Sir Trevor Hassell – President
Sir Trevor Hassell is a medical doctor, former Adjunct Professor of Medicine, the University of the West Indies, and Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London, England.
Sir Trevor has held the positions of President of the Caribbean Cardiac Society, President of the Inter American Heart Foundation, and Vice President of the World Heart Federation. He is presently President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, a regional civil society alliance established to contribute to the prevention and control of NCDs; Chairman of the Barbados National Chronic Non Communicable Diseases Commission, and Barbados Special Envoy for Chronic Diseases.
Sir Trevor has been engaged for many years in all aspects of the response to NCDs in the Caribbean. In the past decade he contributed to the technical working paper for the Heads of Government of CARICOM Summit on NCDs, 2007; was an active contributing member of the Barbados Delegation to the UNHLM on NCDs, 2011, the UNGA NCD Review Meeting, 2014; and the 67th World Health Assembly. Over the past 8 years he has led the civil society effort in the Caribbean in advocacy, capacity building, and enhancement of communications applying initiatives that included hosting multi-stakeholder regional meetings to inform, consider and implement multi-sectoral approaches to NCDs.
In 2015 Sir Trevor was a member of the WHO GCM/NCD Working Group on how to realize governments’ commitments to engage with the private sector for the prevention and control of NCDs.
Sir Trevor is presently a member of the World Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) International Policy Advisory Group, a member of The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Advisory Group on Advancing the Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) Agenda in the Caribbean and a member of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) led Expert Advisory Group on Public Health Law in the Caribbean.
In 2013 Sir Trevor was appointed to the Order of Barbados as a Knight of St. Andrew in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the medical profession.
Dr. Christine Chin Chea – Treasurer (Board member since 2018)
A 1988 University of the West Indies MBBS graduate, Dr. Christine Chin completed a 2-year internship in Nassau, Bahamas, and then residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, becoming board certified in 1993.
She worked in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia from 1993-1995 while also accomplishing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Dalhousie University.
Currently serving as a Consultant in the Department of Medicine at the Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctors Hospital since 1996, she is also a Lecturer in Medicine at the UWI School of Clinical Medicine in Nassau, in charge of the undergraduate program in Internal Medicine. Dr. Chin is presently furthering her own education in the field of Clinical Education and Public Health.
In February 2017, she became board certified in Obesity Medicine in the US, becoming the only Obesity specialist in the public health system in The Bahamas.
Dr. Chin is a volunteer member of the Healthy Lifestyles Team (HaLT) of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas which now leads the charge against Childhood Obesity in The Bahamas. Married to Dr. Williamson Chea, General Surgeon, and President of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, she is the mother of 3 young adults.
She intends to use the 30 years of clinical practice and teaching experience to reduce the burden of NCDs in the Caribbean by advocating for policy changes, providing technical support, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Victor Coombs (Board member since 2012)
Dr. Coombs is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Boston with a Liberal Arts Degree majoring in Chemistry. He obtained his Medical Degree from the University of the West-Indies, Mona, Jamaica in 1978.
He obtained a MSc. Degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the University of London and graduated with a mark of Distinction. He obtained the Diploma in Public Health from the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene.
He obtained a MSc. Degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the University of London and graduated with a mark of Distinction. He obtained the Diploma in Public Health from the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene.
At the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine he returned to train in Occupational Medicine after one year full time practice in Industry and was awarded the Diploma in Industrial Health at the Royal College of Physicians of London. This was followed by the (AFOM) Associate of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. His training extended to Aviation Medicine in Farnborough Institute of Aviation Medicine, and Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine through Duke University and Divers Alert Network. He also completed a Mini Residency in Occupational Medicine at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
Management experience was complemented by an (EMBA) Executive Masters in Business Administration from IOB/UWI. Practical experience at the Augustus Long Hospital was complemented by a Master of Science Degree in Emergency Medicine from U.W.I/FOMS St. Augustine.
He has worked full time in Industry for (30) thirty years, for twenty one (21) of these years he was the Chief Medical Officer of Trintoc/Petrotrin. He is a Consultant in Occupational and Environmental Health with interests in Toxicology, Accident Prevention, Emergency Medical Response, HIV/Stress in the Workplace, Health Services Management, Disaster Preparedness and Disability Assessment, Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the Workplace, and Wellness in the Workplace.
He has held positions such as President National Safety Council, Director Employers Consultative Association, Director North West Regional Health Authority, Director Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Director Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Control Board, Council of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago, Medical Referee, Aviation Medical Examiner, Diving Medical Examiner and Part-time Lecturer UWI Medical School. He has done Advisory and Consultancy Services in Occupational Health and Safety for Local, Regional and International Organizations. He is a former Chairman of the Partners Forum for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases. (A PAHO/MOH/NGO’S/Civil Society Organizations Grouping). He is a Director of Healthy Caribbean Coalition. (HCC), and Chairman of Occupational Safety and Health Authority of the (OSHA) Ministry of Labour, and Small Enterprise Development and part time Lecturer in the MPH programme at UWI/FOMS St Augustine.
Maisha Hutton – Executive Director – Secretary
Maisha Hutton is the Executive Director of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), the only regional alliance of over 100 NCD focused civil society organisations. Maisha holds a BSc in Microbiology, a MSc. in Molecular Biology and a PGDip in International Health. Prior to joining the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, she worked in HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and control for 10 years.
Maisha has been with the HCC since 2012 where she is responsible for the daily operations and leading on the implementation of HCC’s strategic plan which is underpinned by five strategic pillars: accountability; advocacy; communication; capacity building; and sustainability.
The HCC Secretariat in collaboration with its civil society members – works with national, regional and international public and private partners to drive NCD policy and programming in a number of priority areas including: civil society capacity building; cervical cancer prevention; alcohol policy; tobacco control; food policy; childhood obesity; and strengthening mechanisms for a whole of government and whole of society multisectoral response to NCDs.
Dr. Carlene Radix (Board member since 2018)
Dr. Carlene Radix is a Public Health physician and Health Administration Leader in the Caribbean. She is a member of the St Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association and currently holds the position of Head of Health Unit in Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission. She completed Medical School at St George’s University in Grenada and completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatric Residency at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn and Overlook hospital in Summit New Jersey.
This was followed by an Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health Fellowship at Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute (EOHSI) in Piscataway New Jersey, during which she completed her Master’s degree in Public Health.
Dr. Radix is a dual citizen of Grenada and Trinidad & Tobago. She returned to the Caribbean and has held various positions in Clinical Medicine, Academia, Public Health and Administration while continuing some aspect of volunteer practice. She has been Medical Director and Acting CEO at St Jude Hospital in St Lucia, an Assistant Dean and an Associate Professor at St George’s University, as well as served as the Chief Medical Office of Grenada and the County Medical Officer of Tobago. She has consulted for regional and international public health agencies including the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).
Her life mission is to collaborate with strategic partners to champion the use of best health practices and health-related and other technologies to improve global population health and health systems, in order to contribute to each person’s realisation of their full potential.
Dr. Karen Sealey (Board member since 2016)
Former Special Adviser, UN and Partnerships, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization
Karen Sealey is a physician-planner, public specialist with a wide breadth of experience in public health administration and planning at the national and international levels. Before joining PAHO/WHO, she was the Director of Health Planning in the Ministry of Health, Trinidad and Tobago.
During her secondment to UNAIDS, 2006-2009, as the Director of the Caribbean Regional Support Team, Dr. Sealey was a strong advocate for meaningful inclusion of the Persons living with HIV, civil society and the private sector in the response to HIV, established the Caribbean Women, Girls and HIV program and published the first regional comparison of progress towards the UNGASS indicators in the Caribbean – “Keeping Score”.
She returned to PAHO/WHO in August 2009, Dr. Sealey its first Special Adviser for UN Matters and Partnerships in the WHO Office at the UN. There she provided technical support to the Permanent Missions from the countries of the Americas on health development matters. Most notably she provided strategic leadership and coordination to the CARICOM Group of Ambassadors in the negotiation processes leading to the adoption of the Political Declaration of the UN high level meeting (HLM) on the prevention and control of NCDs.
Since her retirement, Dr. Sealey has completed several consultancies with UN agencies and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in the areas of managing the NCD response, strategic planning, organizational development and health diplomacy.
Dr. Sealey is the convenor of the Trinidad and Tobago NCD Alliance which will be formally launched in November 2016.
Hon. Laura Tucker-Longsworth O.B.E. (Board member since 2014)
Laura Tucker Longsworth made history on Friday, January 13, 2017 when she was sworn in as only the third appointed female House Speaker in the House of Representatives, Belize.
Laura Tucker-Longsworth is a registered nurse who received her basic nursing and midwifery education from the Bliss School of Nursing in Belize City, which is now known as the Faculty of Nursing and Allied Health, University of Belize.
She holds a Certificate in Nursing Education from the University of the West Indies School of Nursing. She earned a Master’s of Science degree in nursing from the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Loyola University Chicago, where she majored in Health Systems Management with a focus on outcomes performance. Mrs. Longsworth was a Sister Tutor and Acting Principal at the Bliss School of Nursing. She played a key role in upgrading the Registered Nurse curriculum from a diploma program to a baccalaureate degree and participated in the transitioning of the School of Nursing into the University of Belize.
Nurse Longsworth is an entrepreneur and is the managing director of Nursing & Healthcare Services (NHS) Consultants Ltd. The company offers consulting services that are tailored towards assisting healthcare providers and other agencies to deliver quality healthcare services to the Belizean community. Consulting services focus on improving the quality of life for individuals through the promotion of wellness initiatives, early interventions, rehabilitative services and lifestyle changes that can be adopted to achieve optimal levels of health. This is facilitated by the promotion and implementation of continuous quality improvement initiatives in health systems.
Laura Tucker-Longsworth has been a lifelong member of the Nurses Association of Belize and continues to counsel, mentor and support her nursing colleagues and nursing students. She is the Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee for the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize. The Council has the responsibility to ensure that nurses code of ethics is upheld, determine if standards of practice have been compromised and also protect the rights of nurses and patients. She collaborated with colleagues to develop an evidenced-based paper entitled Harmonizing Nursing Education: Theory and Practice which was published in the Caribbean Quarterly (2013).
In August 2014, Prime Minister Dean Barrow appointed her to the position of Chairperson of the National Aids Commission. Since her appointment, the organization successfully submitted a proposal for three million US. dollars to the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS/TB prevention and control. Additionally, committees have been reconstituted to ensure that the needs of key affected population (persons living with HIV/AIDS/TB, transgender persons, and LGBT community) and the wider community are addressed. She represents Belize on the Board for PANCAP (Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS) which is a regional CARICOM organization. In June 2016, she represented the National AIDS Commission at the United Nations High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.
In January 2015, she was honored with the OBE Award for contribution to Nursing and Community Service. In March 2013, she received an Outstanding Woman Award from the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize for her commitment to the development of women and community in the area of health care and cancer awareness. Similarly, in 2003 she was the recipient of an award for Professionalism and Service from Loyola University Chicago.
Laura is a founding member and President of the Belize Cancer Society (BCS) and was appointed by the Minister of Health as a commissioner on the Non-Communicable Disease Commission (NCD). In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the BCS was awarded US. $150,000 (in 2015), by the Social Security Board (SSB), to facilitate cancer treatment for pediatric patients in Mexico. Collaborative efforts also resulted in financing from SSB to procure HPV vaccines which is now being offered to ten year old girls, free of cost, as a longterm public health strategy to prevent cervical cancer.
She serves on the Board of Directors for the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC)-a regional organization that works to increase the level of attention to non-communicable diseases. She represented the HCC at the World Cancer Congress (Dec. 2014) in Melbourne Australia, and also at an NCD conference in Sharjah (UAE) in 2015. She was featured in a documentary on cancer initiatives in Belize which was launched at an World Health Organization conference in Geneva (Dec. 2015), which she attended. As president of the Belize Cancer Society she advocates tirelessly for an “all of society” approach to address the prevention and control of cancer and for the establishment of a rights-based- comprehensive cancer control program in Belize.
In December 2016, she was nominated for the position of Speaker of the House for the National Assembly of Belize. Confirmation and formal appointment will take place in 2017 and Mrs. Longsworth will join the ranks of only two other women who have held that position and the first Nurse to ascend to the prestigious status of Speaker of the House in Belize.
Laura has been married for 46 years and is the mother of three children, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Dr. Damian Greaves (PhD) (Board member since 2019)
Dr. Damian Greaves is an Associate Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, School of Arts & Sciences, St. George’s University, Grenada, he is also Chair of the Grenada National Non-Communicable Disease Commission (NNCDC).
Dr. Greaves also served as Minister for Health, Human Services, Family Affairs & Gender Relations for the Government of Saint Lucia from 2001 to 2006.
Dr. Kenneth Connell (Board member since 2020)
Dr. Connell received his undergraduate and postgraduate training in medicine from the UWI St. Augustine & Cave Hill Campuses and graduated with MBBS and DM Internal Medicine degrees in 2000 and 2006 respectively. He was awarded a Barbados National Development Scholarship in 2007. He was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy degree on completion of studies from King’s College London. He joined the Faculty of Medical Sciences as Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology in 2011 and assumed duties of Deputy Dean- Phase 1 in August 2014, and Deputy Dean of Internationalization and Recruitment in October 2020.
Dr. Connell is a Consultant Physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is Consultant-in-Charge of the hospital’s Resistant Hypertension clinic. He is also a member of the QEH’s Drug & Therapeutics committee and Chair of the Specially Authorized Drugs (SAD) committee. He sits on the Barbados Pharmacy Council as a representative of the Barbados Assocaition of Medical Practioners (BAMP).
Dr. Connell is Immediate Past President of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados from 2011- 2020. The civil society organization has as its mandate to promote health advocacy, provide health care training in emergency cardiovascular care (ECC), and provide cardiac rehabilitation therapy for patients post CVD events – stroke and heart attack. He was the Principal Investigator on the US CDC/PAHO Standardized Hypertension Treatment Project – Barbados pilot from April 2014- April 2016.
Dr. Connell was made a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the largest international College of doctors. He was elected as the youngest Governor for the ACP as Governor of the new Caribbean Chapter in 2015 for two years term. In 2014, Dr. Connell was awarded the College’s International Fellowship for research and colllaboration with the University of South Carolina. he is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) and local Chief Examiner for the Royal College Physican MRCP examinations.
Mr. Ronnie Bissessar (Board member since 2020)
Mr. Bissessar is the President of the Trinidad and Tobago Heart Foundation (TTHF) which is a not for profit Foundation creating public awareness of heart health, healthy lifestyles and proper dietary habits in an effort to reduce the incidence of heart disease and stroke.
Mr. Bissessar is also the Deputy Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (TTNCD) established in 2016; Mr. Bissessar’s vision for the TTNCD is that its nine (9) individual members will promote the prevention and control of NCD’s by harnessing the individual resources of the member and, through joint patient advocacy, achieve national access to health services for the early detection, treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering with NCD’s.
Mr. Bissessar is a director of the InterAmerican Heart Foundation (IAHF) (headquartered in Dallas, Texas) and the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) based in Barbados.
Mr. Bissessar is an Attorney at Law in private practice and is Head of Chambers at Lawgivers; he is also a Mediator and a former Vice President of the Assembly of Southern Lawyers and Past President of the Rotary Club of San Fernando South. Mr. Bissessar has served in numerous leadership capacities with non-governmental organisations, charities and philanthropic groups.
Mr. Bissessar is a Senior Ordinary Member of the Council of the Law Association and is a former Chairman (and now Director) of the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute which is a not for profit Foundation whose principal objective is to encourage corporate governance best practices regionally; Mr. Bissessar is co-founder of the Trinidad and Tobago Legal Network which promotes and provides continuing legal education to members of the legal profession.
Mr. Bissessar is a former Chairman of the South-West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) (1997-2001) and a former Director of TSTT.
Mr. Bissessar was a Lecturer in Corporate Practice and Procedure at the Hugh Wooding Law School (2008-2020) and is an External Examiner of the University of the West Indies (UWI).
In 1985 Mr. Bissessar was awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies and in 1988 was awarded an LLB from the University of London. In 1993 he received the Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School; Mr. Bissessar is a Certified Mediator with the Mediation Board of Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Bissessar is married to Dr. Sabita Harrikissoon (who is a Dental Surgeon) and they have two (2) children Sveva (13) and Seth (6).
Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie (Board member since 2020)
Dr. Colette Cunningham-Myrie is a physician, who is an accomplished applied public health: specialist/ epidemiologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Jamaica. She is also a member of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica (DAJ) that joined our clinical care team immediately post medical internship in 1993 and since then has given unbroken voluntary clinical care to persons with this NCD at our Association’s head office branch. Beyond clinical care, Dr. Cunningham-Myrie has been a strong advocate for the DAJ through health education and promotion activities across Jamaica.
During the decade of the 1990’s, she was a key faculty member of the multidisciplinary team for outreach clinics, including our Lay Diabetes Educators program, which was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Jamaica, to train lay community leaders on key aspects of diabetes symptoms, signs and management, nutrition and foot care. This program was later recognized internationally as an important tool in community outreach. She also served as editor the association’s DIALOG newsletter. Between 1996 and 1998 she served as the Medical Association of Jamaica’s representative on the Board of Directors.
In 1998 she was awarded a Regional Study Grant from the Small Embassy Project Program of the Royal Netherlands Embassy based on her work with the DAJ. This grant allowed her to complete the Master of Public Health degree in 1999 at the UWI, which catapulted her stellar contribution to Jamaica and the Caribbean as a public health specialist. In the early 2000’s she served as National Epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health, Jamaica providing leadership of both the Chronic Diseases & Injuries and Communicable Diseases/Disease Surveillance portfolios which included crafting Jamaica’s first national Strategic Plan for the NCDs in 2002. Since 2003 she joined the UWI Mona campus and lectures on Epidemiology, Public Health, Family Medicine and Research Methods to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. A Fulbright scholar, she was Jamaica’s Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow for 2010/2011 and spent the year at Tulane University in the New Orleans, USA honing skills in social epidemiology and international health. In 2018 she was awarded the DrPH degree (with high commendation), her thesis assessing geographic variations in obesity related disorders and their risk factors in Jamaica.
Dr. Cunningham-Myrie has significantly increased the NCDs research footprint of the UWI by conducting pioneering research on the NCDs and their risk factors, social determinants of health, patient satisfaction and health impact assessment. She has also provided technical expertise through consultancies to policymakers in the Caribbean region, including the CARICOM Commission on Health and Development (CCHD) Sub-Committee on Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases, which provided evidence for the landmark 2007 Port of Spain Declaration on NCDs.