Voices Magazine Vol 5 Iss 01

VOICES Bi-Monthly Magazine of the University of Technology, Jamaica | April – June 2022 18 Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, delivered a special presentation on “Lessons Learnt from Crisis Leadership” at the fifth in the series of Health and Wellness seminars hosted by the College of Health Sciences (COHS) at a hybrid seminar hosted both virtually and at the Shared Facilities Building, UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus. The Webinar took place on World Heath Day, April 7, 2022, under the theme “Health and Wellness During a Pandemic”. Moderated by Professor Fitzroy Henry, Professor of Public Health Nutrition, COHS, the session was the latest in a series of presentations hosted by Dean of the College, Dr. Adella Campbell, to explore health and wellness issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness, throughout his presentation, drew on his own experiences to illustrate examples of the leadership approach taken during health crises of the past two years. He utilized the Cornwall Regional Hospital collapse and the COVID-19 pandemic as case studies of crises that he noted, required swift, decisive and pragmatic leadership responses. The Minister outlined the features of a crisis environment, which he pointed out, include chaos, panic, low public trust and public pressure, resource limitations, misinformation, and limited organisational capacity. Dr. Tufton underscored the importance of open communication and engagement with those directly affected, and continuous dialogue with the wider society, as critical steps in the leadership, particularly in a tumultuous environment. He noted, however, that “you have to be careful what you communicate and how you communicate,” expressing that mobilization, with measured responses utilizing necessary adjustments, are key to the process of executing good leadership. Dr. Tufton further shared practical examples of leadership response, particularly with reference to the Cornwall Regional Hospital Collapse where he highlighted that an immediate technical assessment to determine the source of the collapse and the outsourcing of critical services was undertaken to manage the effects of the disaster. He also noted that multilateral, internal and external consultations were conducted, and a comprehensive technical assessment completed. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Tufton outlined that effective strategies included twice weekly media briefs, field operations, a comprehensive, wide-reaching Dr. the Honourable Christopher Tufton (left), Minister of Health and Wellness (MOHW), fields questions from the audience at the fifth Health and Wellness Seminar hosted by the College of Health Sciences at the UTech, Jamaica Papine Campus on World Health Day, April 7, 2022, under the theme “Health and Wellness During a Pandemic”. Professor Fitzroy Henry, (seated, head table) Professor of Public Health Nutrition, COHS, who moderated the seminar, looks on. Minister of Health and Wellness Offers Lessons Learnt from Crisis Management at COHS Seminar experience in data management for an insightful and engaging presentation, titled “Health Information Technology: Overpriced or Undervalued.” He underscored the importance of health information systems, which enable “health care organisations to collect, store, manage, analyze and optimize patient treatment histories,” as well as providing information that assists with tracking community health trends, which is vital in the case of outbreaks of illness. Expressing that “Jamaica spends proportionally less on health than the recommended international benchmark,” Mr. McFarlane called for an investment into a robust, secure and all-encompassing Health Information System to aid in the transformation of the Jamaican health care landscape. The full day Conference also featured several presentations. Mrs. Idinger Walker, Deputy Hospital Administrator, Modern Medical Complex, St Vincent, discussed Leveraging Technology in Healthcare, which was chaired by Mrs. Keron Jones-Fraser, Lecturer, COHS. Professor Sean Thorpe, Head, School of Computing and Information Technology spoke on Health Data Privacy and Security, while Mr. Gregory Anglin, Lecturer, COHS discussed DataInformed Decision Making: An Imperative for Healthcare Administration. These presentations were chaired by Dr. Nola Hill-Berry and Mrs. Jacqueline Campbell-Barrett, Regional Health Record Administrator, South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), respectively. The Symposium, chaired by Captain Greg-Louis Austin, Caribbean Military Academy, featured speakers Dr. Sonia Richards-Malcolm, Mr. Howard Lynch, Director, Policy and Planning Division, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Aleiya Virgo-Herron, Medical Officer of Health, Kingston and St. Andrew Health Department and Mr. Jermaine Martin, Director, Health Information Unit, Ministry of Health and Wellness weighing in on the topic Data-informed Decision Making. Cont’d on page 19