives. One of the ways that will help us achieve this goal is the improved technology and connectivity provided by the new Sandals Foundation Telemedicine Room at the Victoria Hospital.” says Dr. Victor Blanchette, McCaig Magee Family Medical Director for the SickKids-Caribbean Initiative.
Since the Launch of the SCI in February 2013, the Sandals Foundation has donated in excess of CAD$250,000 to the initiative.
Telemedicine rooms are already in operation in The Bahamas, Barbados, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines under the SCI initiative; Saint Lucia marks the latest addition with a new telemedicine room. Jamaica is earmarked for later this year.