Professor 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. Victor Coombs – Treasurer/Secretary
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.
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.
Dr. Karen Sealey
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.
Mrs. Laura Tucker-Longsworth MSN. RN. O.B.E.
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.
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 appoinment, 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. Carlene Radix
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.
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. Christine Chin Chea
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.
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. Maxine Nunez
Dr. Maxine A. Nunez is a nursing professor and researcher who has dedicated her professional life to the discipline of public health. Dr. Nunez has had a long tenure at the University of the Virgin Islands where she shaped and taught curricula in public health nursing, leadership and research. Additionally, her leadership roles at UVI have included chairing the Division of Nursing Education and serving as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Instruction of the St. Thomas Campus.
Dr. Nunez continues to be an active researcher and investigator primarily in the area of non communicable chronic diseases. She functions as a mentor of junior researchers and is the author of several publications including a study on diabetes self-management among U.S. Virgin Islanders which was the first investigative attempt in this area in the territory. Her research assignments include research core director of a federally funded program to help build research infrastructure to promote research efforts in health promotion and disease prevention. She currently serves at principal investigator for the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcome Research Studies Network in the US Virgin Islands.
Dr. Nunez’s professional life has been and continues to be a commitment to the fulfillment of healthy outcomes for populations through research and practice. This emphasis aims to improve health and lifestyles for individuals, and through findings engage community leaders and governments in scientifically informed decision making and policy formation.
Maisha Hutton – Executive Director
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.
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.