JIS News

Hundreds of physicians and health care professionals from North America and the Caribbean are expected to converge at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios next month for the second annual ‘Advancements in Medicine’ conference.
The event, which will be held from February 20 to 24, is organized by the Minnesota-based Organization for Strategic Development of Jamaica (OSDJ) and the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. It is expected to draw some 300 participants from the United States and Canada, with more than 150 attendees already confirmed. Some 500 physicians, consultants, and pharmacologists from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean are also expected to attend.
President of the OSDJ, Wayland Richards, told JIS News that this year’s conference will feature presentations by medical consultants from the University of the West Indies, the Ministry of Health, University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Centre, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, the International Leadership Institute, Northwestern College, and Vanderbilt University.
Two workshop sessions will also be included in this year’s conference – one on health factors and human trafficking, and the other will look at best practices to effectively cater to the medical and educational needs of disabled and hospitalized children.
Dr. Mike Belzer, Associate Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and Chief Executive Officer of Hennepin County Medical Centre; and Dr. Joe Clinton, Professor of Emergency Medicine of Hennepin County Medical Centre, will explain the concepts of the Federal National Disaster Management System and how these can be applied to the management of disasters, and will also demonstrate the practical results of the hospital incident command system to the Minnesota Bridge collapse on August 1, 2007.
Apart from attending the scheduled sessions, attendees will get an opportunity to participate in site visits to various hospitals and clinics across Jamaica.
During the event, a scholarship in honour of Dr. Barry Wint, former Chief Medical Officer of Jamaica, who passed away in 2006, will be launched. The funds will be used to provide scholarships to medical, public health and nursing students in Jamaica.
The annual Advancements in Medicine conference is to provide an international forum through which medical and healthcare professionals in Jamaica, and those from other parts of the world, can meet and exchange information on current developments in medicine, and help identify and implement solutions that will lead to improvements in the country’s healthcare delivery system.
For further information about the conference or the OSDJ health initiative for Jamaica, interested persons may contact Wayland Richards at 612-508-9813 or visit

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